Naranater

Sententious musings of a faux Illuminati. Though, having said that, all Cognescenti must start somewhere, yes? This Blog is intended as an extended thought journal and cognitive behavioural reflective practice. Third party comment is welcome and appreciated.

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Location: Australia

Monday, August 01, 2005

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That was my attempt to steal the 'mood' thing from Jess' 'blog. Can anybody tell me a more effective way?

I was just emailing Matthew, who pointed out that waiting until a post was absolutely perfect before being released to the public was really, really dumb, and it may as well be handed out for public deliberation straight away.

So:

My crappy tier system!

The tier system evolved as a way of objectifying relationships. Sounds completely stupid? 99% of all my friends (survey conducted in Tim's imagination: actual figures may vary) will probably agree with you.

Oh no! I became happy while I was typing. This stupid 'emoticon' thing is... stupid. It needs to be like the cards in 'Harry Potter' that can change to reflect your ACTUAL mood in real time.

Okay, back to the tier system: here is a brief outline:

Tier One: Absolute Trust. I assume these people are right and I am wrong. These people get my kidneys (interesting note: I am not ALLOWED to donate my kidneys! My organs aren't good enough for the crappy organ donor people! I can't believe I got shafted by people who are breeding pig-men because they're so desperate for human tissue!). Disagreements are rare and don't last. A part of my personal identity.

Tier Two: People who I can feel strong and happy with. 'Attitudinal' friends - we share the same values, 'on the same wavelength'. Disagreements happen, but you both deal with it eventually - together. Really close friends.

Tier Three: This is the beginning of the 'circle of trust'. These friends make me feel more complete. I want to spend time with all the above people because they make me feel more like 'myself' - inhibition free zone starts here.

Tier Four: This is the beginning of the outside zone. People who you want to be good friends with, save for some kind of obstacle (e.g. haven't known them for long enough, dogmatic religious views, they haven't opened up to you yet, 'that snorting thing they do') normally populate this tier. Fun to hang around with, but you wouldn't want them as a flat mate (yet). The Fourth Tier is the limit of 'one on one' friendships...

Tier Five: ... so for example, you wouldn't take a Tier Five friend to the mall for coffee unless it was in a group. Friends of friends, people who get 'cred' before you've even met them, end up in Tier Five. But most of the people in Tier Five are just 'good aquaintances'. This is a very big tier!

Tier Six: Includes everyone who you've met who is more than just a name. But more importantly, it includes the people who you have actively dissed - the people you have to hold at arm's length, for your own good. It sucks to have to think of the world this way - one of my least favourite things - but at the end of the day, you have to be aware of conmen and users. You can't let them have a negative effecton your sense of self.

Tier Seven: People who are a friend you haven't met yet. Also people who really are just a name, a lady you met at a party once, that sort of thing. (Or, I suppose technically the kind of people that you have a restraining order out against, but I have no real experience with people like that. Still, it should be mentioned for purposes of discussion)


Interestingly, there is an actress called Kerry Armstrong ('Lantana', 'Oyster Farmer' & the television series 'Seachange') who is also a psychologist. She suffers from temporal lobe epilepsy and she just wrote a book called 'The Circles', which is about placing the people you know into seven concentric circles in order to objectify your relationships. Tonight I'm going to corner my so-called 'mother' and question her about some maternity matters...

Armstrong and I have the same basic premise. Because of the emotional nature of human relationships, sometimes we don't realise how important people are to us (and don't give them due credit for how much 'work' they do in terms of 'personality support'). By the same token, we all have 'toxic friends' who don't give us any personality support, and yet we continue to think of them as 'good friends' just because we have known them a long time, or because we spend a lot of time with them engaging in similar activities. It is hard to realise when you are emotionally handicapping yourself unless you step back on occaision to observe your relationships objectively.



P.S. I can never tell when I am using jargon or not, but instead of putting yet another post into the 'draft' basket, I figure I'll just post this and then edit it later! Does the term 'personality support' make common sense? It's the process by which people reinforce your core beliefs - about yourself or your view of the world. So, for example, if Fox's mother says 'I don't mind you doing those Manga thingumies, but why don't you do REAL art as well?', then that would NOT be personality support. Or if Heather sneers and you say 'oh, you have got something caught in your teeth', thus taking away from her moment of contemptive glory, that is NOT personality support - a good friend would either consciously or unconsciously contain their own (wounded) pride until the moment had passed. On the other hand, mentioning that your birthday is coming up soon in a 'remember to send me an email' email to a very forgetful friend with a crummy memory who has a self-image of having a crummy memory and really hates forgetting important things like birthdays and communication is a good example of personality support.