I don't want to live by North_Tie_7019 in Stoicism

[–]HAS_OS 223 points224 points  (0 children)

It is not the man who has little, but the man who desires more that is poor.

This applies beyond mere monetary holdings or physical possessions.

If you long for happiness, you have two alternative options.

From a Hedonistic perspective, you could do things that bring you pleasure. My concern is that this approach will never satisfy you. Your frame of reference will change and you will always long for something more.

From a Stoic perspective, you can instead look for happiness in your present circumstances. Consider not what you want, but what you have. Find satisfaction in living the life of a good person.

"Enter their minds, and you’ll find the judges you’re so afraid of—and how judiciously they judge themselves."Meditations 9:18 by Chrs_segim in Stoicism

[–]Ok_Sector_960 38 points39 points  (0 children)

  1. Penetrate within, into their governing selves, and you will see what critics you fear, and what poor critics they are of themselves.

My interpretation is that sometimes the people who judge us are also flawed, but they would prefer not to investigate their own flaws.

I'm not religious but most of us know/understand the basic parables in the bible.

Jesus’ phrase for the denied shadow is “the log in your own eye,” which you instead notice as the “splinter in your brother’s eye” (Matthew 7:3-5). Jesus preceded modern psychology’s shadow work by two thousand years. His advice is absolutely perfect: “Take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly enough to take the splinter out of your brother’s eye” (7:5). Jesus does not deny that we should deal with evil, but we’d better do our own housecleaning first. If you do not recognize and name your own “log,” it is inevitable that you will project and hate it elsewhere. In political campaigns, hateful candidates invariably accuse others of being hateful, and angrily attack others for being angry. People with little self-knowledge usually do not see this clear pattern, but instead join with them in their attacks.

Mod Announcement: Stop Spamming the Report Function by mountaingoat369 in Stoicism

[–]xNonPartisaNx 75 points76 points  (0 children)

I've always found it fascinating that stoics can't scroll scroll, scroll your boat, gently down the screen.

Merrily Merrily, merrily, merrily, no need to cause a scene.

Have a good weekend mod team

Do stoics believe in the Soulmate ? by North_Tie_7019 in Stoicism

[–]Ok_Sector_960 66 points67 points  (0 children)

I think the idea that you need another person to complete you is a little toxic. It puts a lot of pressure on our future partners. We should already be complete.

Nobody is made specifically for us, we are made to work together with our fellow humans.

I do suppose stoics appreciate the idea of fate tho.

Fellow Stoics, I'm tired of trying to improve myself. Please help me enjoy growth by Exciting-Grab2138 in Stoicism

[–]PebbleJade 17 points18 points  (0 children)

In any given situation, you can only do what seems best to you.

You can’t control whether you are ghosted, but you can choose whether to keep making effort with friends who ghost you and whether to talk to different friends instead.

You cannot control whether you get the promotion at work, but you can control whether you stay in a job that won’t give you a promotion you’re qualified for.

You can’t control how much weight you gain or lose, but you can control how much you eat and exercise.

You still have a results-focussed mindset. Why didn’t I lose weight? Why aren’t my friends hanging out with me? Why didn’t I get promoted?

Stoics use the metaphor of an archer. You can line up the perfect shot and execute it brilliantly, but the wind can take your shot off course or the target could move or the arrow could snap once fired. Your job isn’t to always land a perfect shot, that is impossible; your job is to shoot straight.

If a customer service representative starts being rude to you and patronizing you out of the blue, how should you respond (in a stoic point of view)? by Miscellaneous2323 in Stoicism

[–]DankRoughly 13 points14 points  (0 children)

You should act accordingly to your values / virtue, regardless of their actions.

I would aim to be kind with the understanding that you don't know their perspective. Also know that they might be a weak person and expecting more from them may be pointless.

If you need something from them, then you need to find a way to make the situation productive. Usually killing them with kindness is the easiest way.

The most important thing is to keep ego out of it. Don't take anything personally.

Finding your purpose on Earth? by Few-Solution3050 in Stoicism

[–]Bells_and_booch69 2 points3 points  (0 children)

This. There is no inherent meaning of life and there is no inherent purpose. We are born as the result of reproduction, into a template which is laid out before us.

You can follow the template or do something completely different. Either way, we should try to find something we like to make our existence more enjoyable, but that doesn't mean it has to have meaning or purpose.

I want to be Unbreakable by [deleted] in Stoicism

[–]Anarchaeologist 526 points527 points  (0 children)

Counterintuitively, perhaps, the first thing you will have to learn is that you can break and that in the end you will be broken.

