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For those who have been posting here more than 10 years, how does your old you compare?

 
 
Reply Thu 19 May, 2016 03:27 pm
Whenever I read my early posts on this site I'm embarrassed at the flippancy of my youth, how more full of myself I was and how much more I thought I knew than I really did. Not that I'm now immune to this things or anything, just a bit more self-aware of them I guess.

Anyone else notice changes in their tone, posts or personality over the years here?
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Type: Discussion • Score: 35 • Views: 8,152 • Replies: 116

 
sozobe
 
  4  
Reply Thu 19 May, 2016 04:11 pm
@Robert Gentel,
I was so worried! About parenting mostly.

I know it was mostly just here -- it was where I'd bring my worries and deal with them, with the help of a lot of great advice -- but I think I'm a bit more chill about that now.

Generally though when I've read old posts I've been like "damn not bad at all." I was particularly happy re-reading the "heteronormativity" thread, and happy that my kid was proud of me as she read along (she's the next president of her school's Gay-Straight Alliance). I was more careful when making arguments than I usually am now. That was mostly just about caring more, I think. Now I make an argument to my own satisfaction and if someone stubbornly doesn't get it I'm more likely to say "Eh whatever" and move on. That used to be a lot harder for me.
George
 
  5  
Reply Thu 19 May, 2016 04:12 pm
I'm shorter.
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edgarblythe
 
  3  
Reply Thu 19 May, 2016 04:16 pm
I am still curmudgeonly, but I have lost something of the ability to engage in friendly banter.
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Robert Gentel
 
  3  
Reply Thu 19 May, 2016 04:19 pm
@sozobe,
I totally get the increasing apathy toward whether my interlocutor is convinced or not. When I was younger I felt like I was waging a battle against stupidity and misinformation. Now I feel comfortable retiring from that crusade and letting stupidity lie.

Here are two posts I made elsewhere (twitter etc) that sum up my new feelings on the matter:

- In the eternal war waged against stupidity we are all entitled to elect retirement. We are badly outnumbered and deserve a break at some point.

- Getting the last word in a circular discussion is a Pyrrhic victory and there is no dishonor in quitting an exchange that no longer edifies.
sozobe
 
  3  
Reply Thu 19 May, 2016 04:28 pm
@Robert Gentel,
I think I've always been more of the opinion that nobody is actually stupid, but maybe they don't have all of the information they need, and maybe if I provide that information they'll change their minds... Smile (I was going to reference that Men in Black quote and then remembered it's actually my sig line here!)

But I'm just kind of more willing to let go and not try to save EVERYTHING all the time.

(Love your quotes too, and agree.)
Robert Gentel
 
  3  
Reply Thu 19 May, 2016 04:33 pm
@sozobe,
I felt the same way, I tend to use "stupid" hyperbolically and really thought people could be brought around to reason etc. I've increasingly realized that many viewpoints are to some extent dispositional and won't change. E.g. I'm an optimist and my brother is a pessimist. We are always gonna look at the same things and see them differently on a fundamental level due to our dispositions.

I've also learned that most people really don't care as much about being right as much as being comfortable and most just aren't that interested in my level of curiosity about things in the first place. They are happier not being challenged and challenging themselves and they may well live less frustrating lives as a result (i.e. I realize more and more that my pedantry has its downsides and that I could be happier if I cared less about knowing what is "right'). Ignorance really can be bliss, and I don't mean that as an insult. I think people who are less uptight about things (I have moderate OCPD) are probably enjoying their lives more that way.
sozobe
 
  3  
Reply Thu 19 May, 2016 04:41 pm
@Robert Gentel,
Yep, I get all of that.

The dispositional thing is interesting, I know what you mean. And I think in addition to optimist/ pessimist there is the curiosity angle and what that means in terms of mental real estate. I don't know if I have any particular mental disorder -- I might -- but my baseline approach to life is to wonder "why" about pretty much everything, and turn it over in my head, and spend a lot of time on things that other people probably just don't care about at all. It might be related to being deaf -- effective speechreading means that I MUST gather tons of information to have at hand in case it can provide context in one way or another and help me figure out what is being said with the tiny bit of actual visual information I have. So that's just sort of my default setting. Gather all of the info and analyze it.

Chunking is a much more calm way to go about life, I think. (Get some info. Decide based on that info. Be at peace with that decision.)
Roberta
 
  5  
Reply Thu 19 May, 2016 05:52 pm
I sound more like me than I did earlier. I think I've managed to bridge the gap (somewhat) between talking and writing, and I now write more like I talk.

I eschewed controversy and arguing when I joined, and I still run in the other direction. Why? Two reasons. (1) I've spent too much of my life arguing. It usually goes nowhere. (2) I get very, very angry. I stew for a long time. What's the pernt?
jespah
 
  5  
Reply Thu 19 May, 2016 06:08 pm
I was a lot more careful not to offend. Now, I am still somewhat careful, but I'm good with using forceful words. I'll swear if it seems necessary, particularly to get through a thick skull. I bowed out of political arguments before, and I still do. I don't see anyone getting convinced any time soon, and I'm just tired of deceased equine abuse.
0 Replies
 
boomerang
 
  4  
Reply Thu 19 May, 2016 07:02 pm
Interesting question. I think I'd have to go back and reread some old threads to really get a handle on it.

I think I was funnier 10 years ago, and that I thought about more interesting things than I do now. I think in text and in life I'm much more apt to keep things close to my vest these days.
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roger
 
  6  
Reply Thu 19 May, 2016 07:22 pm
Ten years ago, I was totally sure of my opposition to illegal immigration. Still opposed, but no longer sure that deporting every one of them with no exceptions is the solution. I do miss E_Brown, but understand why he had to leave.

