Test Eleven: “Ouch! Normative Male Alexithymia”

January 21, 2011 at 2:17 am Leave a comment

Actually, I did “well” on this test, as in I did not score very highly on the 35 statements about how willing you are to express feelings, to which you have to answer from 1) “Not at all characteristic of me” to (5) “Extremely characteristic of me”, with the final five questions probing past relationships.

A little reverse scoring and we’re away. I was just along the 15th percentile. Which means I am all touchy-feely lovey dovey. Or else it means I’m in a long-term (7 and more than a bit years) relationship with an amazingly cool woman, and it’s a relationship which has (fingers crossed) pretty solid foundations.

Anyhow, NMA is a term coined by “Ronald Levant, a Harvard Medical School professor… to reflect his belief that this is a pervasive problem for men.” (The term Alexithymia is merely Greek for “an inability to put feelings into words”).

I’m not romanticising communist or feudal or any other societies when I say that Capitalism encourages us to treat other people as widgets, avatars there for our own enjoyment and meeting of needs (be they for sex (fn1), adulation, money, whatever). Objectification, alienation etc. These are part of the human condition, but our current system magnifies rather than reduces the problem. As ever, Janda is good on the micro-level, not so hot on the macro…

A quote:
Tom Lehrer “Speaking of love, one problem that recurs more and more frequently these days in books, and plays, and movies and so on, is the inability of people to communicate with the people they love. Husbands and wives who can’t communicate; children who can’t communicate with their parents, and so on. And the characters in these books, and plays – and in real life, I might add – spend hours bemoaning the fact that they can’t communicate. I feel that if a person can’t communicate the very least he can do is to SHUT UP.” (From the album ‘That was the year that was’).

A joke…
Johnny comes home from school very excited, saying he’s got a part in the school play.
His dad asks him what’s the part
Johnny: I’m gonna play a man who’s been married for 25 years.
Dad: Do it well son, and maybe next year they’ll give you a speaking part.

And a Song: You keep it all in by Beautiful South [lyrics here]

(fn 1) I have nothing against “zipless fucks”/anonymous encounters, as long as everyone involved is a consenting adult. And not an undercover cop, obviously.

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Entry filed under: self-knowledge. Tags: , .

Test Ten: Assertive Me, or “Not backward in coming forward” Test Twelve: Control Freak Out

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