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    #249953 - 08/10/22 07:28 AM Re: I feel like a failure [Re: giftedamateur]
    spaghetti Offline
    Member

    Registered: 05/05/15
    Posts: 474
    Originally Posted By: giftedamateur
    Originally Posted By: spaghetti
    If this is the way you treat people and their thoughts in real life, no wonder.
    Instead of criticizing responses from people who are taking the time to engage with you, could you consider asking questions? For example, if you feel you're being judged arrogant, ask if that's true.

    Hey, I missed your post! Again, thank you for responding -- it's not all the responses I have a problem with, just a few, and perhaps it would have been better in hindsight to simply accept that some of it was really bad advice and to not engage with it. But if you saw the comments above my post, they were tone deaf in that they kept implying that

    In real life, I am polite to people, but I don't really engage with their arguments honestly, because I know I will be shot down and misunderstood in almost all situations, which is what I hoped wouldn't happen here. For example, my friends believe in something like astrology, and if they ask my opinion I will not tell them I think it's bullshit because I've seen double blind studies which have convinced me so, because I know pretty much exactly how the argument will pan out. Is this arrogance on my part to assume they are incapable of rational discussion on the topic? I would say it's simply being pragmatic. Online, I don't feel such a need to "dumb down", admittedly.

    Thanks for clarifying. Here, I see a judgmental vibe. While you need to be discerning and judgmental at your age while you figure out yourself and your place in the world, it seems like "push back" when you "argue". As a parent of an arguer, I get it. It helped to learn how to check with people on what they are looking for in a conversation. While some enjoy arguing, many are not looking for an opinion or an assessment of their thoughts. So, for example, it doesn't matter what you think of astrology. Staying quiet is one way to go, and it avoids being "shot down". But it also does not do anything to embrace and celebrate the other person. Another way to go is to ask questions to get to know more about the person, how much astrology is a part of their life, how it may or may not play into their decision making, etc. It can be fun to get to know people AND as I tell my child all the time, it makes you more approachable for the serious stuff and opens the door to real discussion, and even employment opportunities. That's just one way to go. I realize you aren't looking for social niceties here, and instead life advice, but I think it still holds.

    Originally Posted By: spaghetti

    Ask if people find you arrogant and what leads them to that thought?
    Originally Posted By: giftedamateur

    The comments were constantly telling me to "humble myself" by working at fast food joints, and to realize I wasn't special etc. despite me stating that I had worked jobs, and that I was simply disappointed that I'm relatively unsuccessful regardless of how hard I've tried. These are loaded statements -- telling someone to humble themselves and realize that they aren't special is presupposing they are being arrogant. And I am nowhere an arrogant person, in fact people who know me say I'm considerably better than I give myself credit for.

    You would expect the advice to change a little based on the fact that I've been putting in so much effort into things, simultaneously working on school, other interests and so on, but again it was misinterpreted because I put out a figure saying that I worked 2-4 hours a day. When I said I coasted through college and that it isn't necessary to put in a lot of hard work to get a decent job etc., this was misconstrued as saying that I have a terrible work ethic and need to better myself. It feels like I'm being given self-help kool aid, honestly.


    Thank you for sharing why you thought you were considered arrogant. You still didn't ask if that was the intention of the responder, but I will share what may seem a bit arrogant to me. I have an arrogant young adult in my life and I supervise young adults in my employment. I see this kind of arrogance. It's not so much a straight forward "I'm better than everyone else" or "I'm better at this task". It's more "when I listen to you, I see how it works with my current thought structure before assigning it validity" type of thing. One way to convey this is word choice and one example (of many) is when you say "constantly telling me to 'humble myself'". Is it really constant? And is there room for another interpretation?
    Suggesting humbling yourself does not (to me) necessarily imply arrogance. It means (to me again) a willingness to look for places to learn from others. For example, if you find yourself comparing how what people say and do comports with your framework of thinking, with what you know, with your experiences, consider this. One way to go is to explore their framework and understand how it works for them-- totally separate from how it compares to your framework. I don't think I'm describing this well, just trying to convey a broader interpretation of the words arrogance and humbling. As far as your interpretation that your work ethic is terrible, I will leave between you and Val, but I did not pick up your interpretation from her words. I saw it more about goals and working toward them, and how it takes time, effort, and work, and less about how much time a person puts in for a particular job. But I could be wrong and would suggest you ask her what she meant.