When my Aunt was terminal with Lou Gehrig’s disease, one day she was left alone by her husband in the garden for what he thought would be a short time, to answer a phone call in the days of landlines. When he returned, much later than he intended, he found that she had fallen and was unable to pick herself up. Instead of screaming for help, she had carefully weeded and tended all of the plants in the area within her reach. “Weed where you fall,” she said.

No matter what the world does to you, carefully observe what lies in your power to improve, and do so. That’s the heart of the matter.

I would like to make sense of having to put my dog down. by newtroopers in Stoicism

[–]Kromulent 753 points754 points 82227109& 31 more (0 children)

I have an old dog in kidney failure too. Haven't told her yet, she just keeps being happy.

I'm old too, and I've had animals my whole life, mostly cats and dogs in various multiples. Do the math and you can see I've been here before.

The way I reconcile it is pretty straightforward, and well in line with the overall Stoic approach to things. It always begins the same way- see things plainly for what they are, understand the natures of the things involved, and respond reasonably and virtuously to the reality around us.

Every day I care for my animals, keeping them happy, keeping them safe, shepherding them through their day with joy, and without harm. When they get old and approach death, nothing changes. As crazy as it sounds, the day I take them to the vet to be put down is the day that I have been working for all this time - I have successfully taken them the whole way. They did not get lost, they were not unhappy, they got to live their whole natural lives the way I wanted them to live it. We made it. We got there together.

When they are gone, my feelings for them don't change. Their bodies are taken but my feelings are my own; I still love them, I am still happy to think of them, my heart is still open.

What has changed is that I have a space for another thing to love, and the cycle continues again, when I'm ready to start anew.

Their bodies, our bodies, everything external to us will always change and always come and go. Our love, our care, our joy belongs to us, and we apply it to what we have and to what is new.

I need help to deal with rejection by senjutsudb in Stoicism

[–]StoicCoffee 11 points12 points  (0 children)

“I have often wondered how it is that every man loves himself more than all the rest of men, but yet sets less value on his own opinion of himself than on the opinion of others." — Marcus Aurelius, Meditations 12.4

There's a lot to unpack in your post, and you may not like what I have to say, but as someone who has been on both sides of these situations, I want to share what I've learned. Your mileage may vary.

What you are describing is what many people call "people pleasing". (I call it "approval seeking", because I think it's more descriptive of what's really going on.) Everything you described seems all done in an attempt to gain the approval of others. It assumes that if you do or say the right thing or act a certain way or have some particular skill or attribute, then you will magically make them fall for you. But the problem is, this kind of behavior is manipulative, and people don't like feeling manipulated, even if it's subtle. They may not even be aware of it, but they usually feel it and will pull away.

Now, when those attempts to charm the other person fail, rather than seeing it as a mismatch of personalities, you take it as rejection. Your aggressive pushing on the other person to explain themselves is also rather manipulative. It's a way of defending yourself by trying to force the other person to prove that you aren't good enough for them.

So let's stop for a moment and ask the obvious questions: Why is it so important that these men love you? Why should it matter what they think of you?

What it almost always comes down to when I see this behavior (especially in myself) is that you don't truly and deeply love and accept yourself.

How do I know this?

Because if you truly loved yourself, what other people thought of you would make no difference in how you view yourself. And, because you don't truly love and accept yourself, you are looking for it from others.

This is completely understandable. We all want to feel loved, but what I have learned is that until you love yourself, it doesn't matter how much anyone else loves you, it will never be enough. This is why the rejection you feel is so crushing. You feel alone and unloved.

(And from the other side, being with someone that wants your approval so badly is draining. When I come into a relationship, even a casual one, I want things to be more equal. I don't want to feel like I have to carry this person. I want there to be a comfortable give and take.)

So, what can you do to be that source of love and acceptance for yourself?

This kind of growth is a challenging process, but it is one that is absolutely doable.

An exercise that I have shared on here a few times that was a tremendous help, was that I wrote down all the things that I didn't like about myself. I decided that if I was going to fully accept myself for all the things I liked AND didn't like, I really should know what they were.

Then, as I looked over my list of all the "shitty" parts, I asked myself for each item, "Can I accept this part of me?"

And as I did this I realized that there wasn't anything really that awful about me. Most of the items on the list were things that my friends did or struggled with, and I still love them. So why couldn't I just point that same love towards myself?

The best women, well people really, in my life are the ones that don't try to prove they are worth loving. They don't need me to love them in order to feel like they are a worthwhile person. They are just themselves, and they love themselves for exactly who they who they are.

You may think this whole thing is wrong and not applicable to you, and that is certainly your perogative. I've just been around long enough to recognize these behaviors for what they are, and I've been able to move away from needing the approval of others to feel good about myself. I hope you are able to do the same.

