The Trippy Trap of Being Special

This is a comment I received on one of my posts:

“This is a really good read for me. Must agree that you are one of the coolest bloggers I ever saw. Thanks for posting this useful information. This was just what I was looking for. I’ll come back to this blog for sure!”

And another:

“Can I just say what a relief to find someone who actually knows what they’re talking about on the internet. You definitely know how to bring an issue to light and make it important. More people need to read this and understand this side of the story. I cant believe you’re not more popular because you definitely have the gift.”

They may be familiar to you… I have corrected a couple of grammatical errors… but still if you read the comments which Akismet filters out of your comments folder and into your spam folder you may have come across these two in there recently.

Of course these two comments take away as much as they give.

The first one gives a coolest blogger I ever saw award, then says that they’ll come back to the blog for sure. Why would they ever leave if this is the coolest blog ever? Surely they would want to set up permanent residence here! And why add ‘for sure’? That seems to suggest that they are not sure about this at all and need to convince themselves about it.

The second one gave me that most wanted medal of having a ‘gift’, then tarnishes it by pointing out that they think my blog is unpopular. How do they know that my blog is ‘not more popular’ than they ‘believe’? That little slip of the commenting tongue tells me that they don’t believe in my ‘gift’ as much as they would like me to believe that they do.

What a pity they’re just spam. I did so want the ego trip they were offering…

I sure hope they’re spam and not real comments which were accidentally diverted into the spam folder. It has happened, which is why I read spam. If they are real comments… I guess I may have just convinced those two people that they were wrong about my blog and about me. That happens a lot.

Mind you, if they’re that easily swayed from their original opinion, then perhaps it was not as genuine as it would have liked to have been.

I’m quite agile when it comes to putting people off liking me. It’s a habit born out of experience and a quirk of character. I like to be liked, I like to be complimented, but I don’t want to get trapped by the trait that people like about me, or feel obliged to live up to the compliment. I have other traits, some unlikeable ones, and I have many things about me which may inspire criticism. I don’t like to feel trapped by those either.

I prefer to keep things level-headed, grounded in the reality, my version of it anyway… and free from the chains of too much ego. A little bit of ego is healthy, more than that and things get complicated in the relationship between who we are and all the others who squat inside of us.

When people like you and give you compliments… what we often feel is a rush of specialness. The chemicals in our brains give us a natural high. We enjoy that feeling and of course want more of it. Feeling good about ourselves is an aphrodisiac. So we observe what gets us likes and compliments and do it some more. But as with all drugs, natural or otherwise, we develop a resistance to the smaller doses and need to up our intake. Then a bit more. A bit more. More. And even more. Eventually this can lead to losing sight of who we are in an effort to become the person who will get us more likes and praise, as much as possible, the more the better.

This quest for more and more of the feeling good about ourselves drug rush and high is part of what lies behind the behaviour of Narcissists, Megalomaniacs, and Egomaniacs.

It is also the drug of choice of manipulators. They don’t use it on themselves, partly because they don’t need to, they get a rush from how clever they are at manipulating others, and partly because they know what a dangerously effective and addictive drug it is, one which makes people vulnerable to manipulation and manipulators like them. They use it as a device to gain power over others. To control others. They push it onto others very generously at first, get people well and truly addicted to it and to them, and once they have you, you’ll do what they want to get some more. Want to feel great, feel special, forever and ever, then just sign on the dotted line, give them all your resources, your money, your thoughts, your emotions, your body, your will, your soul, and they’ll give you the world, you’ll be a king or queen in a land of serfs. But you’ll never be a king or queen, because that role belongs to them, you’re just another serf who is easily fooled by a very special master manipulator using a powerful drug as a magic wand-sceptre.

So what makes us so vulnerable to this wonderful drug?

We were all born special, we knew it, we enjoyed it, we reveled in the wonderment of it, it made us feel good, safe, loved… it was the most natural feeling in the world… and then it was slowly, bit by tiny bit, taken away from us, leaving us with a gaping hole where it once was, and a deep and urgent need to fill that hole and once again feel whole.

The rush that we get when someone likes us, loves us, compliments and praises us… it is a return to that moment when we knew how special we naturally were… and still are but have forgotten.