Personality Style Quotes

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Introversion- along with its cousins sensitivity, seriousness, and shyness- is now a second-class personality trait, somewhere between a disappointment and a pathology. Introverts living in the Extrovert Ideal are like women in a man's world, discounted because of a trait that goes to the core of who they are. Extroversion is an enormously appealing personality style, but we've turned it into an oppressive standard to which most of us feel we must conform.
Susan Cain (Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking)
I would make Harry my personal slave and would make him drive me places.
Liam Payne
I personally like being unique. I like being my own person with my own style and my own opinions and my own toothbrush.
Ellen DeGeneres (Seriously... I'm Kidding)
But I think the first real change in women’s body image came when JLo turned it butt-style. That was the first time that having a large-scale situation in the back was part of mainstream American beauty. Girls wanted butts now. Men were free to admit that they had always enjoyed them. And then, what felt like moments later, boom—Beyoncé brought the leg meat. A back porch and thick muscular legs were now widely admired. And from that day forward, women embraced their diversity and realized that all shapes and sizes are beautiful. Ah ha ha. No. I’m totally messing with you. All Beyonce and JLo have done is add to the laundry list of attributes women must have to qualify as beautiful. Now every girl is expected to have Caucasian blue eyes, full Spanish lips, a classic button nose, hairless Asian skin with a California tan, a Jamaican dance hall ass, long Swedish legs, small Japanese feet, the abs of a lesbian gym owner, the hips of a nine-year-old boy, the arms of Michelle Obama, and doll tits. The person closest to actually achieving this look is Kim Kardashian, who, as we know, was made by Russian scientists to sabotage our athletes.
Tina Fey (Bossypants)
I am a fashion person, and fashion is not only about clothes -- it's about all kinds of change
Karl Lagerfeld
I'd like to repeat the advice that I gave you before, in that I think you really should make a radical change in your lifestyle and begin to boldly do things which you may previously never have thought of doing, or been too hesitant to attempt. So many people live within unhappy circumstances and yet will not take the initiative to change their situation because they are conditioned to a life of security, conformity, and conservatism, all of which may appear to give one peace of mind, but in reality nothing is more damaging to the adventurous spirit within a man than a secure future. The very basic core of a man's living spirit is his passion for adventure. The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun. If you want to get more out of life, Ron, you must lose your inclination for monotonous security and adopt a helter-skelter style of life that will at first appear to you to be crazy. But once you become accustomed to such a life you will see its full meaning and its incredible beauty. And so, Ron, in short, get out of Salton City and hit the Road. I guarantee you will be very glad you did. But I fear that you will ignore my advice. You think that I am stubborn, but you are even more stubborn than me. You had a wonderful chance on your drive back to see one of the greatest sights on earth, the Grand Canyon, something every American should see at least once in his life. But for some reason incomprehensible to me you wanted nothing but to bolt for home as quickly as possible, right back to the same situation which you see day after day after day. I fear you will follow this same inclination in the future and thus fail to discover all the wonderful things that God has placed around us to discover. Don't settle down and sit in one place. Move around, be nomadic, make each day a new horizon. You are still going to live a long time, Ron, and it would be a shame if you did not take the opportunity to revolutionize your life and move into an entirely new realm of experience. You are wrong if you think Joy emanates only or principally from human relationships. God has placed it all around us. It is in everything and anything we might experience. We just have to have the courage to turn against our habitual lifestyle and engage in unconventional living. My point is that you do not need me or anyone else around to bring this new kind of light in your life. It is simply waiting out there for you to grasp it, and all you have to do is reach for it. The only person you are fighting is yourself and your stubbornness to engage in new circumstances.
Jon Krakauer (Into the Wild)
Introverts living under the Extroversion Ideal are like women in a man’s world, discounted because of a trait that goes to the core of who they are. Extroversion is an enormously appealing personality style, but we’ve turned it into an oppressive standard to which most of us feel we must conform
Susan Cain
A broken heart isn't so much the loss of the person as it is the loss of your dreams with that person.
Diane Les Becquets (Love, Cajun Style)
Your comfort zone is a place where you keep yourself in a self-illusion and nothing can grow there but your potentiality can grow only when you can think and grow out of that zone.
Rashedur Ryan Rahman
One of the really bad things you can do to your writing is to dress up the vocabulary, looking for long words because you're maybe a little bit ashamed of your short ones. This is like dressing up a household pet in evening clothes. The pet is embarrassed and the person who committed this act of premeditated cuteness should be even more embarrassed.
Stephen King (On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft)
Getting to the top of any given mountain was considered much less important than how one got there: prestige was earned by tackling the most unforgiving routes with minimal equipment, in the boldest style imaginable.
Jon Krakauer (Into Thin Air: A Personal Account of the Mount Everest Disaster)
What we call the personality is often a jumble of genuine traits and adopted coping styles that do not reflect our true self at all but the loss of it.
Gabor Maté (In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters with Addiction)
A little style is a good thing, but you can’t trust a person who won’t be ugly in front of you.
Victor LaValle (Big Machine)
Ordinarily, I am the person who falls in love quickly and somewhat inappropriately and then goes on to destroy what is a good thing. That's always been my style. So, you know: I get it. And I feel right now the way I imagine all those guys felt with me. And I have to say, for the first time in my life, I feel something approaching compassion for them.
Sarah Dunn (Secrets to Happiness)
Richard Feynman once wrote, “If you ever hear yourself saying, ‘I think I understand this,’ that means you don’t.
Steven Pinker (The Sense of Style: The Thinking Person's Guide to Writing in the 21st Century)
Fashion is only different skins for different flavours of you.
Lauren Beukes (Zoo City)
As people age, they confuse changes in themselves with changes in the world, and changes in the world with moral decline—the illusion of the good old days.
Steven Pinker (The Sense of Style: The Thinking Person's Guide to Writing in the 21st Century)
The better you know something, the less you remember about how hard it was to learn. The curse of knowledge is the single best explanation I know of why good people write bad prose.
Steven Pinker (The Sense of Style: The Thinking Person's Guide to Writing in the 21st Century)
Surely a good therapist should produce a Dorian Gray-style portrait from under the couch so the patient can see the person they really are.
Rosamund Lupton (Sister)
I just needed to realize that style was like personality - it didn't always have to be consistent; it just had to be something you lived with.
David Levithan (Wide Awake)
It is a certain type of person who feels this way that I feel, and I'm proud to be one, and now I see that I must really not forget that the style of what I find beautiful is incredible to me, that it is incredible to feel lucky to want to want what one wants, to be able to see the rings of yourself this way.
Jenny Slate (Little Weirds)
The most durable thing in writing is style. It is a projection of personality and you have to have a personality before you can project it. It is the product of emotion and perception.
Raymond Chandler
Extroversion is an enormously appealing personality style, but we’ve turned it into an oppressive standard to which most of us feel we must conform.
Susan Cain (Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking)
The chief means of resisting manipulation is humility – knowing who we really are and facing it. You can only serve by love. You can only love by choice. True love cannot be the result of decree, force or manipulation. Jesus always kept his strength to make loving choices. He calls us to make loving choices necessary to be the servant of all." "Humility permits me to own my feelings – and to admit them. Now I'm free to say, ‘I'm angry’. I'm free to admit what I am reacting to. I am free to ask if anger is what the person wanted to produce in me, and to ask for help in changing if my reaction is inappropriate.
Gayle D. Erwin (The Jesus Style)
The way for a person to develop a style is (a) to know exactly what he wants to say, and (b) to be sure he is saying exactly that.
C.S. Lewis
There are many kinds of leaders. Too often we confuse a forceful personality with leadership. This is a mistake. Those with different talents and styles can reach the same mountaintop; they just take different paths to get there.
Henry H. Neff (The Red Winter: Book Five of The Tapestry)
The first sentence of a book is a handshake, perhaps an embrace. Style and personality are irrelevant. They can be formal or casual. They can be tall or short or fat or thin. They can obey the rules or break them. But they need to contain a charge. A live current, which shocks and illuminates.
Jhumpa Lahiri
Style is very personal. It has nothing to do with fashion. Fashion is over quickly. Style is forever.
Ralph Lauren
Your VISION and your self-willingness is the MOST powerful elements to conquer your goal
Rashedur Ryan Rahman
You can tell far too much about a person by which monopoly piece they play as.
Harry Styles
It takes cognitive toil and literary dexterity to pare an argument to its essentials, narrate it in an orderly sequence, and illustrate it with analogies that are both familiar and accurate.
Steven Pinker (The Sense of Style: The Thinking Person's Guide to Writing in the 21st Century)
She doesn't have a ring on each finger, or a big diamond on each ring. She doesn't wear a gold watch that costs as much as a fancy car. In fact, she doesn't own a fancy car. She doesn't carry an enormous designer bag. But she might have a newspaper under her arm. She might mention Sartre or Foucault in a conversation. It's her personality that sparkles and nothing else: the signs of intellectual wealth.
Anne Berest (How to Be Parisian Wherever You Are: Love, Style, and Bad Habits)
Style is a deeply personal expression of who you are, and every time you dress, you are asserting a part of yourself.
Nina García (The One Hundred: A Guide to the Pieces Every Stylish Woman Must Own)
Although I am a person who expected to be rooted in one spot forever, as it has turned out I love having the memories of living in many places.
Frances Mayes (Bringing Tuscany Home: Sensuous Style From the Heart of Italy)
we can remind ourselves of the reasons to strive for good style: to enhance the spread of ideas, to exemplify attention to detail, and to add to the beauty of the world.
Steven Pinker (The Sense of Style: The Thinking Person's Guide to Writing in the 21st Century)
Classic writing, with its assumption of equality between writer and reader, makes the reader feel like a genius. Bad writing makes the reader feel like a dunce.
Steven Pinker (The Sense of Style: The Thinking Person's Guide to Writing in the 21st Century)
A writer, like a cinematographer, manipulates the viewer’s perspective on an ongoing story, with the verbal equivalent of camera angles and quick cuts.
Steven Pinker (The Sense of Style: The Thinking Person's Guide to Writing in the 21st Century)
If New Orleans is not fully in the mainstream of culture, neither is it fully in the mainstream of time. Lacking a well-defined present, it lives somewhere between its past and its future, as if uncertain whether to advance or to retreat. Perhaps it is its perpetual ambivalence that is its secret charm. Somewhere between Preservation Hall and the Superdome, between voodoo and cybernetics, New Orleans listens eagerly to the seductive promises of the future but keeps at least one foot firmly planted in its history, and in the end, conforms, like an artist, not to the world but to its own inner being--ever mindful of its personal style.
Tom Robbins (Jitterbug Perfume)
Seven Ways To Get Ahead in Business: 1. Be forward thinking 2. Be inventive, and daring 3. Do the right thing 4. Be honest and straight forward 5. Be willing to change, to learn, to grow 6. Work hard and be yourself 7. Lead by example
Germany Kent
Personally I think that grammar is a way to attain Beauty. When you speak, or read, or write, you can tell if you've spoken or read or written a fine sentence. You can recognise a well-tuned phrase or an elegant style. But when you are applying the rules of grammar skilfully, you ascend to another level of the beauty of language. When you use grammar you peel back the layers, to see how it is all put together, to see it quite naked, in a way.
Muriel Barbery (The Elegance of the Hedgehog)
Many experiments have shown that readers understand and remember material far better when it is expressed in concrete language that allows them to form visual images,
Steven Pinker (The Sense of Style: The Thinking Person's Guide to Writing in the 21st Century)
In explaining any human shortcoming, the first tool I reach for is Hanlon’s Razor: Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.
Steven Pinker (The Sense of Style: The Thinking Person's Guide to Writing in the 21st Century)
A person of your century: Great persons are of their time. Not all were born into a period worthy of them, and many so born failed to benefit by it. Some merited a better century, for all that is good does not always triumph. Fashions have their periods and even the greatest virtues, their styles. But the philosopher, being ageless, has one advantage: Should this not prove the right century, many to follow will.
Baltasar Gracián (The Art of Worldly Wisdom)
A beautiful person is not defined by a hair style, a pair of shoes, it’s not the logos on the T-shirt, the sport’s team on a hat, the designer’s name on a hand bag, or even how you smell. Instead, beauty lies in who you are when no one is watching, the person you are when there’s nothing to hide behind. No amount of concealer can cover up a cantankerous heart, but all the make-up in the world can’t add a single lumen to the brightness of a beautiful soul.
Justin Young
Man cuts out for himself a manageable world: he throws himself into action uncritically, unthinkingly. He accepts the cultural programming that turns his nose where he is supposed to look; he doesn’t bite the world off in one piece as a giant would, but in small manageable pieces, as a beaver does. He uses all kinds of techniques, which we call the “character defenses”: he learns not to expose himself, not to stand out; he learns to embed himself in other-power, both of concrete persons and of things and cultural commands; the result is that he comes to exist in the imagined infallibility of the world around him. He doesn’t have to have fears when his feet are solidly mired and his life mapped out in a ready-made maze. All he has to do is to plunge ahead in a compulsive style of drivenness in the “ways of the world.
Ernest Becker (The Denial of Death)
I like the word ‘gumption’ because it’s so homely and so forlorn and so out of style it looks as if it needs a friend and isn’t likely to reject anyone who comes along. I like it also because it describes exactly what happens to someone who connects with Quality. He gets filled with gumption. “A person filled with gumption doesn’t sit around dissipating and stewing about things. He’s at the front of the train of his own awareness, watching to see what’s up the track and meeting it when it comes. That’s gumption. If you’re going to repair a motorcycle, an adequate supply of gumption is the first and most important tool. If you haven’t got that you might as well gather up all the other tools and put them away, because they won’t do you any good.
Robert M. Pirsig
The best words not only pinpoint an idea better than any alternative but echo it in their sound and articulation, a phenomenon called phonesthetics, the feeling of sound.
Steven Pinker (The Sense of Style: The Thinking Person's Guide to Writing in the 21st Century)
What other agents then are there, which, at the same time that they are under the influence of man's direction, are susceptible of happiness? They are of two sorts: (1) Other human beings who are styled persons. (2) Other animals, which, on account of their interests having been neglected by the insensibility of the ancient jurists, stand degraded into the class of things... But is there any reason why we should be suffered to torment them? Not any that I can see. Are there any why we should not be suffered to torment them? Yes, several. The day has been, I grieve to say in many places it is not yet past, in which the greater part of the species, under the denomination of slaves, have been treated by the law exactly upon the same footing as, in England for example, the inferior races of animals are still. The day may come, when the rest of the animal creation may acquire those rights which never could have been withholden from them but by the hand of tyranny. The French have already discovered that the blackness of the skin is no reason why a human being should be abandoned without redress to the caprice of a tormentor. It may come one day to be recognized, that the number of the legs, the villosity of the skin, or the termination of the os sacrum, are reasons equally insufficient for abandoning a sensitive being to the same fate. What else is it that should trace the insuperable line? Is it the faculty of reason, or, perhaps, the faculty of discourse? But a full-grown horse or dog is beyond comparison a more rational, as well as a more conversable animal, than an infant of a day, or a week, or even a month, old. But suppose the case were otherwise, what would it avail? the question is not, Can they reason? nor, Can they talk? but, Can they suffer? Why should the law refuse its protection to any sensitive being? The time will come when humanity will extend its mantle over everything which breathes.
Jeremy Bentham (The Principles of Morals and Legislation)
Man has always been a venal animal. The growth of populations, the huge costs of war, the incessant pressure of confiscatory taxation – all these things make him more and more venal. The average man is tired and scared, and a tired, scared man can’t afford ideals. He has to buy food for his family. In our time we have seen a shocking decline in both public and private morals. You can’t expect quality from people whose lives are a subjection to a lack of quality. You can’t have quality with mass production. You don’t want it because it lasts too long. So you substitute styling, which is a commercial swindle intended to produce artificial obsolescence. Mass production couldn’t sell its goods next year unless it made what is sold this year look unfashionable a year from now. We have the whitest kitchens and the most shining bathrooms in the world. But in the lovely white kitchen the average [person] can’t produce a meal fit to eat, and the lovely shining bathroom is mostly a receptacle for deodorants, laxatives, sleeping pills, and the products of that confidence racket called the cosmetic industry. We make the finest packages in the world, Mr Marlowe. The stuff inside is mostly junk.
Raymond Chandler (The Long Goodbye (Philip Marlowe, #6))
A strong confident person can rule the room with knowledge, personal style, attitude and great posture.
Cindy Ann Peterson (My Style, My Way: Top Experts Reveal How to Create Yours Today)
We like people who are similar to us. This fact seems to hold true whether the similarity is in the area of opinions, personality traits, background, or life-style.
Robert B. Cialdini (Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion (Collins Business Essentials))
Yet today we make room for a remarkably narrow range of personality styles. We’re told that to be great is to be bold, to be happy is to be sociable.
Susan Cain (Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking)
Tatooine, huh? So awesome you know Star Wars facts,” he adds nodding. “Do you ever watch the animated stuff?” Grin. Grin. Grin. I'm seriously at risk of an old-style faint. Holy-WTHECK? My neck and cheeks are volcano-hot. My entire chest swarms with an uncontrollable butterfly attack. Butterfly riot. Butterfly massacre. Person slaughtered: Me. Method used: Dimple. The guy has a dimple. Of course he does. To match the Hollywood chin divot. To make the lump on my forehead pound even harder. Points for Gray Porter: 3,000,000-bajallion, trillion to the millionth power.
