Category Archives: Relationships

How to Avoid Crippling Loneliness

I suffer from crippling loneliness. I feel it most days of my life. I’m going to tell you how I achieved crippling loneliness all my life so that you can learn what not to do from my mistakes.

Avoid Eye Contact

Eye contact is the opposite of loneliness. Eye contact is two people seeing each other in the present moment. Seeing each other together is connecting with each other. And connecting with someone is the opposite of loneliness, which is the feeling and state of being disconnected from everyone. So if you want to stay lonely, avoid eye contact.

Ignore as much as possible

* Did someone greet you? Ignore it.
* Did someone try to make eye contact? Look away.
* Did someone say something directly at you in person, over text, over any form of communication? Ignore them.
* Did someone ambiguously say something that might be targeted to you? Don’t ask for clarification. Don’t check if they meant to talk to you.
Let the fear of responding to people win, so you can make them feel like you don’t care about them and send the message that you don’t want them in your life. This creates the alienation and space necessary for them to leave you alone so that you can be lonely.

Deny others

Deny their opinions. Deny their requests. Deny them as a person by rejecting characteristics that are core to who they are.
* When you disagree, don’t acknowledge their point of view and don’t start from common ground. Just disagree.
* When you say no to a request, let your fear manifest in body language that communicates disgust, and let that disgust be misinterpreted as disgust towards the request and the person, and don’t clarify that it’s really disgust directed at yourself because you’re feeling uncomfortable. Also don’t explain, because if you explain why you’re saying no then they can get to know you, and that would build a bond which isn’t what you want when you’re trying to stay lonely.
* When they do something you dislike, don’t engage in a healthy conversation around how their actions make you feel and what together can be done to address both people’s needs. Let it grow into resentment and hatred, and let those negative emotions permeate your relationship through passive aggressive behaviors, and also take out your rage on other people not involved with this relationship, because anger and rage can push people away, and that’s what you want when you want to be lonely.

Put others down

Joy, happiness, and celebration are stupid and sick and a product of ignorance and selfishness and cruelty. There is so much wrong with the world, and it’s insulting to those who suffer for those who don’t to be happy. So find the negative in everything and make that the focus of everyone’s attention all the time. Making others feel bad is the key to ensuring they don’t enjoy being with you and so you can be left alone.

I’m going to pause here to mention that many of these principles are captured in other resources. The value I can add that is unique is the psychological reasons for this behavior.

Before I get into that, I want to speak to two audiences who might be reading this post. If you’re lonely, I hope reading this post helps start you on the path to building better habits to be less lonely. If you’re healthy and reading this post, I hope this helps you understand people you don’t like and I hope this empowers you to rescue and save the lonely people, so that you can work to make the world a better place by addressing the needs of the lonely people and teaching them how to have a better life.

Why I learned to avoid eye contact

I grew up in an abusive household. My mom would come home angry and punch, smash, kick, hurt and destroy whatever she saw. She couldn’t do this at work, so during the day she would accumulate hatred and rage, and then come home and unleash it. The last thing I wanted was for her to see me and for me to be the target of that rage and anger. Never make eye contact with a troubled person unless you’re there to help them unload their negative emotions and heal them to a better state of being.

Why I Ignore as much as possible

My mom engaged in a lot of illegal activities and forced me to participate too. As a result, a large part of my life is a lie. And the more I talk about myself the more I have to lie. And I don’t like lying. So rather than lie, I just ignore conversations so that I don’t have to say anything. This doubles as a defensive mechanism because the more you lie the more you have to keep track of and so it’s harder to get away with the lie, so you avoid saying much.
Every time I told the truth in public where my mom was there, she would go home and beat me. Punish me dearly for telling the truth.
Then she would take me to church and force me to understand that lying is a sin and sinning gets you eternal punishment in hell. So ignoring people is a mild option compared to my alternatives.
The way you can use this knowledge is to understand that if someone is not responding to you, it means they don’t feel safe. To make them safe enough to talk, you have to put in work. You have to build trust and be trustworthy such that you won’t ruin their life when they tell you the ugly and possibly illegal truth.
(Side note: everyone has details of their life they want to keep private. For some it’s 10% of their life. For others it’s 90% of their life. Have compassion and empathy for what might be keeping them from telling you the whole truth. And take everything they say with a grain of salt and a filter based on the strength of your relationship together.)