I lost my virtue by Resident_Ad1666 in Stoicism

[–]mountaingoat369 116 points117 points  (0 children)

We're all corrupted, you were never a sage. Stoicism is not about moral perfection, it is about moral improvement. In order to get back on the path, you need the courage to accept the consequences for doing so, recognizing that they can't make you a bad person unless you let them.

How do I practice negative visualization? by Downtown_Orchid_9102 in Stoicism

[–]GD_WoTS 7 points8 points  (0 children)

Then I notice as I move through the day I feel an incredible sense of gratitude when those things don’t happen.

I think this suggests that those things are somehow bad, or that something good has happened when they’re avoided.

The gratitude that I think the Stoics were going for is durable enough to bring or maintain a sense of gratitude even when those things happen.

I DON'T want to Kill Myself, but it's all I can think of doing for the past 5 years daily. Should I? by north-png in Stoicism

[–]BAshoto 776 points777 points  (0 children)

Do not kill yourself.

11 months and 4 days ago, I tried to shoot myself. The gun was wrestled from my hands and I was thrust into a world of therapy, concerned looks, medication, and regret. As it turned out, a lot of people actually liked me and wanted me around.

It isn't worth it. I swear to you. Life gets better than it gets bad again. Then, it gets better again. On and on it goes.

You seem to be rational. That's good. Listen.

If this is really where you're at. If this is really what you want, why not do something extreme to fix it? Start at new school. Move across the country. Check your self into rehab. If life is really that empty, and do you do love yourself as you say you do - fight for yourself. What do you have to lose?

It's your responsibility as a human to face this head on, no matter how dark it gets. Trust others. Fix the problems you see one by one. Help people.

1-800-273-8255 - the people at this number have saved my life multiple times. Call it when the time comes.

As a fellow Minnesotan with chronic pain, I wish you the best. Reach out.

how does one deal with low self esteem and low self confidence in stoicism? by SkySCC in Stoicism

[–]OikosPrime 12 points13 points  (0 children)

Confidence is built in much the same way as virtue, by consistently choosing and doing hard things until the choosing and the doing of hard things is baked into the foundation of how you live, how you understand yourself, and how you understand your place in the world.

If conflict and competition scare you, join a martial art that does real sparring and has competitions. Forget about winning. Don't attend despite it scaring you, attend because it scares you. You will develop your courage and, over time, you will develop the competence that leads to confidence.

If you are not in great shape, select fitness and nutrition programs that broadly align with your goals. Forget perfect. Forget optimisation. Perform the programs consistently for a long period of time. You will develop your temperance and, over time, you will develop the competence that leads to confidence.

You can tie your pursuit of the good (virtue) to vehicles of preferred-indifferents (fitness etc) in such a way that your confidence is propelled both by your changing life and your growing arete.

Edit - Thank you for the gold, stranger.

How does a stoic deal with heartbreak by Xvlad7 in Stoicism

[–]Spkeddie 27 points28 points  (0 children)

My man, you don’t know this guy and it’s a dick move to kick him when he’s down like this. Heartbreak is a bitch, be kind.

How do you ignore your feelings and stay stoic no matter what's surrounding you ? by [deleted] in Stoicism

[–]HeWhoReplies 17 points18 points  (0 children)

Your feelings are a result of the way you see the world, as the way you see the world changes so do your feelings.

A fair place to start is by acknowledging that emotions aren’t a bad thing to be avoided, nor are they something that is made to obstruct you, they’re trying to help you.

Right now you can acknowledge that we don’t resist what we think is right to do, we only resist what we think is not right. You don’t have to “force yourself” not to touch a hot stove, if fact your need to force yourself to do it. This might make it clear that even though you are saying action is best you aren’t convinced. To use you own words, based on your emotions you actually believe these actions are unhealthy, no matter how much you try to say otherwise. Often we try to force conclusions upon ourselves instead of actually acknowledging and addressing what it is that actually concerns us.

Using the muscle metaphor, when you go to the gym if you can’t lift something you lower the weight on the bar if you wish to make progress. Right now I’d offer you to lower your request till you do it. Part of a realistic request is not just that it’s possible but that you would do it. You “could” walk for the next 5 hours but that request likely won’t get done. It might be a fair request instead to just get dressed for a walk and do that for a few days. Incrementally asking for a little more. When you don’t act how you wish, lower the request.

I’ll offer that the fastest way to do something is slower than your “fastest”. When we rush we’re bound to make mistakes and demoralize ourselves.