Anne Eliot (Almost)
I decided that in order to become a big famous rock star, I would need to write my very own songs instead of wasting my time learning other peoples music too much. It may act as an obstruction in developing your very own personal style.
Kurt Cobain (Journals)
My least favorite form of street harassment is when a guy asks why I’m not smiling. It’s related to that: Women aren’t allowed to be quiet or stoic or shy—or, hell, just in a bad mood—without being criticized. Women are bitchy and frigid if we don’t seem accessible at all times, for the most part to men. We’re supposed to be perpetually friendly. Who wants to live up to that? And seriously, when was the last time you heard a quiet woman described as “deep”? Men who are serious are just that—serious. Think laconic cowboys and Clint Eastwood-style movie heroes. Strong and silent is a desirable personality trait for men—women, not so much. Because where silence in men is seen as strength, silence in women (if not seen as bitchy) is seen as weakness—she’s shy, a wallflower.
Jessica Valenti (He's a Stud, She's a Slut, and 49 Other Double Standards Every Woman Should Know)
I always say—a prejudice on my part, I'm sure—you can tell a lot about a person's character from his choice of sofa. Sofas constitute a realm inviolate unto themselves. This, however, is something that only those who have grown up sitting on good sofas will appreciate. It's like growing up reading good books or listening to good music. One good sofa breeds another good sofa; one bad sofa breeds another bad sofa. That's how it goes. There are people who drive luxury cars, but have only second- or third-rate sofas in their homes. I put little trust in such people. An expensive automobile may well be worth its price, but it's only an expensive automobile. If you have the money, you can buy it, anyone can buy it. Procuring a good sofa, on the other hand, requires style and experience and philosophy. It takes money, yes, but you also need a vision of the superior sofa. That sofa among sofas.
Haruki Murakami (Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World)
When you love someone that much and that person is away from you, sometimes it literally feels like you can't breathe, as if your body is aching for air. And then that person walks into the room, and all that ache inside of you, all that longing, dissolves and you feel yourself breathe again. But it's as if he takes the same breath with you. You're both one.
Diane Les Becquets
The most special times in a person's life are not meant to last forever. They're like bubbles rising from a plastic ring dipped into a soapy solution. The soap bubbles rise, with the sun flashing brilliant colors, then bursts into a showery memory mist.
Julius Thompson (A Brownstone in Brooklyn)
Girls are the only ones who can really give each other close attention, the kind we equate with being loved. They noticed what we want noticed. And that's what I did for Tamar, I responded to her symbols. To the style of her hair and clothes and the smell of her L'Air Du Temps perfume. Like this was data that mattered. Signs that reflected something of her inner self. I took her beauty personally.
Emma Cline (The Girls)
Some people, from what I've seen, boo, when they lie, they become very still and centered and their gaze very concentrated and intense. They try to dominate the person they lie to. The person to whom they're lying. Another type becomes fluttery and insubstantial and punctuates his lie with little self-deprecating motions and sounds, as if credulity were the same as pity. Some bury the lie in so many digressions and asides that they like try to slip the lie in there through all the extraneous data like a tiny bug through a windowscreen ... Then there are what I might call your Kamikaze-style liars. These'll tell you a surreal and fundamentally incredible lie, and then pretend a crisis of conscience and retract the original lie, and then offer you the like they really want you to buy instead, so the real lie'll appear a some kind of concession, a settlement with through. That type's mercifully easy to see through ... Or then the type who sort of overelaborates on the lie, buttresses it with rococo formations of detail and amendment, and that's how you can always tell ... So Now I've established a subtype of the over-elaborator type. This is the liar who used to be an over-elaborator and but has somehow snapped to the fact that rococo elaborations give him away every time, so he changes and now lies tersely, sparely, seeming somehow bored, like what he's saying is too obviously true to waste time on.
David Foster Wallace
Labels are boring and often have nothing to with the person; it is just the way others perceive you, or choose to perceive you.
Shannen Doherty (Badass: A Hard-Earned Guide to Living Life with Style and (the Right) Attitude)
Journalists assigned to an issue often cover the coverage, creating the notorious media echo chamber.
Steven Pinker (The Sense of Style: The Thinking Person's Guide to Writing in the 21st Century)
I think about how language works so I can best explain how language works.
Steven Pinker (The Sense of Style: The Thinking Person's Guide to Writing in the 21st Century)
The early bird gets the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese
Steven Pinker (The Sense of Style: The Thinking Person's Guide to Writing in the 21st Century)
Autumn is a momentum of the natures golden beauty…, so the same it’s time to find your momentum of life
Rashedur Ryan Rahman
. . . the sole aim of Okinawa Karate is to teach A person to handle violence and violent individuals; whether it is tactile, mental or spiritual
Soke Behzad Ahmadi (KARATE POWER Lethal power of Fajin (Okinawan Styles, #3))
Unfortunately for cosmic justice, many gifted writers are scoundrels, and many inept ones are the salt of the earth.
Steven Pinker (The Sense of Style: The Thinking Person's Guide to Writing in the 21st Century)
I‘m very aware that my personal life, my marriage, is the source of speculation and interest in the department and with the public. I can live with that. I’m also aware that my husband’s businesses, and his style of conducting his businesses, are also the source of speculation and interest. I have no particular problem with that. But I resent very much that my reputation and my husband’s character should be questioned this way. From the media, Commander, it’s to be expected, but not from my superior officer. Not from any member of the department I’ve served to the best of my ability. I want you to take note, Commander, that turning in my badge would be like cutting off my arm. But if it comes down to a choice between the job and my marriage, then I lose the arm.
J.D. Robb
I can’t speak for other writers, but I write to create something that is better than myself, I think that’s the deepest motivation, and it is so because I’m full of self-loathing and shame. Writing doesn’t make me a better person, nor a wiser and happier one, but the writing, the text, the novel, is a creation of something outside of the self, an object, kind of neutralized by the objectivity of literature and form; the temper, the voice, the style; all in it is carefully constructed and controlled. This is writing for me: a cold hand on a warm forehead.
Karl Ove Knausgård
This Lady Pauline,” he began, “she must be a fearful person. She sounds like a terrible sorceress.” His face was deadpan, but Will sensed the underlying amusement and replied in kind. “She’s very slim and beautiful. But she has amazing power. Some time ago, she persuaded Halt to have a haircut for their wedding.” Malcolm, who had noticed Halt’s decidedly slapdash hair styling, raised his eyebrows. “A sorceress indeed.
John Flanagan (Halt's Peril (Ranger's Apprentice, #9))
Hiking is sort of like strip poker: by the end, all the participants are hot, sweaty, and nearly naked, and the winner is the person who wore the most layers.
Winona Dimeo-Ediger (Closet Confidential: Style Secrets Learned the Hard Way)
Style, in the broadest sense of all, is consciousness. More specifically it is a consistent idiom arising spontaneously from the personality but deliberately maintained.
Quentin Crisp (How to Have a Lifestyle)
Every day my mother had tea. My dad has his ritual cigar. They had their evening cocktail. Those rituals were done nicely, with flair and feeling.
John Travolta
If grammar is the skeleton of expression and usage the flesh and blood, then style is the personality.
Arthur Plotnik (Elements of Expression)
Values are deeply held personal beliefs that form your own priority code for living.
Stan Slap
as we become familiar with something, we think about it more in terms of the use we put it to and less in terms of what it looks like and what it is made of.
Steven Pinker (The Sense of Style: The Thinking Person's Guide to Writing in the 21st Century)
How you think and create your inner world that you gonna become in your outer world. Your inner believe manifest you in the outside
Rashedur Ryan Rahman
If you have an anxious attachment style, you tend to get attached very quickly, even just on the basis of physical attraction. One night of sex or even just a passionate kiss and, boom, you already can't get that person out of your mind. As you know, once your attachment system is activated, you begin to crave the other person's closeness and will do anything in your power to make it work even before you really get to know him/her and decide whether you like that person or not!
Amir Levine (Attached: The New Science of Adult Attachment and How It Can Help You Find—and Keep—Love)
The simplistic way of not conforming is to see what is in style in our culture and then do the opposite. If short hair is in vogue, the nonconformist wears long hair. If going to the movies is popular, then Christians avoid movies as “worldly.” The extreme case of this may be seen in groups that refuse to wear buttons or use electricity because such things, too, are worldly. A superficial style of nonconformity is the classical pharisaical trap. The kingdom of God is not about buttons, movies, or dancing. The concern of God is not focused on what we eat or what we drink. The call of nonconformity is a call to a deeper level of righteousness, that goes beyond externals. When piety is defined exclusively in terms of externals, the whole point of the apostle’s teaching has been lost. Somehow we have failed to hear Jesus’ words that it is not what goes into a person’s mouth that deflies a person, but what comes out of that mouth. We still want to make the kingdom a matter of eating and drinking.
R.C. Sproul (The Holiness of God)
We are primates, with a third of our brains dedicated to vision, and large swaths devoted to touch, hearing, motion, and space. For us to go from “I think I understand” to “I understand,” we need to see the sights and feel the motions.
Steven Pinker (The Sense of Style: The Thinking Person's Guide to Writing in the 21st Century)
Let us dedicate this new era to mothers around the world, and also to the mother of all mothers -- Mother Earth. It is up to us to keep building bridges to bring the world closer together, and not destroy them to divide us further apart. We can pave new roads towards peace simply by understanding other cultures. This can be achieved through traveling, learning other languages, and interacting with others from outside our borders. Only then will one truly discover how we are more alike than different. Never allow language or cultural traditions to come between brothers and sisters. The same way one brother may not like his sister's choice of fashion or hairstyle, he will never hate her for her personal style or music preference. If you judge a man, judge only his heart. And if you should do so, make sure you use the truth in your conscience when weighing one's character. Do not measure anybody strictly based on the bad you see in them and ignore all the good.
Suzy Kassem (Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem)
But still, you know how it is when you’re missing a loved one. You try to turn every stranger into the person you were hoping for. You hear a certain piece of music and right away you tell yourself that he could have changed his clothing style, could have gained a ton of weight, could have acquired a car and then parked that car in front of another family’s house. “It’s him!” you say. “He came! We knew he would; we always …” But then you hear how pathetic you sound, and your words trail off into silence, and your heart breaks.
Anne Tyler (A Spool of Blue Thread)
The form in which thoughts occur to a writer is rarely the same as the form in which they can be absorbed by a reader. The advice in this and other stylebooks is not so much on how to write as on how to revise.
Steven Pinker (The Sense of Style: The Thinking Person's Guide to Writing in the 21st Century)
I would like to read your handwriting and I would like to notice the way your eyes curve, and your wide white smile, and your simple yet personal style, and I would like to ask you the same damn questions again and again so that you wonder aloud if I do not listen but, no, I assure you without reassuring you: I have always been forgetful and it does not mean that I do not care.
Waylon H. Lewis (Things I Would Like To Do With You)
Natsu: This is my personal Fairy Tail style send-off party. People who leave Fairy Tail must understand three rules. One: Never release information that gives a disadvantage to Fairy Tail to anyone. Two: What was it again? Mystgun: Never meet a previous costumer for personal gain. Natsu: Right, right. Three: even if our paths differ, you must live life, as long as you are still strong. Never look at your life as something insignificant, never forget... Mystgun: Those friends of yours that you loved... Natsu: Did it reach you? If you have the spirit of the guild with you, there's nothing you can't do! I hope we can meet again, Mystgun.
Hiro Mashima (フェアリーテイル 22 [Fearī Teiru 22] (Fairy Tail, #22))
In life there are countless firsts and even more lasts. The firsts are easy to recognize; when you’ve never experienced something before – a kiss, a new style of music, a place, a drink, a food – you know exactly when you are encountering it for the first time. But lasts? Lasts nearly always surprise us. It’s only after they’ve disappeared that we realize we’ll never again have that particular moment or person or experience.
Frances de Pontes Peebles (The Air You Breathe)
Your traditional EDUCATION is not going to CHANGE your life but the life you are experiencing that can change you. Choose a POSITIVE life STYLE with positive ATTITUDE which could bring you a life with HAPPINESS and WISDOM
Rashedur Ryan Rahman
I wanted to explore this part of myself for me, not in spite of or because of another person. If I was going to change my style or add to it, I wanted to do it because of how it made me feel. Not because I wanted to make someone else feel better or view me differently.
Penny Reid (Capture (Elements of Chemistry #3; Hypothesis, #1.3))
HSPs tend to fill that advisor role. We are the writers, historians, philosophers, judges, artists, researchers, theologians, therapists, teachers, parents, and plain conscientious citizens. What we bring to any of these roles is a tendency to think about all the possible effects of an idea. Often we have to make ourselves unpopular by stopping the majority from rushing ahead. Thus, to perform our role well, we have to feel very good about ourselves. We have to ignore all the messages from the warriors that we are not as good as they are. The warriors have their bold style, which has its value. But we, too, have our style and our own important contribution to make.
Elaine N. Aron (The Highly Sensitive Person)
...all these epic battles and monsters lately - but love is a tiny world and I prefer a more personal style...
John Geddes (A Familiar Rain)
Eva," she said exasperated. "You should've established a personal style by now-and it shouldn't be sweats!" Monica, Eva Tramell's mother, in "Reflected in You
Sylvia Day
The problem with thoughtless signposting is that the reader has to put more work into understanding the signposts than she saves in seeing what they point to,
Steven Pinker (The Sense of Style: The Thinking Person's Guide to Writing in the 21st Century)
You have to imprint your own style. People like authentic personalities.
Dexter Hawk (25 Things to Say to the Interviewer, to Get the Job You Want: Being Qualified Isn't Enough)
The only question is this: Do you have enough empathy and yearning and desperation to connect to others outside yourself and scream into the void in four-part harmony? Enough brainpower and fine motor control and aesthetic ideation to look at feathers and stones and stuff that comes out of a worm’s more unpleasant holes and see gowns, veils, platform heels? Enough sheer style and excess energy to do something that provides no direct, material benefit to your personal survival, that might even mark you out from the pack as shiny, glittery prey, to do it for no other reason than that it rocks?
Catherynne M. Valente (Space Opera (Space Opera, #1))
If you are not EXCITED enough at your present life its mean your future is not EXITING. Excitement will give you ENTHUSIASM and enthusiasm will give you a positive energetic LIFE STYLE which could give you a successful exiting life…
Rashedur Ryan Rahman
My writing style has changed dramatically over the years, growing increasingly clean and exact. I like to think that I'm still improving -- that each book I write is a new personal best.
Barbara Delinsky
(Golden Globe acceptance speech in the style of Jane Austen's letters): "Four A.M. Having just returned from an evening at the Golden Spheres, which despite the inconveniences of heat, noise and overcrowding, was not without its pleasures. Thankfully, there were no dogs and no children. The gowns were middling. There was a good deal of shouting and behavior verging on the profligate, however, people were very free with their compliments and I made several new acquaintances. Miss Lindsay Doran, of Mirage, wherever that might be, who is largely responsible for my presence here, an enchanting companion about whom too much good cannot be said. Mr. Ang Lee, of foreign extraction, who most unexpectedly apppeared to understand me better than I undersand myself. Mr. James Schamus, a copiously erudite gentleman, and Miss Kate Winslet, beautiful in both countenance and spirit. Mr. Pat Doyle, a composer and a Scot, who displayed the kind of wild behavior one has lernt to expect from that race. Mr. Mark Canton, an energetic person with a ready smile who, as I understand it, owes me a vast deal of money. Miss Lisa Henson -- a lovely girl, and Mr. Gareth Wigan -- a lovely boy. I attempted to converse with Mr. Sydney Pollack, but his charms and wisdom are so generally pleasing that it proved impossible to get within ten feet of him. The room was full of interesting activitiy until eleven P.M. when it emptied rather suddenly. The lateness of the hour is due therefore not to the dance, but to the waiting, in a long line for horseless vehicles of unconscionable size. The modern world has clearly done nothing for transport. P.S. Managed to avoid the hoyden Emily Tomkins who has purloined my creation and added things of her own. Nefarious creature." "With gratitude and apologies to Miss Austen, thank you.
Emma Thompson (The Sense and Sensibility Screenplay and Diaries: Bringing Jane Austen's Novel to Film)
Worship gatherings are not always spectacular, but they are always supernatural. And if a church looks for or works for the spectacular, she may miss the supernatural. If a person enters a gathering to be wowed with something impressive, with a style that fits him just right, with an order of service and song selection designed just the right way, that person may miss the supernatural presence of God. Worship is supernatural whenever people come hungry to respond, react, and receive from God for who He is and what He has done. A church worshipping as a Creature of the Word doesn't show up to perform or be entertained; she comes desperate and needy, thirsty for grace, receiving from the Lord and the body of Christ, and then gratefully receiving what she needs as she offers her praise-the only proper response to the God who saves us.
