"Avoid or weed out those that wear You out pulling You into their drama and problems, leech Your time, money and attention, sucking Your energy, leaving You feeling drained, people who take much and add little or nothing to Your life."
Rational Hedonists distance themselves emotionally and physically from "Life Leeches", also known in other circles as "Emotional Vampires" or "Emotional Parasites". Just as a leech is empty at first, Life Leeches seek to feed off others, filling themselves with what they lack and need. Whether they feed off you emotionally, intellectually, or sucking up your energy, time, money and/or attention; like a leech merely sucking life's blood, they leave you feeling emotionally drained, frustrated, unheard, depressed, agitated, inadequate and used. Theirs is a parasitic relationship, one living and feeding off the other person.
Leeches can be family members, a "friend", a spouse or lover, a boss or co-worker. They are easy to recognize, drawing you into their seemingly daily drama, hot/cold mood swings, managing to swing the attention to themselves, or having an opinion about everything including what you ought to do. Unlike the symbiotic relationship with a friend, Leeches leave you feeling worse when they walk away. Rational Hedonists learn to pluck off these Leeches in order to enjoy a pleasurable, happy life. Let them feed elsewhere!
1) Do Not socialize with them. Cut them out of your life! (This is not always possible if they are close family members). If this is not possible, emotionally and/or mentally separate and distance yourself in order that you . . . .
2) Do Not Feed them! (Or give them an "in").
3) Do not lose time with them when they constantly demand attention or one-sided dialogue (you know, the "conversation" where you can't get a word in) they may mistake as "conversation".
4) Do Not continue to "talk" when they are not listening to what you say, or are brushing off any helpful advice offered with a "yes, but". They do not want it, you do not need it.
5) Do not fall into their most recent needy self-pity and drama event.
6) Do not get suckered into bickering, absorbing their demeaning criticisms, taking what they say personally, goading you into responding defensively (again, they win, you are feeding the Leech's hunger).
7) Do address misplaced criticism towards you in a firm, direct answer without getting sidetracked.
8) Do set time limits for those you can't avoid, such as co-workers, family. This keeps you in your rightful place, in control. "I want to hear what happened, but I have to get (home, to work, etc.). You have ten minutes, starting . . . Now!"
9) Do screen your calls until they are retrained.
To begin to feel better, lighthearted, happy and energized - pluck off the life leeches who leave you feeling diminished!
A Rational Hedonist's path leads to a flourishing, creative life, surrounding yourself with those who make you happy, inspired, bring out your creativity, enjoying much conversation and laughter.
What Rational Hedonism is NOT:
Rational Hedonism is not affiliated with the adults-only Hedonism resorts promising promiscuity (Sorry!).
Rational Hedonism is not about being physically beautiful, having an athletic or willowy figure, wearing designer clothes, salon-styled hair, professionally-done makeup, and emitting heavenly expensive perfume or cologne.
If you are beautiful, athletic, willowy ... thank your parents and your random combination of genes (or your plastic surgeon). You don't have to be model material to love the person you see in the mirror. If you truly get joy and happiness from buying the latest fashion and accessories, then smile, enjoy, indulge and shop!
Don't fall for the illusions waving before you from diet companies, the cosmetic, hair product, shoe and clothing industries who stay in business by keeping you worried about body odor, limp, flakey hair, looking tired or old, how others see you. Every year billions of dollars are spent buying into their perceptions, their prejudices, their merchandise, making those people rich and happy, taking your money which could be used to do and buy the things that really do make you happy.
Notice commercials and magazines are always reminding you what you don't have or aren't doing? Mute the commercials and don't pick up the gossip or fashion magazines, and you're taking a step towards a more rationally hedonistic life.
Rational Hedonism is not about having millions (even billions, nowadays) of dollars or euros, of being eligible for "The Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous".
Rational Hedonism is not about how many "toys" you can afford, but being able to enjoy the toys you do have; of not having/doing something because it's suddenly the thing to have/do, or the place to visit. Many lottery winners have found this out the hard way.
Money buys happiness for a very short time, and then what? The person looking back from the mirror is still the same person as before. Studies show that very wealthy are not really much happier or stress free than anyone else.
Rational Hedonism is not affiliated with "Bioethical Abolitionism" or psychopharmacological drugs.
Bioethical Abolitionism strives to wipe out all suffering, believing that depression is biological and physical, not mental, that medication can alter the chemicals in the brain, creating a constant state of happiness.
The long-term effects of this theory have not been shown, you'd think eventually your brain would be so overwhelmed with "feel good" endorphins over time that it would cause emotional numbness, similar to the effects of meth, or like an addict, suddenly cut off from it, the mind would experience terrible withdrawal and worse depression, unable to be happy without it, craving that "happiness" drug.
Drugs, medication is not always the solution. That is a decision for a medical professional. See your doctor or psychologist or even tell a friend when overwhelmed with depression.
The line in the song, Row Your Boat, "Life is but a Dream" is not true. It's the only life you get. You don't want to float through it without experiencing the triumphs and successes and truly wonderful moments with a rational and clear head.
Congratulations on Being Here!
Congratulations on being here! Not just here, reading this blog, at this website, but here, alive. Rational Hedonism is about enjoying life, being truly happy, and "savoring" wonderful moments. You are a unique individual and while researching just what are the odds of you being here, the following article was discovered, and says it extremely well, so enjoy, and as the Monty Python Galaxy song goes:
"So remember, when you're feeling very small and insecure,
How amazingly unlikely is your birth,"
"Scientists say the dinosaurs’ demise paved the way for the rise of mammals and the eventual evolution of humans. But what if the asteroid that allegedly led to the dinosaurs’ extinction had taken just a slightly different course and missed earth? Evolution would have taken a whole new trajectory. Intelligent life still may have evolved, but maybe not in the form of humans, so certainly not any of us.
