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- Joined: Thu Dec 14, 2017 7:54 pm
- Age: 23
Well, I wasn't expecting anything to come of it, but what she went on to say about the things she didn't like about him made me realize how much I was still idealizing him. Not that her view of him is the end all be all, but the things I see in him aren't necessarily objective fact. Even though she agreed that he is noticeably shy, self-conscious, and has low self esteem, she described him as narcissistic, vain, haughty and obsessed with his image. I sort of knew some of this, and he himself once or
twice admitted to being a "narcissist" in his youth, but I just saw it as a defense mechanism against insecurity and anxiety, which he obviously has. I found his vanity and obsession with image/style/taste boyish and endearing. She found it annoying and insincere. She said he always spoke in such an affected way, as though he had rehearsed everything, and that he was dismissive and arrogant, that he thought he was smarter than he was. She said he was once of the less intelligent faculty members. I myself thought it was bit presumptuous of her to say that but it did get me thinking. I always considered him a genius! She also expressed her annoyance about his apparent disdain for sincerity and emotion. I asked her why he tolerated me, then, since I am so sincere and emotional. She said, "he sees in you what he could be if it weren't for his ego." I guess she was referring to my openness and vulnerability. She said that we are drawn to each other, LO and I, because he has an excess of ego while I embody an absence of ego. Funny thing is that I saw him as the person I could be/could have been if I was only more disciplined, more able to manage my emotion, more ironic, practical, witty, etc. I always saw him as me, but better, more successful.
While I don't think she's right about me being "the absence of ego" (far from it!), or even that he is "drawn" to me in the first place, I found her perspective on him refreshing. And her positive appraisal of me was very sweet and comforting. It made me feel like less of a loser.
I know she's my friend so she's biased and trying to make me feel better. Still, it's what I needed in that moment. If it weren't for my friends, I sometimes think I wouldn't remember anything good about myself. And the best part is that I am helping her with her own issues, too, including an inappropriate and difficult infatuation right now, and my experience and research on limerence and attachment has helped me a lot. I hope it will help at least just knowing someone else has been through it and won't judge. It is really helping me, too, to see what it's like from the outside. I find myself giving her advice and then realizing I should take that advice myself. It's like seeing yourself from the outside.
I'm only now realizing how important friendships are for development. They are like mirrors. I didn't really have any friends until I was in my 20s. I didn't have siblings either. I can't believe I went through high school without a single true companion, not even knowing what I was missing out on. I wasn't lonely, I've always had a propensity for solitude. But I needed a friend or two even if I didn't know it or want one. I think all those years being alone, inside my head, molded me into who I am today, the good and the bad. I'm sure I developed a lot of my analytical and introspective skills during that time spent alone. I certainly developed a rich imagination, a love of words and ideas, and, best of all, an ability to tolerate being alone for a long time, something some of my friends cannot handle, and suffer because of. On the other hand, I missed some important developmental milestones that I think contributed to my limerence. I also fell behind my peers in terms of my social and interpersonal skills. Worst of all, perhaps, because I kept so much to myself, not having anyone to give me a "reality check" from time to time, to bounce ideas off of, allowed for lots of unhealthy, strange or unrealistic beliefs about my identity, my past, the nature of things, even about love etc. to root themselves a bit too firmly in me, with no one to question or challenge them. Solitude is the ultimate echo chamber.
At any rate, while I still love my solitude, I'm so grateful for my friends. I love them
My LO is a 54 year old male (married w/ kids).
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- Joined: Tue Mar 24, 2020 2:46 am
You sound like an introspective and insightful person. It is great that you are realizing these things at such a young age. I am a middle aged man and I'm only now starting to realize alot of these things you point out above, and only after many tortuous LEs. I hope you keep learning so you will be aware of falling into the LE trap in the future. If you're anything like me (and it seems that you are in terms of being introspective, living in your own head, and being emotionally vulnerable), you will probably be somewhat vulnerable to LEs for most of your life, so the more you know the more you will be able to ward them off when you see them coming on.
LO married, co-worker