    Originally Posted By: spaghetti

    The way I see it (as a parent of young DYS adults), the something you are looking for may not be found at this time in your life, and as a probably complex person, may require a lot of hard personal work on understanding yourself.
    Originally Posted By: giftedamateur

    Do you often encounter the situation, however, that by the time complex people work their stuff out, too much potential is wasted, due to decline in neuroplasticity etc.? There's stories I've heard where someone in their mid-50s found out they had a near-photographic memory in some respects and great talent for painting. Aren't they somewhat justified in feeling upset that their potential was wasted?


    That's not what I was trying to say at all. I was more saying that it may take more effort for complex people. Some people seem to just drift through life doing what's expected. School seems just right for their level of curiosity. Work seems fulfilling, etc. But complex people may have a tougher time of it, and have to work HARDER than what it seems others are doing. But to answer your concern: It's not so much time wasted as it is working on the stuff right now that's important right now. In my mind, achieving a specific level of performance-- music, art, etc. is not so cut and dry. You can lay the ground work at any time. Having had a photo and audio graphic memory myself and losing it with age, and having a young adult with it, you use it while you have it in ways that work now-- just as you suggest. You will be different at the age of 50. What you accept or regret at that age is more a function of who you are at 50 and not what you do now. Very gifted people can have a lot of potential in a lot of areas. You can regret not developing them all or, as hard as it is, consider that you don't need to reach an arbitrary potential, and embrace who you are right now.

    Originally Posted By: spaghetti

    You've shown an interest in doing the work by coming here. That's a great start. One kind of therapy we've found successful over here is Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). "The Happiness Trap" is an associated book.

    Originally Posted By: giftedamateur
    I will look into it. That said, have you had the experience in these kinds of therapy where therapists often tell you to change your worldview in a certain manner, and you resist it because it feels like indoctrination (i.e. my thoughts are my own!)? Then they ask you to go along with it even if you don't agree with it, and it doesn't work out.

    As my kid explains it, it's not about changing your thoughts in order to change your world view (positive thinking, reframing, etc). It's more about accepting that you WILL have negative feelings, including feeling like a failure. That's part of who you are, and you work on moving forward with acceptance. But please look into it yourself if you are interested as I may be way off. I just know it was helpful for my young adult.

    Originally Posted By: spaghetti

    People have been willing to engage with you and try to assist, and I urge you to not look for reasons to dismiss, but reasons to fully understand what has been said to you. Really, life can be that hard.
    [quote=giftedamateur]
    I appreciate your response, and I'm not trying to dismiss the advice people have to offer. I looked back and read the first few posts people made and to which I responded, and I wasn't really dismissing advice. So no, I just want to clarify what's going on and ask questions so as to hopefully get some solutions and experiences which people have had in this kind of scenario.

    I saw your posts as dismissive, and you are dismissing my perspective, saying "I wasn't really dismissing advice". I get that you say you were clarifying, but it's hard to engage when your response is that no you weren't dismissing. I perceived it as dismissive. That could be a wrong perception. But wouldn't it help to understand how others perceive your communication? Rather than "that's not what I was saying" try "I was really trying to clarify and understand the responses I received, how might that have been conveyed in a way that didn't seem dismissive to you?" It doesn't mean you need to agree with my perceptions.


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    #249954 - 08/10/22 10:44 AM Re: I feel like a failure [Re: Eagle Mum]
    giftedamateur Offline
    Junior Member

    Registered: 12/19/21
    Posts: 27
    Originally Posted By: Eagle Mum

    It usually does require talent, effort and opportunity to become world class and many who have reached this level appear to have stepped up on the shoulders of others (parents, mentors, coaches) who have already navigated the pathways and were thus able to give the next generation a head start. I can understand why, as a plurally gifted individual with a lot of potential (still), who would have been willing to put in effort if appropriately motivated, you mourn that you haven’t received such an opportunity.

    Thank you for understanding!!

