September 26, 2023

Today's naval gazing thought - not entirely new material, but a new extension:

One of my most defining characteristics is this: I *need* to be as close to 100% reliable as humanly possible, for the sake of my sense of personal integrity. Arguably I might have a bit of OCD about it, in a clinical sense.

But here's a weird side effect of that: my need to be reliable, to be utterly dependable, means I generally *don't allow myself to be dependent on others*. Not that I assume that no one is reliable but me, but I can't KNOW they're reliable in the way that I think I am; and so I can't rest my reliability on theirs, and that generates a certain distance.

That's a challenge for relationships. For their own sense of security, people want to feel not just *wanted* but *needed*. (But they also want to feel that they're wanted, and my consistency towards them, say, isn't just an artifact of my need to reliable.) But if you're needed in a "crazy in love" kind of way, that's a strong way of knowing you're not subject to any kind of romantic market forces if "something better" comes along, and maybe for some people that feels more solid than the explanation of how a heart is faithful and true because that heart's owner is overwhelmingly a reliable, dependable person.

(And I don't judge other folks that when they can't be as reliable as I try to be - everyone's got their own battles and may or may not prioritize what's shared in importance between us. But I won't make my own dependability contingent on theirs.)

I mean, overall I think my reliability is a good trait, but it's also behind some of my own self-sabotage. "Under-promise and over-deliver" makes some sense, but it means I tend to make limits about how critical path I become at work, say; the thought of being solely responsible for a large crash-and-burn is just too painful.

Heh, even as far back as sixth grade I can remember refusing my mom's request to commit to getting a certain minimum set of grades; it wasn't that the grades that seemed out of reach, but the danger of that kind of unreliability makes goal setting seem like a fool's errand.

(And of course a few years later my dad died - a weird object lesson on the ultimate unreliability of other people, despite their love for you.)

But this need to not be dependent on others, I'd say it's not as isolating as it might seem. I still cherish how I can generate joy with Melissa and my bands, and make mighty good times! But I'm probably always going to steer away from staking my sense of wholeness as a person on anything that's extrinsic to me... and my preferred model for relationships is a kind of Inter-independence and mutual reliability, with a focus on the shared overlap of happiness and cool stuff.

Heh, it reminds me of this quote, Sonny Forelli in Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, dripping with understated menace after a failed drug deal:
I AM worrying, Tommy, that's my style, because I seem to have this problem in my life with UNreliable people. Don't be an UNreliable person, Tommy, please -- Do us both a favor...I'm looking forward to hearing from you.
I guess sometimes I feel like I'm my own Sonny Forelli...
godmybackhurts asked:
Tbh I love when frogs look completely brainless, which is 90% of the time

plaguedocboi answered:
Frogs are a stomach with enough leg to throw themselves at food, they don't have time for this "have thoughts" nonsense