ADHD?

What is ADHD?

I know, it’s Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. But, what does that even encompass?

I’ve heard a lot of things about this disorder. I’ve heard things ranging from “it’s a personality type, not a disorder”, to “it’s a chemical imbalance of dopamine”, to even the brute “it doesn’t exist”. So, who is right?

Well, I guess scientifically speaking, there is a basis for ADHD to actually exist. It’s been shown in numerous studies that those who’ve been diagnosed with ADHD typically have lower dopamine levels than the average, and dopamine is that ‘reward chemical’ in our brains. Basically, when we do something good, we get a sense of reward– and that sense is caused by a rush of dopamine. So, naturally, if you’re deficient in dopamine, you feel less rewarded when you do something worthy of praise. Thus, you never feel satisfied, you keep doing more and more to feel accomplished- “you feel overly compelled to do things, as if driven by a motor”. Sound familiar? If not, that is like the #1 question on ADHD/ADD surveys that I’ve seen. Checking “yes” in that box- that, yes, you feel as if you’re overly compelled to do stuff- is an indicator that you might have this attention issue.

Then again, that is very vague. I’ve always had an appetite to create things, and I never thought hmmm, something must be wrong with me. I have the idea that everyone feels that way- I mean, don’t they? Well, I’d actually have to go out and ask everyone to find out. I can only see things through my own eyes, and maybe I’ve been wrong this whole time. But, even if that is abnormal, is it really a bad thing? 

I always felt that inner drive or motor was a positive thing. I couldn’t find a way to paint the energy I have to create things in a bad light. The more you do, the better, in simple terms. It keeps you busy, your mind occupied, and best of all, it ensures you aren’t wasting the gift of time.

That being said, always trying to do something new can be quite confusing. And, I don’t think I ever noticed to what degree that it could be confusing.

Over the past week, I’ve been off my vyvanse prescription for the first time since starting it in January. I can’t really take it whilst recovering from surgery- it’s unnecessary and I need to sleep a lot to recover. So, while being off it, I’ve noted a few things- 1) I really am a sleepy person 2) I’m much more ‘myself’ when I’m off it, and most importantly 3) I’m scatter brained. 

This is something that I have always noticed in myself- when I get excited to do something, I usually wander and think of yet another thing to do- get excited over that, and then conjure up another idea- until, I have a list of things I’m hyped up about, yet I end up doing none of them. It’s a hard thing to explain, but it’s definitely a focus thing. I lose focus and don’t complete things. I’ve always struggled with this. I get 70 percent done and move forward too fast and then bam- I never get it done. Vyvanse has really cured this. I have stuck with things since being on it- I now complete games from start to finish, get a to-do list done, make things happen and make them happen daily. The downside, is being less creative- I don’t allow my mind to brainstorm 50 different blueprints, but it’s for productivity’s sake.

All of that has prompted me to question this- do I actually have ADHD? 

Now, the reason I willingly take my ‘ADHD Medication’ is because it helps me with the most debilitating health issue I have, and that’s constantly being sleepy. It’s a side effect of stimulants, but in the meantime, I’m noticing just how better off I am since being on a focus enhancer. I have things I can point to that prove it- much improved grades, 3-4 video games that I finished (before vyvanse, I’d start a game and usually never finish it. Seriously), better maintenance of habits (cleaning my room, work ethic, etc), notes for video scripts that are organized, and the list goes on. I think about the things I struggled with before vyvanse, and it’s kind of a daunting list. Indecisiveness to the max- the main reason I’m at community college is because I couldn’t pick a college to go to. Not grades, not just because of money, but because I couldn’t narrow down and choose. Is that a problem? Looking at it now, from being past it, yes.

Everyone has those issues. Does that mean everyone has ADHD? I don’t know- but, I don’t think so. ADHD is more of a personality type, in the end. I know plenty of people content with spending a Sunday inside and relaxing. That has never been appealing to me, because my mind goes into a mode of being dissatisfied if I don’t do something. So, maybe I’m fixing a problem that I really do have.  

