Social Control

One issue that comes up when you try to do what you want, is that people will try to get you to justify your actions to them. And if you’re doing what you really want, some of your actions will seem more antisocial than normal.

The only sustainable solution to this, is to stop caring what people think.

How do you stop caring what people think, though? It doesn’t happen just because you want it to, and it’s especially hard to do if you’re just starting with meditation, or are used to pleasing people.

It’ll become easier to stop caring about others’ opinions of you once you’ve processed more of your emotions. But I think what can be immediately effective, is to ask yourself how much you believe both “I will get hella willpower + emotional stability if I follow my true self’s values”, and “the benefit of doing this is less than the cost I pay from not being able to play social games as well”. And if your true self believes those things, you’ll adjust and start caring less.

What if you don’t believe those things at all? Well, if it seems worth investigating whether they’re true, start investigating them a little. Then, if they seem true, start opting out of the social games that go against your true self’s desires. You can opt out of social games a bit at a time, update on whether it was worth it, then opt out more if it was. But at the end of the day, if you want the strongest version of the benefits you can get from this blog, you have to opt out all the way.

It may also help to adopt as an explicit thing you tell others you value, “I only do what I want. I know it will negatively impact my mental health if I let others influence me, and I will not grant concessions to people who try to influence me”.

It will help to just stop talking to people who try to control you, even if this is socially costly. Especially family. If someone knows it’s costly for you to break contact with them, they will try to get away with more.

Expect there to be social costs to protecting your mental health, because people will penalize you for not letting them control you. Again, especially family. The benefit your mental health will get from being free from social games is worth the social cost you will pay.

I personally still care what my closest friends think, since they’re providing me with a valuable thing that I could lose if I pissed them off, but at the same time, having good mental health makes me resilient enough that it’s thinkable for me to walk away if they pull too much shit.

Next post: Social Reality

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