Today is Friday and it shows in my mood. I am still very tired but I’m happy. Yesterday’s men’s group lifted me enormously. It is difficult to write what I learned in the group because it comes on top of everything that has happened in the last four weeks. We talked about relationships – not specifically the relationship between a man and a woman but more generally and, more importantly, the relationships between human beings.
Karaj said you have to be vulnerable to have a relationship, whereas asking a question of someone allows you to assess and prevents a relationship occurring.
Excluding people when I think I’m trying to include them: when trying to include someone in the group or situation what I’m actually doing is drawing definite boundaries and saying “you are outside this situation”, which only serves to highlight the exclusion.
Paradox: I like to be praised but I don’t handle compliments very well. I am noticing how I feel when people praise me – I feel good and have a desire to be praised. I anticipate praise: when undertaking tasks I sometimes imagine the praise I will receive. Is this why I am a perfectionist? Have I developed a tendency for perfection because it maximizes the praise I receive? And why am I embarrassed by compliments? Is there a difference between praise and compliments?
Praise is positive conditional strokes and compliments are more likely positive unconditional strokes. I find it harder to accept positive unconditional strokes. It is not something I’m used to because it is not something which is encouraged in my culture.
Perfection is my expertise and should only be given to those who can afford it.