Thanks for reading

Luca DeJesu, 5:11 PM

I’m Not Smart

Just as I complained how I hadn’t wrote a post in over a week yesterday, here I am another week later. I’ve become a bad blogger, this is by far my worst patch so far. And yes, one post a week is still one more than none, and you may think my posts are nice, but I’m not gonna let this trend continue. You can expect more consistent posts from here on.

Now, to address that self deprecating title I assigned to this entry. I’m not upset at myself for any particular reason, but I’m starting to see the other dimensions of the word ‘smart’ that I haven’t been aware of.

‘Smart’ is a synonym of intelligence. I always think of good grades on tests, responsibility, seriousness and maturity, glasses, well-kept looks etc., when I think of ‘smart’.

But, in life, it’s really so much more than that. It’s reading between the lines, it’s withholding judgement for nothing you can visualize in the moment, it’s manufacturing things that your natural self isn’t inclined to, it’s being aware.

I say that I’m not smart because I make a lot of dumb decisions, like most people. But, a lot of the times, I do those things more than once. Then times. Then a month. And before you know it, I’ve become a victim of just being stupid. You see something you don’t wanna see, or you act a way you don’t intend on. So, you change that- or, at least you’re supposed to. The catchy phrase of insanity sounds like this: “doing something over and over again yet expecting different results”.

It was insanity when I decided to let myself stay up late until 3-4 am every night in freshman year and expect to wake up in the morning. Yes, I know this post is late- but I literally slept all today so this is justifiable. Got my wisdom teeth out and slept for quite some time before and after it. I’m not on pain meds, well at least not opiates, I’m just on ibuprofen. So, don’t discard my words tonight please- I’m sober. Not that I expect you discard them or anything like that.

Recently I’ve realized that to become wise, you need to make the wrong choice once or twice- and learn from it. It’s growth. The people that never see the change? Well, inevitably, they become a kind of dumb. I’m sorry if any of this is offending you, it’s really not supposed to. I watched Louis C.K. tonight and thought to myself “Man, this guy really just tells it like it is. No bullshit.” Albeit he’s a comedian and does much of that for his comedic style, but still. So I’m gonna say it here: it’s not smart to keep trying the same method or keep allowing the same thing to happen and expect things to just magically mend.

I’ve always realized that I’m at my most successful when I’m trying new things. I usually start learning the ways that failed, the paths of repetitive failure. That sort of thing, is kind of like an ‘out-of-body’ experience, hear me out- you know you’ve had a point in your life where you wouldn’t have changed unless your friend intrusively said ‘hey, fucking do something about it’. What I mean, is that you’re dumb if you don’t try something new, like it, and then not analyze that and stop doing the old thing. The old thing is what got you no where- it’s where you left off sad and, yes, no more wiser than you were.

So, why am dumb? Well, first of all, my gra– nah just kidding. In this sense, I’ve done this so many times. I let my emotion make the decision, and then I forget logic, and become this blend of dumb.

I used to think that by throwing effort into something, it’d fix it eventually-even when experience after experience, life would prove me wrong. My point here is, don’t do this. Use your life events as something you can actually learn from, in this way. Use it as this sort of ‘out of body experience’ and objectively look at your actions. I never knew how true the following statement was: “sometimes, you gotta hear it from someone else”. In that way, we all are a bit delusional, or we let ourselves be that way.  There are some helpful people out there, who offer unique advice and perspectives that you just inevitably looks over as a person. Hey, you’re reading my blog right now. Hey, that’s why I made the blog- to provide a new view on it. We all need a new view on some stuff, because we can all just be dumb at times.

With that being said, I’m not upset. I’m just simply writing at 3 am because I had a thought, a thought was worth more than just simply thinking about. A thought worthy of sharing. It’d be a disservice to my self-valued ideas if I just selfishly hoarded them to myself and my mind.