Why I deny others

I had an abusive mother. When I tell people that my mother mistreated me, 99% of people I tell this to will deny me and say I’m a shitty kid who doesn’t appreciate, understand, respect their mother, and insult and label me as immature and a bad son. They will then point out the good things that are in life, as justification for why I am wrong and why I should continue to suffer abuse because it’s not abuse.
Other people comment about my experience without any validity to their statements because they don’t know my experience. Abstracting this: they are focusing on their own positive experiences and neglecting the possibility of a reality outside of their own where things are different.
When I deny others, it is a plea for help. Please get out of your f***ing head and see the pain I’m going through and help me.

Why I put others down

This is a more extreme version of why I deny others. It’s already hard enough for me to be suffering abuse while no-body cares. It’s even harder to see people celebrating while I’m suffering abuse. All those energy and resources and time could be spent ending my pain, and instead it’s spent on increasing the happiness of people who are already happy and in a much better place.
One view is: we should work to ensure that everyone has a certain standard of living. Under this view, rather than celebrate, they should help me.
Another view is: selfishness, fight and compete antagonistically with each other for resources, so that the strong and happy can get stronger and happier.
To me, seeing others celebrating while I’m suffering means they believe in selfishness and antagonism. So then I give them the antagonism and selfishness they want. I compete by tearing them down to my level, so that I have a chance to fight and get the resources I need to survive. Either I win and they experience the pain I’m experiencing, or they become enlightened and less ignorant to the pain that is going on right under their nose, and they can become more caring and helpful to provide a safe community with a quality of life for all.

Crazy Rich Asians and Their Crazy Old Ways

Today’s post is inspired by the recent movie Crazy Rich Asians. However, I will explore more themes than were presented in the movie.

The first topic I want to discuss is Filial Piety.  The idea that it is the child’s responsibility to care for the elders’ in their old age.  This is wrong today, in 2018, because it is outdated.  Hundreds or thousands of years ago, capitalism and division and specialization of labor did not exist. As such, everyone learned life skills like farming, hunting, labor, and mercantilism.  Therefore, they are directly in contact with the activities that provide basic life necessities.  So to plant an extra plant or share spare meat for the elders was efficient and therefore logical to do.  As time went on and division of labor took shape, the profit that the children could make per hour in relation to the value that profit could provide was sufficient to supply the family with fortune and health because 1. life expectancy was low, so you didn’t have to keep everyone alive for 80 years like you do now, 2. people had many kids, so that the family income was exponentially increasing at a high rate, and 3. people had kids very early, so the family size was enormous.  For example, if each family has 5 children ( conservative number )  and they start having kids at 16 (also conservative number ) then when the grandparents are 44 years old, they have 5 children which each have 5 grand children, so 25 grand children + 10 aunts and uncles = 35 people to earn money and support the 2 grand parents.  In the modern day, the numbers are more like: parents have 1 or 2 kids at age 30. So by age 44 the kid is only 14 and unable to support the parents. Then when the parents are 54 the kid is 24 and when the child gets married and has kids at 30, they have to support a new born baby and two aging retiring parents at 60.  Meaning that the 2 parents have to support 4 grandparents and 1-2 newborn children.
As you can clearly see, the ratio of 35 working people supporting 2 elders has become 2 working people supporting 4 elders.  This alone makes filial piety very difficult to achieve circa 1900s.
Now let’s talk about the 2000s.  It’s EVEN WORSE now because in modern times, most of wealth is achieved through investment income.  You will never become wealthy working 40 hours a week. You will only become wealthy through business and investment ventures.  In particular, when you’re talking about long term capital gains and retirement savings, due to the power of compound interest, money saved in your 20s is 3x more important than money saved in your 30s (if you use average stock market returns of 11% per year over 10 years 1.11^10 = ~3).  Furthermore, money saved in your 20s is 9x more important than money saved in your 40s, and 3x more important than money saved in your 30s. Which means if you spend your 20s paying off your student loans and then having some fun, then your 30s paying for parents and new born, then in your 40s you will be sooooo worse off from an investment standpoint.
But it gets worse.  In the 2000s, real estate has exploded and rent has skyrocketed and so have mortgage downpayment requirements. As a result, if your parents don’t jumpstart you on a mortgage, then you’ll end up paying rent for yourself and for your parents which is money you never get back.  This compounded with your lack of investments means that your net worth stays near to 0 your whole life if you pursue filial piety.
In summary, it made sense to have filial piety in ancient times due to math, but today the math does not work out.