Matt Chandler (Creature of the Word: The Jesus-Centered Church)
To express oneself fluently involves more than simply speaking the language properly. It includes inflection, voice, posture, gestures, and clothing. All of these elements add up to an individual’s personal expression. They are the elements of style.
Kate Betts
Leonardo became known in Milan not only for his talents but also for his good looks, muscular build, and gentle personal style. “He was a man of outstanding beauty and infinite grace,” Vasari said of him. “He was striking and handsome, and his great presence brought comfort to the most troubled soul.
Walter Isaacson (Leonardo da Vinci)
One falls in love with the embodiment of the values that formed a person’s character, which are reflected in his widest goals or smallest gestures, which create the style of his soul—the individual style of a unique, unrepeatable, irreplaceable consciousness.
Ayn Rand (The Romantic Manifesto)
The cult of self dominates our cultural landscape. This cult has within it the classic traits of psychopaths: superficial charm, grandiosity, and self-importance; a need for constant stimulation, a penchant for lying, deception, and manipulation, and the inability to feel remorse or guilt. This is, of course, the ethic promoted by corporations. It is the ethic of unfettered capitalism. It is the misguided belief that personal style and personal advancement, mistaken for individualism, are the same as democratic equality. In fact, personal style, defined by the commodities we buy or consume, has become a compensation for our loss of democratic equality. We have a right, in the cult of the self, to get whatever we desire. We can do anything, even belittle and destroy those around us, including our friends, to make money, to be happy, and to become famous. Once fame and wealth are achieved, they become their own justification, their own morality. How one gets there is irrelevant. Once you get there, those questions are no longer asked.
Chris Hedges (Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle)
The way we were first loved and the ways we have been loved ever since form our definition of what love means to us. Some people really feel loved when someone gives them a gift. Others experience it when people stand up for them. Still others feel loved when someone goes the extra mile to help them. If our mother showed love by holding us in our pain or joy, without engulfing or controlling us, that will be the behavior that always feels like love to us. We feel love now as we first received it; we give love the way others gave it to us. Thus, since love is unique to each person, we read and write love, receive and give it, in the style designed by our past experience. Yet, like good handwriting, our unique signature can be read by others.
David Richo (How to Be an Adult in Love: Letting Love in Safely and Showing It Recklessly)
…But sometimes a person begins with opinions and judgments and valid criticisms, but then things creep in that have nothing to do with forming opinions, and then it’s all over with strict logic, and what you end up with is an absurd world republic and beautiful style.
Thomas Mann (The Magic Mountain)
From that original perception of the Indians as the originators of the American style of speech had come an expansion: The Indians were the originators of the American style of life. The American personality is a mixture of European and Indian values. When you see this you begin to see a lot of things that have never been explained before.
Robert M. Pirsig (Lila: An Inquiry Into Morals)
A writer's style should be direct and personal, his imagery rich and earthy, and his words simple and vigorous. The greatest writers have the gift of brilliant brevity, are hard workers, diligent scholars and competent stylists.
Ernest Hemingway
Our nonverbal behavior (including posture) gives away our inner personality and reflects our inner attitude.
Cindy Ann Peterson (My Style, My Way: Top Experts Reveal How to Create Yours Today)
The key to dressing with purpose is to understand how to use your personal colors, style, body shape, and proportion to achieve your personal goals and objectives.
Cindy Ann Peterson (My Style, My Way: Top Experts Reveal How to Create Yours Today)
Why live my personal values at work? This is an excellent question to ask. If your attorneys are planning an insanity defense.
Stan Slap
Let’s get right on top of the bottom line: You must live your personal values at work.
Stan Slap
The myth of management is that your personal values are irrelevant or inappropriate at work.
Stan Slap
Linguistic research has shown that the passive construction has a number of indispensable functions because of the way it engages a reader’s attention and memory.
Steven Pinker (The Sense of Style: The Thinking Person's Guide to Writing in the 21st Century)
Like the one-sentence paragraph, the second-person point of view can also make us suspect that style is being used as a substitute for content.
Francine Prose (Reading Like a Writer: A Guide for People Who Love Books and for Those Who Want to Write Them)
Bill is a fiction writer, but he writes in the first-person voice in a style that is tell-all confessional; in fact, his fiction sounds as much like a memoir as he can make it sound.
John Irving (In One Person)
According to the English scholar Richard Lloyd-Jones, some of the clay tablets deciphered from ancient Sumerian include complaints about the deteriorating writing skills of the young.
Steven Pinker (The Sense of Style: The Thinking Person's Guide to Writing in the 21st Century)
We can conclude from this that we are drawn to call something beautiful whenever we detect that it contains in a concentrated form those qualities in which we personally, or our societies more generally, are deficient. We respect a style which can move us away from what we fear and towards what we crave: a style which carries the correct dosage of our missing virtues.
Alain de Botton (The Architecture of Happiness)
Keep creating new chapters in your personal book and never stop re-inventing and perfecting yourself. Try new things. Pick up new hobbies and books. Travel and explore other cultures. Never stay in the same city or state for more than five years of your life. There are many heavens on earth waiting for you to discover. Seek out people with beautiful hearts and minds, not those with just beautiful style and bodies. The first kind will forever remain beautiful to you, while the other will grow stale and ugly. Learn a new language at least twice. Change your career at least thrice, and change your location often. Like all creatures in the wild, we were designed to keep moving. When a snake sheds its old skin, it becomes a more refined creature. Never stop refining and re-defining yourself. We are all beautiful instruments of God. He created many notes in music so we would not be stuck playing the same song. Be music always. Keep changing the keys, tones, pitch, and volume of each of the songs you create along your journey and play on. Nobody will ever reach ultimate perfection in this lifetime, but trying to achieve it is a full-time job. Start now and don't stop. Make your book of life a musical. Never abandon obligations, but have fun leaving behind a colorful legacy. Never allow anybody to be the composer of your own destiny. Take control of your life, and never allow limitations implanted by society, tell you how your music is supposed to sound — or how your book is supposed to be written.
Suzy Kassem (Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem)
When you redefine something, you stretch your perception and open your mind to new ideas. You discover new meanings and get to see your previous style, behaviors, or beliefs from an expanded vantage point. Consider new options which would make your life more meaningful, bring more fulfilment, and encourage you to shine.
Susan C. Young
DURING THE COURSE of his long and distinguished career, the Irish poet W. B. Yeats often changed his themes, style, and personal philosophy, sometimes leaving behind the audience he had cultivated. When he was upbraided for this confusing constancy of change, he replied: The friends have it I do wrong Whenever I remake my song Should know what issue is at stake. It is myself that I remake.54
James Hollis (Finding Meaning in the Second Half of Life: How to Finally, Really Grow Up)
How well I would write if I were not here! If between the white page and the writing of words and stories that take shape and disappear without anyone's ever writing them there were not interposed that uncomfortable partition which is my person! Style, taste, individual philosophy, subjectivity, cultural background, real experience, psychology, talent, tricks of the trade: all the elements that make what I write recognizable as mine seem to me a cage that restricts my possibilities. If I were only a hand, a severed hand that grasps a pen and writes...who would move this hand? The anonymous throng? The spirit of the times? The collective unconscious? I do not know.
Italo Calvino (If on a Winter's Night a Traveler)
most cherished desires of present-day Westerners are shaped by romantic, nationalist, capitalist and humanist myths that have been around for centuries. Friends giving advice often tell each other, ‘Follow your heart.’ But the heart is a double agent that usually takes its instructions from the dominant myths of the day, and the very recommendation to ‘follow your heart’ was implanted in our minds by a combination of nineteenth-century Romantic myths and twentieth-century consumerist myths. The Coca-Cola Company, for example, has marketed Diet Coke around the world under the slogan ‘Diet Coke. Do what feels good.’ Even what people take to be their most personal desires are usually programmed by the imagined order. Let’s consider, for example, the popular desire to take a holiday abroad. There is nothing natural or obvious about this. A chimpanzee alpha male would never think of using his power in order to go on holiday into the territory of a neighbouring chimpanzee band. The elite of ancient Egypt spent their fortunes building pyramids and having their corpses mummified, but none of them thought of going shopping in Babylon or taking a skiing holiday in Phoenicia. People today spend a great deal of money on holidays abroad because they are true believers in the myths of romantic consumerism. Romanticism tells us that in order to make the most of our human potential we must have as many different experiences as we can. We must open ourselves to a wide spectrum of emotions; we must sample various kinds of relationships; we must try different cuisines; we must learn to appreciate different styles of music. One of the best ways to do all that is to break free from our daily routine, leave behind our familiar setting, and go travelling in distant lands, where we can ‘experience’ the culture, the smells, the tastes and the norms of other people. We hear again and again the romantic myths about ‘how a new experience opened my eyes and changed my life’. Consumerism tells us that in order to be happy we must consume as many products and services as possible. If we feel that something is missing or not quite right, then we probably need to buy a product (a car, new clothes, organic food) or a service (housekeeping, relationship therapy, yoga classes). Every television commercial is another little legend about how consuming some product or service will make life better. 18. The Great Pyramid of Giza. The kind of thing rich people in ancient Egypt did with their money. Romanticism, which encourages variety, meshes perfectly with consumerism. Their marriage has given birth to the infinite ‘market of experiences’, on which the modern tourism industry is founded. The tourism industry does not sell flight tickets and hotel bedrooms. It sells experiences. Paris is not a city, nor India a country – they are both experiences, the consumption of which is supposed to widen our horizons, fulfil our human potential, and make us happier. Consequently, when the relationship between a millionaire and his wife is going through a rocky patch, he takes her on an expensive trip to Paris. The trip is not a reflection of some independent desire, but rather of an ardent belief in the myths of romantic consumerism. A wealthy man in ancient Egypt would never have dreamed of solving a relationship crisis by taking his wife on holiday to Babylon. Instead, he might have built for her the sumptuous tomb she had always wanted. Like the elite of ancient Egypt, most people in most cultures dedicate their lives to building pyramids. Only the names, shapes and sizes of these pyramids change from one culture to the other. They may take the form, for example, of a suburban cottage with a swimming pool and an evergreen lawn, or a gleaming penthouse with an enviable view. Few question the myths that cause us to desire the pyramid in the first place.
Yuval Noah Harari (Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind)
Gratuitous redundancy makes prose difficult not just because readers have to duplicate the effort of figuring something out, but because they naturally assume that when a writer says two things she means two things, and fruitlessly search for the nonexistent second point.
Steven Pinker (The Sense of Style: The Thinking Person's Guide to Writing in the 21st Century)
You may find that part of your personal style comes from the culture where you spent the first years of your life, another from the culture where you attended college and held your first job, another from your father’s culture, and still another from your mother’s culture.
Erin Meyer (The Culture Map: Breaking Through the Invisible Boundaries of Global Business)
Since this often seems to come up in discussions of the radical style, I'll mention one other gleaning from my voyages. Beware of Identity politics. I'll rephrase that: have nothing to do with identity politics. I remember very well the first time I heard the saying "The Personal Is Political." It began as a sort of reaction to defeats and downturns that followed 1968: a consolation prize, as you might say, for people who had missed that year. I knew in my bones that a truly Bad Idea had entered the discourse. Nor was I wrong. People began to stand up at meetings and orate about how they 'felt', not about what or how they thought, and about who they were rather than what (if anything) they had done or stood for. It became the replication in even less interesting form of the narcissism of the small difference, because each identity group begat its sub-groups and "specificities." This tendency has often been satirised—the overweight caucus of the Cherokee transgender disabled lesbian faction demands a hearing on its needs—but never satirised enough. You have to have seen it really happen. From a way of being radical it very swiftly became a way of being reactionary; the Clarence Thomas hearings demonstrated this to all but the most dense and boring and selfish, but then, it was the dense and boring and selfish who had always seen identity politics as their big chance. Anyway, what you swiftly realise if you peek over the wall of your own immediate neighbourhood or environment, and travel beyond it, is, first, that we have a huge surplus of people who wouldn't change anything about the way they were born, or the group they were born into, but second that "humanity" (and the idea of change) is best represented by those who have the wit not to think, or should I say feel, in this way.
Christopher Hitchens (Letters to a Young Contrarian)
I personally like being unique. I like being my own person with my own style and my own opinion and my own toothbrush. I think it's so much better to stand out in some way and to set yourself apart from the masses. It would be so boring to look out into the world and see hundreds of people who look and think exactly like me. If I wanted that, I could just sit in front of a mirror and admire my own reflection all day.
Ellen DeGeneres
Her décor style matches her schizophrenic personality to perfection. A combination of Barbie meets Marilyn Manson. She’s the only person I know who can pull off pink combat boots, black nail polish, and dark black smoky eyeliner with a pink sundress and have it look adorably sexy.
Randi Cooley Wilson (Revelation (The Revelation, #1))
You are one of the few successful persons I know." "Me? Why?" "You know precisely what you are doing and you do it well." "But I don't really do much of anything." "And of course the quantity means nothing to you, nor the weight others place upon your actions. In my eyes, that makes you a success." "By not giving a damn? But I do, you know." "Of course you do, of course you do! But it is a matter of style, an awareness of choice—
Roger Zelazny (Doorways in the Sand)
Exactly, I repeated myself. I believe we do it all the time. We always take up certain elements again. How can it be avoided? An actor’s voice always has the same timbre and, consequently, he repeats himself. It is the same for a singer, a painter…There are always certain things that come back, for they are part of one’s personality, of one’s style. If these things didn’t come into play, a personality would be so complex that it would become impossible to identify it. It is not my intention to repeat myself, but in my work there should certainly be references to what I have done in the past. Say what you will, but The Trial is the best film I ever made…I have never been so happy as when I made this film. (talking about directing, The Trial (1962) - from Orson Welles: Interviews (book))
Orson Welles
With every clash, the anxious person loses more ground: During bitter fights between anxious and avoidant partners, when there are no secure checks and balances in place, people with anxious attachment style tend to get overwhelmed by negative emotions. When they feel hurt, they talk, think, and act in an extreme manner, even to the point of threatening to leave (protest behavior). However, once they calm down, they become flooded with positive memories and are then overcome with regret. They reach out to their partner in an attempt to reconcile. But they are often met with a hostile response, because avoidants react differently to a fight. They
Amir Levine (Attached: The New Science of Adult Attachment and How It Can Help You Find—and Keep—Love)
Personally I like the English style better. It is not quite so brittle, and the people as a rule, just wear clothes and drink drinks. There is more sense of background, as if Cheesecake Manor really existed all around and not just the part the camera sees; there are more long walks over the Downs and the characters don’t all try to behave as if they had just been tested by MGM. The English may not always be the best writers in the world, but they are incomparably the best dull writers.
Raymond Chandler (The Simple Art of Murder)
When we enter into a relationship, we want to matter to our partner, to be visible and important....We want to know our efforts are noticed and appreciated. We want to know our relationship is regarded as important by our partner and will not be relegated to second or third place because of a competing person, task, or thing.
Stan Tatkin (Wired for Love: How Understanding Your Partner's Brain and Attachment Style Can Help You Defuse Conflict and Build a Secure Relationship)
Patients must be willing to give up their maladaptive coping styles in order to change. For example, patients who continue surrendering to the schema—by remaining in destructive relationships or by not setting limits in their personal or work lives -perpetuate the schema and are not able to make significant progress in therapy.
Jeffrey E. Young (Schema Therapy: A Practitioner's Guide)
It's a physical sickness. Etienne. How much I love him. I love Etienne. I love it when he cocks an eyebrow whenever I say something he finds clever or amusing. I love listening to his boots clomp across my bedroom ceiling. I love that the accent over his first name is called an acute accent, and that he has a cute accent. I love that. I love sitting beside him in physics. Brushing against him during lands. His messy handwriting on our worksheets. I love handing him his backpack when class is over,because then my fingers smell like him for the next ten minutes. And when Amanda says something lame, and he seeks me out to exchange an eye roll-I love that,too. I love his boyish laugh and his wrinkled shirts and his ridiculous knitted hat. I love his large brown eyes,and the way he bites his nails,and I love his hair so much I could die. There's only one thing I don't love about him. Her. If I didn't like Ellie before,it's nothing compared to how I feel now. It doesn't matter that I can count how many times we've met on one hand. It's that first image, that's what I can't shake. Under the streeplamp. Her fingers in his hair. Anytime I'm alone, my mind wanders back to that night. I take it further. She touches his chest. I take it further.His bedroom.He slips off her dress,their lips lock, their bodies press,and-oh my God-my temperature rises,and my stomach is sick. I fantasize about their breakup. How he could hurt her,and she could hurt him,and of all the ways I could hurt her back. I want to grab her Parisian-styled hair and yank it so hard it rips from her skull. I want to sink my claws into her eyeballs and scrape. It turns out I am not a nice person. Etienne and I rarely discussed her before, but she's completely taboo now. Which tortures me, because since we've gotten back from winter break, they seem to be having problems again. Like an obsessed stalker,I tally the evenings he spend with me versus the evening he spends with her. I'm winning.
