After several illuminating conversations (it turns out I’m actually able to have them), I’m coming to terms with how much there is that I need to improve. I’ve mentioned in the past how I need to stop being so negative in conversations. But a larger issue is that I actually need to add positives to balance it. I think this is called ‘being nice’, or in my case more accurately ‘be tolerable’.
For starters, my misanthropic attitude has always been a joke. I’ve overused it, though, to the extent where I’m not even joking any more. I’ve always been comfortable doing it because I knew deep down that I do like people (surprisingly). Yet I want people to realise that I do like people. If I never even give a glimpse of this how are they meant to perceive my misanthropy as a joke? I think this will fix itself if I re-affirm in my mind, however that’s even done, that it is a joke. If I keep thinking positively about people and make a positive effort with them, then I’ll get positive feedback, rather than confirming my own biases about the negatives of people.
I’ve comforted myself in the thought that I’m working to improve myself. I exercise more, I learn more, I do more. I’m effectively decorating myself, but that presupposes solid foundations. I don’t have that yet. I’m too horrible to others and negative about people in general to be able to claim I have such foundations. As ever, though, there’s room for optimism. I’m really glad to be aware of what’s been wrong all along (although chances are I’m missing things), so now I can try to improve them. It’s part of a realisation that, no matter how much I tell myself I’m not a proper human being, I am and quite often a bad one at that. I need to embrace, not deny, my humanity. Altruism, education, exercise do not solve character flaws, they build a character which is firmly in place.
A large part of the problem is arrogance. I have a seriously unhealthy habit of overestimating myself in relation to others. If I surround myself in my thoughts, perhaps it’s unsurprising that my thoughts are self-centred and tend me towards thinking I’m the centre of the universe. I am unsure, though, of how to force modesty into character. Maybe learned modesty, where I keep telling myself I’m not as good as I think I am. But that seems somewhat superficial, and ideally there’d be a deeper solution. I’ll have to try giving others’ credit for what they’re good at and accepting defeat more frequently. Considering the scale of my arrogance, it’ll be quite a test. If I succeed, then I’ll get an ego boost from doing something difficult. Somewhat paradoxical, but maybe the new mind I hope to acquire won’t see it that way.