Thanks for reading

Luca DeJesu, 3:08 AM

Let it Go

Wow, I haven’t written a post in 9 days. I think that’s the longest I’ve gone without updating my site since I created it in December of last year. I really could’ve written a few posts in the past week, but I just didn’t feel all too passionate about any of the ideas I thought of. I don’t ever wanna force creativity, it never goes well. I have an issue, though, because I would like to keep consistency and effort with my blog but I also want to abide by the ‘let the post come to you’ philosophy. As a result, it forces me to try and brainstorm more often to find new ideas continually.

One of the most mis-understood phrases (to me) is the 3 word phrase “Let it go”. It isn’t like I just can’t comprehend what the words mean or what the saying is getting at, but I think that it’s the way I interpret it that has always been a struggle for me.

It’s a simple concept, really. It is what you say when you’ve gotta move on with something or get over it. People may have uttered it to you when you’re caught up on an issue. Like if you were upset that someone made a rumor about you, or that they forgot to get you a gift for your birthday. These are valid reasons to be upset and hung up on something, sure, but eventually you’ve just gotta let it go, ya know? That’s the context, and hearing it like that, it’s fairly easy to comprehend.

But, in the actual words, if you dig deeper, what about the idea of letting it? I feel like I have rarely ever let something go. More often, I’ve taught myself to just forget about it. I’ve forced it to vanish. And, I always wondered why it always frustrated me so much when I have to let something go. It’s because, for a while, I hadn’t been actually doing that, I’d been masking it with even more effort. When you let something go, by definition, you’re supposed to just stop making effort or stop trying with it. It is what makes it a process of taking your ‘hands off the situation’, and letting it be. You can’t just keep trying in any way, otherwise it isn’t truly, well, letting it go.

I may have over-explained there, but this goes even deeper than that for me. I’ve always had an issue with ‘not being in control’. It’s this concept of autonomy, to me. Everyone wants to be in the driver seat of their life- they want to control things. You wouldn’t wanna be told that you’re nothing but a leaf in the wind, because it might depress you. Or, it might not. But for me, the most frustrating thing is to watch something happen around you and not have any hand in it. So, thus explains my lifelong desire to try and be completely autonomous over my life.

I’ve been told by many people that I ‘do too much’ or ‘try too hard’. Fair enough, I wouldn’t dispute that. I’ve heard the term ‘you can’t control everything’. Yes, I also believe in that. I know it’s true. Sometimes, things happen and you aren’t able to impact their outcome, or change the course of them.

Even hearing that, though, and understanding that I truly don’t hold all of the influence over even my own life, I still struggle for control. And, I usually feel satisfied at the end of the day with this struggle. How? Well, I’ve always just changed my view on things and the perspective in order to match up with what I’d like to believe. If something does happen that I didn’t have a hand in, I just control how I feel about it. That way, I reaffirm my subconscious desire to have influence over all of my life- yet, I accept that it’s not possible. I don’t know if that made clear sense to you, but I tried explaining the science behind why I have trouble with that phrase- let it go.

So, recently, over the past year or two, I think I’ve bettered my efforts of letting go. I’ve began to not ‘forget about things’ but to just let them go in their own direction. It’s been quite a trying task for me to accept and implement, because it does go against my natural inclination to make an effort.

But, on the other hand, it actually leaves me way less stressed out. I do my part, do what I can, and let the rest just unfold on itself. Sometimes, it has unfolded into something desirable, and other times, it has withered away and I just have to watch. That’s better that way, though, because new things will always present themselves, and I don’t give myself that extra worry of ‘how can I fix this?‘.

I mainly have to think about all of this when it comes to girls. Sometimes you make an effort towards a relationship, and it doesn’t work out. For me, this has been the story of my life since 10th grade. There are a lot of reasons why I haven’t dated much; from being too anxious, having low self esteem, wanting to be independent, not knowing what I want, being way too picky, going after the wrong ones- but one of the biggest reasons, at least recently, is just because it didn’t work out. The last 4 or 5 girls that I have wanted to date and made effort to date just didn’t work out for one reason or another. What I would have done, just a few years ago, would be to try and ‘force the issue’ or to dwell on it. I’d convince myself I was moving on, when in reality I was doing anything but that. As soon as I stopped trying to ‘move things all by myself’, aka actually letting them go, I realized that it offends me way less. I think about it way less, I don’t worry.

