January 27th, 2006


Frustration part 1

One of the many, many things I have done to annoy my various girlfriends is to treat their problems as things in search of a solution.  They would come to me and say "X is wrong." and I would explain to them how to fix it.

Clearly, this is not what they were looking for, and they would find it very annoying that I would spend time trying to explain the patently obvious to them.  What they were actually looking for was some emotional reassurance while they sorted it out themselves, which they were perfectly capable of doing so, if only someone would give them a hug, and tell them it would all be ok.

My problem is that when people come to me with their problems, I take them on as my own.  If someone says "I can't do X." then I treat X as _my_ problem.  I care about X.  I worry about X.  I desparately want to get X sorted.  Knowing that X is out there, carrying on with it's wilful existence, makes me feel itchy and frankly I want it gone.

With some problems (other people's computers, for instance) this is fine - I can step in, fix the problem, receive a brief round of applause, and then relax.

Other problems, however, aren't so simple.  They involve emotional situations which _aren't in my head_.  They're in someone else's head, and no matter how much I want to lean over, flip open their head and fix the problem, I can't.  Which means I get more and more frustrated, because I've taken on this problem and I'm not allowed to fix it.  And then I make things worse by pressuring them to fix it, so that I can feel better again.

The question, then, is how to care about someone else's problem without taking ownership of it.  I can do that intellectually, but if I actually _emotionally_ care about someone's problem, then I get sucked back into this horrible situation again, pressuring them to fix their problem, so that I can feel better again.

Hmmmm.  Going to require more work, I think

Hold the chips

I just got a virus-laden spam pretending to be from the BBC, with a subject line of "New act of terrorism in London", containing the text:
Today the Scotland Yard has informed  new act of terrorism in London.
Look details in an applied file.

(and with a zip attachment that I'm not touching with a bargepole).

Golly, apparently virus writers have been reading that the BBC is trusted and respected.

Source verification for emails _cannot_ come too soon.
  • Current Music
    The Prodigy - Funky Shit