Then there was Craven. He was set on joining the Army because they got to carry guns all the time. I like to think I, and a few others got him straightened on that.
Robert Gentel
 
  6  
Reply Thu 19 May, 2016 07:25 pm
@sozobe,
Doesn't sound like any mental disorder to me. I definitely have had to come to terms with mine. Which reminds me, I think I owe you an apology for some of the conversations we had while we were working together briefly. That was right before I figured out that the way I am wired is not always a good thing and I was a much more hard-driving, aggressive... well asshole to put it plainly.

I used to think my OCPD thinking was just an advantage. I never lost anything (at the cost of always keeping track of everything in my mind), I had higher standards (at the cost of an irrational need for inordinate perfectionism), etc. I also have generalized anxiety disorder but never knew it either because I didn't feel anxious, I sought sensation and sought out stress and enjoyed it. But that contributed to it all too, I had a constant sense of urgency and frustration with others who didn't share it with me.

It wasn't till shortly after we were no longer working together that I started to suffer from a series of physical manifestations of my mental disorders that made me realize what they were and that they were not helpful. I used to think my ability to burn the candle at both ends and work harder than everyone (I used to sleep only a few nights a week and work up to 4 days straight etc) was my strength and others too apathetic before I realized that I was the one who was nuts, and that I was slowly killing myself. My sympathetic nervous system and fight or flight response was constantly on, and it made me frenetically creative and were things I thought were great (thought they were features, not bugs!) till I learned that it was frequently shutting down my immune system, that it was making me age faster and essentially killing me slowly.

I had to learn to use cognitive behavior therapy on myself to change the way I think and realize when I am having an irrational preoccupation with order and perfection. I also had to get in better touch and in better control with my emotions and while I'm still working on it (these days my throat is closing on me, which is partly due to acid reflux but also partly due to subconscious anxiety) I have completely changed the way I interact with people (most of the time, I still lose my temper but now it's once or twice a year instead of more regularly).

When you worked with us before it was during a period of intense pressure and stress for me. We were struggling often and hit moments like it seemed our company wouldn't survive and I felt like if I didn't push us all fast enough we'd die as a company. And to some extent those things are true, it is a game of inches but I went about things completely the wrong way. I was so terrified of failing everyone in my company and everyone losing their jobs that I let the stress get the best of me and used to be acerbic and abrasive in conversations about work sometimes, and I know at least a few times with you.

Since then I've learned how unproductive that style is and though it will always be something for me to work on I'm somewhat proud that in the last few years I have not had a single such conversation at work, and have been able to lead my small company in a much better way.

It's still scary as hell, and I still worry that I'll fail the people who work with me and some that depend on me, but we are doing better than ever right now and it is a testament to the notion that one does not have to be an asshole like Steve Jobs or Michael Jordan to succeed. I used to justify my assholery with the notion that it was necessary to have higher standards and to achieve difficult things but I was wrong, so very wrong.
Robert Gentel
 
  2  
Reply Thu 19 May, 2016 07:27 pm
@roger,
You are letting us liberals make you soft!

But I definitely notice what you are talking about, I remember a conversation on The Raven's Realm about certain cultures that was much more of a hardline position than I can imagine you taking now.
0 Replies
 
sozobe
 
  4  
Reply Thu 19 May, 2016 08:19 pm
@Robert Gentel,
Sent a PM with a more thorough response but want to say something here, too.

Shortest version is that I've always appreciated your open-heartedness and generosity, which were apparent from the beginning. Personality traits can be simultaneously bugs and features rather than necessarily one or the other; but I'm glad that you're listening to your body and getting to a more-centered place.

And I get the leadership thing too. I started to say that I'm so happy to be a cog in my current organization and not have to worry about the CEO stuff I used to, but then I realized that no, I still have that with parenthood. (See above re: worrying!) The stakes are high and I'm making a lot of the decisions. That's probably part of why I can be more chill now, too -- a lot of it is now on her. I just said "I trust your judgment" about something that was kind of iffy and I was tempted to say "no" to, but we're at the point where I leave a lot more of these things up to her. If her judgment is wrong, that's not great but now is the time to make bad decisions, while we're around to pick up any pieces. There are limits, of course! But I've been able to offload some of that responsibility, which frees up some of my brain for other things (like writing!) which is very nice.
0 Replies
 
fbaezer
 
  5  
Reply Fri 20 May, 2016 09:44 am
I've grown a belly.
Leadfoot
 
  2  
Reply Fri 20 May, 2016 10:17 am
@Robert Gentel,
Quote:
- In the eternal war waged against stupidity we are all entitled to elect retirement. We are badly outnumbered and deserve a break at some point.
I keep hoping that I will feel that right to a break (for more than just a day or two) but the damned urge keeps coming back. What to do...
0 Replies
 
roger
 
  3  
Reply Fri 20 May, 2016 03:46 pm
@fbaezer,
That's an unexpected development.
0 Replies
 
Sturgis
 
  6  
Reply Fri 20 May, 2016 04:29 pm
@Robert Gentel,
I don't bother arguing much these days. I'll present my side on a matter and at times repeat it, after that I step away. Not worth my time and energy to argue or even explain matters to persons who appear to be little more than flimsy cotton sheets bouncing in the wind while hanging from a well worn clothesline.

I abandoned the site a few times, mostly for health matters and most recently for a period of 7 or 8 months due to a decidedly negative tone the board had taken. It still is a good site, I just don't find spending time in politics or religion here is worth more than a passing through in most threads as it becomes side a vs. side b with a rare appearance from sides c and d.

The board has been helpful to me in bringing back my language-to-writing ability after the 2009 brain fry. For that I am quite grateful.
neologist
 
  4  
Reply Sat 21 May, 2016 12:25 pm
I'm younger now.
0 Replies
 
 

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