And, while there is always a part of me that wants to fix things, interfere, or change the course, there is now a part of me that knows that’s the thing to do. Sometimes, just let it go, and move on. That’s what I’ve got to say.

Thanks for reading

Luca DeJesu, 6:23 PM

Self-Awareness Paradox

As a human being, it’s natural and predetermined that we are to care what those around us do or say. After all, and you may have heard this from someone else or in a Bio class, humans are social animals. Much like other animals, we rely and depend on a degree of socialization. Society wouldn’t be able to move forward and progress if we all just ignored each other and abided by “every man for himself”.

So, are introverts some kind of evolutionary step behind? Well, no, people are much more complex than general statements. But, the quality of communication is something that, at at least some point, a necessity. You can’t turn a blind eye to everyone else- not forever.

Then why do so many people tell you to not give a fuck what others think of you? I’m even guilty of trying to follow this advice. It’s been so actively pushed by so many people that it’d be hard to ignore it if you tried. Plus, you might find that not caring is the best method to avoid inner conflict.

It is another paradox. The paradox that we hear we ‘shouldn’t care what others think, yet it’s literally in our DNA to be wired to listen to the opinions of others-not only on ourselves, but on lots of topics. It’s this balance that really has always confused me.

What I have concluded, is that you really have to walk a fine line. That fine line is the line between being intelligent socially and becoming way too self aware

The root of all social anxiety, as I believe it, boils down to self awareness. I talked about this a few posts ago, but I didn’t go super in-depth. The concept of ‘being aware of yourself’ is another biological trait that we are lucky to have- as we know it, not all animals or creatures even recognize that they exist. It’s a good thing, but it also can work against us. Since we all can think at a powerful level, inversely our minds can work against us. I fully believe the mind is as powerful a thing that exists in the world. I mean, would you argue with me? A computer only exists because some minds conjured it up. Everything that we’ve created is a result of our mind. So, with that being said, is it at all surprising that this powerhouse in our head can actually back fire?

In this instance, it can- if you let it.  I think I’ve always had a heightened sense of self awareness. I don’t mean that in a good way, to say that I think more than you, but that I waste thoughts on myself, my appearance, and what others might be thinking of me. That last one is the most frustrating to say- I waste mental space on what others might be thinking of me. I don’t know why I do it- but in social settings, I always find myself coming across thoughts like “Am I coming off as rude to her?” or “They look upset, was it because of my tone?” or even “Why is everyone so silent? Am I giving off the wrong vibe?” Those thoughts are useless. They don’t really have a purpose, except to make me more anxious. They obviously aren’t intending on doing so, rather they are to smoothen edges and ensure I’m ‘socializing properly’. That’s what causes one to not be themselves, I believe- they over think. You start to wonder if people will perceive you differently because of what you might say. You wanna give off the right impression, so you hold off on making that joke. Or, you get nervous and uncomfortable because you may have caused someone to be upset.

Well, that is where the whole “give no fucks” advocates get their ideas from. It’s frustrating to over compensate for others, and effectively feel like you aren’t allowing yourself to be who you are. It is so frustrating that you can find countless articles online on why you should be more selfish in order to reduce self awareness. Or, that you should purposely do something out of the ordinary to de-sensitize yourself from caring about what others think. It’s a lot of science and research that really isn’t entirely true. If there is one thing that these articles taught me, is that everyone has a different perspective. In a way, I’d say to just ignore them.

On the other hand, like I was mentioning earlier, you are wired to care about other’s opinions of you. And, consequently, they are also programmed to consider your view on them. So, in that way, never feel guilty for reverting to a thought process that is natural. Anyone who claims to have never given a fuck about what a friend did or said about them, is just flat out not telling the truth. Some people have worked on it, some people are naturally less self aware, and yes, there are people out there that really don’t allow themselves to care what you think about them. But, at the root of it all, relax- you’re human.

