Reading George Fox

That’s Harsh

Over at Macdrifter, Gabe just posted about his failures. While I don’t know him personally, many of them read more as overly harsh self-criticism than failings.

» I spend too much on coffee

This is possible, but coffee is not that expensive and I’d conjecture that Gabe likes coffee. Is it really a failure to spend money on something that brings you pleasure?

» I don’t dress well

Compared to what? Is he comfortable in the clothing he wears? My initial reaction is Gabe is projecting the world’s judgment onto himself, especially as this implies the way he dresses every day is a problem.

» I don’t work hard enough

Gabe does note that some items are conflicting, but this one especially stands out. If he is going to criticize himself for not spending enough time with his kids, doing things for his wife, volunteering enough, etc; it feels unrealistic to expect himself to work more as well. He certainly blogs a lot. I guess he could be a lazy sloth that contributes nothing to the world, but, given his writing, I truly doubt that.

» I’m not happy enough each day

Red Alert! Red Alert! I’ve done a ton of therapy and this reads as denying the validity of his feelings. If anything, it’s a sign of possible depression, not a failing.

» I don’t shave every day
» My hair is too unkempt

My question would be: “Why are you unhappy with your appearance?” I bet there’s a bigger reason than laziness that these are true.

Maybe Gabe has a different definition of failure than I do, but I really want to tell him to be kind to himself. Would he judge other people this way? There is probably truth to some of the failings, but it reads as he expects perfection from himself.1

  1. My opinion could quite well be projection. I suffer from major depression and I certainly struggle to be understanding when judging myself. 
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