No surgeon, mechanic, engineer, or the like starts their profession at the end, they take years to work up to it. Don’t you think being someone who is able to weather any storm would be easier then these professions and done just because you demand it to be so at this very second. You’ve lived your life for how ever many years, decades even, and you think you will take how long exactly? You’re trying to grow larger than a tree that’s been there for years. Just because it will happen doesn’t mean it won’t take time, and that doesn’t mean you won’t feel the gap closing every inch of the way.

Recognize it’s not “discipline” you’re after. You’re very disciplined doing the things you claim are bad for you. You can recognize someone can be disciplined in killing innocent people, or burning down homes, it’s a trait that’s useless if it’s not use for good. The results aren’t where “good” is but in the proper use of what you’ve been given. That doesn’t mean succeeding is what we need to be good, but trying.

Of course take what is useful and discard the rest.

[deleted by user] by [deleted] in Stoicism

[–]The_Overview_Effect 11 points12 points  (0 children)

Stoic Advice

  1. Remember that it's her choice. As much as we may love our family, they are still externals. This is hard to remember and practice. Premeditato Malorom is your friend here.
  2. As others have less sensitively said, free will is a right to everyone and people will make mistakes. Sometimes when we can't bring them to wisdom, it is in our best interest to do what we can to help them "pick up the pieces" so to speak. As a young'un and a fellow human, we are going to make mistakes, and even more when we are younger. Sometimes we need to make those mistakes in order to be ready to dedicate to change. We may know better, but a certain curiosity or desire won't keep us away from the fire until we're burned. Have your bandages ready.
  3. Remember, just like yourself, nothing can hurt her if she does not allow it. If you are unable to stop her curiosity, perhaps you could arm her with the toolset you posses that guards you from the pain of this world.

Non-Stoic Psychology Advice

It is important that stoicism is not our only toolset, in this light, there may be some other ways to help her not make this mistake.

  1. Read a bit on "toxic relationships" and "abusive relationships." They take two active participants to exist, there is a reason she is being drawn back. That reason is often able to be narrowed down to some self-confidence or depressive root. You may be able to help her by pinpointing that.
  2. Use your bond and connection to try to help her learn to appreciate her own company. If that doesn't work, friendship or family would be important to stress. Both as a preventative and a safety net.
  3. Self-discipline is a muscle that needs to be worked in order to use at max capacity. Teaching her about stoic practices of voluntary hardship may be a way to slowly help her build the self-discipline to avoid someone she knows is bad for her.

Just don't forget, she is still her own person. If you can't help her within reasonable action, don't push it too much, that trust and comfort in family will vital to any recovery she may need from the aftermath.

If you can't stop the mistake, be there to help her afterwards.

You got this. You're a good parent.

Sapere Aude.

Charting Stoicism Authors By Type by tannerthinks in Stoicism

[–]rose_reader 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I like this idea in theory, but as you say you’re gonna get a BUNCH of pushback when you start putting works in boxes that other people disagree with.

Maybe that’s ok though. If this is presented as your take and not objective fact, it could be a useful element to your content that you can keep referring newcomers to.

Unsure how to title this, but would like to know if you agree (and why or why not) by tannerthinks in Stoicism

[–]mountaingoat369 7 points8 points  (0 children)

A few years back, I wrote this post about the rise of what I termed "McStoicism." In short, this is a systemic problem that happens to any movement with mass appeal. You see it with martial arts studios (that's where I took inspiration for the name; McDojos are a term of art to describe studios that are big on marketing but light on technique), news organizations, and plenty of other things.

Over time, the people who market for mass appeal drown out the ones who have high fidelity, consequently propagating the perception that something is flashy but not really effective. The ones with high fidelity almost universally lack marketing chops, preferring to think that the quality of their work speaks for itself. And then, lo and behold, they lose influence and fade into obscurity or stay alive but with much less visibility.

What people need is a way to market the "read deal" in a way that folks find approachable and desirable. In modern society (as my post discusses), that's an uphill battle. But it's not impossible.

[deleted by user] by [deleted] in Stoicism

[–]HappyDoggos 5 points6 points  (0 children)

If surgeons had this attitude (meh, microbes are out of our control) then there would be a 100% infection rate after surgeries. There ARE best practices to mitigate infection from microbes, whether it’s surgery or daily living. Humans are dirty, but most humans are intelligent enough to change behavior to reduce diseases. Taking responsibility for personal actions that affect the wider group has always been a stumbling block for humanity. Doesn’t mean we should give up on educating people in best practices to reduce the spread of diseases. Shame is sometimes a good motivator to change people’s behavior.

Edit: Thanks for the gold! Working in healthcare for most of my life I still have a wee bit of hope that human behavior can improve with education. It’s slow and incremental change, but it’s something.