That being said, my final take on this paradox is that you just have to walk that fine line. Don’t try and be a selfish lone wolf- it won’t work. But, don’t allow yourself to consciously think so much about what another may think of you. Just know that there is a paradox, and by trying to never care about another person’s perspective, you are inherently fighting biology. You can’t beat biology, none of us can. However, your brain is a powerful thing, and the next time you’re giving a public speech, try to refocus on your content and not what the girl at the furthest left desk might be thinking about you.

Thanks for reading

Luca DeJesu, 5:08 PM

Appreciation

Every once in a while I’ll have a dream that kinda teaches me something. It’s sort of weird that it’s only “every once in a while”. After all, the most accepted theory as to why we dream goes back to animals learning through it. It’s the idea that your brain practices real life scenarios at night so that when you’re awake, you’re more prepared if it were to actually happen. So, in a way, dreams could be a defense mechanism, but how come the majority of the ones I have are either a) hard to make sense of or b) just don’t have a real purpose? I don’t know. It’s just a thought.

Anyways, last night I had two dreams that I could remember, but the one that kinda stuck with me was a super sad one. I have no idea why I dreamt it, but in my dream my Mom died. Yeah, just about as depressing as a dream can get. I usually don’t have really sad dreams like this, but what I do routinely notice in my dreams is the realistic-ness of them. You know how a dream can be so vivid and based in reality that you even tell yourself during the dream that it’s not a dream? Well, sometimes that’s cool, as it can become lucid dreaming, but other times it’s scary. This was one of those; when I woke up I had a huge sigh of relief. That, no, my Mom didn’t actually die of a heart issue on a hiking trip. Yep. Told you it was sad as fuck.

But, it kinda reminded me that I need to start appreciating stuff more often. Gratitude. I think that lately I’ve just overlooked a lot of what’s been going on in my life, and I know that everyone does it from time to time.

I have a great family, I have some really good friends that I honestly don’t deserve, and I’ve a job I enjoy. My pets are all awesome, and I can’t forget all of that.

Sometimes it’s easy to get caught up in every day life that you begin to sort of expect certain things. You expect to wake up, expect to make money, expect to do stuff next Tuesday, but really it’s nothing to expect. It’s a tired phrase, but really: nothing is guaranteed. I need to make an earnest attempt to reflect on the stuff I’ve got going for me. At least, more than I’ve done lately.

I’ve been active lately, or at least more so than I was the week before. Practicing guitar, filming for my documentary (finally), doing chores that have been overdue, working my usual hours, and hanging out with people. I’m a bit proud of it all, to tell you the truth. I thrive on being productive- if I’m not, I’m not feeling my best. I like that I have that mindset. Amidst doing stuff, however, the things or people that make ‘doing what you do’ possible go under the radar.

For example, I am a big fan of the Boston Celtics. I have been since I was about 11 years old. And, one of the things I always do is I watch all of their games with my Mom. Yes, my Dad watches them with us, occasionally, but it’s really my Mom and I’s thing. We have been doing that for years upon years- we almost never miss a game. She always makes more comments on the game than I do, because I am more of a quiet observer, and I don’t think I realize just how much I’ll miss those “Come on Thomas make your free throws! I could have made that” blurts that she does on a nightly basis.

I’ll move out, soon, and we will likely text about the games a lot or FaceTime or whatever, but it’s those little things that add up. The texts from my friends asking if I’m free- I don’t really do anything to deserve that effort. I usually forget to text back on time, I’m pretty unreliable in general, yet I still have people that bother to ask. How do I justify getting all of this support, luck, and the similar? Well, I don’t- but it helps to acknowledge it. That at least somewhat makes you more deserving, I believe. Don’t forget to be grateful, like I do. You might do it, too, but as long as you make an effort to try and appreciate stuff every once in a while, you’ll be doing it right.

Now, a little bit of practice:

Thanks for reading

Luca DeJesu, 4:27 PM

Thoughts on ‘Social Anxiety’

It’s been a week since I’ve posted on here. That’s not a long time, I know, but relative to my other posts its a big gap.

