Ask Me Anything

Below are questions that have been submitted for me to answer. Logged in members can upvote any question by clicking the up arrow next to it. Every few months I’ll pick some of the most upvoted questions (as well as some other questions I think are particularly good) and answer them in one of my Ask Me Anything videos.

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1

What’s your advice to stop giving a fuck (or choosing what to give a fuck about) at work?

I think I manage quite well in choosing my fucks when it comes to relationship, social settings, hobbies, family, etc. I try not to act based on what others think of me. That way I can… (Show more)

I think I manage quite well in choosing my fucks when it comes to relationship, social settings, hobbies, family, etc. I try not to act based on what others think of me. That way I can live true to my values. It somehow works, or at least I feel satisfied with the way it’s going so far.
However, work-related things seem to affect me too much. I care a lot about what my manager and my colleagues think about me. How to handle this? I know, I should care less and just do my work, but how to care less when that impression I give might affect my performance appraisals, and (potentially in the future) my income and my job stability?
Any tips?
Thanks!

1

How can I get over a breakup of a 6 year relationship that I did not want to end?

In episode 12 of AMA, you covered the difficulty of being friends with an ex and how any feelings of regret or attachment or attraction or hope must be dead and buried before it is even… (Show more)

In episode 12 of AMA, you covered the difficulty of being friends with an ex and how any feelings of regret or attachment or attraction or hope must be dead and buried before it is even slightly possible to be friends with an ex, and even then, there must be commonality (kids, job, hobbies, etc.). Your answer was right on the mark, but it made me feel very sad anyway.

I miss my ex, she doesn't miss me. I was dumped. Now I am 72, I am retired, she is 58, self-employed. We live on different continents. She is in a new relationship. We've had no contact for ten years. She doesn't do any social media. I know next to nothing about her life since 2010.

I don't have a booming career anymore, I'm not wealthy but financially secure. I feel like I am not a good catch anymore. My sell-by date has passed.

My biggest fear was being alone and I have dealt with it. Been alone for ten years. I am used to it. I travel alone, stay in hostels (before COVID), and enjoy life. I have hobbies and interests. I am never bored but I am lonely.

I have met a lot of people in ten years. I have made some good friendships. But I haven't yet met anyone that compares to my ex from a compatibility and chemistry perspective.

I have not had a romance, even a short-lived one, since the breakup. When I have met someone where I see even a possibility worth exploring, they are not interested in a romantic relationship with me. I don't date any more.

I think about my past relationship with more fondness than anger. I know my own mistakes and why she ended things.

I also recognize I am very afraid to fall in love again, lest I get hurt as badly as I was hurt ten years ago. I thought we'd be together forever.

At 72, my future isn't nearly as long as my past. How can I stop thinking about my ex? I see the problems clearly. Otherwise, we'd still be together.

But instead of being afraid to live alone, I am now afraid to die alone.

Any suggestions for an old guy like me, whose ex is 14 years younger?

0

What is your expert opinion about deism? Can you please write an article with regards to it?

I would like to be enlightened about deism. Is this the right point of view in life?

1

Mark, how do I fix a "lack of vision" in areas of my life?

One common thread I struggle with is lack of "vision" in many of my endeavors. My photography looks good but it lacks a bigger "vision". My day job work is fine but I lack a vision… (Show more)

One common thread I struggle with is lack of "vision" in many of my endeavors. My photography looks good but it lacks a bigger "vision". My day job work is fine but I lack a vision of how I want it to look in two years. Dude, I wrote this question because I can't figure out what rug to get for my floor. What can I do to improve this besides get a Pintrest account?

1

What's the difference between relativism and postmodernism?

1

What did you do when you started to catch yourself overestimating a connection with a potential romantic partner?

In your reaction/overreaction, you said you learned that you consistently overestimated your potential relationships. So once you noticed that pattern, what did you tell yourself when the same familiar feelings of romance and destiny took hold?

0

How do you deal with people giving you unsolicited advice? I feel like the fact it’s given so ruthlessly goes under my skin.

It really makes me so angry I can hardly think clearly when that happens and then I often react very intensely.

0

Fuck Yes or No if the other person is just shy?

I love the idea of Fuck Yes or No and try to apply it as good as possible. I wondered how one can differentiate between someone just being shy or a bit insecure in the beginning,… (Show more)

I love the idea of Fuck Yes or No and try to apply it as good as possible. I wondered how one can differentiate between someone just being shy or a bit insecure in the beginning, who may not come across as a Fuck Yes, and someone who‘s just not excited to talk to you?

2

Where is the line between ’settling’ and being ‘realistic’?

I see both these words get used a lot in dating what some people see as settling others see as being realistic and vice versa, how would you differentiate the two?

0

Boundaries or Withdrawal?

