The ramblings of an Eternal Student of Life
. . . still studying and learning how to live

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Saturday, April 30, 2011
Personal Reflections ... Psychology ...

It is the evening of the day,
I sit and watch the children play.
Smiling faces I can see, but none for me,
I sit and watch as tears go by.

My riches can’t buy everything,
I want to hear the children sing.
All I hear is the sound
Of rain falling on the ground . . .

My first reflection for tonight — not exactly tearful, but a bit pensive: I just read an article about a study done recently at the University of Geneva by a Dr Camille Ferdenzi, which found a link between how attractive women find a guy and the relative lengths of the guy’s pointer finger and the ring finger. It turns out that the shorter the pointer finger is in relation to the ring finger, the better looking the dude is. Guys with ring fingers about the same size as their pointer (ratio 1:1) didn’t do so well, while the guys with ratios closer to 1/1.1 or 1/1.2 were perceived to be pretty hot.

Dr Ferdenzi said: “This illustrates a female preference for men with a low 2D:4D ratio [i.e., a bigger ‘4D’, which is the ring finger], possibly driven by the fact that these men have more symmetrical faces. Such a preference might have evolved because it increases females’ reproductive success by gaining benefits from partners who are more physically robust.”

OK, so I got out the ruler and . . . my pointer and index are almost exactly the same length. As to my facial symmetry, well yes, I’m not exactly Steve Canyon (if you remember that old cartoon). My own face, though not unpleasant (IMHO), is admittedly a bit closer to a sack of potatoes.

As the lyrics to Love Potion Number 9 say, “I’ve always been a flop with chicks, it’s been that way since 1956”. And now there’s a scientific explanation for this! Amazing times we live in.

Next thought: why do people trust psychotherapists so much? How does a person who interviews you a handful of times in his or her own office come to know what your problems truly are, and how to fix them? I’m cynical. Except in really special cases, the shrink never gets to see what you are like out in the world, talking and dealing with the people in your life. They pretty much rely on how you answer the questions that THEY choose and make you answer on THEIR home turf. It’s like, they paint the background of the picture and tell you exactly where to stand in it. Even group therapy is rigged. What they see is their own picture, not necessarily the real picture. And yet, people fork over $100 per hour or more for them to develop this picture and tell you all about it.

I’m not saying that shrinks are useless; perhaps they can help in a major crisis, or when someone suffers from a severe mental imbalance (e.g., major depression, addictions, anger/impulse control issues). But from what I hear, they do most of their business with people who are pretty much OK, but didn’t have the right body and had a lot of crappy things happen to them. And to be honest, I think that many (if not most) shrinks become just one more crappy (and expensive!) experience for these people.

You can bet that I’m not going to pay a therapist $100 bucks an hour to figure out why I’ve been a flop with chicks since 1956!

One last reflection: one of the most important things in life is “Plan B”. And even “Plan C”. We dream our dreams and make our plans, and more than 50% of the time, things don’t work out as we hoped. That’s the moment, that’s the true test of how your life will go. If you’re the type of person who sticks to your plan or gives up, then you’re going to need a shrink (even though they can’t do that much!). But if you can throw your plan overboard and cobble something together as to keep going, then you stay in the game.

(But it’s also OK sometimes to listen to the rain and let the tears go by, as Marianne Faithful and The Stones sang about.)

◊   posted by Jim G @ 8:13 pm      

  1. Jim, What will they come up with next? Now it’s finger length that determines ability to attract another person? As I’ve mentioned in another context I think, everybody in academia has to carve out his/her own niche. Now this person has carved out her niche in academia. And that’s about all it’s worth.

    As to the “shrink” discussion: I once had occasion to see a shrink regarding the problem of a loved one. Along the line, the loved one in counseling came to tears over the situation, as did I in a separate counseling session. This coming to tears was hailed as a “breakthrough”! Yet, I could not stop myself when I just had to point out to the counselor that crying about a difficult and sad situation in no way solved or “fixed” anything about the situation. How on earth could this be a “breakthrough”! I bluntly asked the counselor: What precisely is the “breakthrough” here when nothing at all has changed? Another case in point in all kinds of medical situations: Somehow or other all a doctor has to do is “name” a disease and somehow or other that seems to be, or is supposed to be, helpful to the situation. For the life of me, finding out the “name” of some disease has never made me feel better or actually cured the disease; but perhaps I am wrong as if the name were not known, steps could not be taken to administer medical treatment. But in too many cases no medical treatment will help; yet “naming” the medical problem is supposed to be a help. And in the case of “shrinks” I wonder just what and how labeling a person “neurotic” (for instance) does to solves any of that person’s problems.

    And lastly, you are 100% right: The person who is “good” at life is the person who can adjust to the unexpected changes that life presents one. Actually, life itself *is* the changes and Plan B or C *is* actually Plan A; the difficulty is in the person who refuses to see that. You could not be more right in your reflections. MCS

    Comment by Mary S. — May 1, 2011 @ 6:37 pm

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