    Originally Posted By: Eagle Mum
    I suspect that a lot of advice here comes from the wisdom of hindsight, of ways that mature individuals have navigated different pathways to other successes which we now feel are equally, if not more, fulfilling, but are not regarded, at least not by the general public, as ‘world class’.

    I sometimes wonder how much of this is a coping strategy of some kind. Putting it in those terms can bring about a visceral response denying it in some people, but what I mean is that you can't constantly live in deep dissatisfaction with the current state of your life, so sooner or later, your mind will come up with strategies to mitigate the pain, and your conscious brain may come up with rationalizations that are motivated by that goal. You may not realize that your thinking in such situations is clearly biased and motivated by that desire. I feel like spirituality is often one such outlet, for example, which makes people come to false epiphanies and then everything "suddenly makes sense" when in reality, it's a nested chain of rationalizations which become hazier as you go down to the point where you start believing it's reality -- I have often observed this in people's thinking, and I feel intelligent people are more prone than others to fall for this sort of line of thought, because it seems apparently very logical at the surface, and so you can quite easily think yourself into believing that it is reality and completely miss the questionable assumptions that implicitly underpin it.

    I'm not sure how to express this, but I think while I do understand what you mean when you say that mature individuals, having navigated various pathways to personal success, come to such realizations in hindsight. It is similar to what my family tells me, that once your 40s and 50s, you start to realize what actually matters in life. But I am skeptical, and wonder if this is an illusion, a coping strategy to make yourself feel better. For example, mentorship and building infrastructure for the next generation tends to feel very satisfying at that age for a lot of people, and it makes them feel they are making an impact. However, you have to wonder -- teaching/mentorship and infrastructure has always existed in the past for those motivated to seek it. And I get it, in this instance, altruism feels good, and feeling good can be considered an end in itself and it is certainly better for your mental health than chasing something unattainable or regretting the past, but I am a bit cynical about the true motivation behind such beliefs.

    Originally Posted By: Eagle Mum

    I don’t think the teen version of me would have appreciated my current values as someone who would now prefer to be at a dinner table conversing with jacks and jills of all trades who have led productive lives, rather than with monomaniacs (not that all world class achievers are necessarily such).

    Interestingly, I've found that world class achievers very often aren't monomaniacs, but there are certain traits like perfectionism which they have pretty often. Since it goes along with general intellectual ability, they tend to have a lot of ideas and opinions of the world around them. But others who cannot emulate that level of talent often end up working themselves and obsessing to the point where they become monomaniacs. I have found that high achievers tend to generally have more diversity of thought, but often get trapped into certain modes of thinking, so it is indeed interesting to meet someone who is thoughtful but isn't trapped by those lines of thought.

    Originally Posted By: Eagle Mum

    For both maths and music, some of my experiences may be relevant to yours. One of my parents led a carefree childhood and excelled at many sports (including selection into a school aged national team as an amateur) but regretted their lack of opportunity to learn music and so started me at a very young age. I was obedient and diligent, so with an early formal start, appeared precociously ‘talented’. However, as Indigo alluded, the regimented discipline my music teachers tried to enforce completely drowned my personal enjoyment and interest in music, such that after investing some ten years in practice and preparation for AMEB exams, when my parents allowed me to discontinue formal lessons in favour of spending my time on school studies, I stopped playing altogether. In contrast, I loved maths but received parental encouragement only so far as to achieve high marks at school. I borrowed books with Olympiad problems and worked through them myself and, like you, made it to the level of national finalist solely on my own steam. From what I observed of the backgrounds of other finalists, I believe I might have gotten further if I had been given support and earlier opportunities, so I am no stranger to the thoughts and feelings you’ve expressed.

    I suppose one of the things I'm frustrated by is that it's much more difficult to get by in music on your own steam than math. I know several people who studied pretty seriously for six months or a year and got into national/international math Olympiads. I suppose it requires talent, but even with talent, you will not see comparable achievements when it comes to musical instruments. I do understand the flip side, where kids end up taking lessons and lose interest. There isn't an easy solution -- a good teacher will try to ensure that kids don't lose interest, but getting such a teacher is a roll of the dice. Nowadays, I don't think the way most piano teachers teach is good for overall musical development, and I think they are steeped in conventional thinking, and this is something high-level teachers have agreed with me on. That said, I feel like pretty much all teaching at the school level tends to do is kill your interest in something, and so back in school, I tried to learn whatever I wanted on my own so that I could keep it interesting. But this is not the case with good teachers/mentors who know how to keep that spark alive and tailor their teaching, but such teachers are relatively uncommon.

