theoryofmind
My ultra-personal inner monologue

Intro vs outro

‘You have a way with words’ my wife said after defusing an extremely volatile situation with my (sometimes) thoughtless mother-in-law.

Since childhood I have been able to influence – manipulate is so unnecessarily negative – the feelings and emotions of my family. Practising on my brother, I was able to make him cry at will. I learnt very early on how to steer the thoughts as well as emotions of my parents.

Loved ones were even easier, and I used to be able to pilot a shouting match like a redneck in a swamp. It would seem that the closer the person is to me, the more I am able to sway their emotions.

With my daughters it seems to be the closet I’ll ever get to directly control someone else’s emotions.

If all of this appears flippant or callous, it is because of the reader’s own need for power. As I realised this power at an incredible age, it has always been a part of my make up but also of my reality. It is as natural for me as running: I couldn’t always do it, and I won’t always be able to, but it is still a part of what I am.

I don’t abuse it, and I never ever use it to the conscious harm of anyone. In fact quite the opposite: I go out of my way to try and improve the lives of those close to me.

This is also what prompted today’s entry: the realisation that I am extremely good at managing the relations around me and the emotions involved. I can think about my personal relations to people in strategic terms, and steer them in any long term direction I want. But I also have the empathic power to assimilate a loved one’s current state of being.

Part of the inspiration for this comes from Cory Doctorow’s concept of Whuffie. In a Bitchun society I would have been an extremely rich individual. All my success comes from helping people and improving their lives, improving their emotional states. Although I am atrocious at money – making it or managing it – I would be brilliant in an emotional rewards based society where it relies on the amount of support one provides.

Of course I sometimes regret not being a good moneymaker. If I could manage my career like I manage my life and my relationships, I am certain that I would be inordinately rich. As it stands I find myself completely euphoric in terms of my relationships.

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