re: Addiction

  1. Hurts your life in spirit
  2. Gets progressively worse
  3. Can’t stop doing it even though you know it’s not good for you

Person A has just told you something seriously bad or sad or difficult. You want to say something positive. You want the person to not feel alone. It’s those generous impulses that will lead you astray.

“I understand…

“A similar thing once happened to me…

“I can imagine…

These responses deny the uniqueness and depth of the issue. Person A has been thinking about whatever this thing is for countless hours and you think you instantly comprehend? At some point, it may be prudent to express understanding and solidarity, but almost never after an initial reveal.



Pay attention

to what you most enjoy blaming people for: it’s probably an area where you enjoy giving yourself credit. For if something is not blameworthy, doing its opposite is not creditworthy.



less an indication of lacking skills than it is the simple indication that you care about whatever is to follow.

If you are primarily

known as an employee who takes notes, you probably are filling time trying to do something valuable, you probably aren’t, and you probably should be fired/your job shouldn’t exist.

Vow now

to always let another car in. Even if you are late. Even if you are tired.

There are places to get mad at others. This is not one of those places. By being selfish you save yourself, what, 10 seconds all while capitulating to unreasonable anger. Instead, show reasonable mental equanimity and train yourself to care about what actually matters.

All men are terrible.

All women are manipulative.

There are no good guys out there.

Women don’t know what they want.


It’s easier to be angry than sad.

We will fight hardest

and be most frustrated when something that’s obvious to us is not obvious to another.

This is how we will spend disproportionate time on certain matters compared to their real-world effects. Someone will notice this disconnect and decry “too much focus” on something “not that important.” This someone won’t be technically wrong, but he also misses that everyone tends to agree on the most important things – like, you don’t have to convince someone the nuclear proliferation is dangerous – and so urgent rhetorical battles involve pushing for consensus in the still consequential areas where disagreement amazingly occurs. Though dropping the “consequential” moniker probably wouldn’t change much since the urge to stamp out absurdity (i.e., the person who misses the obvious) is so strong that even otherwise taciturn individuals can’t themselves.

The Downside of Awareness

So now everyone’s heard of that once “rare” or “stigmatized” thing you have. Maybe that’s nice. There’s probably more funding invested in solving it. The downside is that when it was unknown and rare, you were seen as an individual and were treated to minimally judgy curiosity. Post-awareness, however, you’re just some generic individual stripped of his personal battle and instead tossed into the nuance-free box constructed via the awareness campaign.