Stephanie Perkins (Anna and the French Kiss (Anna and the French Kiss, #1))
Kierkegaard gives us some portrait sketches of the styles of denying possibility, or the lies of character-which is the same thing. He is intent on describing what we today call "inauthentic" men, men who avoid developing their own uniqueness; they follow out the styles of automatic and uncritical living in which they were conditioned as children. They are "inauthentic" in that they do not belong to themselves, are not "their own" person, do not act from their own center, do not see reality on its terms; they are the one-dimensional men totally immersed in the fictional games being played in their society, unable to transcend their social conditioning: the corporation men in the West, the bureaucrats in the East, the tribal men locked up in tradition-man everywhere who doesn't understand what it means to think for himself and who, if he did, would shrink back at the idea of such audacity and exposure.
Ernest Becker (The Denial of Death)
The best sentences orient us, like stars in the sky, like landmarks on a trail. They remain the test, whether or not to read something. The most compelling narrative, expressed in sentences with which I have no chemical reaction, or an adverse one, leaves me cold. In fiction, plenty do the job of conveying information, rousing suspense, painting characters, enabling them to speak. But only certain sentences breathe and shift about, like live matter in soil. The first sentence of a book is a handshake, perhaps an embrace. Style and personality are irrelevant. They can be formal or casual. They can be tall or short or fat or thin. They can obey the rules or break them. But they need to contain a charge. A live current, which shocks and illuminates.
Jhumpa Lahiri
Anyone can be a great negotiator, I told them, and in fact it often pays to be quiet and gracious, to listen more than talk, and to have an instinct for harmony rather than conflict. With this style, you can take aggressive positions without inflaming your counterpart’s ego. And by listening, you can learn what’s truly motivating the person you’re negotiating with and come up with creative solutions that satisfy both parties.
Susan Cain (Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking)
This has been a novel about some people who were punished entirely too much for what they did. They wanted to have a good time, but they were like children playing in the street; they could see one after another of them being killed--run over, maimed, destroyed--but they continued to play anyhow. We really all were very happy for a while, sitting around not toiling but just bullshitting and playing, but it was for such a terrible brief time, and then the punishment was beyond belief: even when we could see it, we could not believe it. For example, while I was writing this I learned that the person on whom the character Jerry Fabin is based killed himself. My friend on whom I based the character Ernie Luckman died before I began the novel. For a while I myself was one of these children playing in the street; I was, like the rest of them, trying to play instead of being grown up, and I was punished. I am on the list below, which is a list of those to whom this novel is dedicated, and what became of each. Drug misuse is not a disease, it is a decision, like the decision to step out in front of a moving car. You would call that not a disease but an error in judgment. When a bunch of people begin to do it, it is a social error,a life-style. In this particular life-style the motto is "Be happy now because tomorrow you are dying," but the dying begins almost at once, and the happiness is a memory. It is, then, only a speeding up, an intensifying, of the ordinary human existence. It is not different from your life-style, it is only faster. It all takes place in days or weeks or months instead of years. "Take the cash and let the credit go," as Villon said in 1460. But that is a mistake if the cash is a penny and the credit a whole lifetime. There is no moral in this novel; it is not bourgeois; it does not say they were wrong to play when they should have toiled;it just tells what the consequences were. In Greek drama they were beginning, as a society, to discover science, which means causal law. Here in this novel there is Nemesis: not fate, because any one of us could have chosen to stop playing in the street, but, as I narrate from the deepest part of my life and heart, a dreadful Nemesis for those who kept on playing. I myself,I am not a character in this novel; I am the novel. So, though, was our entire nation at this time. This novel is about more people than I knew personally. Some we all read about in the newspapers. It was, this sitting around with our buddies and bullshitting while making tape recordings, the bad decision of the decade, the sixties, both in and out of the establishment. And nature cracked down on us. We were forced to stop by things dreadful. If there was any "sin," it was that these people wanted to keep on having a good time forever, and were punished for that, but, as I say, I feel that, if so, the punishment was far too great, and I prefer to think of it only in a Greek or morally neutral way, as mere science, as deterministic impartial cause-and-effect. I loved them all. Here is the list, to whom I dedicate my love: To Gaylene deceased To Ray deceased To Francy permanent psychosis To Kathy permanent brain damage To Jim deceased To Val massive permanent brain damage To Nancy permanent psychosis To Joanne permanent brain damage To Maren deceased To Nick deceased To Terry deceased To Dennis deceased To Phil permanent pancreatic damage To Sue permanent vascular damage To Jerri permanent psychosis and vascular damage . . . and so forth. In Memoriam. These were comrades whom I had; there are no better. They remain in my mind, and the enemy will never be forgiven. The "enemy" was their mistake in playing. Let them all play again, in some other way, and let them be happy.
Philip K. Dick (A Scanner Darkly)
The all-powerful Zahir seemed to be born with every human being and to gain full strength in childhood, imposing rules that would thereafter always be respected: People who are different are dangerous; they belong to another tribe; they want our lands and our women. We must marry, have children, reproduce the species. Love is only a small thing, enough for one person, and any suggestion that the heart might be larger than this may seem perverse. When we are married we are authorised to take possession of the other person, body and soul. We must do jobs we detest because we are part of an organised society, and if everyone did what they wanted to do, the world would come to a standstill. We must buy jewelry; it identifies us with our tribe. We must be amusing at all times and sneer at those who express their real feelings; it's dangerous for a tribe to allow its members to show their feelings. We must at all costs avoid saying no because people prefer those who always say yes, and this allows us to survive in hostile territory. What other people think is more important than what we feel. Never make a fuss--it might attract the attention of an enemy tribe. If you behave differently you will be expelled from the tribe because you could infect others and destroy something that was extremely difficult to organise in the first place. We must always consider the look of our new cave, and if we don't have a clear idea of our own, then we must call a decorator who will do his best to show others what good taste we have. We must eat three meals a day, even if we're not hungry, and when we fail to fit the current ideal of beauty we must fast, even if we're starving. We must dress according to the dictates of fashion, make love whether we feel like it or not, kill in the name of our country, wish time away so that retirement comes more quickly, elect politicians, complain about the cost of living, change our hair-style, criticise anyone who is different, go to a religious service on Sunday, Saturday or Friday, depending on our religion, and there beg forgiveness for our sins and puff ourselves up with pride because we know the truth and despise he other tribe, who worship false gods. Our children must follow in our footsteps; after all we are older and know more about the world. We must have a university degree even if we never get a job in the area of knowledge we were forced to study. We must never make our parents sad, even if this means giving up everything that makes us happy. We must play music quietly, talk quietly, weep in private, because I am the all-powerful Zahir, who lays down the rules and determines the meaning of success, the best way to love, the importance of rewards.
Paulo Coelho (The Zahir)
We have often heard that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. This is usually taken to mean that the sense of beauty is utterly subjective; there is no accounting for taste because each person's taste is different. The statement has another, more subtle meaning: if our style of looking become beautiful, then beauty will become visible and shine forth for us. We will be surprised to discover beauty in unexpected places where the ungraceful eye would never linger. The graced eye can glimpse beauty anywhere, for beauty does not reserve itself for special elite moments or instances; it does not wait for perfection but is present already secretly in everything. When we beautify our gaze, the grace of hidden beauty becomes our joy and our sanctuary.
John O'Donohue (Beauty: The Invisible Embrace)
Hitherto, the Palestinians had been relatively immune to this Allahu Akhbar style. I thought this was a hugely retrograde development. I said as much to Edward. To reprint Nazi propaganda and to make a theocratic claim to Spanish soil was to be a protofascist and a supporter of 'Caliphate' imperialism: it had nothing at all to do with the mistreatment of the Palestinians. Once again, he did not exactly disagree. But he was anxious to emphasize that the Israelis had often encouraged Hamas as a foil against Fatah and the PLO. This I had known since seeing the burning out of leftist Palestinians by Muslim mobs in Gaza as early as 1981. Yet once again, it seemed Edward could only condemn Islamism if it could somehow be blamed on either Israel or the United States or the West, and not as a thing in itself. He sometimes employed the same sort of knight's move when discussing other Arabist movements, excoriating Saddam Hussein's Ba'ath Party, for example, mainly because it had once enjoyed the support of the CIA. But when Saddam was really being attacked, as in the case of his use of chemical weapons on noncombatants at Halabja, Edward gave second-hand currency to the falsified story that it had 'really' been the Iranians who had done it. If that didn't work, well, hadn't the United States sold Saddam the weaponry in the first place? Finally, and always—and this question wasn't automatically discredited by being a change of subject—what about Israel's unwanted and ugly rule over more and more millions of non-Jews? I evolved a test for this mentality, which I applied to more people than Edward. What would, or did, the relevant person say when the United States intervened to stop the massacres and dispossessions in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Kosovo? Here were two majority-Muslim territories and populations being vilely mistreated by Orthodox and Catholic Christians. There was no oil in the region. The state interests of Israel were not involved (indeed, Ariel Sharon publicly opposed the return of the Kosovar refugees to their homes on the grounds that it set an alarming—I want to say 'unsettling'—precedent). The usual national-security 'hawks,' like Henry Kissinger, were also strongly opposed to the mission. One evening at Edward's apartment, with the other guest being the mercurial, courageous Azmi Bishara, then one of the more distinguished Arab members of the Israeli parliament, I was finally able to leave the arguing to someone else. Bishara [...] was quite shocked that Edward would not lend public support to Clinton for finally doing the right thing in the Balkans. Why was he being so stubborn? I had begun by then—belatedly you may say—to guess. Rather like our then-friend Noam Chomsky, Edward in the final instance believed that if the United States was doing something, then that thing could not by definition be a moral or ethical action.
Christopher Hitchens (Hitch 22: A Memoir)
From the moment I enter a room, I am clear about how I intend to be treated and how I intend to engage. I do not tell self-deprecating jokes about my race or gender, though I will do so about my personal idiosyncrasies. I can be charmingly humble or playfully self-effacing without pandering to stereotypes in order to make others comfortable. For example, my attire, my hairstyle, even my presentation style, reflect me rather than aping the behavior of others. I know that when I offer criticism of men in the workplace, I may be seen as a man-hater. I know because I am not married, I may be seen as a lesbian. I know because I will never be less than curvaceous and wear my hair natural
Stacey Abrams (Minority Leader: How to Lead from the Outside and Make Real Change)
We have gone sick by following a path of untrammelled rationalism, male dominance, attention to the visible surface of things, practicality, bottom-line-ism. We have gone very, very sick. And the body politic, like any body, when it feels itself to be sick, it begins to produce antibodies, or strategies for overcoming the condition of dis-ease. And the 20th century is an enormous effort at self-healing. Phenomena as diverse as surrealism, body piercing, psychedelic drug use, sexual permissiveness, jazz, experimental dance, rave culture, tattooing, the list is endless. What do all these things have in common? They represent various styles of rejection of linear values. The society is trying to cure itself by an archaic revival, by a reversion to archaic values. So when I see people manifesting sexual ambiguity, or scarifying themselves, or showing a lot of flesh, or dancing to syncopated music, or getting loaded, or violating ordinary canons of sexual behaviour, I applaud all of this; because it's an impulse to return to what is felt by the body -- what is authentic, what is archaic -- and when you tease apart these archaic impulses, at the very centre of all these impulses is the desire to return to a world of magical empowerment of feeling. And at the centre of that impulse is the shaman: stoned, intoxicated on plants, speaking with the spirit helpers, dancing in the moonlight, and vivifying and invoking a world of conscious, living mystery. That's what the world is. The world is not an unsolved problem for scientists or sociologists. The world is a living mystery: our birth, our death, our being in the moment -- these are mysteries. They are doorways opening on to unimaginable vistas of self-exploration, empowerment and hope for the human enterprise. And our culture has killed that, taken it away from us, made us consumers of shoddy products and shoddier ideals. We have to get away from that; and the way to get away from it is by a return to the authentic experience of the body -- and that means sexually empowering ourselves, and it means getting loaded, exploring the mind as a tool for personal and social transformation. The hour is late; the clock is ticking; we will be judged very harshly if we fumble the ball. We are the inheritors of millions and millions of years of successfully lived lives and successful adaptations to changing conditions in the natural world. Now the challenge passes to us, the living, that the yet-to-be-born may have a place to put their feet and a sky to walk under; and that's what the psychedelic experience is about, is caring for, empowering, and building a future that honours the past, honours the planet and honours the power of the human imagination. There is nothing as powerful, as capable of transforming itself and the planet, as the human imagination. Let's not sell it straight. Let's not whore ourselves to nitwit ideologies. Let's not give our control over to the least among us. Rather, you know, claim your place in the sun and go forward into the light. The tools are there; the path is known; you simply have to turn your back on a culture that has gone sterile and dead, and get with the programme of a living world and a re-empowerment of the imagination. Thank you very, very much.
Terence McKenna (The Archaic Revival)
Arguably the mos intriguing characteristic assessed by the Multidimensional Personality Questionnaire (MPQ), a widely used test developed by the University of Minnesota's eminent psychologist Auke Tellegen, is "absorption," which describes a particular style of focusing. If you get a high score in this trait, you're naturally inclined toward what he calls a "respondent" or "experiential" way of focusing.
Winifred Gallagher
Third, don’t confuse an anecdote or a personal experience with the state of the world. Just because something happened to you, or you read about it in the paper or on the Internet this morning, it doesn’t mean it is a trend. In a world of seven billion people, just about anything will happen to someone somewhere, and it’s the highly unusual events that will be selected for the news or passed along to friends. An event is a significant phenomenon only if it happens some appreciable number of times relative to the opportunities for it to occur, and it is a trend only if that proportion has been shown to change over time.
Steven Pinker (The Sense of Style: The Thinking Person's Guide to Writing in the 21st Century)
We each have our own language. Our own way of thinking, of talking to ourselves, of making sense of the world and putting it in order. A narration style that is ours and ours alone. That's why some of us connect and some of us don't. Because even though we can only live in our own heads, sometimes - every now and then - we meet a person we can talk to without speaking at all: whose story we can read, without even trying.
Holly Smale (Sunny Side Up (Geek Girl))
I love this book. When other U.S. reporters were licking Ken Lay's loafers, Leopold went for Enron's thieving throat. Leopold is a journalist who insists on real investigative reporting–inside documents, inside sources, hard knife-in-the-gut evidence–detective-style reporting that is just about illegal in the U.S.A. Bravo and my personal Pulitzer to Jason Leopold. Every journalist in America should read this, then quit or riot.
Greg Palast
One of the methods of manipulation is to inoculate individuals with the bourgeois appetite for personal success. This manipulation is sometimes carried out directly by the elites and sometimes indirectly, through populist leaders. As Weffert points out, these leaders serve as intermediaries between the oligarchical elites and the people. The emergence of populism as a style of political action thus coincides causally with the emergence of the oppressed.
Paulo Freire (Pedagogy of the Oppressed)
The cognitive difference between believing that a proposition is true (which requires no work beyond understanding it) and believing that it is false (which requires adding and remembering a mental tag) has enormous implications for a writer. The most obvious is that a negative statement such as The king is not dead is harder on the reader than an affirmative one like The king is alive.20 Every negation requires mental homework, and when a sentence contains many of them the reader can be overwhelmed. Even worse, a sentence can have more negations than you think it does.
Steven Pinker (The Sense of Style: The Thinking Person's Guide to Writing in the 21st Century)
When you see runners in town, it's easy to distinguish beginners from veterans. Their hearts, lost in thought, slowly tick away time. When we pass each other on the road, we listen to the rhythm of each other's breathing, and sense the way the other person is ticking away the moments. Much like two writers perceive each other's diction and style.
Haruki Murakami (What I Talk About When I Talk About Running)
The acquisition of knowledge from books provides an experience different from the Internet. Reading is relatively time-consuming; to ease the process, style is important. Because it is not possible to read all books on a given subject, much less the totality of all books, or to organize easily everything one has read, learning from books places a premium on conceptual thinking—the ability to recognize comparable data and events and project patterns into the future. And style propels the reader into a relationship with the author, or with the subject matter, by fusing substance and aesthetics. Traditionally, another way of acquiring knowledge has been through personal conversations. The discussion and exchange of ideas has for millennia provided an emotional and psychological dimension in addition to the factual content of the information exchanged. It supplies intangibles of conviction and personality. Now the culture of texting produces a curious reluctance to engage in face-to-face interaction, especially on a one-to-one basis.
Henry Kissinger (World Order: Reflections on the Character of Nations and the Course of History)
According to the biographical notes, Monsieur Julian Carax was twenty-seven, born with the century in Barcelona, and currently living in Paris; he wrote in French and worked at night as a professional pianist in a hostess bar. The blurb, written in the pompous, moldy style of the age, proclaimed that this was a first work of dazzling courage, the mark of a protean and trailblazing talent, and a sign of hope for the future of all of European letters. In spite of such solemn claims, the synopsis that followed suggested that the story contained some vaguely sinister elements slowly marinated in saucy melodrama, which, to the eyes of Monsieur Roquefort, was always a plus: after the classics what he most enjoyed were tales of crime, boudoir intrigue, and questionable conduct. One of the pitfalls of childhood is that one doesn't have to understand something to feel it. By the time the mind is able to comprehend what has happened, the wounds of the heart are already too deep. She laughed nervously. She had around her a burning aura of loneliness. "You remind me a bit of Julian," she said suddenly. "The way you look and your gestures. He used to do what you are doing now. He would stare at you without saying a word, and you wouldn't know what he was thinking, and so, like an idiot, you'd tell him things it would have been better to keep to yourself." "Someone once said that the moment you stop to think about whether you love someone, you've already stopped loving that person forever." I gulped down the last of my coffee and looked at her for a few moments without saying anything. I thought about how much I wanted to lose myself in those evasive eyes. I thought about the loneliness that would take hold of me that night when I said good-bye to her, once I had run out of tricks or stories to make her stay with me any longer. I thought about how little I had to offer her and how much I wanted from her. "You women listen more to your heart and less to all the nonsense," the hatter concluded sadly. "That's why you live longer." But the years went by in peace. Time goes faster the more hollow it is. Lives with no meaning go straight past you, like trains that don't stop at your station.
