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Thoughts and observations after today's counselling class.

How would I feel about sharing personal information?
If I offered it? Fine. I feel quite open to talking about my experiences especially if it helps someone to know i can relate to how they're feeling. Remember not to talk too much though in case it looks like trying to trump someone's experiences or to talk too much about yourself instead of allowing the client to talk.

How do I feel about someone asking me lots of personal information?

Suspicious and paranoid. Why do they want to know about me? What is their ulterior motive? Should I trust someone who appears to be trying to be nice to me?

I am used to feeling like I'm not an interesting person or a likable person because in my life, I am used to people not being interested in me. It backs up my feelings of low self-esteem. I don't value myself so why should anyone else see value in me? If they are asking things about me, it mustn't be for nice reasons but to gain personal information to gossip or laugh about or to gain some sort of hold over me.

I like being kind to people. There's enough difficulty in the world and with the people in it so I believe the best thing you can do is to be good and kind to the people I meet. However, when I do something nice for someone, I worry that they'll think I am only doing it for some unsavoury ulterior motive.

Because I sometimes expect the worst (or distrust) from people seeking things from me, then I assume that anyone I am nice to is expecting the same thing from me. An act of kindness from me is just to ingratiate myself onto them for some personal advantage. All I hope to gain from the encounter is to make the other person happier. For example, in class today, I gave a set of notes to the girl sat next to me who'd been having trouble getting onto the college's computer. It was no problem to give her my notes from the last class because I would have to go print off this week's notes anyway so it's no problem for me to reprint the last set too. No skin off my nose and it helps her out too - boom, we're both happy. Then my paranoia kicks in to say she must think I'm only doing it to sleaze on her or something. No, I just want her to think I'm nice, that's all. I don't know the girl and don't intend to be anything other than a good classmate who she would feel comfortable around in class but because of the way I look, I must be a sleazebag, right? That's my thinking.

I am aware that I look like a certain stereotype. Fat, middle-aged single bloke who lives alone in a house filled with juvenile things who spends a lot of time with his parents and doesn't have many friends. Therefore I must be some kind of pervert because that's how people like me are often portrayed. I probably stalk people and keep photo albums of anyone who's shown me kindness. Well, the only thing I can change about myself would be my weight and I can live with that. The age, status and appearance I can't change. The house I don't want to change. I like it here. I work hard to prove that I am not as my stereotype would suggest. I am not the fat lonely loser that I appear to be. I am a good person who just wants to do good for other people because I believe in kindness for its' own sake. My self-esteem means that even though I try to do good, I am still not worth anyone doing the same things for me because no one ever has. I guess it's a good thing that despite my opinion of myself, I am still committed to being nice to the people I meet and not hating on people for not treating me like I treat them. It's a little disappointing that I don't stimulate the urge in others to be kind to me but it's something I have to live with.