i think we’re all self destructive at heart.

i always say that we can’t put our happiness in other people’s hands, that we cannot allow others to make us happy — that happiness is a personal decision, a conscious choice that we make every single minute of every single day. and now that i think about it, the inverse must be true as well. 

people don’t hurt us. we hurt ourselves. think about it, what actions have people taken against you that have been painful? you’ve been stood up, you’ve been dumped, your phone calls have gone unanswered, you’ve been talked about behind your back, you’ve been left out from a party…the list goes on. we’ve all been slighted in these ways. and actually, the subtleties of slights and pains are such that it isn’t the big events that hurt the most, but rather the smallest questionable shift in tone at the end of a spoken word that can plow most deeply into the heart. but if you look at all of those instances, big or small…you will realize that at the crux of these actions lies a similar motivation — the person who hurt you did not care about you or for you. this is the only explanation for why someone might act this way. and honestly, can you fault them? how can you fault someone for not liking you? for not caring about you? it’s not their fault! as much as we’d like to think we can, we can’t dictate who we like anymore than we can dictate the weather.

i’m not saying that you cannot take offense at these actions, just that it’s pointless to rail against someone who is thoughtless in regards to your feelings. we always make time for those things which are truly important to us, we can always find some way to accomplish those tasks to which we assign value — it’s a proven fact. whether the person who hurt you realizes it or not — they simply do not care for you.

you have chosen to befriend them, to perpetuate an unequal relationship, one in which you are more invested than the other party — to do this is to invite hurt. it’s akin to lying in the middle of a darkened road, waiting for a car to come speeding around the blind curve and turn you into tommorow’s roadkill. graphic? yes. but so is what we do to ourselves. 

if you don’t care about someone, if they don’t have importance in your life… would you really care if they forget to call you back? or if they are an hour late to a movie with you and offer no good excuse? probably not…you’d be caught up in something else and their actions would barely register. caring about people is giving them a license to hurt us.

i’m willing to pardon infrequent acts of carelessness, so long as they are accompanied by an adequate apology (after all, we all care for ourselves the most, so occasional bouts of thoughtlessness regarding others, are to be expected). what i’m really against is condoning the slow drain of a non reciprocal relationship. i’m disgusted by people who refrain from questioning the tenor of a relationship and choose merely to reside within it, afraid of the answers their questions might reveal … the funny thing is…that’s how i behave anyways.

we really are our own worst (and, dare i say…only?) enemies. we hurt ourselves.

note: sorry if this doesn’t make much sense – i’m a little out of it right now. i’ll come back later and clean it up.


5 thoughts on “

  1. Oh Serena, miss you love you, all that jazz, but mostly, thanks for the offer to look over some of my essays… I’m going to work really hard on one and use it for most of my applications (you know how most conveniently have that last “do anything you want” option? nice…) so when I finish it, perhaps I’ll send it to you! Only problem is, haven’t started it yet. Have fun at Northwestern! Who knows, maybe I’ll end up there with you??


  2. … scratch scratch. this essay is conflictory. you’re saying we hurt ourselves by hyping up small slights and indifference in other people but then say we have no chance in people not liking us. what you’re asking then, is to drive towards being completely apathetic and stoic to people so they cannot possibly hurt us. i know that you and i both would rather take the bigger risk.
    p.s. i know EXACTLY what “smallest questionable shift in tone” is like. painful.


  3. I thoroughly enjoyed this post. This is what i gathered; the only way we ever hurt is because we care. I agree. I know youre not taking a stance whether or not the fact that we care is good or bad; its just an observation that this is how things are. I also find the statement about chosing who we care about truthful, you either do or you dont. you have no say in how you feel; thats the joy of separation between mind and heart, although it leads to some interesting conflicts down the road. However i must say that i would gladly take all the hurt in the world to care about somebody. Few things in life are as enjoyable as having a genuine sense of love for somebody other than yourself.


  4. true…we set ourselves up to be hurt…but enduring hurt helps us learn and grow…god, that sounds cliche, but it’s 2:30 in the morning…anyway, i dont think its entirely true that “we hurt ourselves”…if we are dumped, stood up, left out, etc., we dont CHOOSE to feel bad…its instinctive…we cant CHOOSE how we feel, but we CAN choose how we react to our feelings, how we act on them…and thats why happiness is a choice…


  5. Serena, you always seem to end up in this situation. You always pick the losing horse, why? It’s the classic scenario of girls not liking nice guys: you always fall for the jerks. For once, pick the guy who actually cares about you the way you deserve to be cared about because you deserve nothing but the best. Pick me. At any rate, call me back.
    Guestname: Bob


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