Carlos Ruiz Zafón (The Shadow of the Wind (The Cemetery of Forgotten Books, #1))
The guiding metaphor of classic style is seeing the world. The writer can see something that the reader has not yet noticed, and he orients the reader’s gaze so that she can see it for herself. The purpose of writing is presentation, and its motive is disinterested truth. It succeeds when it aligns language with the truth, the proof of success being clarity and simplicity. The truth can be known, and is not the same as the language that reveals it; prose is a window onto the world. The writer knows the truth before putting it into words; he is not using the occasion of writing to sort out what he thinks. Nor does the writer of classic prose have to argue for the truth; he just needs to present it. That is because the reader is competent and can recognize the truth when she sees it, as long as she is given an unobstructed view. The writer and the reader are equals, and the process of directing the reader’s gaze takes the form of a conversation.
Steven Pinker (The Sense of Style: The Thinking Person's Guide to Writing in the 21st Century)
Take more selfies. Not because you need validation or likes or comments. but because you are here on this earth. Alive and holy and true. And yes, your beauty deserves to be seen and known, most especially by you. You are worthy of being the subject of your own art. It is okay to capture the process of your own becoming. To be your own kind and gentle and fierce witness. To learn the truth of your eyes and your skin and your bones. To choose to show what wants to be shown, to name what wishes to be named, to claim ownership of the story that is told about you by being the one to tell it. Dear girl. YOU are the greatest art you will ever create. The masterpiece. The magnum opus. You’re it. However you want to be. Look at yourself now, miracle that you are, look at yourself and soak in the wonder, until you no longer want to look away.
Jeanette LeBlanc
I hadn't met a lot of openly queer people before. There'd been a crowd of people at school who Pip hung out with with from time to time, but there could only have been about seven or eight of them, max. I don't know what I expected. There was no particular type of person, no particular style or look. But they were all so friendly. There were a few obvious friendship groups, but mostly, people were happy to chat to whoever. They were all just themselves. I don't know how to explain it. There was no pretending. No hiding. No faking. In this little restaurant hidden away in the old streets of Durham, a bunch of queer people could all show up and just be. I don't think I'd understood what that was like until that moment.
Alice Oseman (Loveless)
Personally, I don’t mind being corrected, even when I’m right. It’s nice to know that people are paying attention. But when I am corrected, I prefer it to be in the style of Lieutenant Dixon. He didn’t scold the GI for confusing Mozart with Beethoven. He wasn’t haughty, pedantic, or disappointed. His words came with no apologies, no exclamation points, and no attempt to lord his knowledge over his men. In fact, if you YouTube the scene, you’ll see that he barely glances at the man he corrects. He simply rectifies the situation definitively while remaining focused on the final few measures of Beethoven’s movement.
Mike Rowe (The Way I Heard It)
Jubal shrugged. "Abstract design is all right-for wall paper or linoleum. But art is the process of evoking pity and terror, which is not abstract at all but very human. What the self-styled modern artists are doing is a sort of unemotional pseudo-intellectual masturbation. . . whereas creative art is more like intercourse, in which the artist must seduce- render emotional-his audience, each time. These ladies who won't deign to do that- and perhaps can't- of course lost the public. If they hadn't lobbied for endless subsidies, they would have starved or been forced to go to work long ago. Because the ordinary bloke will not voluntarily pay for 'art' that leaves him unmoved- if he does pay for it, the money has to be conned out of him, by taxes or such." "You know, Jubal, I've always wondered why i didn't give a hoot for paintings or statues- but I thought it was something missing in me, like color blindness." "Mmm, one does have to learn to look at art, just as you must know French to read a story printed in French. But in general terms it's up to the artist to use language that can be understood, not hide it in some private code like Pepys and his diary. Most of these jokers don't even want to use language you and I know or can learn. . . they would rather sneer at us and be smug, because we 'fail' to see what they are driving at. If indeed they are driving at anything- obscurity is usually the refuge of incompetence. Ben, would you call me an artists?” “Huh? Well, I’ve never thought about it. You write a pretty good stick.” “Thank you. ‘Artist’ is a word I avoid for the same reasons I hate to be called ‘Doctor.’ But I am an artist, albeit a minor one. Admittedly most of my stuff is fit to read only once… and not even once for a busy person who already knows the little I have to say. But I am an honest artist, because what I write is consciously intended to reach the customer… reach him and affect him, if possible with pity and terror… or, if not, at least to divert the tedium of his hours with a chuckle or an odd idea. But I am never trying to hide it from him in a private language, nor am I seeking the praise of other writers for ‘technique’ or other balderdash. I want the praise of the cash customer, given in cash because I’ve reached him- or I don’t want anything. Support for the arts- merde! A government-supported artist is an incompetent whore! Damn it, you punched one of my buttons. Let me fill your glass and you tell me what is on your mind.
Robert A. Heinlein (Stranger in a Strange Land)
This is the lesson of all great television commercials: They provide a slogan, a symbol or a focus that creates for viewers a comprehensive and compelling image of themselves. In the shift from party politics to television politics, the same goal is sought. We are not permitted to know who is best at being President or Governor or Senator, but whose image is best in touching and soothing the deep reaches of our discontent. We look at the television screen and ask, in the same voracious way as the Queen in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, "Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the fairest one of all?" We are inclined to vote for those whose personality, family life, and style, as imaged on the screen, give back a better answer than the Queen received. As Xenophanes remarked twenty-five centuries ago, men always make their gods in their own image. But to this, television politics has added a new wrinkle: Those who would be gods refashion themselves into images the viewers would have them be.
Neil Postman (Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business)
But even while Rome is burning, there’s somehow time for shopping at IKEA. Social imperatives are a merciless bitch. Everyone is attempting to buy what no one can sell.  See, when I moved out of the house earlier this week, trawling my many personal belongings in large bins and boxes and fifty-gallon garbage bags, my first inclination was, of course, to purchase the things I still “needed” for my new place. You know, the basics: food, hygiene products, a shower curtain, towels, a bed, and umm … oh, I need a couch and a matching leather chair and a love seat and a lamp and a desk and desk chair and another lamp for over there, and oh yeah don’t forget the sideboard that matches the desk and a dresser for the bedroom and oh I need a coffeetable and a couple end tables and a TV-stand for the TV I still need to buy, and don’t these look nice, whadda you call ’em, throat pillows? Oh, throw pillows. Well that makes more sense. And now that I think about it I’m going to want my apartment to be “my style,” you know: my own motif, so I need certain decoratives to spruce up the decor, but wait, what is my style exactly, and do these stainless-steel picture frames embody that particular style? Does this replica Matisse sketch accurately capture my edgy-but-professional vibe? Exactly how “edgy” am I? What espresso maker defines me as a man? Does the fact that I’m even asking these questions mean I lack the dangling brass pendulum that’d make me a “man’s man”? How many plates/cups/bowls/spoons should a man own? I guess I need a diningroom table too, right? And a rug for the entryway and bathroom rugs (bath mats?) and what about that one thing, that thing that’s like a rug but longer? Yeah, a runner; I need one of those, and I’m also going to need…
Joshua Fields Millburn (Everything That Remains: A Memoir by The Minimalists)
Style is knowing who you are, what you want to say, and not giving a damn.” Gore Vidal (1925- ) - 5-8-89 - “Isn’t that the fuckin’ truth. To have style you have to have those in this order. You’ve got to know who you are before you know what you want to say then not give a damn. But knowing who you are is the base that everything else comes from. I’ve got more style now than ever before but I’m still adding to my style. You know who you are when you become independent enough to believe your own thoughts and become responsible for your actions and you not only “believe” what you want but you live what you believe. LIVE WHAT YOU BELIEVE…“LIVE THE QUESTIONS FIRST, THEN WHAT YOU BELIEVE” (slight changes)…THEN YOU HAVE YOUR OWN PERSONAL STYLE”….. MDM. That was fun
Matthew McConaughey (Greenlights)
Sexism occurs when we assume that some people are less valid or natural than others because of their sex, gender, or sexuality; it occurs when we project our own expectations and assumptions about sex, gender, and sexuality onto other people, and police their behaviors accordingly; it occurs when we reduce another person to their sex, gender, or sexuality rather than seeing them as a whole, legitimate person. That is sexism. And a person is a legitimate feminist when they have made a commitment to challenging sexist double standards wherever and whenever they arise. An individual's personal style, mannerisms, identity, consensual sexual partners, and live choices simply shouldn't factor into it.
Julia Serano (Excluded: Making Feminist and Queer Movements More Inclusive)
We are going to die, and that makes us the lucky ones. Most people are never going to die because they are never going to be born. The potential people who could have been here in my place but who will in fact never see the light of day outnumber the sand grains of Arabia. Certainly those unborn ghosts include greater poets than Keats, scientists greater than Newton. We know this because the set of possible people allowed by our DNA so massively exceeds the set of actual people. In the teeth of these stupefying odds it is you and I, in our ordinariness, that are here.
Steven Pinker (The Sense of Style: The Thinking Person's Guide to Writing in the 21st Century)
Eventually he begins to practice his new signature in the margins of the paper. He tries it in various styles, his hand unaccustomed to the angles of the N, the dotting of the two i's. He wonders how many times he has written his old name, at the top of how many tests and quizzes, how many homework assignments, how many yearbook inscriptions to friends. How many times does a person write his name in a lifetime - a million? Two million?
Jhumpa Lahiri (The Namesake)
I hate when people dismiss the loss of an object because “it’s just a thing.” Things are important. They give comfort, shelter, style, identity. The sum total of your things is a road map of your life. They show where you’ve been, what you accomplished, who you loved, who loved you back. They are an expression of who you are. You can learn a lot about a person by their things. Material things are not what’s most important in life, of course!
Susan Walter (Good as Dead)
He is all my art to me now," said the painter gravely. "I sometimes think, Harry, that there are only two eras of any importance in the world's history. The first is the appearance of a new medium for art, and the second is the appearance of a new personality for art also. What the invention of oil-painting was to the Venetians, the face of Antinous was to late Greek sculpture, and the face of Dorian Gray will some day be to me. It is not merely that I paint from him, draw from him, sketch from him. Of course, I have done all that. But he is much more to me than a model or a sitter. I won't tell you that I am dissatisfied with what I have done of him, or that his beauty is such that art cannot express it. There is nothing that art cannot express, and I know that the work I have done, since I met Dorian Gray, is good work, is the best work of my life. But in some curious way—I wonder will you understand me?—his personality has suggested to me an entirely new manner in art, an entirely new mode of style. I see things differently, I think of them differently. I can now recreate life in a way that was hidden from me before. 'A dream of form in days of thought'—who is it who says that? I forget; but it is what Dorian Gray has been to me. The merely visible presence of this lad—for he seems to me little more than a lad, though he is really over twenty— his merely visible presence—ah! I wonder can you realize all that that means? Unconsciously he defines for me the lines of a fresh school, a school that is to have in it all the passion of the romantic spirit, all the perfection of the spirit that is Greek. The harmony of soul and body— how much that is! We in our madness have separated the two, and have invented a realism that is vulgar, an ideality that is void. Harry! if you only knew what Dorian Gray is to me! You remember that landscape of mine, for which Agnew offered me such a huge price but which I would not part with? It is one of the best things I have ever done. And why is it so? Because, while I was painting it, Dorian Gray sat beside me. Some subtle influence passed from him to me, and for the first time in my life I saw in the plain woodland the wonder I had always looked for and always missed.
Oscar Wilde (The Picture of Dorian Gray)
Literary criticism can be no more than a reasoned account of the feeling produced upon the critic by the book he is criticizing. Criticism can never be a science: it is, in the first place, much too personal, and in the second, it is concerned with values that science ignores. The touchstone is emotion, not reason. We judge a work of art by its effect on our sincere and vital emotion, and nothing else. All the critical twiddle-twaddle about style and form, all this pseudoscientific classifying and analysing of books in an imitation-botanical fashion, is mere impertinence and mostly dull jargon.
D.H. Lawrence
Take the following potent and less-is-more-style argument by the rogue economist Ha-Joon Chang. In 1960 Taiwan had a much lower literacy rate than the Philippines and half the income per person; today Taiwan has ten times the income. At the same time, Korea had a much lower literacy rate than Argentina (which had one of the highest in the world) and about one-fifth the income per person; today it has three times as much. Further, over the same period, sub-Saharan Africa saw markedly increasing literacy rates, accompanied with a decrease in their standard of living. We can multiply the examples (Pritchet’s study is quite thorough), but I wonder why people don’t realize the simple truism, that is, the fooled by randomness effect: mistaking the merely associative for the causal, that is, if rich countries are educated, immediately inferring that education makes a country rich, without even checking. Epiphenomenon here again.
Nassim Nicholas Taleb (Antifragile: Things that Gain from Disorder)
Style still matters, for at least three reasons. First, it ensures that writers will get their message across, sparing readers from squandering their precious moments on earth deciphering opaque prose. When the effort fails, the result can be calamitous-as Strunk and White put it, "death on the highway caused by a badly worded road sign, heartbreak among lovers caused by a misplaced phrase in a well-intentioned letter, anguish of a traveler expecting to be met at a railroad station and not being met because of a slipshod telegram." Governments and corporations have found that small improvements in clarity can prevent vast amounts of error, frustration, and waste, and many countries have recently made clear language the law of the land. Second, style earns trust. If readers can see that a writer cares about consistency and accuracy in her prose, they will be reassured that the writer cares about those virtues in conduct they cannot see as easily. Here is how one technology executive explains why he rejects job applications filled with errors of grammar and punctuation: "If it takes someone more than 20 years to notice how to properly use it's, then that's not a learning curve I'm comfortable with." And if that isn't enough to get you to brush up your prose, consider the discovery of the dating site OkCupid that sloppy grammar and spelling in a profile are "huge turn-offs." As one client said, "If you're trying to date a woman, I don't expect flowery Jane Austen prose. But aren't you trying to put your best foot forward?" Style, not least, adds beauty to the world. To a literate reader, a crisp sentence, an arresting metaphor, a witty aside, an elegant turn of phrase are among life's greatest pleasures. And as we shall see in the first chapter, this thoroughly impractical virtue of good writing is where the practical effort of mastering good writing must begin.
Steven Pinker (The Sense of Style: The Thinking Person's Guide to Writing in the 21st Century)
How well I would write if I were not here! If between the white page and the writing of words and stories that take shape and disappear without anyone's ever writing them there were not interposed that uncomfortable partition which is my person! Style, taste, individual philosophy, subjectivity, cultural background, real experience, psychology, talent, tricks of the trade: all the elements that make what I write recognizable as mine seem to me a cage that restricts my possibilities. If I were only a hand, a severed hand that grasps a pen and writes... Who would move this hand? The anonymous throng? The spirit of the times? The collective unconscious? I do not know. It is not in order to be the spokesman for something definable that I would like to erase myself. Only to transmit the writable that waits to be written, the tellable that nobody tells.
Italo Calvino (If on a Winter's Night a Traveler)
Did you ever ask yourself if each one of us pursued a high educational degree, who would do the skilled manual work? Craftsmanship may not earn us the money we want but that does not mean we should scorn on anyone doing it. We are obliged to be respectful and grateful to anyone using their hands to clean our households, trim our hedges,carpentry our furniture, farm our food, crafts the objects we collect and gift, style our hairs, etc. Next time you encounter a crafts person acknowledge their manual competence.
