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|11-03-2011, 03:42 PM||#1 (permalink)|
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: NY, USA
Started watching anime again- harmless guilty pleasure or harmful relapse?
So embarrassed to be writing this, but I'm really curious to get some feedback from you guys.
Back in my preteen years I was into the whole anime thing. It was great escapism at a time in my life when I was unhappy and insecure. I lost interest in it when I started to become happier and more confident, and never looked back. Since then I've been pretty embarrassed about my old hobby and haven't told many people that it's something I used to really like.
Fast forward to a few weeks ago. I recently moved to a new place. I love it here, but it's pretty removed from civilization and I don't know many people in the area yet- long story short, I have a lot of free time. I was browsing Youtube one day and noticed that they have an anime section, so I thought I'd see what they had, just for giggles and nostalgia. Then I saw that they had what used to be one of my favorite shows... so I thought I'd check it out to see if I still dug it. Turns out I really did. I watched the whole series and then went looking for more.
I haven't told anyone what I've been doing, not even close friends or family. It feels illicit and shameful- a betrayal of the strong, non-anime-watching persona I've worked so hard on since leaving my insecure preteen self behind. But I'm really digging some of these shows! I want to be able to enjoy them without feeling guilty. I don't think I'm using it as an escape from anything other than boredom; I still have other things to fill my time, and in general I'm a very positive, self-loving person. I believe that everyone should love and embrace who they are and what they like, and it bothers me that I'm so ashamed of the geeky side that's always been a part of me.
The TL; DR version:
Is a "relapse" into an old guilty pleasure necessarily a bad thing? Does it necessarily indicate a relapse into old, unhealthy behavior patterns, or can it just be harmless fun?
I'd love to hear about your experiences with similar issues. Thanks!
|11-03-2011, 06:34 PM||#2 (permalink)|
Join Date: Feb 2010
Since it is your life I would guess that you would know whether it's harmful or not better than anyone else. If you don't want to be spending a lot of time with anime maybe you can stick with only films rather than series.
Here's what I think:
If you want to watch them without any feeling of shame, then it would be helpful to just relax about the whole thing. Just keep watching the shows, accept that you feel ashamed by it, and just enjoy yourself. If you think of the fact that you're ashamed as something wrong with you that you need to actively fix, and think you can't be comfortable until you do, then the feeling will probably stick around. So just relax and don't worry about it.
|11-03-2011, 08:11 PM||#3 (permalink)|
Join Date: Nov 2006
Go deep into yourself and you will realize that the embarrassment you feel is nothing more than society's pressure getting to you. Basically, you believe that you must be a person with X characteristics, and watching anime doesn't fill that role, so now you're feeling guilty. You may also be associating watching anime with "bad", due to past experiences.
Just think about it for a moment: It's complete nonsense. You're watching a bunch of cartoons!
Now, see, you just need the right friends: smart friends.
I watch anime with my girlfriend and my best friend. We all love it. It's all good. We have loads of fun.
Obviously if you watch anime 15 hours a day and don't do anything, it's probably harmful.
|11-03-2011, 08:52 PM||#4 (permalink)|
Join Date: Feb 2010
I don't think anyone can really tell you if you are misusing anime. Why do did you feel shame in watching anime? Was it the escapism that you felt more ashamed of or were you ashamed because you were watching a 'bunch of cartoons'? If it is the latter case, I'd say it is more unhealthy for you to care what other people think to such an extent where you would feel guilty and even hide the fact that you like something. Owning who you are and centring your actions and thoughts around your values and goals is a healthier thing to do. Otherwise, people will just rip you apart.
I like some anime, my self. It is just fun to watch sometimes, but then, some anime, like the Ghost in the Shell, series have some interesting philosophical trends running through it. Noting the difference between North American and Japanese culture can also be interesting.
|11-04-2011, 01:28 AM||#5 (permalink)|
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: NY, USA
Thank you all for your input!
Yeah, what's bugging me is how I'm having such strong feelings of guilt and embarrassment even though it really isn't a big deal to enjoy some cartoons. I would never judge someone else for watching anime- but I can't seem to just chill and let myself geek out a little.