The reason, I’ll say, is because I visited some friends over the weekend and spent time with them. I didn’t have access to my computer for about 2-3 days, and I wasn’t really thinking about writing anyways. I was out doing some stuff.

I went down to San Marcos, Texas over the weekend since it was my friend Blake’s birthday, and we all (7 of my friends) had a plan to float the river on Friday to celebrate. It was like, 7 or 8 of us in total, all high school friends, just chilling and drinking on inflatable tubes. It was really fun.

It kinda made me think about the whole concept of social anxiety, though. I was completely comfortable around everyone, and, it’s interesting to note that that wasn’t always the case. Yes, even around some of my closest friends in high school, I’d still get uncomfortable and feel awkward. I wouldn’t know what to say, I wouldn’t feel like talking. Yet, the weekend passed by, and I felt totally in my comfort zone. I don’t really notice it in the moment anymore, because it sort of just stopped. The whole ‘nervous around a social setting’ thing just went away. I can’t pinpoint an exact way that I beat social anxiety, even though I wish I could, because I know plenty of people still deal with it.

Well, deal with what, exactly? I’ve heard some of my peers casually dismiss social anxiety, believing it to be just a normal part of life that everyone experiences. They’ll say things like “Everyone feels that, it’s just a matter of how you deal with it”. In this way, it’s not viewed as a disorder at all, whereas it’s scientifically now recognized as one. Sure, everyone does feel a little awkward around people they don’t know, or even people that they do know. But, I think it’s a little different than that.

I used to think the key to beating social anxiety was by conscious effort- because, there was a point in time where it just didn’t go away, and it took actual effort to ward it off day in and day out. It really began for me in high school, 9th grade, and honestly continued through part of 12th grade. I used to force myself to get out and talk to people, I’d try to say things I normally wouldn’t, I’d read articles at night about how to change perspective, etc. Did this make a difference? Yes, it did. It may be why I evolved past it. But, I know now that it’s not a common thing to be committing this much effort to socializing.

I look back at some of the people and conversations I had a few years ago. People would blurt out things without second thought at a poker night, in class people would actually want to raise their hand and respond to the teacher, and it’s really hard for me to believe that they looked up articles on the internet written about ‘bettering your social skills’ late at night like I did. At the time, I always thought what I was dealing with was typical- that everyone had this barrier that they had to battle everyday. Well, some did, but some didn’t-and that’s what makes me believe that the entire ‘social anxiety’ term holds some value.

I think it’s a real thing. Why? Well, even though I made real world effort to beat my social struggles, it’s not like it just one day translated into it stopping. Rather, through continued effort and experience, coupled with growing up and becoming numb to some of the same old stuff, the social anxiety sort of dissipated. It probably just had something to do with puberty- but, during puberty, hormones are out of regulation, brains are developing, etc. Basically, stuff that is out of your control happens in this time. It’s no coincidence that a lot of people feel they were in a shell during their teens. But, for some, this doesn’t change when they become an adult- they still deal with social anxiety, and its obvious that it isn’t just a mental thing that you need to get over.

I say that I’ve beaten this anxiety, but it still rears it’s head occasionally. I’ve found that I’m an honest introvert- I just prefer to have a chunk of alone time regularly. Now, this is something I think I can’t change, and that I shouldn’t attempt to change it. Other people had it easier growing up, in this regard, if they’re naturally extroverted. But, there are still times where I get nervous to talk to somebody. With a new girl that I’m interested in, during a random group project in class, a public speech etc. Overall, however, it’s not jabbing my side daily like it used to- and, I’m a lot more confident in myself today than I was at 16. It’s no coincidence that confidence and social prowess kind of go hand-in-hand.

