Sunday, 30 May 2010

Invulnerability

After writing the previous Post (Escapism), it occurred to me that it could be put beside another strategy for dealing with psychological pain.

If you have been hurt a great deal, you might take a decision never to be hurt again. That's easier said than done. A fantasy of invulnerablity is just that. But you can try to turn it into a reality, unconsciously or as a conscious project.

How does it work out in terms of relationships?

One obvious strategy is to avoid them, but this leaves you isolated and, over time, you become a recluse.

Another is to limit relationships. You can shun emotional involvement, preferring short term connections (archetypally, the one night stand). Or you can get involved in a long term connection, but limit its impact in various ways - controlling the amount of time you are prepared to commit to it, for example, or running two or more relationships simultaneously.

These tactics can acquire a byzantine complexity and, among other things, eliminate any spontaneity. The trouble with spontaneity is that it is simply an admission of vulnerability: you throw your arms open expecting a hug and if you don't get it, you are hurt.

These are very short notes on a very long topic. Making oneself invulnerable is one of the ways a person can deny themself such ordinary happiness as is potentially available to all of us. And the tactics deployed in pursuit of the strategy often look like an admission that the person knows this.

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