I tend to have problems withdrawing from people I’m close to the closer I get to them (which you’ve discussed on the site before). Usually that means I tend to be the less-invested party in my… (Show more)

I tend to have problems withdrawing from people I’m close to the closer I get to them (which you’ve discussed on the site before). Usually that means I tend to be the less-invested party in my friendships, but when I’m not, it’s terrifying, and I try and find things to leave over. In one close friendship I have, I feel like I’m putting more effort than the other person, and that he’s kind of drifting out of my life and relying on other people. My instinct here is to back off and find other people to be close to (set some boundaries on the friendship), but I don’t know where that line is between healthy boundaries and my unhealthy relationship habit.

1

Can you shift from avoidant attachment to anxious attachment depending on either the relationship or a particular situation in such?

In a past relationship, I could definitely identify with more of the avoidant attachment theory. And even at the beginning of my most recent one I felt like I could identify with that more. However after… (Show more)

In a past relationship, I could definitely identify with more of the avoidant attachment theory. And even at the beginning of my most recent one I felt like I could identify with that more. However after a series of events that have broken trust in the relationship, I now feel like I lean more towards the anxious type.

2

Is it possible to make strong friendships in your 30-50s?

It feels like these are lost years...when others in your peer group are also in the stage of life when they are focused on family and/or the job, how do you make friendships that are more… (Show more)

It feels like these are lost years...when others in your peer group are also in the stage of life when they are focused on family and/or the job, how do you make friendships that are more than the occasional e-mail, text or call? It seems easier during college or, I would imagine, later in life. Do I just need to reset my expectations on what friendship looks like right now? (This doesn't even factor in the whole pandemic thing, which...yeah.)

1

I understand that a sense of community is important to combat loneliness. But "community" can be rife with infighting and toxicity. Is it better to stick it out or run the other way?

0

Do you believe in karma?!

Do you believe that if someone hurts me they will feel the same ?! They will experience the same pain ?!

0

How do I know that the people I care about are worth it?

I always seem to care about people more than they care for me. How do I know beforehand that the person I see is who they really are?

2

I'd love to hear your take on cultural appropriation.

This is a current trend. To me, this subject has a LOT of blurred lines, and definitely has a slippery slope. I was recently in an online conversation where someone said "I will no longer use… (Show more)

This is a current trend. To me, this subject has a LOT of blurred lines, and definitely has a slippery slope.

I was recently in an online conversation where someone said "I will no longer use the term 'spirit animal' because I hurt someone by saying that" - To me, there are certain figures of speech that have always been derogatory, and only an idiot would continue to speak them outloud.

But 'spirit animal' is not one of them. It is a spiritual concept, spanning over many cultures, not just one. It's not a derogatory term, nor ever has been.

Should spiritual concepts be subject to cultural appropriation rules?

2

How can you move on without closure?

I was in a short lasting relationship a couple of years ago and due to a mixture of distance, me being too young/immature and not really being into her it came to an end but with… (Show more)

I was in a short lasting relationship a couple of years ago and due to a mixture of distance, me being too young/immature and not really being into her it came to an end but with the idea of reuniting at a later date, looking back I realise I led her on for a while until she decided to move on without saying anything. As soon as this happened I realised how much of an asshole I looked and wanted to talk it through, it is at the point now where contact is not an option after I tried speaking to her and she shut me down and things got a bit messy, I know I can’t be with her but how can I move on without that closure?

3

What was the turning point in your dating life?

After reading models it sounds like you went from being extremely socially awkward with women to a dating expert in a short amount of time, I am 22 and feel like I am somewhat similar to… (Show more)

After reading models it sounds like you went from being extremely socially awkward with women to a dating expert in a short amount of time, I am 22 and feel like I am somewhat similar to how you described yourself, what were the first steps you took to get where you are today?

2

What are your most important values at the moment?

0

What do you think makes 2 guys good friends?

Sometimes we’re attracted to people who show little interest in us while at other times we’re not so interested in nice, well behaved people who are always making us feel good.

1

What do daydreams reveal about who we are and what do you daydream about regularly?

2

What advice would you give someone who identifies as both 'The Victim' and 'The Saver'?

1

If false news and false information is shared exponentially more than accurate news and true information, what’s the point of being correct?

I watched “The Social Dilemma” and am now distraught. Intelligence seems doomed. Why fight for credibility anymore if the majority of people are interested in garbage? I could start a blog based on lies more easily… (Show more)

I watched “The Social Dilemma” and am now distraught. Intelligence seems doomed. Why fight for credibility anymore if the majority of people are interested in garbage? I could start a blog based on lies more easily than on wisdom; it makes me question why I should waste my time and energy ever trying to help others. They seem content being ignorant.

1

Can acquiring more knowledge than the average person be a blessing and a curse?

0

Mark Manson: introvert or extrovert?

Have you taken a personality test and if so, what’s your type?

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