Monday, May 12, 2014

How I do Michelle style empathy

I am a very empathetic person. That sounds like a weird brag, "I am great at really feeling bad/sad/mad/happy for people", but I really am. I hate the idea that we can't brag about what we are good at in our society.

I say this, but I also make fun of Chad when he brags about being super smart... I'm also a hypocrite. But, really when I make fun of Chad I will admit it is because I am 100% jealous. Maybe like 110%. I have never dated a guy I considered smarter than me till Chad. (Sorry any exes out there reading this... but really why are you reading my blog you creep? I don't do friendly breakups so you are straight up trespassing on my life right now.) Alright now that they're gone- back to me...

So empathy. One of the ways I have learned to increase my empathy is to imagine myself in their shoes. Sounds easy right? Well I am an emotional roller coaster of a human so when I get in other people's shoes I get really upset if people aren't treating them kindly. 

For example, I never really understood trans-gender people (still can admit that it's a hard thing for me to grasp and I always worry about offending.) Anyway, didn't really get it. I mean I've been a tom boy and there are some out there that think I've been an insanely girlie girl (I do not count myself among that thought) but never have I thought- "I should have been born a boy". Unless, of course, I have to pee in the woods, then I wish I was, but just because I am no good at squatting. When that passes and I get free dessert from some waiter I am so glad I'm a girl.

Anyway, one day I was thinking about the current state of my hair. I made a simple developer error with the hair dye I brought to China and my hair is significantly close to my natural color and significantly farther from my preferred color.  Here's the thing, I truly believe I was meant to be a blonde. Most people are surprised to find out I'm not a natural blonde when I confess I am not. Even with horrible roots there is surprise. I was meant to be a blonde. Now, I am barely a blonde. And life doesn't feel right. I don't feel right. And one day I realized this must be a small small small comparison to how trans-gender people feel. They don't feel right in the sex they were born in. I get it, maybe I don't get it as much because hair is seriously more trivial than body, but I understand the feeling that your body doesn't display who you truly are.

So that's how I  build my empathy. 

So now, I feel I can relate to people addicted to drugs. (As with the blonde/trans-gender thing it will be to an n-th degree, but still), I have decided my addictive drug is Twilight movies. 

Here's the reason why. I know they are bad. I know they are no good for me, but I still can't stop. I sometimes get thinking, I would like to view one of the movies. And when I do, it's good for a bit. Then I realize that I am wasting my time and money on trash. I vow I won't do it again. I assume it will stick, then something happens and I think maybe I should watch them again. And I do. And I regret it. I vow to not do it again, then I hit another trigger, and I crave it again. It starts out innocently enough, for instance, this time all I was doing was looking for music videos to play for my Chinese students during break. I always try to find a somewhat popular, current song with a PG video. So I click around on YouTube and start watching music videos, and I come upon a song I love. I click and what is in the video but scenes from Twilight. Sigh. It's around me and I can't escape it. 

I need help.

Trigger warning: Twilight movie scenes are in this music video.
 

Contributors