Gloria D. Gonsalves
The story of the rapper and the story of the hustler are like rap itself, two kinds of rhythm working together, having a conversation with each other, doing more together than they could do apart. It's been said that the thing that makes rap special, that makes it different both from pop music and from written poetry, is that it's built around two kinds of rhythm. The first kind of rhythm is the meter. In poetry, the meter is abstract, but in rap, the meter is something you literally hear: it's the beat. The beat in a song never stops, it never varies. No matter what other sounds are on the track, even if it's a Timbaland production with all kinds of offbeat fills and electronics, a rap song is usually built bar by bar, four-beat measure by four-beat measure. It's like time itself, ticking off relentlessly in a rhythm that never varies and never stops. When you think about it like that, you realize the beat is everywhere, you just have to tap into it. You can bang it out on a project wall or an 808 drum machine or just use your hands. You can beatbox it with your mouth. But the beat is only one half of a rap song's rhythm. The other is the flow. When a rapper jumps on a beat, he adds his own rhythm. Sometimes you stay in the pocket of the beat and just let the rhymes land on the square so that the beat and flow become one. But sometimes the flow cops up the beat, breaks the beat into smaller units, forces in multiple syllables and repeated sounds and internal rhymes, or hangs a drunken leg over the last bap and keeps going, sneaks out of that bitch. The flow isn't like time, it's like life. It's like a heartbeat or the way you breathe, it can jump, speed up, slow down, stop, or pound right through like a machine. If the beat is time, flow is what we do with that time, how we live through it. The beat is everywhere, but every life has to find its own flow. Just like beats and flows work together, rapping and hustling, for me at least, live through each other. Those early raps were beautiful in their way and a whole generation of us felt represented for the first time when we heard them. But there's a reason the culture evolved beyond that playful, partying lyrical style. Even when we recognized the voices, and recognized the style, and even personally knew the cats who were on the records, the content didn't always reflect the lives we were leading. There was a distance between what was becoming rap's signature style - the relentlessness, the swagger, the complex wordplay - and the substance of the songs. The culture had to go somewhere else to grow. It had to come home.
Jay-Z (Decoded)
I continued working without a break, but in the middle of the third story...I felt myself tiring more than if I had been working on a novel. The same thing happened with the fourth. In fact, I did not have the energy to finish them. Now I know why: The effort involved in writing a short story is as intense as beginning a novel, where everything must be defined in the first paragraph: structure, tone, style, rhythm, length, and sometimes even the personality of a character. All the rest is the pleasure of writing, the most intimate, solitary pleasure one can imagine, and if the rest of one's life is not spent correcting the novel, it is because the same iron rigor needed to begin the book is required to end it. But a story has no beginning, no end: Either it works or it doesn't. And if it doesn't, my own experience, and the experience of others, shows that most of the time it is better for one's health to start again in another direction, or toss the story in the wastebasket. Someone, I don't remember who, made the point with this comforting phrase: "Good writers are appreciated more for what they tear up than for what they publish.
Gabriel García Márquez (Strange Pilgrims: Twelve Stories)
We buy items that we only half like because they are on sale or a “good deal.” •We wear clothes that are so uncomfortable we need to take them off as soon as we get home. •We keep items that stopped fitting years ago just in case they fit again someday. •We wear shoes that we can hardly walk in and that leave our feet covered in blisters. •We force ourselves to wear pieces that we feel only so-so about because they were expensive and we don’t want to let that “investment” go to waste. •We wear worn-out, scruffy pieces around the house and hope nobody is going to stop by unannounced. •We wear clothes that ride up and tug in all the wrong places. •We wear outfits that don’t make us feel confident or inspired because we simply don’t have anything better in our wardrobe.
Anuschka Rees (The Curated Closet: A Simple System for Discovering Your Personal Style and Building Your Dream Wardrobe)
Oh, by the way," Coop announces as he weaves his DeathBot ship through a barrage of space debris on his laptop screen. "In case you didn't know. It's national 'That's What She Said' Day." I give him a thumbs-up. "I like it." We're camping out in Sean's backyard tonight. It's another one of our traditions. One night, every summer, we buy a ton of junk food and energy drinks and set up Sean's six-person tent in the far corner of his yard. We've got an extension cord running from the garage so that we can rough it in style, with computers and a TV and DVD player. There's a citronella candle burning in the middle of the tent to ward off mosquitoes and to mask the thick stink of mildew. Everyone's brought sleeping bags and pillows, but we aren't planning on logging too many Zs. Sean enters the tent carrying his Xbox. "I don't think there are enough sockets for all of these." I waggle my eyebrows at Coop. "That's what she said." Coop busts up. Sean stands there, looking confused. "I don't get it." "That's what she says," Coop says, sending him and me into hysterics. Sean sighs and puts the Xbox down. "I can see this is going to be a long night." "That's what she said," me and Coop howl in chorus. "Are you guys done yet?" Coop is practically in tears. "That's what she said." "Okay. I'll just keep my mouth shut," Sean grumbles. "That's what she said." I can barely talk I'm laughing so hard. "Enough. No more. My cheeks hurt," Coop says, rubbing his face. I point at him. "That's what she said." And with that, the three of us fall over in fits. "Oh, man, now look what you made me do." Coop motions to his computer. "That was my last DeathBot ship." "That's what she said," Sean blurts out, laughing at his nonsensical joke. Coop and I stare at him, and then silmultaniously, we hit Sean in the face with our pillows.
Don Calame (Swim the Fly (Swim the Fly, #1))
He made a noise that sounded like a strangled laugh, and then said: Ah, I like your style. I’ll give you that. You’re not easy to get the upper hand on, are you? Obviously I’m not going to manage it. It’s funny, because you carry on like you’d let me walk all over you, answering my texts at two in the morning, and then telling me you’re in love with me, blah blah blah. But that’s all your way of saying, just try and catch me, because you won’t. And I can see I won’t. You’re not going to let me have it for a minute. Nine times out of ten you’d have someone fooled with the way you go on. They’d be delighted with themselves, thinking they were really the boss of you. Yeah, yeah, but I’m not an idiot. You’re only letting me act badly because it puts you above me, and that’s where you like to be. Above, above. And I don’t take it personally, by the way, I don’t think you’d let anyone near you. Actually, I respect it. You’re looking out for yourself, and I’m sure you have your reasons. I’m sorry I was so harsh on you with what I said, because you were right, I was just trying to hurt you. And I probably did hurt you, big deal. Anyone can hurt anyone if they go out of their way. But then instead of getting mad with me, you go saying I’m welcome to stay over and you still love me and all this. Because you have to be perfect, don’t you? No, you really have a way about you, I must say. And I’m sorry, alright? I won’t be trying to take a jab at you again. Lesson learned. But from now on you don’t need to act like you’re under my thumb, when we both know I’m nowhere near you. Alright? Another long silence fell. Their faces were invisible in darkness. Eventually, in a high and strained voice, straining perhaps for an evenness or lightness it did not attain, she replied: Alright. If I ever do get a hold of you, you won’t need to tell me, he said. I’ll know. But I’m not going to chase too much. I’ll just stay where I am and see if you come to me. Yes, that’s what hunters do with deer, she said. Before they kill them.
Sally Rooney (Beautiful World, Where Are You)
Personally I think that grammar is a way to attain Beauty. When you speak, or read, or write, you can tell if you’ve said or read or written a fine sentence. You can recognize a well-turned phrase or an elegant style. But when you are applying the rules of grammar skillfully, you ascend to another level of the beauty of language. When you use grammar you peel back the layers, to see how it is all put together, see it quite naked, in a way. And that’s where it becomes wonderful, because you say to yourself, 'Look how well made this is, how well constructed it is!' 'How solid and ingenious, rich and subtle!' I get completely carried away just knowing there are words of all different natures, and that you have to know them in order to be able to infer their potential usage and compatibility. I find there is nothing more beautiful, for example, than the very basic components of language, nouns and verbs. When you've grasped this, you've grasped the core of any statement. It's magnificent, don't you think? Nouns, verbs...
Muriel Barbery (The Elegance of the Hedgehog)
An astonishing void: official history ignores soccer. Contemporary history texts fail to mention it, even in passing, in countries where soccer has been and continues to be a primordial symbol of collective identity. I play therefore I am: a style of play is a way of being that reveals the unique profile of each community and affirms its right to be different. Tell me how you play and I’ll tell you who you are. For many years soccer has been played in different styles, unique expressions of the personality of each people, and the preservation of that diversity seems to me more necessary today than ever before. These are days of obligatory uniformity, in soccer and everything else. Never has the world been so unequal in the opportunities it offers and so equalizing in the habits it imposes: in this end of century world, whoever does not die of hunger dies of boredom.
Eduardo Galeano (Soccer in Sun and Shadow)
The first unanalysed impression that most readers receive from Jane Eyre is that it has a very violent atmosphere. If this were simply the effect of the plot and the imagined events then sensation novels like Walpole's The Castle of Otranto or Mrs Radcliffe's The Mystery of Udolpho ought to produce it even more powerfully. But they do not. Nor do they even arouse particularly strong reader responses. Novelists like Charlotte Brontë or D. H. Lawrence, on the other hand, are able quite quickly to provoke marked reactions of sympathy or hostility from readers. The reason, apparently, is that the narrator's personality is communicating itself through the style with unusual directness.
Ian Gregor (Reading The Victorian Novel: Detail Into Form)
I’m not sure how the ponies happened, though I have an inkling: “Can I get you anything?” I’ll say, getting up from a dinner table, “Coffee, tea, a pony?” People rarely laugh at this, especially if they’ve heard it before. “This party’s ‘sposed to be fun,” a friend will say. “Really? Will there be pony rides?” It’s a nervous tic and a cheap joke, cheapened further by the frequency with which I use it. For that same reason, it’s hard to weed it out of my speech – most of the time I don’t even realize I’m saying it. There are little elements in a person’s life, minor fibers that become unintentionally tangled with your personality. Sometimes it’s a patent phrase, sometimes it’s a perfume, sometimes it’s a wristwatch. For me, it is the constant referencing of ponies. I don’t even like ponies. If I made one of my throwaway equine requests and someone produced an actual pony, Juan-Valdez-style, I would run very fast in the other direction. During a few summers at camp, I rode a chronically dehydrated pony named Brandy who would jolt down without notice to lick the grass outside the corral and I would careen forward, my helmet tipping to cover my eyes. I do, however, like ponies on the abstract. Who doesn’t? It’s like those movies with the animated insects. Sure, the baby cockroach seems cute with CGI eyelashes, but how would you feel about fifty of her real-life counterparts living in your oven? And that’s precisely the manner in which the ponies clomped their way into my regular speech: abstractly. “I have something for you,” a guy will say on our first date. “Is it a pony?” No. It’s usually a movie ticket or his cell phone number. But on our second date, if I ask again, I’m pretty sure I’m getting a pony. And thus the Pony drawer came to be. It’s uncomfortable to admit, but almost every guy I have ever dated has unwittingly made a contribution to the stable. The retro pony from the ‘50s was from the most thoughtful guy I have ever known. The one with the glitter horseshoes was from a boy who would later turn out to be straight somehow, not gay. The one with the rainbow haunches was from a librarian, whom I broke up with because I felt the chemistry just wasn’t right, and the one with the price tag stuck on the back was given to me by a narcissist who was so impressed with his gift he forgot to remover the sticker. Each one of them marks the beginning of a new relationship. I don’t mean to hint. It’s not a hint, actually, it’s a flat out demand: I. Want. A. Pony. I think what happens is that young relationships are eager to build up a romantic repertoire of private jokes, especially in the city where there’s not always a great “how we met” story behind every great love affair. People meet at bars, through mutual friends, on dating sites, or because they work in the same industry. Just once a coworker of mine, asked me out between two stops on the N train. We were holding the same pole and he said, “I know this sounds completely insane, bean sprout, but would you like to go to a very public place with me and have a drink or something...?” I looked into his seemingly non-psycho-killing, rent-paying, Sunday Times-subscribing eyes and said, “Sure, why the hell not?” He never bought me a pony. But he didn’t have to, if you know what I mean.
Sloane Crosley (I Was Told There'd Be Cake: Essays)
Existential isolation, a third given, refers to the unbridgeable gap between self and others, a gap that exists even in the presence of deeply gratifying interpersonal relationships. One is isolated not only from other beings but, to the extent that one constitutes one’s world, from world as well. Such isolation is to be distinguished from two other types of isolation: interpersonal and intrapersonal isolation. One experiences interpersonal isolation, or loneliness, if one lacks the social skills or personality style that permit intimate social interactions. Intrapersonal isolation occurs when parts of the self are split off, as when one splits off emotion from the memory of an event. The most extreme, and dramatic, form of splitting, the multiple personality, is relatively rare (though growing more widely recognized); when it does occur, the therapist may be faced (...) with the bewildering dilemma of which personality to cherish.
Irvin D. Yalom (Love's Executioner and Other Tales of Psychotherapy)
What about his style?" asked Dalgliesh who was beginning to think that his reading had been unnecessarily restricted. "Turgid but grammatical. And, in these days, when every illiterate debutante thinks she is a novelist, who am I to quarrel with that? Written with Fowler on his left hand and Roget on his right. Stale, flat and, alas, rapidly becoming unprofitable..." "What was he like as a person?" asked Dalgliesh. "Oh, difficult. Very difficult, poor fellow! I thought you knew him? A precise, self-opinionated, nervous little man perpetually fretting about his sales, his publicity or his book jackets. He overvalued his own talent and undervalued everyone else's, which didn't exactly make for popularity." "A typical writer, in fact?" suggested Dalgliesh mischievously.
P.D. James (Unnatural Causes (Adam Dalgliesh, #3))
Nature’s ultimate goal is to foster the growth of the individual from absolute dependence to independence — or, more exactly, to the interdependence of mature adults living in community. Development is a process of moving from complete external regulation to self-regulation, as far as our genetic programming allows. Well-self-regulated people are the most capable of interacting fruitfully with others in a community and of nurturing children who will also grow into self-regulated adults. Anything that interferes with that natural agenda threatens the organism’s chances for long-term survival. Almost from the beginning of life we see a tension between the complementary needs for security and for autonomy. Development requires a gradual and ageappropriate shift from security needs toward the drive for autonomy, from attachment to individuation. Neither is ever completely lost, and neither is meant to predominate at the expense of the other. With an increased capacity for self-regulation in adulthood comes also a heightened need for autonomy — for the freedom to make genuine choices. Whatever undermines autonomy will be experienced as a source of stress. Stress is magnified whenever the power to respond effectively to the social or physical environment is lacking or when the tested animal or human being feels helpless, without meaningful choices — in other words, when autonomy is undermined. Autonomy, however, needs to be exercised in a way that does not disrupt the social relationships on which survival also depends, whether with emotional intimates or with important others—employers, fellow workers, social authority figures. The less the emotional capacity for self-regulation develops during infancy and childhood, the more the adult depends on relationships to maintain homeostasis. The greater the dependence, the greater the threat when those relationships are lost or become insecure. Thus, the vulnerability to subjective and physiological stress will be proportionate to the degree of emotional dependence. To minimize the stress from threatened relationships, a person may give up some part of his autonomy. However, this is not a formula for health, since the loss of autonomy is itself a cause of stress. The surrender of autonomy raises the stress level, even if on the surface it appears to be necessary for the sake of “security” in a relationship, and even if we subjectively feel relief when we gain “security” in this manner. If I chronically repress my emotional needs in order to make myself “acceptable” to other people, I increase my risks of having to pay the price in the form of illness. The other way of protecting oneself from the stress of threatened relationships is emotional shutdown. To feel safe, the vulnerable person withdraws from others and closes against intimacy. This coping style may avoid anxiety and block the subjective experience of stress but not the physiology of it. Emotional intimacy is a psychological and biological necessity. Those who build walls against intimacy are not self-regulated, just emotionally frozen. Their stress from having unmet needs will be high.
Gabor Maté (When the Body Says No: The Cost of Hidden Stress)
Mr. Wonderful was probably taking his sweet time, right?” “No, it was actually my fault this morning. I was busy with…paperwork.” “Oh. Well, that’s alright. Don’t worry about it. What kind of paperwork?” He smiled. “Nothing important.” Mr. Kadam held the door for me, and we walked out into an empty hallway. I was just starting to relax at the elevator doors when I heard a hotel room door close. Ren walked down the hall toward us. He’d purchased new clothes. Of course, he looked wonderful. I took a step back from the elevator and tried to avoid eye contact. Ren wore a brand new pair of dark-indigo, purposely faded, urban-destruction designer jeans. His shirt was long-sleeved, buttoned-down, crisp, oxford-style and was obviously of high quality. It was blue with thin white stripes that matched is eyes perfectly. He’d rolled up the sleeves and left his shirt untucked and open at the collar. It was also an athletic cut, so it fit tightly to his muscular torso, which made me suck in an involuntary breath in appreciation of his male splendor. He looks like a runway model. How in the world am I going to be able to reject that? The world is so unfair. Seriously, it’s like turning Brad Pitt down for a date. The girl who could actually do it should win an award for idiot of the century. I again quickly ran through my list of reasons for not being with Ren and said a few “He’s not for me’s.” The good thing about seeing his mouthwatering self and watching him walk around like a regular person was that it tightened my resolve. Yes. It would be hard because he was so unbelievably gorgeous, but it was now even more obvious to me that we didn’t belong together. As he joined us at the elevator, I shook my head and muttered under my breath, “Figures. The guy is a tiger for three hundred and fifty years and emerges from his curse with expensive taste and keen fashion sense too. Incredible!” Mr. Kadam asked, “What was that, Miss Kelsey?” “Nothing.” Ren raised an eyebrow and smirked. He probably heard me. Stupid tiger hearing. The elevator doors opened. I stepped in and moved to the corner hoping to keep Mr. Kadam between the two of us, but unfortunately, Mr. Kadam wasn’t receiving the silent thoughts I was projecting furiously toward him and remained by the elevator buttons. Ren moved next to me and stood too close. He looked me up and down slowly and gave me a knowing smile. We rode down the elevator in silence. When the doors opened, he stopped me, took the backpack off my shoulder, and threw it over his, leaving me with nothing to carry. He walked ahead next to Mr. Kadam while I trialed along slowly behind, keeping distance between us and a wary eye on his tall frame.