The second topic is taken from the movie Crazy Rich Asians and it’s about the importance of passing down the family’s business, inheritance and wealth to the children.  This again is an outdated practice. Today we have lawyers and financial institutions you can hire to manage your business and prevent the managers of your business from running away with your property.  Hundreds of years ago you could only hold onto your property if you can prove it and defend it personally. Under those circumstances, of course the responsibility would fall on the shoulders of the strongest male in the family as they were most likely to be able to defend the family.  Then when division of labor took place, it was a matter of intelligence and connections. Thus, the father would teach the son said intelligence and introduce said son to the exclusive connections that will keep the family ahead of the curve.
However, as more people got rich, they pooled their resources and more efficiently taught the next generation through private schools.  And then they built institutions the further utilize capitalism and division of labor to create systems to support and preserve their wealth and power.  Fast forward to modern day and the government’s legal arm, property laws, and the well developed and highly regulated financial industry and economic system that powers the world today, and if a parent wants to pass fortune to children they can hire professionals to do that. The professionals can then hire professionals to establish the family dynasty through trust funds and private wealth management and etc.  The system is resilient enough to preserve wealth through the dumb generations, which historically lose all the family’s wealth through their stupidity.
In summary, it made sense to force children to take on the mantle of running the family business from generation to generation in the past, but not today.

The third topic I want to address from the movie Crazy Rich Asians is the idea that the wife needs to compromise and give up everything to become the matriarch for the family.  Again, very very outdated. Makes perfect sense back in the hunter gatherer social-economic structure of families hundreds of years ago, but not today.  Today women are more educated than ever before in history, and they are entering the work force and building careers for themselves as well. It is now a two career household rather than a one career household.

Stemming from the growing independence of women we come to the fourth topic which is romantic love and its place in the family.  The older generation was all about: you’re married now, deal with it the best you can, but no matter what preserve the family. As a result you find a lot of the older generation of asian parents today hating each other and only staying together for the purpose of the family and children. Then they pass down this unfortunate world view and expectation to their children: get married by this age, plop out children by this next age, deal with your problems rather than consider that you should get a divorce, or not get married and instead keep searching to find the right one and develop yourself in the meantime.  What you should do is grow yourself and wait for the right one. Better to be alone than in a terrible relationship. The good thing about today is that there’s so many people, you will find someone right for you if you keep looking.

A fallacy from the movie is the idea that (spoilers ahead, stop reading if you don’t want to know the plot) the lead character Nick is emotionally mature and ready for a marriage or relationship.  He spent a year running away from his problems, and in the end it was his wife Rachel who solves them. Which means that if Rachel is the intelligent independent confident woman that the movie makes her out to be, she will realize at some point that Nick is an immature boy and she deserves better.  The movie gives no indication that Nick has grown in any way, meaning his ability to actually take on the family business is highly suspect. Also, where is Nick’s dad in this movie?
Another fallacy from the movie is the idea that Nick would NOT think it’s a BIG deal that his girlfriend doesn’t know he’s rich.  He’s probably been thinking his whole life about how to introduce his future lover to his wealth, especially since he sees how the marriages of his family and friends turn out when immense wealth marries less immense wealth. Equally so a fallacy is the idea that Rachel would have never googled Nick to find out his history.
Also…where is Nicks dad in all of this? Why is not involved at all in family affairs?
And finally, in all seriousness, wrapping dumplings is hard.

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Giving Unhurtful Feedback

I am notorious for giving cruel, uncaring, cutting feedback.  I thought that if I was clear, firm, and to the point, I would achieve perfect communication.  This is true only for robots, but not for humans with emotions.

Here’s what I thought happens when two people talk:

(idea in head) -> words spoken -> sound in air -> words heard by other person -> (idea in head)

Here’s what actually happens

(idea in head) -> words spoken with tone and expressed with body language -> sound in air and visual imagery -> other person’s emotions at the time + other person’s unconscious biases and habits + other person’s beliefs and world view + other person’s view on the relationship between you and them + other person’s feelings of their relationships with themselves and the rest of the world at that moment + what you said + what they interpret what you said meant + what they see + what they interpret what they see meant -> (idea in head)

As a result, when I say something like “Don’t do that. Do this instead.”  What I think is happening is I’m clearly communicating what needs to be addressed, and how it needs to be addressed.  What is happening is I’m 1. taking authority and command and superiority to tell the other person what to do 2. making them feel small 3. making them feel threatened 4. making them feel confused and afraid from the threat 5. making them question why 6. making them insecure about whether to trust the information or not 7. wonder about my intentions 8. wonder about the impact on the relationship and on them self if they obey and if they don’t obey 9. creating a hostile environment into which it is difficult to give feedback, ask for clarification, be equal 10. etc.

Instead, lead with intent that is selflessly benevolent to the other person: I want you to do well, so I care if something bad happens to you. I an concerned that if you do that, a unfortunate etc. thing will happen to you, which I don’t want.  So my solution to the situation is to do this because given my experience etc. will happen. What do you think?

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