Smelling Of Roses

I was playing the game, the same as everyone else was playing the game, and I was trying to level up, the same as everyone else was, by gaining social approval points. By getting other people to like me in other words. You’re not supposed to call it that, by the way – you’re supposed to talk about enhancing your kudos rating – but really it’s all about getting other people to like you. What else would it be about, for God’s sake? Who’s fooling who here? It’s so bloody basic, isn’t it – getting other people to like you. Or rather trying to, in my case. Trying and failing, unfortunately for me. Basic’s not really the word I’m looking for here though – ‘pathetic’ is closer to the mark, although I’d like to be able to express that in a more intellectual-sounding way! Because people are impressed by intellectual-sounding talk – you get lots of kudos points for that. Unless it shows that you’re just trying to come across as being intellectual in which case you’re not intellectual you’re pretentious. In which case your kudos score takes a hammering, in which case you get a very high dick-head score. But anyway the thing about wanting other people to like you – which as we have said is the basic rule of the game – is that this itself (obviously enough) is not a likable trait. It’s actually a repellent trait and this makes playing the game fundamentally problematic. After all, the point of the game is to get people to like you but we can’t be honest about this otherwise it produces the opposite effect; we don’t approve of people who want to be approved of, and if this isn’t a jinx then what is? We can’t let ourselves know that we’re trying to be liked either because if we do this then we won’t like ourselves, just as everyone else doesn’t like us. We’d actually despise ourselves and nobody is going to award kudos points to someone who despises themselves – that’s sending out the wrong message straightaway! That’s a real party-killer if ever there was one. But if we go beneath all this stuff – to the level of the actual underlying psychology of the situation – we can say, without any fear of contradiction on this point – that the only reason we want to be liked (the only reason we are playing this game) is because on some level we know well that we’re not likable. We not likable and we don’t like ourselves. That’s the bottom line. Why would we bother going to the trouble of trying to manoeuvre people to like us if they did anyway, after all? If it were the case that I were inherently likeable (without any need to pretend to be this or that) then I wouldn’t be playing the game in the first place. And of course not only would there be no need to try to get people to like me, I would know that the whole endeavour would be counterproductive anyway so I certainly wouldn’t be wasting my time playing the game. It would be entirely perverse of me to do so. But if on the other hand if it were the case that there is nothing likable about me at all then I’d have to try to compensate for this – I’d have no choice! I’d have to invent a false persona – a false persona that I imagine other people will like – and then put all my energy into making this false persona believable both to me and everyone else! If you can pull that off then you’re winner, you’re coming up smelling of roses, but other side of the coin  – needless to say – is that if you can’t then you come up smelling of the other stuff instead! You know the stuff I mean…






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