People using others to affirm themselves

[96 Jan 17] idea typed in

Sometimes you'll see someone at a social occasion (or other event where people are gathered together) who is trying hard to ingratiate themselves with strangers, desparately getting their mental teeth into anyone who will talk to them. They're not particularly try to communicate some exciting information in their talking, nor are they particularly interested to gather knowledge or learn wisdom. They simply want to be talking to someone, anyone, and yet the savagery with which they latch into a conversation pushes a lot of people away from them... all they want, perhaps, is for others not to shy away from them but to talk to them as the peers that they rightly are. Perhaps they have little to contribute to the coversation; or if they do have something to contribute, they do so with force that shows that they cannot cope with their contribution being taken on equal terms to others; they must be accepted or they will crumble again into fearful inadequate loneliness. The reason for their contribution is not for the value of contribution but to cancel their feeling of not being as good as the others who are welcomed in.

I know... I've been that kind of person, and shied away from others in whom I saw the same... I still shy away from them, which is largely why I'm writing this essay now. And yet I seem to have moved forward; what is the difference, and is there something I can do to help people out of that pit?

Perhaps there are varieties of this situation; I think I did regard the people at whom I talked as friends, and didn't approach strangers in my desparation; some people in whom it's got worse

(interrupted, by such a person looking over my shoulder to see what I had on my screen, oblivious of the possibility that my privacy might be more important to me than his having something to talk to me about.)

I've realized that much of the irritation of this is to do with the feeling that they are using you to wipe themselves clean of the unacceptability that they feel.

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