By popular demand, here's one from one of the most infamous threads that has ever appeared on MSE. (And in the days before Mata was banned) Love the pop psychology :blaugh: :blaugh: :blaugh: [Name deleted], I think if I started a thread similar to this thereÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢d be a significant line up of people that would be queuing up to sink the boot into me. I say that because you and I would react to that in different ways. To make my point IÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢d like to digress into some very basic psychology (some may even call it pop psychology, but not to worry). In life you will find that our experiences, family and demographic background and learning mould us into roughly four categories of people, with particular reference to how we relate to others. In summary these are: 1. People who see themselves as okay and also see others as okay (otherwise known as gentle or content); 2. People who see themselves as okay and others as not okay (generally considered arrogant); 3. People who view themselves as not okay, but see others as okay (generally approach life with an admiring attitude to others); and 4. People who view themselves as not okay, and also see others as not okay (generally leading defeated lives). No surprises that in my current station in life I most closely resemble category number two. Thus the barbs and arrows that would come my way if I started such a thread would be shrugged off because IÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢d generally view the opinions of others as inferior to my own. My reading of the situation is that you are probably best described as Category Three. Thus there might be insecurities and hurts that have been dealt your way in life, but you have wonderfully been able to maintain a generally positive outlook to others in life, which is to be commended. The only problem, as I see it, is you are probably putting too much emphasis upon the opinions of others. This is a dangerous tendency amongst those who donÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢t view themselves as okay but value what other people think. However, the reality is that your post is going up on a public message board where people are effectively ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã…Â“hidingÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬? behind anonymous names. This presents a range of problems: 1. Most of them have no idea about you at all, and are not qualified in the least to make any form of comment; 2. We are operating in the medium of the written word, one of the easiest forms of communication that can be misunderstood or misconstrued. The reality is that the written word leaves out important secondary communication indicators such as tone and inflection of voice as well as the use of body language. 3. The anonymity gives people license to say things they would not normally say in real life to a flesh and blood human in front of them. This means that they can say hurtful or thoughtless things with little thought to their consequences of impact. 4. You are exposed to a broad spectrum of society with all manner of opinions. This is a consequence of living in a modern age, where internet connects people from all around the world but does little to bring them ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã…Â“closer togetherÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬? or create any form of genuine community, care or concern. So, my advice? DonÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢t place too much emphasis upon the opinions of the majority on these message boards. Really, in life there are probably very few opinions of you and your worth that really matter. Few people will know you well enough to make an accurate and informed judgement on that. In Western society most people would struggle to list more than ten other souls who would know them well enough to accurately make that sort of judgement. My reading of this thread is that there are several posters who know you well, through various forms of relationship. All of those have radically affirmed you and expressed their appreciation and even love of you. These are the people that know you best and they have wonderfully affirmed you. These are the opinions that count. Be encouraged and content. As for your continued participation on these boards, do so content in the knowledge that these message boards are not designed for you to gain an estimation of your place in this world. They are hopelessly inadequate to do that. You are free to express your opinion, safe in the realisation that if you are misunderstood or the victim of some kind of abuse, it is more likely the fault of the form of communication weÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢re dealing with here than any fault or weakness in your own thoughts. However, take on board the thoughts and opinions of others, using that to improve your knowledge and understanding. In this life weÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢re never all going to agree but that doesnÃƒÂ¢Ã¢Â‚Â¬Ã¢Â„Â¢t excuse us from the task of understanding each other and moving forward constructively to a higher purpose.