Colleen Houck (Tiger's Curse (The Tiger Saga, #1))
It is not clear who will bring to the Whitehouse those useful commodities of vivid language, a sense of history and most important - a sense of humour, but Johnson himself will provide many other attributes. He is effective precisely because he is so determined, industrious, personal and even humourless, particularly in dealing with Congress. (…) Kennedy had a detached and even donnish willingness to grant a merit in the other fellow’s argument. Johnson is not so inclined to retreat and grants nothing in an argument, not even equal time. Ask not what you have done for Lyndon Johnson, but what you have done for him lately. This may not be the most attractive quality of the new administration but it works. The lovers of style are not too happy with the new administration, but the lovers of substance are not complaining.
Robert A. Caro (The Passage of Power)
He devoured morning shows, daytime shows, late-night talk shows, soaps, situation comedies, Lifetime Movies, hospital dramas, police series, vampire and zombie serials, the dramas of housewives from Atlanta, New Jersey, Beverly Hills and New York, the romances and quarrels of hotel-fortune princesses and self-styled shahs, the cavortings of individuals made famous by happy nudities, the fifteen minutes of fame accorded to young persons with large social media followings on account of their plastic-surgery acquisition of a third breast or their post-rib-removal figures that mimicked the impossible shape of the Mattel company’s Barbie doll, or even, more simply, their ability to catch giant carp in picturesque settings while wearing only the tiniest of string bikinis; as well as singing competitions, cooking competitions, competitions for business propositions, competitions for business apprenticeships, competitions between remote-controlled monster vehicles, fashion competitions, competitions for the affections of both bachelors and bachelorettes, baseball games, basketball games, football games, wrestling bouts, kickboxing bouts, extreme sports programming and, of course, beauty contests.
Salman Rushdie (Quichotte)
Physiological stress, then, is the link between personality traits and disease. Certain traits — otherwise known as coping styles — magnify the risk for illness by increasing the likelihood of chronic stress. Common to them all is a diminished capacity for emotional communication. Emotional experiences are translated into potentially damaging biological events when human beings are prevented from learning how to express their feelings effectively. That learning occurs — or fails to occur — during childhood. The way people grow up shapes their relationship with their own bodies and psyches. The emotional contexts of childhood interact with inborn temperament to give rise to personality traits. Much of what we call personality is not a fixed set of traits, only coping mechanisms a person acquired in childhood. There is an important distinction between an inherent characteristic, rooted in an individual without regard to his environment, and a response to the environment, a pattern of behaviours developed to ensure survival. What we see as indelible traits may be no more than habitual defensive techniques, unconsciously adopted. People often identify with these habituated patterns, believing them to be an indispensable part of the self. They may even harbour self-loathing for certain traits — for example, when a person describes herself as “a control freak.” In reality, there is no innate human inclination to be controlling. What there is in a “controlling” personality is deep anxiety. The infant and child who perceives that his needs are unmet may develop an obsessive coping style, anxious about each detail. When such a person fears that he is unable to control events, he experiences great stress. Unconsciously he believes that only by controlling every aspect of his life and environment will he be able to ensure the satisfaction of his needs. As he grows older, others will resent him and he will come to dislike himself for what was originally a desperate response to emotional deprivation. The drive to control is not an innate trait but a coping style. Emotional repression is also a coping style rather than a personality trait set in stone. Not one of the many adults interviewed for this book could answer in the affirmative when asked the following: When, as a child, you felt sad, upset or angry, was there anyone you could talk to — even when he or she was the one who had triggered your negative emotions? In a quarter century of clinical practice, including a decade of palliative work, I have never heard anyone with cancer or with any chronic illness or condition say yes to that question. Many children are conditioned in this manner not because of any intended harm or abuse, but because the parents themselves are too threatened by the anxiety, anger or sadness they sense in their child — or are simply too busy or too harassed themselves to pay attention. “My mother or father needed me to be happy” is the simple formula that trained many a child — later a stressed and depressed or physically ill adult — into lifelong patterns of repression.
Gabor Maté (When the Body Says No: The Cost of Hidden Stress)
I write this sitting in the kitchen sink. That is, my feet are in it; the rest of me is on the draining-board, which I have padded with our dog's blanket and the tea-cosy. I can't say that I am really comfortable, and there is a depressing smell of carbolic soap, but this is the only part of the kitchen where there is any daylight left. And I have found that sitting in a place where you have never sat before can be inspiring - I wrote my very best poem while sitting on the hen-house. Though even that isn't a very good poem. I have decided my best poetry is so bad that I mustn't write any more of it. Drips from the roof are plopping into the water-butt by the back door. The view through the windows above the sink is excessively drear. Beyond the dank garden in the courtyard are the ruined walls on the edge of the moat. Beyond the moat, the boggy ploughed fields stretch to the leaden sky. I tell myself that all the rain we have had lately is good for nature, and that at any moment spring will surge on us. I try to see leaves on the trees and the courtyard filled with sunlight. Unfortunately, the more my mind's eye sees green and gold, the more drained of all colour does the twilight seem. It is comforting to look away from the windows and towards the kitchen fire, near which my sister Rose is ironing - though she obviously can't see properly, and it will be a pity if she scorches her only nightgown. (I have two, but one is minus its behind.) Rose looks particularly fetching by firelight because she is a pinkish person; her skin has a pink glow and her hair is pinkish gold, very light and feathery. Although I am rather used to her I know she is a beauty. She is nearly twenty-one and very bitter with life. I am seventeen, look younger, feel older. I am no beauty but I have a neatish face. I have just remarked to Rose that our situation is really rather romantic - two girls in this strange and lonely house. She replied that she saw nothing romantic about being shut up in a crumbling ruin surrounded by a sea of mud. I must admit that our home is an unreasonable place to live in. Yet I love it. The house itself was built in the time of Charles II, but it was grafted on to a fourteenth-century castle that had been damaged by Cromwell. The whole of our east wall was part of the castle; there are two round towers in it. The gatehouse is intact and a stretch of the old walls at their full height joins it to the house. And Belmotte Tower, all that remains of an even older castle, still stands on its mound close by. But I won't attempt to describe our peculiar home fully until I can see more time ahead of me than I do now. I am writing this journal partly to practise my newly acquired speed-writing and partly to teach myself how to write a novel - I intend to capture all our characters and put in conversations. It ought to be good for my style to dash along without much thought, as up to now my stories have been very stiff and self-conscious. The only time father obliged me by reading one of them, he said I combined stateliness with a desperate effort to be funny. He told me to relax and let the words flow out of me.
Dodie Smith (I Capture the Castle)
There are two aspects of man’s existence which are the special province and expression of his sense of life: love and art. I am referring here to romantic love, in the serious meaning of that term—as distinguished from the superficial infatuations of those whose sense of life is devoid of any consistent values, i.e., of any lasting emotions other than fear. Love is a response to values. It is with a person’s sense of life that one falls in love—with that essential sum, that fundamental stand or way of facing existence, which is the essence of a personality. One falls in love with the embodiment of the values that formed a person’s character, which are reflected in his widest goals or smallest gestures, which create the style of his soul—the individual style of a unique, unrepeatable, irreplaceable consciousness. It is one’s own sense of life that acts as the selector, and responds to what it recognizes as one’s own basic values in the person of another. It is not a matter of professed convictions (though these are not irrelevant); it is a matter of much more profound, conscious and subconscious harmony. Many errors and tragic disillusionments are possible in this process of emotional recognition, since a sense of life, by itself, is not a reliable cognitive guide. And if there are degrees of evil, then one of the most evil consequences of mysticism—in terms of human suffering—is the belief that love is a matter of “the heart,” not the mind, that love is an emotion independent of reason, that love is blind and impervious to the power of philosophy. Love is the expression of philosophy—of a subconscious philosophical sum—and, perhaps, no other aspect of human existence needs the conscious power of philosophy quite so desperately. When that power is called upon to verify and support an emotional appraisal, when love is a conscious integration of reason and emotion, of mind and values, then—and only then—it is the greatest reward of man’s life.
Ayn Rand (The Romantic Manifesto)
This clarification of the nature of intelligence predicts that there will be no relationship at all between personality and intelligence, but research in the last decade has shown that this is not quite true. There are no very strong relationships between personality and intelligence, but some relationships there are, though debate about their nature and significance goes on. Most strikingly, though, in a couple of studies where relationships between Conscientiousness and intelligence have been found, they are not, as you might imagine, positive, but weakly negative. The smarter people are, the less conscientious they are.13 The most likely explanation for this is that people who are very sharp soon learn that they can get away with not preparing things too much in advance, not being overly disciplined with their time, and so on, since their quick abilities will get them through whatever academic and professional challenges they meet. Conversely, people who are not quite so quick have to use organization and discipline to achieve what some others might achieve carelessly. Thus, a behavioural style is developed that compensates for the level of intelligence, and so ends up inversely related to it. This means that there is no intrinsic genetic connection between low Conscientiousness and high intelligence. Rather, the weak negative correlation is something that emerges through development.
Daniel Nettle (Personality: What makes you the way you are)
How old is she now?” “Oh, she’s twenty now.” She hesitated. She was obligated to end our little chat with a stylized flourish. The way it’s done in serial television. So she wet her little bunny mouth, sleepied her eyes, widened her nostrils, patted her hair, arched her back, stood canted and hip-shot, huskied her voice and said, “See you aroun’, huh?” “Sure, Marianne. Sure.” Bless them all, the forlorn little rabbits. They are the displaced persons of our emotional culture. They are ravenous for romance, yet settle for what they call making out. Their futile, acne-pitted men drift out of high school into a world so surfeited with unskilled labor there is competition for bag-boy jobs in the supermarkets. They yearn for security, but all they can have is what they make for themselves, chittering little flocks of them in the restaurants and stores, talking of style and adornment, dreaming of the terribly sincere stranger who will come along and lift them out of the gypsy life of the two-bit tip and the unemployment, cut a tall cake with them, swell them up with sassy babies, and guide them masterfully into the shoal water of the electrified house where everybody brushes after every meal. But most of the wistful rabbits marry their unskilled men, and keep right on working. And discover the end of the dream. They have been taught that if you are sunny, cheery, sincere, group-adjusted, popular, the world is yours, including barbecue pits, charge plates, diaper service, percale sheets, friends for dinner, washer-dryer combinations, color slides of the kiddies on the home projector, and eternal whimsical romance—with crinkly smiles and Rock Hudson dialogue. So they all come smiling and confident and unskilled into a technician’s world, and in a few years they learn that it is all going to be grinding and brutal and hateful and precarious. These are the slums of the heart. Bless the bunnies. These are the new people, and we are making no place for them. We hold the dream in front of them like a carrot, and finally say sorry you can’t have any. And the schools where we teach them non-survival are gloriously architectured. They will never live in places so fine, unless they contract something incurable.
John D. MacDonald (The Deep Blue Good-By)
The style of a soul “What’s the matter with both of you, Ellsworth? Why such talk—over nothing at all? People’s faces and first impressions don’t mean a thing.” “That, my dear Kiki,” he answered, his voice soft and distant, as if he were giving an answer, not to her, but to a thought of his own, “is one of our greatest common fallacies. There’s nothing as significant as a human face. Nor as eloquent. We can never really know another person, except by our first glance at him. Because, in that glance, we know everything. Even though we’re not always wise enough to unravel the knowledge. Have you ever thought about the style of a soul, Kiki?” “The … what?” “The style of a soul. Do you remember the famous philosopher who spoke of the style of a civilization? He called it ‘style.’ He said it was the nearest word he could find for it. He said that every civilization has its one basic principle, one single, supreme, determining conception, and every endeavor of men within that civilization is true, unconsciously and irrevocably, to that one principle. … I think, Kiki, that every human soul has a style of its own, also. Its one basic theme. You’ll see it reflected in every thought, every act, every wish of that person. The one absolute, the one imperative in that living creature. Years of studying a man won’t show it to you. His face will. You’d have to write volumes to describe a person. Think of his face. You need nothing else.” “That sounds fantastic, Ellsworth. And unfair, if true. It would leave people naked before you.” “It’s worse than that. It also leaves you naked before them. You betray yourself by the manner in which you react to a certain face. To a certain kind of face. … The style of your soul … There’s nothing important on earth, except human beings. There’s nothing as important about human beings as their relations to one another. …” —Ayn Rand, The Fountainhead
Ayn Rand
A person’s average or typical level of happiness is that person’s “affective style.” (“Affect” refers to the felt or experienced part of emotion.) Your affective style reflects the everyday balance of power between your approach system and your withdrawal system, and this balance can be read right from your forehead. It has long been known from studies of brainwaves that most people show an asymmetry: more activity either in the right frontal cortex or in the left frontal cortex. In the late 1980s, Richard Davidson at the University of Wisconsin discovered that these asymmetries correlated with a person’s general tendencies to experience positive and negative emotions. People showing more of a certain kind of brainwave coming through the left side of the forehead reported feeling more happiness in their daily lives and less fear, anxiety, and shame than people exhibiting higher activity on the right side. Later research showed that these cortical “lefties” are less subject to depression and recover more quickly from negative experiences.29 The difference between cortical righties and lefties can be seen even in infants: Ten-month-old babies showing more activity on the right side are more likely to cry when separated briefly from their mothers.30 And this difference in infancy appears to reflect an aspect of personality that is stable, for most people, all the way through adulthood. 31 Babies who show a lot more activity on the right side of the forehead become toddlers who are more anxious about novel situations; as teenagers, they are more likely to be fearful about dating and social activities; and, finally, as adults, they are more likely to need psychotherapy to loosen up.
Jonathan Haidt (The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom)
With 21 million people following her on Facebook and 18 million on Twitter, pop singer Ariana Grande can’t personally chat with each of her loves, as she affectionately calls her fans. So she and others are spreading their messages through new-style social networks, via mobile apps that are more associated with private, intimate conversation, hoping that marketing in a cozier digital setting adds a breath of warmth and a dash of personality. It’s the Internet’s equivalent of mailing postcards rather than plastering a billboard. Grande could have shared on Twitter that her most embarrassing moment on stage was losing a shoe. The 21-year-old instead revealed the fact during a half-hour live text chat on Line, an app built for close friends to exchange instant messages. It’s expensive to advertise on Facebook and Twitter, and the volume of information being posted creates uncertainty over what people actually notice. Chat apps including Line, Kik, Snapchat, WeChat and Viber place marketing messages front and center. Most-used apps The apps threaten to siphon advertising dollars from the social media leaders, which are already starting to see chat apps overtake them as the most-used apps on smartphones, according to Forrester Research. Chat apps “demand attention,” said Rebecca Lieb, an analyst at consulting firm Altimeter Group.
Anonymous
I resolved to come right to the point. "Hello," I said as coldly as possible, "we've got to talk." "Yes, Bob," he said quietly, "what's on your mind?" I shut my eyes for a moment, letting the raging frustration well up inside, then stared angrily at the psychiatrist. "Look, I've been religious about this recovery business. I go to AA meetings daily and to your sessions twice a week. I know it's good that I've stopped drinking. But every other aspect of my life feels the same as it did before. No, it's worse. I hate my life. I hate myself." Suddenly I felt a slight warmth in my face, blinked my eyes a bit, and then stared at him. "Bob, I'm afraid our time's up," Smith said in a matter-of-fact style. "Time's up?" I exclaimed. "I just got here." "No." He shook his head, glancing at his clock. "It's been fifty minutes. You don't remember anything?" "I remember everything. I was just telling you that these sessions don't seem to be working for me." Smith paused to choose his words very carefully. "Do you know a very angry boy named 'Tommy'?" "No," I said in bewilderment, "except for my cousin Tommy whom I haven't seen in twenty years..." "No." He stopped me short. "This Tommy's not your cousin. I spent this last fifty minutes talking with another Tommy. He's full of anger. And he's inside of you." "You're kidding?" "No, I'm not. Look. I want to take a little time to think over what happened today. And don't worry about this. I'll set up an emergency session with you tomorrow. We'll deal with it then." Robert This is Robert speaking. Today I'm the only personality who is strongly visible inside and outside. My own term for such an MPD role is dominant personality. Fifteen years ago, I rarely appeared on the outside, though I had considerable influence on the inside; back then, I was what one might call a "recessive personality." My passage from "recessive" to "dominant" is a key part of our story; be patient, you'll learn lots more about me later on. Indeed, since you will meet all eleven personalities who once roamed about, it gets a bit complex in the first half of this book; but don't worry, you don't have to remember them all, and it gets sorted out in the last half of the book. You may be wondering -- if not "Robert," who, then, was the dominant MPD personality back in the 1980s and earlier? His name was "Bob," and his dominance amounted to a long reign, from the early 1960s to the early 1990s. Since "Robert B. Oxnam" was born in 1942, you can see that "Bob" was in command from early to middle adulthood. Although he was the dominant MPD personality for thirty years, Bob did not have a clue that he was afflicted by multiple personality disorder until 1990, the very last year of his dominance. That was the fateful moment when Bob first heard that he had an "angry boy named Tommy" inside of him. How, you might ask, can someone have MPD for half a lifetime without knowing it? And even if he didn't know it, didn't others around him spot it? To outsiders, this is one of the most perplexing aspects of MPD. Multiple personality is an extreme disorder, and yet it can go undetected for decades, by the patient, by family and close friends, even by trained therapists. Part of the explanation is the very nature of the disorder itself: MPD thrives on secrecy because the dissociative individual is repressing a terrible inner secret. The MPD individual becomes so skilled in hiding from himself that he becomes a specialist, often unknowingly, in hiding from others. Part of the explanation is rooted in outside observers: MPD often manifests itself in other behaviors, frequently addiction and emotional outbursts, which are wrongly seen as the "real problem." The fact of the matter is that Bob did not see himself as the dominant personality inside Robert B. Oxnam. Instead, he saw himself as a whole person. In his mind, Bob was merely a nickname for Bob Oxnam, Robert Oxnam, Dr. Robert B. Oxnam, PhD.
