(Wait a minute! Are you getting a little queasy? Althouse is blogging about Dr. Helen writing on her blog about diavlogging with Althouse and (her husband) Instapundit, and at the same time Althouse is guestblogging on Instapundit and appearing on Bloggingheads with Instapundit and Dr. Helen. Don't worry. I expect Maxine to show up in the comments and deal with this alarming involution. