“Doubt is the origin of wisdom”
― René Descartes
How do people view someone as an extension of themselves?
This question popped up in my blog’s search term stats and jumped out at me, grabbing my attention.
For the person who was searching for – how to make a capricorn woman pay attention to you – that’s how you do it.
You stand out from the crowd by being an individual. By being yourself, that is, rather than by being the collective idea of what an individual is. By showing that you think for yourself and your thoughts are yours. That you act for yourself and your actions are yours. And your individual thoughts and actions stir mine – now you have my interest.
At least with this Capricorn woman.
I can only speak for myself, even though sometimes I go down the path of speaking for others (we all do that sometimes – see what I did there), but really what I’m doing is using my understanding of myself as a way to understand others and sharing that or something like that.
Since I am a human being like other people (sorry about that), some of the things which apply to me will also apply to others (again, my apologies for that), however there will be individual differences which only each individual can tell you about themselves.
One size can at times fit all, but how it fits each individual who is a part of the all will be different.
Want someone’s attention? How about asking them for it. Then show them why getting their attention was worth it, not just for you but for them too.
Consider this, we talk about ‘paying’ attention – what’s the price, what are we paying for and what are we getting for paying that price?
And once you get someone to pay attention to you, what next? Are you prepared for that? For someone being interested in you? For someone paying you with their attention? Do you have something else to offer them or was it just a sales pitch with no product at the end of it?
Do you have an escape plan if it doesn’t turn out the way that you hoped it would?
We sometimes dream of getting attention, of getting the attention of those whose attention seems so precious to us because if we get it then it makes us precious too, but… we often dream safely in the knowledge that our dreams won’t come true. We want them to come true, yet we also don’t want them to do that as we know that if they do then other stuff will come with them being real, stuff which may be beyond our control.
We can control every element of our dreams… until they become real. Then other people get a measure of control and we lose a little bit of what we had. We have to share the control and the power…
What if you dreamed of being a famous film star… as long as it’s just a dream, the experience is under your control, therefore it is all wonderful.
People love you, admire you, want to know you, know all about you, see you, see more of you. Your talent is admired. You’re amazing. You get lots of lovely things for being so lovely and amazing.
However the reality of it is… not like the dream of it.
Once you become celebrated, a celebrity, then you no longer just belong to yourself, you belong to other people. You belong more to others than you do to yourself. Your self… is an extension of them, whether ‘them’ is a fan, a paparazzi, a news site, or a film executive who makes money off of you.
They love you, but their love comes at a price. They want to see you, see more of you, every film you’re in, every event you go to, every dress you wear, ever cup of coffee you drink, where, which brand, and how you drink it, they want to know you, more and more, and more and more, until they want those paparazzi to get those pics of you in your private moments, and beyond.
You have become an extension of them. Who you are is intricately connected to who they are. Whoever they are.
That’s an extreme of something which we all do. We all have a tendency to view others as an extension of us in some way.
No idea who this comedian is (sorry, mate) or where this is from (sorry, source), or all those sort of things (sorry, internet etiquette), but this is funny and I’m Pinning it on my Pinterest which is an extension of me and when I Pin this people will think… oh, she’s got a great sense of humour (at least that’s what my extensions appear to me to say about me and that’s what it is all about!).
If we’re parents… our children are an extension of us. It’s fun at first, they have our eyes, our ears, our smile, and when they do something… oh, look, they’re doing what we do! How cute! Lovely! Funny (let me share this on my Facebook). They make us feel good about ourselves by showing us an innocent form of ourselves (or something like that).
They’re a mini-me. How cool is that!!!! Mini-me is awesome, so much better than big-me… I like mini-me, I want to be mini-me. Mini-me is me.
This is normal and natural, and can be very touching (at times). However it can go over to the dark side. But for it to do that it requires for us to not be aware of the fact that as much as our children are a part of us, an extension of us, they’re their own person too.
Mini-me… is a me who isn’t me. Their me is their me, not mine. They’re cool… me… well…?
Most parents know this and encourage their child to develop their sense of self, their individuality. Even if it can be annoying at times because they challenge their parents’ authority… but that’s a good thing, right, in the long term, that’s what an individual must do to become themselves, separate from others, from parents, from family, from the group.
To become more than just an extension of others.
The parent has a difficult job. And most parents do it as best as they can while also dealing with themselves, and other types of others (like their own parents who… yeah, well, um…). Mistakes will be made. Some extensions may remain. It’s not going to be perfect, but it doesn’t need to be. A bit of mess and chaos is good for all of us, individually and as a group.
What makes the difference is… when someone can’t see a difference between them and others. When someone has no boundaries between self and other. When self and other are the same thing – self
When a child grows up in a family environment where everything about them, about their self, is invaded and taken over by others, their parents. When everything good that they do as a separate self is absorbed into the collective me of a parent… they get a good grade, it’s their parent who did that. They have an ability… that ability belongs to their parent. They have a beautiful smile… they got that from their parent.
Nothing belongs to them, it all belongs to their parents and is controlled by their parents. Nothing is theirs.
They’re never allowed to eat chocolate or candy in case they damage their smile… that smile is not theirs to take care of or damage, it belongs to the parents, it’s an extension of the parents.
They can’t go out and play with friends, they must practice their ability. The parents own that ability and have future plans for it. Especially if through this ability the parents see themselves accepting an award for their child’s achievements which would never have been possible without them sacrificing themselves for their child. They sacrifice their child, this individual, for themselves. But that’s okay…
“I would like to thank my parents for not allowing me to play with my friends, for not letting me be my own person, for insisting that I live their dreams for them, without them I might be a happy, ordinary human being, but thanks to them I’m so special I’ve been given an award for it by all of you (ordinary mortals who are happy and don’t know the shit I have to put up with never being myself, being an extension of someone else). This award is, of course, not mine, it belongs to my parents, they turned me into this person (who isn’t me but them, their dreams for me to be), and therefore I would like for them to come up here and accept it on my behalf (while I go off into a dark corner and curl up in a fetal position and cry, wish I was never born… but shit happens when others are in control).”
This is very different from…
“I’d like to thank my parents for believing in me when I told them about my dream for my self and they doubted my ability to do it, wished I’d do something else more doable, but they put their doubts aside and encouraged, supported me, and that was vital when I began to doubt myself and my ability to pursue my dreams. They helped me to stick with it when I wanted to give up. This award belongs to them (but it’s mine and I’m keeping it). Thank you for giving it to me, supporting me, believing in me, I’ll try to live up to your dreams for me, which are my dreams too (mine). I may f*ck up somewhere along the way, but that’s okay (your expectations for me may disappoint you, that may happen to me too, but that’s normal and I’ll keep going even if you stop loving me, because I won’t stop even when I do sometimes). Let’s see what happens. I’m so excited (hope you’re sharing this with me)! And scared out of my mind, but loving the thrill of it. I hope to return the favour some day to those out there, like me, who have dreams and… go for it, and expect to have moments when you question yourself, I hope you have people in your life who even though they doubt you believe in you as a you who is experiencing being an individual who is also a part of a collective. Thank you all… and thank you me for being a me! Me thanks me and you! Namaste all of us!”
The reason that this – How do people view someone as an extension of themselves? – attracted me and made me pay attention to it was because…
Frankly I’d never thought about it. I sort of did yet sort of didn’t. By asking it, they made me think about it, really think about it…
…and people who make me think in a certain way get my attention because they make me pay attention to issues which affect us all, individually and together.
It’s actually very easy to view someone as an extension of yourself. It’s a normal and natural process. We’re all symbiotically linked. We need each other, even when we wish we didn’t.
However for most of us, we’re still a me who is a part of the we, of the us. And we give that to others too, because we like it when they give it to us. We experience relationships between us and others as a reciprocal interaction. We may be a we, but the formula is two me’s who are a team. Not one person absorbing others whether they want to be absorbed or not into a me, and a we which actually means me.
We all have moments of seeing others as extensions of us. We do it with tools and objects too. And occasionally we view others as tools and objects. But we know we’re doing that and we’re not always happy about it. It’s just that sometimes… we need to do that. Just as others need to do it, and they do it with us.
However we are aware and keep it balanced as best as a human can.
There are certain people who just don’t have that kind of awareness or the thinking which goes with it, and don’t care a bit about balance in relationships. Not necessarily because they don’t care, it’s just that… they don’t know any other way of doing things. They were treated that way and so they keep doing it. What was done to them is what they do to others and they may never think about questioning it, especially if it is still being done to them and that becomes what reality and relationships are all about.
A hand puppet will only know itself as a hand puppet and will think that everyone else is a hand puppet, and may treat others that way. When someone objects to being used like a hand puppet… well, it just confuses the one trying to use them. This is how people treat other people, what’s your problem? Try to explain that this is not how people treat other people to them and… you’re threatening their sense of identity and everything they’ve ever known as reality. It’s going to get nasty and even more confusing.
Why have I never thought about this question – How do people view someone as an extension of themselves?
Well, I have but not in that way… in the way that it struck me when it popped out. I thought – how can someone ask this, isn’t it obvious!?
I grew up in a reality where that was the norm. I didn’t like it, so I endeavoured not to do it, but that made me into a freak. Everyone around me was treating other people that way, was treating me that way… who was I to do things differently, who did I think I was!?!
If you’ve ever liked a band and been liked by others for liking that band, or an actor, or a TV show, or anything really which becomes… an extension of your identity that others can relate to and which others use to decide whether to like or dislike you, to accept you into a group or reject you, to make you into an extension of their tribe or cut you off like a gangrenous arm… it’s basically the same thing only in a more twisted manner.
That hammer which you use to bash a nail… some people view others that way. They have certain people who are hammers for them which they use when they want to bash someone else who is a nail to them. Just as they have people who are ointments to them which they use when someone else is a rash to them.
There’s a fine line… which we can all step over every now and again.
Want to understand, then empathise… take what you do and exaggerate it, colour over the lines into unknown territory to make it known.
If it frightens you… that’s okay. But you may need to allow the fright to happen to understand what you don’t but want to. You won’t get tainted by it. You’re you… you’ll always be you. You can wash the taint off.
Some people on the other hand, they don’t have a you, a me, a themselves, to always be, their identity relies on others… on those extensions. When they wash themselves off, they wash themselves away and all that remains is the taint.
So for them, for those people who were never allowed to develop a sense of self, who were invaded by others who had power over them in their early years when their sense of self was developing and crushed before it developed… they became an extension of someone else.
And as an extension of someone else you learn to relate to others as an extension of you.
But there is no you… you are what others are, what others want you to be. So… others become who you want them to be so you can be what you think you should be.
You want to be a hammer because there is a nail and it is sticking out and needs to be hammered in… you find someone who is a hammer and touch them and they become your tool and your tool is you because you’re holding it, and now you can deal with that nail.
You want to be edgy, because edgy is what others think is cool and special and great, so you grab onto an edge and now that edge is you.
You grab onto a band and now that band is you – you’re The Passenger!
“Dubito, ergo cogito, ergo sum.
(I doubt, therefore I think, therefore I am)”
― René Descartes