You're lucky because of the remote chances of your forbearers ever being born, still more luck in that your parents happened to meet each other (of all the potential mates), lucky because they conceived during the short, two or three-day window when the spermazoa from which you originated were alive, and lucky because the two unique cells carrying your genetic code happened to combine out of the billion possible cell combinations.
Flash back to your very beginnings – way back, when you were conceived. During the time of conception, out of about a hundred million sperm cells released, about 1 in 10, or 10 million, were capable of fertilizing an ovum, according to biologists. And 1 of about 100 of the latter were released. That means the chances of any two particular sex cells joining at that particular time were about one in a billion.
There was a frenzied struggle of millions of sperm cells vying to find a single egg cell. Of the 10 million, about a million made it into the uterus. Only a few thousand of those happened to swim to the entrance of the Fallopian tubes. A few hundred of those wandered to the right place: the immediate vicinity of the egg. Just one – the one carrying half the genetic blueprint of you – penetrated the egg.
Had any other sex cell made contact, someone genetically similar to you would have been born, but it wouldn’t have been you.
And that’s just during the short, two-day time period during which the sperm from which you originated were alive, or during the month that the egg from which you originated was released. Had your parents conceived a few days earlier or later, you wouldn’t be reading this right now. Had any of your grandparents, great-grandparents or preceding generations conceived a few days earlier or later, you likewise wouldn’t be reading this.
To take it further, start from a point 200 years before you were born. What was the probability of you coming onto the scene two centuries later?
Two-hundred years is about eight generations. That works out to 256 great (x8) grandparents. (Four grandparents, eight great grandparents, 16 great-great grandparents, etc.) Had none of those 256 been born, you wouldn’t have either. Assume very conservatively that each of them had a one-in-a-billion chance of being born; to arrive at the chances of you being here, you’d multiply a billion by a billion 256 times. So the probability is about 1 in 1,000,000,000 to the power of 256. That’s 2,304 zeros. Essentially, infinitely remote.
We all made it into a tremendously elite, exclusive club here in this tiny corner of the universe.
It’s so easy to take the things in this world for granted. But knowing that your chances of ever experiencing them were so low, savor every moment. Feast your eyes on the sky, the grass, the trees, the animals, the people. Listen to the sounds of nature. Feel the breeze on your skin. Or the warmth of the sun. Do it knowing that you were so extremely close to never experiencing any of it at all.
We’ve all heard stories of people having a close brush with death, who subsequently have a new appreciation for life and live every day with newfound vigor. As you had a close brush with never existing at all, that’s the way you should live your life as well.
Such an attitude makes the ordinary become extraordinary. Mundane, routine things of life like waking up in the morning, eating breakfast, looking out your window, or driving down your street take on a whole new meaning with the realization that it was only you among billions of potential humans who ever got to experience such things.
Viewing life in this way also could help to cope with an early loss. A person may die young, but the key thing is that he or she lived. Having the opportunity to live at all, even if it’s only for a short time, is an extraordinary phenomenon.
This mindset also helps us accept ourselves as we are: our genetically determined traits that we may not be happy about, be they related to physical appearance, mental ability, predisposition for a certain disease, or other condition. If you had a different genetic make-up – i.e. if, during conception, there was a different mix of genes and therefore different sex cells joined to form the embryo – then you wouldn’t have been you. A different person would have been born in your place, and you wouldn’t have existed. So what would you prefer? Life with all of its flaws, or no life at all?
While we all should strive to rise to the top, be it in our careers or other endeavors, not all of us will get there. But don’t get too distressed about it. You already prevailed in one of the most intensely random and intensely competitive struggles known to nature: conception. The reward: the opportunity to commingle with the other winners on this ultra-fascinating planet. And at the top of the food chain to boot.
Eyewitness to the World
As one of the fortunate few to be born into this universe, learn about and experience as much of it as you can. Read books or watch shows about the geologic wonders of our home, the earth. Get a telescope to eyewitness the vast marvels beyond our earth. Get a microscope to observe the universe of phenomena too small for the naked eye to see.
Or just perch yourself anywhere and observe the sights and sounds around you whatever they may be, marveling at this incredible place. Whether it be a natural wonder of the world or your neighborhood street, everything is extraordinary if you think about it hard enough.
And be thankful that you were born into this day and age. Apart from living more comfortably than any time in history, so much more is known about the world and universe than ever before; each of us made it into an incredibly multifaceted place about which there is an endless reservoir of information thanks to the efforts of scientists, researchers, and teachers who’ve come before us. Being lucky enough to be born into such an amazing place and not learning about and experiencing as much of it as you possibly can would be a tragedy indeed."
"Pinch Yourself. You Made the Ultimate Cut" by Patrick D. Chisholm September, 2009
The complete article quoted can be found here.
And, just for fun and a smile:
G.K. is currently the official Spokesman representing Rational Hedonism online; an Ordained Celebrant (not "celibate"!) with R.H. and conducts or advises others with Weddings, Civil Unions, Remembrance Ceremonies (both people and pets), Adoption and Naming Ceremonies; and conducts "Garden" Parties for Rational Hedonists throughout the United States.