I guess it's really just a visible symptom of something I need to work on that I thought I already had down: owning who I am and what I like, and not caring what other people might think about it. That said, I still can't envision letting on to my friends that I've been watching anime again... so I guess I have more work to do! But thank you everyone for helping me put it into perspective.
|11-04-2011, 01:38 AM||#6 (permalink)|
Join Date: Feb 2010
I thinking owing who you are is a process, my self. I keep thinking that I have accomplished this only to run into bits and pieces of my self that I haven't owned. I think they come out when you discover there are differences between your self and your friends/family and when we go through transitional phases in life.
It is good that you have a good perspective on the issue though!
I noticed that you said that you felt some shame in posting this on a public forum. As something relatively small and concrete to do, I'm sure there are people on this forum who would 'geek out' with you and talk about anime on the Fun and Recreation forum.
|11-04-2011, 02:16 AM||#7 (permalink)|
Join Date: Jan 2011
Hey...I never watched Anime until about a year ago when I ran out of other things to watch at night and my husband decided he liked the "look" of some of the covers on Netflix...lol...so he flipped it on for kicks.
We spent about three months watching different series! They are really interesting. I would never watch it before because I thought it must be some kind of fetish or something, but it turned out to be really neat and some of those shows just kind of reel you in!
Don't feel ashamed! And just think, now that you're older, there's probably a lot to them you will understand better than you did when you were 10-12 years old. Not to mention you can watch the ones made for more mature audiences if you darn well please because no one is allowed to tell you no about giant cartoon boobies. . Those seem to be more interesting to me.
|11-04-2011, 03:41 AM||#8 (permalink)|
Join Date: Nov 2011
I had to reply to this thread- I ran into it while talking to my friend about an anime he's watching.
Besides watching anime, do you feel embarrassed about doing other things that your friends don't do or might look down on?
In my social circle/family anime is fairly popular.
I think you should enjoy anything that makes you happy and not worry about it unless it is causing issues in your life.
I'm really curious to hear about your "non-anime watching persona" .. it seems we live in two completely different worlds.
|11-04-2011, 03:29 PM||#9 (permalink)|
Join Date: Nov 2006
Your "ego ideal" is being violated which means you are going to experience guilt.
Whether it's a relapse or not depends on if you have a standard that says "Watching anime is not what I should be doing."
Obviously you have that standard so it's a relapse.
The solution doesn't necessarily mean you should give up anime, as you can always change your standard.
What most people do is just feel conflicted. If the guilt gets bad enough it forces the decision: either adopting a new standard that encourages the behavior or giving up the undesirable behavior.
^ Just my 2c.
|11-06-2011, 12:28 AM||#10 (permalink)|
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Pittsburg, California
Hiya there Meerkat! Thanks for sharing. (:
Personally I don't think there's anything wrong with watching anime. Anime has become extremely popular in fact due to all the new shows coming out on mainstream networks. And I'm SURE just watching anime will not make you a nerd; my ghetto cousin loves the Star Wars series, and is definitely not a nerd. xD
Seems to me like you're more ashamed of what you believe watching anime means rather than the anime itself. Pavlov's law has some ground here: you watched anime as a kid, and you felt insecure. You watch, you feel insecure, you watch, you feel insecure. Soon the insecure feeling is attatched to anime. Now when you want to watch anime, you fear you may return to feeling insecure or "geeky".
My best advice is to use get some emotional leverage, "is this thought pattern changable, how is this thought pattern harming me, why MUST I change this thought pattern", and then develop some pattern interrupts- movements or phrases you can do with emotion- to break out of any emotional state you feel stuck in. We link emotional states to actions and objects, and those emotional states can be changed. (:
Last piece of advice is: watch Gurren Lagann. It's a very dramatic and compelling anime.
Take care now!
(Also, Hentai is not anime. Hentai is pornography.)
Last edited by Snick; 11-06-2011 at 12:33 AM.
|geekery, relapsing, shame|
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