My advice? If you’re honestly nervous in most social settings, then, get out more. It’s not what you wanna do, in fact, it’s the completely opposite of what you wanna do, but it’s needed for a period of time. You’ve gotta do it at first. It’s the concept of desensitizing yourself. The more 1-on-1 conversations you have with people, the more you’ll hear, and the more experience you’ll accumulate. Even if down the road you find out that you have a classifiable anxiety disorder, the ‘experience’ tactic will still do no harm. It helped me, and I can tell you, with confidence, that if I went to a doctor in high school with my honest complaints, I’d have been diagnosed with a social anxiety disorder. So, with that being said, don’t make an excuse. However, sometimes that doesn’t work- trust me, I know. Sometimes it’s not enough, and you find yourself just marching through days. There will be many points where you ask yourself if what you’re doing is helping whatsoever. If you feel it’s truly out of your reach, just talk to a doctor. I never did mainly because I thought it meant I’d have to have therapy sessions and “talk about my feelings”. Little did I know, talking with a doctor isn’t always personal, it doesn’t even have to be, and the SSRI prescription that you’ll likely get is harmless and just helps you function.

Also, one more tip. Look at things from a bird’s eye. Try to imagine, even if it’s difficult, that another person’s view on you is insignificant. It’s microscopic. Also, no one holds any power over you. You’re an animal, they’re an animal, you have a brain, they do as well. Be confident. Don’t ever let a person get to you, and rather than doing so by fighting with them, just sit back and ignore that. Ignore the social rank that they’re trying to impose on you, don’t pay attention to it, and most of all, be who you are. Never try and put an image on– that’s something I’ve always abided by. It’s a tiring task, it will lead to identity crisis, and, most of all, you won’t develop confidence in your true self.

Thanks for reading

Luca DeJesu, 4:39 PM

The Downsides of Being Nice

Happy Tuesday everyone, or happy day-off for me. I really shouldn’t complain about work as I only work ~ 25 hours a week, but my schedule is set up to where I usually work Friday-Monday, and Wednesday. So, after 4 straight days of work and 5 times in 6 nights of closing, I’m relieved to be off today. And with that, I’m gonna write.

Did you like the previous post? It’s a step in a different direction, sorta. It’s a turn from constantly posting personal stuff, to moving more towards my thoughts on other people. I wanna start doing some more those, maybe like a “About:_____” series, where I blog my thoughts on a topic or person. That one was significant to me, because I think it was long overdue. I’d meant to write some sort of piece about my appreciation for Chris Martin for a long time- he deserves it, I believe.

With that said, this is gonna be more in the ‘personal’ post category. I do intend on varying up posts more, to keep it interesting and also so I don’t literally run out of things to post. Only so much can be said on here about my personal life, because I don’t wanna be an open book, and also because there isn’t so much to me. I’ve said quite a bit and its only my website’s inaugural year of existence.

So, I know I’ve touched on this in many of my other blog-updates, but I think people generally refer to me as a nice guy. I intend on being nice, and that’s really what I expect from others- and that’s pretty much it. I’ve always abided by If they’re nice, I dig them. Meaning, not only do I want kind people in my life, but it’s kinda the heaviest of all traits to me. I’ll befriend anyone if they’re a kind hearted person. It’s really as simple as that, and the reason is because I obviously value that- kindness. You ever notice how you seek out other individuals based on what you value internally? I’ve noticed it.

However, that fact- the fact that one of my main goals in my life is to treat others in a docile manner (aka, being nice)- comes with a lot of shitty side effects. It’s no earth shattering news to hear that being nice doesn’t mean you’ll never run into problems”. 

Not only problems in life, but even problems with people. It seems like a paradox in the making. You’re constantly friendly to people; where could that go wrong? Where could a person develop an issue with a friendly person?

Well, while you may avoid arguments, drama, and generally be looked at in a positive light if you’re nice, you’ll also experience the complex of issues that come along with it. I’ll talk about the issues I notice, from personal experience.

