A comic. The scene: a decorative border. Character 1 is: a cute cartoon creature. Character 2 is: a cute cartoon creature. Character 1: Am I being self-conscious? Character 2: If you ask that question, the answer is yes. Character 1: Wait, who are you? Character 2: I'm your subconscious mind, or part of it at any rate. And the answer to your question is: yes, you are being self-conscious. Character 1: How do I stop? Character 2: You can't stop. From here on in your every act begins with a glance sideways to see who's watching. You'll calculate what they think of you, what they consider acceptable, and what you WANT them to think of you, and act accordingly. Character 1: But I don't want to be like that, I want to natural and spontaneous! Character 2: Sure, but the sad truth is that you are naturally, spontaneously desperate for acceptance and validation from other people. It would be dishonest to pretend otherwise. Character 1: But that's awful! Is everyone else like this, or is it just me? Character 2: I'm fairly sure it's not just you. Character 1: Hmm... Character 2: But don't go thinking you can just go into a room and shout: "Hey everyone, we're ALL self-conscious, but now that we all know we are we can all stop!" That wouldn't work. Character 1: OK, but... Character 2: And no, you can't solve this by setting up a network of bilateral mutually-assured social acceptance treaties. People don't work that way. ...you're going to try anyway, aren't you? Character 1: It would be a little like Creative Commons licenses, but for emotions instead of artwork! And there could be a website and everything. This is going to be so cool! Character 2: *Sigh*

Self-conscious

A comic. The scene: a decorative border. Character 1 is: a cute cartoon creature. Character 2 is: a cute cartoon creature.  Character 1: Am I being self-conscious? Character 2: If you ask that question, the answer is yes. Character 1: Wait, who are you? Character 2: I'm your subconscious mind, or part of it at any rate. And the answer to your question is: yes, you are being self-conscious. Character 1: How do I stop? Character 2: You can't stop. From here on in your every act begins with a glance sideways to see who's watching. You'll calculate what they think of you, what they consider acceptable, and what you WANT them to think of you, and act accordingly. Character 1: But I don't want to be like that, I want to natural and spontaneous! Character 2: Sure, but the sad truth is that you are naturally, spontaneously desperate for acceptance and validation from other people. It would be dishonest to pretend otherwise. Character 1: But that's awful! Is everyone else like this, or is it just me? Character 2: I'm fairly sure it's not just you.  Character 1: Hmm... Character 2: But don't go thinking you can just go into a room and shout: "Hey everyone, we're ALL self-conscious, but now that we all know we are we can all stop!" That wouldn't work. Character 1: OK, but... Character 2: And no, you can't solve this by setting up a network of bilateral mutually-assured social acceptance treaties. People don't work that way. ...you're going to try anyway, aren't you? Character 1: It would be a little like Creative Commons licenses, but for emotions instead of artwork! And there could be a website and everything. This is going to be so cool! Character 2: *Sigh*

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