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  • Much is constantly happening that annoys us: trains pull out of platforms as we approach

  • them. Taps snap off their moorings; shopping bags leak; suppliers go bankrupt; colleagues

  • resign; cars break down.

  • It is all - undoubtedly - maddening.

  • But the question is how much does it all, beneath the surface, have to feel intentional

  • as well?

  • For a certain kind of personality, it is very hard to hold on to the idea that many troubles

  • might come down to something as innocent as chance.

  • It simply seems implausible that awful things might repeatedly unfold, at terribly inopportune

  • moments, without some kind of malevolent intent being involved.

  • It can’t be just an accident that the dinner order went missing,

  • - that the cinema seat was double booked, - that the phone’s battery has died

  • Why did their dry cleaning - and no one else’s - end up being stolen and their new shoes

  • spring a leak? Why is there a strange smell just next to

  • where they are seated on the plane? How come there is a small beetle in their salad?

  • It’s as though someone is trailing them, undermining them, laying traps for them - and

  • laughing at them. It seems like there is some kind of conspiracy to make them look like

  • a cretin to the world (why else have they been walking around all day with a sticker

  • on the back of their coat and why does their zip jam exactly ten minutes before an important

  • dinner?). No wonder they may get very cross indeed.

  • The sad and touching truth is that there is - of course - almost never any conspiracy

  • at play. But that it strongly feels like there is one on the inside tells us a lot about

  • the origins of paranoic hypersensitivity: it is the bitter fruit of self-hatred.

  • When we heartily dislike ourselves, it is only natural to have the impression that the

  • world is ridiculing us in turn. The hotel concierge knows exactly how awful we are;

  • that’s why theyve given us the room with the malfunctioning airconditioning unit;

  • the waiter has deep experience of our revoltingness; that’s why they chose our trousers on which

  • to drop a piece of butter. The phone company knows that we are an idiot

  • (and that we think dreadful things); that’s why theyve made sure our mobile would give

  • out on the second day of our trip.

  • We need to be given the chance to see that our suspicious natures are a symptom of a

  • self-hatred that owes its origins not to the prevalence of actual plots and schemes, but

  • to childhood dynamics in which we lacked the reassurance, attention and care we deserved

  • - and for this, we deserve immense, ongoing sympathy. The world doesn’t hate us, we

  • have just learnt to have contempt for ourselves which returns to haunt us in the form of imagined

  • plots. No one is actually laughing at us; we weren’t

  • loved properly and now don’t like ourselves very much. That’s the true outrage for which

  • we should reserve our anger and our self-compassion.

Much is constantly happening that annoys us: trains pull out of platforms as we approach

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A1 hatred conspiracy leak awful reassurance laughing

Why Do Bad Things Keep Happening to Me?

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    Summer posted on 2021/11/24
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