Neurotic tendencies are rather common, and the need for affection is one of them. Karen Horney's theory regarding the neurotic person's self is that it is divided into two: "the real self" and "the ideal self". It is a mingling between what one really is and what one feels one should be. The issue is that neurotic persons feel that they do not live up to their ideal self and they constantly oscillate between trying to achieve their view of perfection and hating themselves for not living up to their expectations.
We are high achievers, and nevertheless scarcely prepared to face a potential failure. We do not talk about failures, maybe out of superstition and fear of bad luck, we just engage in our "mission" and cling the fingers in case of fall.
People with a developed need for attention are seen as failures. When one shows affection or the need of it, one is regarded as unreliable and insecure. It is very hard to explain the need for affection. Especially to those that are not in so much want. People react differently to the need of it. Some blame themselves for their "weakness", and others make the best of their need by getting involved in projects (volunteers) or by explaining their need to their loved ones.
April 18, 2012
April 17, 2012
April 8, 2012
A granddaughter's cry for attention. Grandfather was engaged in a conversation. Rose (let's call her this as she was wearing a red jacket) was happy. She was experiencing a breathtaking moment. She yelled something. But it was to loud to understand her. And then she turned to her grandfather, knowing that he will understand and share her happiness.
Grandfather gave her a glance while he was still talking. He was trying to find out if this was not one of her usual moments of effusion. He was very used to that. Surprisingly, he was very used to sadness and rage, too, as I could make up from his conversation. Between Rose's cries, grandfather looked her again in the eyes and he found that this was something different. So he stopped talking and embraced her. Gratefulness. Happiness. I saw them both in Rose's eyes and it was such a splendid sight that it made me wish I could only see it more often.
April 6, 2012
"Man is born free, and everywhere he is in chains."
After more than 200 years since Jean Jacques Rousseau uttered the aforementioned saying, I feel that nowadays we are in the same situation as then. There are strict social limits to live by and few are encouraged to do more or to embrace their calling.
My social experience until now has brought me to the conclusion that it is more important to have an opinion of my own regarding certain things than to "inherit" it from others. I met people who were so much indulged in living by the others' life standards that they did not even realize how miserable they were. And how could they be aware of that when all of their lives they were "helped" to feel anything except their inner feelings, needs and aspirations?
It is the same in Plato's Allegory of the Cave, only if one wants, can one come out in the sun and see the shapes as they really are.
I think that every one of us should engage once in a while in "absolute subjectivity" and try to understand who she/ he really is, the direction she/ he needs to take in order to be happy (so that the others could be happy. I always thought that happiness occurs due to a chain reaction. It cannot come out of nowhere. It can only be felt, lived and "transmitted" to the others around). I think this is how we should raise the young generation. I reckon this is the basic knowledge the youngsters should have when they set out on the journey of life.