    Originally Posted By: Eagle Mum

    The pianist in first place, who was clearly classically trained and played a well known, technically difficult, piece to perfection, bounded up to DS afterwards and asked him where he got the ‘awesome arrangement’ of the popular piece he played, hoping to download the manuscript. When he understood that the piece was DS’s own arrangement, he expressed surprise. The other youngster’s performance skills could potentially become world class if he continues to apply himself, but he was quite apparently impressed with the skills of a ‘Jack of all trades’.

    I know exactly what you mean, because I've been in very similar situations myself. Classically trained pianists often overestimate how difficult it is to arrange or improvise music haha, I've even impressed university students with my improvisations because it's just a skill they haven't trained for and are sort of envious of!

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    #249955 - 08/10/22 11:00 AM Re: I feel like a failure [Re: giftedamateur]
    aquinas Offline
    Member

    Registered: 11/02/12
    Posts: 2513
    Quote:
    I suspect that a lot of advice here comes from the wisdom of hindsight, of ways that mature individuals have navigated different pathways to other successes which we now feel are equally, if not more, fulfilling, but are not regarded, at least not by the general public, as ‘world class’.


    Also, individuals who have achieved at that level and have direct knowledge of what is required.
    _________________________
    What is to give light must endure burning.

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    #249956 - 08/10/22 11:09 AM Re: I feel like a failure [Re: spaghetti]
    giftedamateur Offline
    Junior Member

    Registered: 12/19/21
    Posts: 27
    Originally Posted By: spaghetti
    While you need to be discerning and judgmental at your age while you figure out yourself and your place in the world, it seems like "push back" when you "argue". As a parent of an arguer, I get it. It helped to learn how to check with people on what they are looking for in a conversation. While some enjoy arguing, many are not looking for an opinion or an assessment of their thoughts. So, for example, it doesn't matter what you think of astrology. Staying quiet is one way to go, and it avoids being "shot down". But it also does not do anything to embrace and celebrate the other person. Another way to go is to ask questions to get to know more about the person, how much astrology is a part of their life, how it may or may not play into their decision making, etc.

    My point is that while I'm all for social niceties, I'm being blunt here on a discussion forum (and not in real life), because in a way, I respect the people here enough that I'm willing to actually engage and trust that my point will get across. If it doesn't, there isn't much lost.

    Originally Posted By: spaghetti

    Thank you for sharing why you thought you were considered arrogant.

    I was saying that his line of advice presupposed my arrogance. It's like telling someone who's trying to become more successful at dating to "go to the gym" -- the advice presupposes that they are not fit in the first place. It has nothing to do with whether or not the person giving the advice actually thinks that way; the presumption is there in the advice itself.

    Originally Posted By: spaghetti

    Originally Posted By: giftedamateur

    Do you often encounter the situation, however, that by the time complex people work their stuff out, too much potential is wasted, due to decline in neuroplasticity etc.? There's stories I've heard where someone in their mid-50s found out they had a near-photographic memory in some respects and great talent for painting. Aren't they somewhat justified in feeling upset that their potential was wasted?


    That's not what I was trying to say at all. I was more saying that it may take more effort for complex people. Some people seem to just drift through life doing what's expected.
    [/quote]
    I know it's not what you were trying to say. I was thinking a step ahead, of a possible consequence of it taking more time and effort to find your place and understand your potential, which is that once you figure it out it may be too late, and wondering what you thought of that possibility.

    Originally Posted By: spaghetti
    But wouldn't it help to understand how others perceive your communication? Rather than "that's not what I was saying" try "I was really trying to clarify and understand the responses I received, how might that have been conveyed in a way that didn't seem dismissive to you?"

    Well, I did push back against some of the advice, but that was because it was cliche and poorly thought out. I understand the responses for the most part just fine, it's not hard to understand something which is a literal restatement of advice which pretty much every counselor gives out (such as to check out Brene Brown, for example).

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