Robert B. Oxnam (A Fractured Mind: My Life with Multiple Personality Disorder)
And sometimes I get carried away, that's all. If you weren't so...judgemental all the time-" "Am I? I don't think I am . I try not to be. I just don't..." She stopped herself speaking, shook her head. "I know you've been through a lot, in the last few years, and I've tried to understand that, really I have, with your mum and all, but..." "Go on," he said. "I just don't think you're the person I used to know. You're not my friend anymore. That's all." He could think of nothing to say to this, so they stood in silence, until Emma put her hand out, took two fingers of his hand, squeezed them in her palm. "Maybe...maybe this is it, then," she said. "Maybe it's just over." "Over? What's over?" "Us. You and me. Friendship. There are things I needed to talk to you about, Dex. About Ian and me. If you're my friend I should be able to talk to you but I can't, and if I can't talk to you, well, what is the point of you? Of us?" "'What's the point?'" "You said yourself, people change, no use getting sentimental about it. Move on, find someone else." "Yeah, but I didn't mean us..." "Why not?" "Because we're....us. We're Dex and Em. Aren't we?" Emma shrugged. "Maybe we've grown out of each other." He said nothing for a moment, then spoke. "So, do you think I've grown out of you, or you've grown out of me?" She wiped her nose with the back of her hand. "I think you think I'm....dreary. I think you think I cramp your style. I think you've lost interest in me." "Em I do not think you're dreary." "And neither do I! Neither do I! I think I'm fucking marvellous if you only knew it, and I think you used to think so too! But if you don't or if you're going to just take it for granted, then that's fine. I'm just not prepared to be treated like this anymore." "Treated like what?" She sighed, and it was a moment before she spoke. "Like you always want to be somewhere else, with someone else." He would have denied this, but the Cigarette Girl was waiting in the restaurant at that very moment, the number of his mobile phone tucked into her garter. Later he would wonder if there was something else he might have said to save the situation, a joke perhaps. But nothing occurred to him and Emma let go of his hand.
David Nicholls (One Day)
The responsibility/fault fallacy allows people to pass off the responsibility for solving their problems to others. This ability to alleviate responsibility through blame gives people a temporary high and a feeling of moral righteousness. Unfortunately, one side effect of the Internet and social media is that it’s become easier than ever to push responsibility—for even the tiniest of infractions—onto some other group or person. In fact, this kind of public blame/shame game has become popular; in certain crowds it’s even seen as “cool.” The public sharing of “injustices” garners far more attention and emotional outpouring than most other events on social media, rewarding people who are able to perpetually feel victimized with ever-growing amounts of attention and sympathy. “Victimhood chic” is in style on both the right and the left today, among both the rich and the poor. In fact, this may be the first time in human history that every single demographic group has felt unfairly victimized simultaneously. And they’re all riding the highs of the moral indignation that comes along with it. Right now, anyone who is offended about anything—whether it’s the fact that a book about racism was assigned in a university class, or that Christmas trees were banned at the local mall, or the fact that taxes were raised half a percent on investment funds—feels as though they’re being oppressed in some way and therefore deserve to be outraged and to have a certain amount of attention. The current media environment both encourages and perpetuates these reactions because, after all, it’s good for business. The writer and media commentator Ryan Holiday refers to this as “outrage porn”: rather than report on real stories and real issues, the media find it much easier (and more profitable) to find something mildly offensive, broadcast it to a wide audience, generate outrage, and then broadcast that outrage back across the population in a way that outrages yet another part of the population. This triggers a kind of echo of bullshit pinging back and forth between two imaginary sides, meanwhile distracting everyone from real societal problems. It’s no wonder we’re more politically polarized than ever before. The biggest problem with victimhood chic is that it sucks attention away from actual victims. It’s like the boy who cried wolf. The more people there are who proclaim themselves victims over tiny infractions, the harder it becomes to see who the real victims actually are. People get addicted to feeling offended all the time because it gives them a high; being self-righteous and morally superior feels good. As political cartoonist Tim Kreider put it in a New York Times op-ed: “Outrage is like a lot of other things that feel good but over time devour us from the inside out. And it’s even more insidious than most vices because we don’t even consciously acknowledge that it’s a pleasure.” But
Mark Manson (The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life)
Any true definition of preaching must say that that man is there to deliver the message of God, a message from God to those people. If you prefer the language of Paul, he is 'an ambassador for Christ'. That is what he is. He has been sent, he is a commissioned person, and he is standing there as the mouthpiece of God and of Christ to address these people. In other words he is not there merely to talk to them, he is not there to entertain them. He is there - and I want to emphasize this - to do something to those people; he is there to produce results of various kinds, he is there to influence people. He is not merely to influence a part of them; he is not only to influence their minds, not only their emotions, or merely to bring pressure to bear upon their wills and to induce them to some kind of activity. He is there to deal with the whole person; and his preaching is meant to affect the whole person at the very centre of life. Preaching should make such a difference to a man who is listening that he is never the same again. Preaching, in other words, is a transaction between the preacher and the listener. It does something for the soul of man, for the whole of the person, the entire man; it deals with him in a vital and radical manner. I remember a remark made to me a few years back about some studies of mine on “The Sermon on the Mount.” I had deliberately published them in sermonic form. There were many who advised me not to do that on the grounds that people no longer like sermons. The days for sermons, I was told, were past, and I was pressed to turn my sermons into essays and to give them a different form. I was most interested therefore when this man to whom I was talking, and he is a very well-known Christian layman in Britain, said, "I like these studies of yours on “The Sermon on the Mount” because they speak to me.” Then he went on to say, “I have been recommended many books by learned preachers and professors but,” he said, “what I feel about those books is that it always seems to be professors writing to professors; they do not speak to me. But,” he said, “your stuff speaks to me.” Now he was an able man, and a man in a prominent position, but that is how he put it. I think there is a great deal of truth in this. He felt that so much that he had been recommended to read was very learned and very clever and scholarly, but as he put it, it was “professors writing to professors.” This is, I believe, is a most important point for us to bear in mind when we read sermons. I have referred already to the danger of giving the literary style too much prominence. I remember reading an article in a literary journal some five or six years ago which I thought was most illuminating because the writer was making the selfsame point in his own field. His case was that the trouble today is that far too often instead of getting true literature we tend to get “reviewers writing books for reviewers.” These men review one another's books, with the result that when they write, what they have in their mind too often is the reviewer and not the reading public to whom the book should be addressed, at any rate in the first instance. The same thing tends to happen in connection with preaching. This ruins preaching, which should always be a transaction between preacher and listener with something vital and living taking place. It is not the mere imparting of knowledge, there is something much bigger involved. The total person is engaged on both sides; and if we fail to realize this our preaching will be a failure.
D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (Preaching and Preachers)
In his movie The Seventh Continent, Michael Haneke depicts a normal middle-class family who, for no apparent reason, one day quit their jobs, destroy everything in their apartment, including all the cash they have just withdrawn from the bank, and commit suicide. The story, according to Haneke, was inspired by a true story of an Austrian middle-class family who committed collective suicide. As Haneke points out in a subsequent interview, the cliché questions that people are tempted to ask when confronted with such a situation are: “did they have some trouble in their marriage?”, or “were they dissatisfied with their jobs?”. Haneke’s point, however, is to discredit such questions; if he wanted to create a Hollywood-style drama, he would have offered clues indicating some such problems that we superficially seek when trying to explain people’s choices. But his point was precisely that the most profound thoughts about whether life is meaningful occur once we have swept aside all the clichés about the pleasure or lack thereof of “love, work, and play” (Thagard), or of “being whooshed up in sports events and being absorbed in the coffee-making craft” (Dreyfus and Kelly). Psychologically, or psychotherapeutically, these are very useful ways of “finding meaning in one’s life”, but philosophically, they are rather ways of how to avoid raising the question, how to insulate oneself from the likelihood that the question of meaning will be raised to oneself. In my view, then, the particular answer to the second question (what is the meaning of life?) is not that important, because whatever answer one offers, even the nihilist or absurdist answer, is many times good enough if the purpose is to get rid of the state of puzzlement. More importantly, however, what matters is that the question itself was raised, and the question is posterior to the more fundamental one of whether there is any meaning at all in life. It is also intuitive that we could judge someone’s life as meaningless if that person has never wondered whether her life, and life in general, is meaningful or not. At the same time, our proposal is, in my opinion, neither elitist, nor parochial in any way; I find it empirically quite plausible that the vast majority of people have actually asked this question or some version of it at least once during their lives, regardless of their social class, wealth, religion, ethnicity, gender, cultural background, or historical period.
István Aranyosi (God, Mind and Logical Space: A Revisionary Approach to Divinity)
Even without world wars, revolutions and emigration, siblings growing up in the same home almost never share the same environment. More accurately, brothers and sisters share some environments — usually the less important ones — but they rarely share the one single environment that has the most powerful impact on personality formation. They may live in the same house, eat the same kinds of food, partake in many of the same activities. These are environments of secondary importance. Of all environments, the one that most profoundly shapes the human personality is the invisible one: the emotional atmosphere in which the child lives during the critical early years of brain development. The invisible environment has little to do with parenting philosophies or parenting style. It is a matter of intangibles, foremost among them being the parents’ relationship with each other and their emotional balance as individuals. These, too, can vary significantly from the birth of one child to the arrival of another. Psychological tension in the parents’ lives during the child’s infancy is, I am convinced, a major and universal influence on the subsequent emergence of ADD. A hidden factor of great importance is a parent’s unconscious attitude toward a child: what, or whom, on the deepest level, the child represents for the parents; the degree to which the parents see themselves in the child; the needs parents may have that they subliminally hope the child will meet. For the infant there exists no abstract, “out-there” reality. The emotional milieu with which we surround the child is the world as he experiences it. In the words of the child psychiatrist and researcher Margaret Mahler, for the newborn, the parent is “the principal representative of the world.” To the infant and toddler, the world reveals itself in the image of the parent: in eye contact, intensity of glance, body language, tone of voice and, above all, in the day-today joy or emotional fatigue exhibited in the presence of the child. Whatever a parent’s intention, these are the means by which the child receives his or her most formative communications. Although they will be of paramount importance for development of the child’s personality, these subtle and often unconscious influences will be missed on psychological questionnaires or observations of parents in clinical settings. There is no way to measure a softening or an edge of anxiety in the voice, the warmth of a smile or the depth of furrows on a brow. We have no instruments to gauge the tension in a father’s body as he holds his infant or to record whether a mother’s gaze is clouded by worry or clear with calm anticipation. It may be said that no two children have exactly the same parents, in that the parenting they each receive may vary in highly significant ways. Whatever the hopes, wishes or intentions of the parent, the child does not experience the parent directly: the child experiences the parenting. I have known two siblings to disagree vehemently about their father’s personality during their childhood. Neither has to be wrong if we understand that they did not receive the same fathering, which is what formed their experience of the father. I have even seen subtly but significantly different mothering given to a pair of identical twins.
Gabor Maté (Scattered: How Attention Deficit Disorder Originates and What You Can Do About It)
The problem, Augustine came to believe, is that if you think you can organize your own salvation you are magnifying the very sin that keeps you from it. To believe that you can be captain of your own life is to suffer the sin of pride. What is pride? These days the word “pride” has positive connotations. It means feeling good about yourself and the things associated with you. When we use it negatively, we think of the arrogant person, someone who is puffed up and egotistical, boasting and strutting about. But that is not really the core of pride. That is just one way the disease of pride presents itself. By another definition, pride is building your happiness around your accomplishments, using your work as the measure of your worth. It is believing that you can arrive at fulfillment on your own, driven by your own individual efforts. Pride can come in bloated form. This is the puffed-up Donald Trump style of pride. This person wants people to see visible proof of his superiority. He wants to be on the VIP list. In conversation, he boasts, he brags. He needs to see his superiority reflected in other people’s eyes. He believes that this feeling of superiority will eventually bring him peace. That version is familiar. But there are other proud people who have low self-esteem. They feel they haven’t lived up to their potential. They feel unworthy. They want to hide and disappear, to fade into the background and nurse their own hurts. We don’t associate them with pride, but they are still, at root, suffering from the same disease. They are still yoking happiness to accomplishment; it’s just that they are giving themselves a D– rather than an A+. They tend to be just as solipsistic, and in their own way as self-centered, only in a self-pitying and isolating way rather than in an assertive and bragging way. One key paradox of pride is that it often combines extreme self-confidence with extreme anxiety. The proud person often appears self-sufficient and egotistical but is really touchy and unstable. The proud person tries to establish self-worth by winning a great reputation, but of course this makes him utterly dependent on the gossipy and unstable crowd for his own identity. The proud person is competitive. But there are always other people who might do better. The most ruthlessly competitive person in the contest sets the standard that all else must meet or get left behind. Everybody else has to be just as monomaniacally driven to success. One can never be secure. As Dante put it, the “ardor to outshine / Burned in my bosom with a kind of rage.” Hungry for exaltation, the proud person has a tendency to make himself ridiculous. Proud people have an amazing tendency to turn themselves into buffoons, with a comb-over that fools nobody, with golden bathroom fixtures that impress nobody, with name-dropping stories that inspire nobody. Every proud man, Augustine writes, “heeds himself, and he who pleases himself seems great to himself. But he who pleases himself pleases a fool, for he himself is a fool when he is pleasing himself.”16 Pride, the minister and writer Tim Keller has observed, is unstable because other people are absentmindedly or intentionally treating the proud man’s ego with less reverence than he thinks it deserves. He continually finds that his feelings are hurt. He is perpetually putting up a front. The self-cultivator spends more energy trying to display the fact that he is happy—posting highlight reel Facebook photos and all the rest—than he does actually being happy. Augustine suddenly came to realize that the solution to his problem would come only after a transformation more fundamental than any he had previously entertained, a renunciation of the very idea that he could be the source of his own solution.
David Brooks (The Road to Character)
Now everyone knows that to try to say something in the mainstream Western media that is critical of U.S. policy or Israel is extremely difficult; conversely, to say things that are hostile to the Arabs as a people and culture, or Islam as a religion, is laughably easy. For in effect there is a cultural war between spokespersons for the West and those of the Muslim and Arab world. In so inflamed a situation, the hardest thing to do as an intellectual is to be critical, to refuse to adopt a rhetorical style that is the verbal equivalent of carpet-bombing, and to focus instead on those issues like U.S. support for unpopular client re­gimes, which for a person writing in the U.S. are somewhat more likely to be affected by critical discussion. Of course, on the other hand, there is a virtual cer­tainty of getting an audience if as an Arab intellectual you passionately, even slavishly support U.S. policy, you attack its critics, and if they happen to be Arabs, you invent evi­dence to show their villainy; if they are American you confect stories and situations that prove their duplicity; you spin out stories concerning Arabs and Muslims that have the effect of defaming their tradition, defacing their history, accentuating their weaknesses, of which of course there are plenty. Above all, you attack the officially ap­ proved enemies-Saddam Hussein, Baathism, Arab na­tionalism, the Palestinian movement, Arab views of Israel. And of course this earns you the expected accolades: you are characterized as courageous, you are outspoken and passionate, and on and on. The new god of course is the West. Arabs, you say, should try to be more like the West, should regard the West as a source and a reference point. · Gone is the history of what the West actually did. Gone are the Gulf War's destructive results. We Arabs and Mus­lims are the sick ones, our problems are our own, totally self-inflicted. A number of things stand out about these kinds of performance. In the first place, there is no universalism here at all. Because you serve a god uncritically, all the devils are always on the other side: this was as true when you were a Trotskyist as it i's now when you are a recanting former Trotskyist. You do not think of politics in terms of interrelationships or of common histories such as, for instance, the long and complicated dynamic that has bound the Arabs and Muslims to the West and vice versa. Real intellectual analysis forbids calling one side innocent, the other evil. Indeed the notion of a side is, where cultures are at issue, highly problematic, since most cultures aren't watertight little packages, all homogenous, and all either good or evil. But if your eye is on your patron, you cannot think as an intellectual, but only as a disciple or acolyte. In the back of your mind there is the thought that you must please and not displease.
Edward W. Said (Representations of the Intellectual)