Remember how I was doing my notes about personality last night? Well, today it was followed up in class by a discussion on the topic. We discussed Freud’s psychosexual stages of personality development, but we focused on defense mechanisms. Blaming others, finding justifications for wrongdoings or for rejections from others, denial; all that, and my teacher reminded us at the end of her lecture that defense mechanisms are normal human behavior; that it’s normal to exhibit them, that it’s normal to be in denial, to blame someone else for your mistakes or for your misfortune.
But then I remembered how, for all my life, I’ve regarded exhibition of defense mechanisms as signs of a weak or inferior personality. As signs of a person that didn’t know how to come to terms with reality, as signs of a person that couldn’t accept something. Yet my teacher refuted this thought, as it swam through my mind, by saying that defense mechanisms help us humans do just that – they help us cope with misfortune, with unacceptable events, with the way they make us feel. It’s odd; I thought I was right about not exhibiting defense mechanisms being a virtue, but I guess not.
On the contrary – the one thing I like to think I have well implanted in my mind is the ability to recognize how I’m acting at a given point. I like to think that I’m always in full knowledge of how I’m acting – if I’m being cocky, if I’m being too optimistic, if I’m being mean, if I’m giving attitude, if I’m too excited. That doesn’t mean I condone any given way that I’m acting – I’m just saying that I am aware of how I’m acting. If I’m being mean or cocky, I’m not condoning the attitude, but I’m aware that I’m exhibiting it.
I like to think that. I can’t be sure of it – only those around me can be the judges of that, but moreover, I’m inclined not to say that I directly think that because if my friends were to see that and think otherwise, they’d never let me live it down.
Now, is that right? Why am I afraid of what my friends will think? It all comes back to my main conflict that you’re probably sick and tired of hearing about – what should I care about, and what should I dismiss as insignificant? Who should I listen to, and who should I tune out? If you think that I’m having this conflict (and I’m just thinking out loud here, I’m not attempting to make myself sound like the victim of anything, I’m only attempting to simultaneously explain and understand myself) maybe because I’m afraid of criticism of myself, or of my actions, or of my accomplishments; that’s not the case. I wouldn’t at all mind sitting down in front of someone that’ll spend entire hours telling me all that which is wrong with me; I honestly don’t – I just want to be sure that that person will be someone that is telling me the truth, and that will, after lecturing me about my flaws, be my friend and help me along the path to fix them.
I don’t want to depart on such a helpless note, so I will end today’s post by mentioning a feeling of natural happiness and satisfaction that I had the pleasure of experiencing – and here’s where I refer back to the party that “blew” a few days ago.
When the party was already winding down – well, wait; it was winding down the whole time, basically – I sat next to one of my good girlfriends (and by that, I mean one of my good friends that are girls, of which I have many) and her best friend, a very attractive high school freshman of 14. I wanted to get closer to her, but without being overt, I wouldn’t be able to. So I did something seemingly innocent that I was certain wouldn’t come under criticism from anyone around. I laid down on both of them, pretending to be tired and pretending I wanted to take a nap.
I’m telling you, physical contact is so excusable amongst adolescents these days.
Not that I meant to do anything inappropriate – and yes, I really didn’t – but, I don’t know; I still think teenagers are a little too free these days. Which is fine – (insert smiley face here).
I laid down on both of them while they kept talking to the people in the table across the courtyard. I looked up, and I saw this pretty girl I was chasing, sure enough, but I could only make out her dark, flowing hair set in front of a starry background. So I decided to poke her and start to tell her a story. She looked down at me, and before I commenced my stupid, fictitious story about my 1980s college life (yeah, OK Tomás; totally), I stopped to look at her perfect smile and at her pale white skin.
There’s nothing like laying down on the lap of a pretty girl like that. Even if you’re just kidding. I followed up my story-telling act by doing what you’d think – “Tomás, let’s go!” yelled my dad from down the parking lot of the house where the party was being held at.
So I stood up, waved goodbye to everyone, and fist pumped my way out to the driveway.