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Monday, June 27, 2011

Better Than Me. And That's Alright.

I've heard this certain piece of advice several times over the course of my life. You have to be around people who are better than you. If you are the smartest person in your group of friends, get new friends. I agree. Before you get offended, let me explain.

If you are reading this, you are most likely one of my close friends. No reason to get offended now, see? I consider a friend someone who can lift you up. If they are constantly, even subconsciously motivating you to do better, I believe that is good for you. If they are bringing you down, ditch 'em.

This is where the competitive aspect of companionship comes into play. I know that these are very bold statements, but I am attempting to explain each one of them. I am aware that the people I choose to associate myself with are intelligent. Those few that I single out to be my friends are the ones I can connect to on a personal level.

We get along partly because we on the same level of thinking. At the same time, their accomplishments serve as motivation for moving forward, as well. This whole post may seem rude, but it is actually a long way of saying to my friends, "You are doing great things, and I want to pull myself up to your level." It's praise.

I'm referring to a state of mind called "compersion." One website described it as being the opposite of jealous. I don't get jealous anymore, when it comes to my friends' accomplishments. It's just like this swelling feeling of pride and happiness for them. This comes up especially when I know that someone has worked hard for one of their goals.

Back to jealousy. I don't like to discuss it, but I feel like I should. As I mentioned before, I don't get jealous anymore. That sort of died out in middle school.. I feel like it does motivate you, but it's negative. Compersion serves as positive motivation from the achievements of others. And that is why I am glad to have such wonderful friends.

I've been in friendships where both of us sort of brought each other down. Yes, I do accept the blame. We just were not compatible in many ways. We were on different levels, yet neither one was higher than the other. But we still brought each other down.

It's like we were sideways wall-climbers. I was going left, she was going right. We were both trying to reach our own goals, while attempting to use each other for help. However, we pulled each other too far in the opposite direction, and we both ended up falling down. That's not the best analogy. But it works.
My arms are not that muscular, but that's fine. 
Now, let's delve a bit deeper into what I mean by "better." That doesn't necessarily mean that my friends are perfect, and I am but a lowly servant. It just means that they have a lot of skills and personality traits that I admire. They provide positive peer pressure. And I need that.

There are some cases in which some people are technically better than me. They are smarter. They can handle more information and process it quickly. They might be better tennis players or they might have a  smoother voice. Again, this is alright. The only thing that is not acceptable is when they are aware of their "higher-human-status" and take every opportunity to make me aware of it.

But I already am. I analyze people and their abilities. This may seem frightening, and somewhat creepy, but it helps me realize if they are good people for me and if I am good for them. So when I hear someone complain about how many AP courses they are taking, and how easy it will be, and when I catch a glimpse of a faint, smug smile, I know what they are trying to do.

So I drop them. They don't seem to need my help, seeing as their life is already in order. Again, another bold statement. But this whole theory applies to both sides. I must be able to bring them up somehow, as well.
The text may be hard to read. Panel 3: Person 2 lifts up person 1 in mid air before falling. then person 1 does the same before falling. Panel 4: And through teamwork, they learn how to fly.

This troll physics comic seems...well, comical, but it's true.

You guys...I want to learn how to fly with you. And we're on the right track. We don't have to make those same faces, but we can still do it.

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