You walk a fine-line between the balance of valuing your demands and the demands of those around you. You know the saying- “Don’t be a people pleaser”. It sounds like an oxymoron- why would you intentionally avoid doing something as good as pleasing other people? Well, if you’re always trying to be the nice person, you’re inevitably going to evolve into a people pleaser. And what that is, is this: you always try and make the other person smile, regardless of circumstance. There are many instances where this is a 100 percent ‘okay’ thing to do. But, it becomes an issue when you start doing things for others and forgetting you also need attention. It’s not like I notice that I ‘forget I exist’ in situations, but rather I start sacrificing things that end up hurting me. I occasionally find myself agreeing with a person too much, because it’s what they want to hear. But, what if it’s not what they need to hear? Then, I’m effectively doing them a disservice. Also, you can become a mat that people walk on this way. You get stepped on because you’re such an inviting person, a person that others want to be around. Sounds kinda good, right? Well, not necessarily, and here’s why.

You fall into stereotypical roles. “Wingman”. “The friend zone”. When a girl fucking calls you “bud”. You ever hear these titles being awarded to people? Well, news flash- these awards are awards that even a soccer mom would refuse to give to her 4 year old son. I call them “stereotypical roles” because they have a stereotype that they align with. The stereotype of the wingman is that he/she always helps his/her friends into relationships, or helps them ‘get the number’, but, is usually ‘on the sideline’ afterward. Some people are really good at being wingmen, and they find success themselves as well. But, for most, when you’re told “You’re the best wingman ever”, it’s a compliment, but it’s likely that you forgot to wing yourself a partner. You’re always helping them, not yourself. How about the friend zone? Well, this is one area that no one intends on going into, but rather they do so by mistake. You’re the shoulder to cry on when her boyfriend upset her. You’re the one she texts when she wants a decision on what to do with him. You’re close to her, but not in the way you want to be. It’s because you’re a friend to her (or him)- and, you’ll likely never be anything else than that. Being soft and kind all the time actually turns people off, I’ve found. No, I’m not saying the solution is to be an asshole. Rather, be your own person. Have value for your own time and emotion, and if you’re being used as a shoulder, get out of there. I’ve done it plenty of times. Let that issue he/she is having settle itself, because you’re not supposed to be the fixer upper for another relationship, if it’s not what you wanna do. And, it shouldn’t be what you wanna do.

The image you develop is one of weakness. It’s not true at all, let me just start with that. Being nice to everyone does NOT equate to being weak. When you’re really forgiving, understanding, conflict-avoidant, and soft spoken, you unfortunately can fall into a perspective of being ‘spineless’. It’s not always true- if you aren’t standing up to a situation/person when you should, however, it’s a bad thing. I’ve met plenty of people at school, worked with plenty of people, who, when hearing me get upset, get genuinely surprised. “Whoa, that’s possible?”. And, over time, people actually start believing you just can’t get mad, or just have no back-bone. Now, I ignore this in most situations- I’m confident enough in what I’m doing to not give a shit. Cause, the thing is (with being nice), is that yes, you do it for other people. But, for me, I also do it for myself, and this is what a lot of people fail to realize. I am happy when other people are at peace with me. I don’t like annoying arguments, petty insults, etc. So, I’m nice to others so that I personally minimize the chance of dealing with petty stuff or arguments. It’s not only beneficial to them that I try to be friendly, but it’s also beneficial to me. Now, the other person isn’t going to really see this, in most cases. At least that’s in my experience. The thing is, the image that others have of you, shouldn’t matter to you. I know, you’ve heard it before, and trust me I know it’s a hard concept to implement, but if that one guy is calling you a wimp or something of the similar behind your back, just know it’s insecurity. People who insult others and call them ‘beta’ or whatever for being a ‘nice guy’ are most likely insecure, and you gotta ignore ’em. But, that doesn’t take away from the fact that being constantly seen as passive (when in reality you just want to be friendly) is really annoying.

Did you just read that and think to yourself “This is all too relatable”? Well, if so, then congrats, you’re like me. If that’s something you value. But, also, I’m sorry, because relating to some of that is just downright no fun. It almost seems to me that, at times, being selfish is the best path to happiness. It sounds outrageous, but it’s true in some situations. You being selfless inherently is a good thing, I think, but it also means you inherently will do some friendly fire to yourself. But, don’t stop being nice. I’m personally not going to. Just remember, your voice is as valuable as the other person’s.

Thanks for reading

Luca DeJesu, 4:53 PM