So Tell Me ... What's The Weather Like on YOUR Planet?

24 January, 2007

Pass the Ammunition

One of the interesting things about playing with power dynamics I've found is the way that it turns over large rocks in my head and lets me see what's wriggling around underneath them.

I am not comfortable around praise. This comes up occasionally in my Feri student group, where every so often one or another of my classmates will thank me for some contribution, and I am not entirely certain how to accept that thanks. There is something in me that wants to brush it aside, put it down, "De nada," it's nothing, I'm not that special. And, of course, this is a mindset that is not exactly compatible with doing the Feri training at all, because working Pride demands owning and acknowledging my accomplishments, the value I bring.

At the same time, it's awkward.

But back to playing with power dynamics. I found myself, the other day, recognising in me a sort of inner puppy, this sort of desperate, hungry urge to beg for a treat, for a "Good girl", for anything that would feed this urge to ... praise. And my first set of responses to it was to want to hide it away, to be ashamed of this need, this desire. I did a quick scan of the responses, and found "This is childish", "A responsible adult doesn't need this sort of constant feedback", "This is just coddling your insecurity" and a bunch of similar loops. Dismissing the desire for praise, this strange hunger, as nothing more than a childish "you've been good, have a cookie".

And I look at this and I know: I was taught this. I was taught that this sort of privation is natural, is what maturity is about, and I learned it young. It takes a specialised circumstance for the wanting it to come out at all, because of the shells and layers of be-a-good-grownup, and even in that space it's wickedly hard to open up enough to say "I want to hear more of that."

It's certainly difficult to do it gracefully. And easy to want to sit back and wail, "I don't know how to deal with this! Stop drawing attention to it, stop noticing me!" in the face of special notice. Tall Poppy Syndrome, maybe.

So hard to say thank you.

So hard to acknowledge that hearing the praise even matters at all, because Should Be Stronger And More Independent Than That.

There's another mirror of the shadow for ya.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

That makes a lot of sense, though. If you have trouble with praise most of the time, why shouldn't D/s be a time when you can allow yourself to ask for it as part of your submission?