The concept of “trying too hard” irks me. People are constantly being criticized for putting forth minimal effort, and yet we censure them for being overly enthusiastic, too. Talk about a lose-lose proposition.
And yet, I’ve gotten several reader questions about “trying too hard” stylistically, and I understand why. When I was 13, I felt certain that simply OWNING and WEARING cool clothes would make me cool … but when I got my hands on an entire Esprit ensemble and wore it to school, I was still shunned. And the feeling I had? Trying too hard. Specifically trying too hard to fit into a group that didn’t want me, trying too hard to adopt a style that had nothing to do with my own tastes, trying too hard to be someone I’d never be.
Originally posted 2011-04-27 06:19:27.
Reader G e-mailed me with this question:
What happens when your body has “betrayed” you by being ill? I really struggle with this. I often read that you should love your body for what it is able to DO rather than what it looks like (a sentiment that I agree with) but how can you do this if you are chronically unwell? I suspect that the answer lies in cultivating kindness towards oneself, whatever the situation, but it’s sooooo difficult.
I have no easy answers for this one. In fact, I’m not sure I have any answers at all. I spent most of my life being extremely, robustly, enviably healthy, but over the past few years I’ve dealt with some alarming and frustrating health scares, and been diagnosed with several incurable chronic ailments. And I’m angry. I’m angry that no one can help, that no one seems terribly interested in helping, that I’ve basically been told to suck it up and cope with these things that have diminished my overall quality of life, screwed with some of my most important relationships, and made me feel weak, damaged, and exhausted.
Originally posted 2011-04-25 06:12:57.
There’s been a recent spate of studies and stories about the harmful aspects of female friendships. Psychologists, sociologists, and laypeople alike have been sharing statistics about and tales of competition, backstabbing, bullying, sexual shaming, and other hateful, damaging, and downright terrifying things that we women do to each other. Things we don’t generally consider doing to men. And it’s quite true that women can be cruel and manipulative, jealous and petty. We’re incredibly effective at devising ways to hurt one another because we know exactly how difficult it will be to bear our attacks.
Originally posted 2011-02-21 06:11:04.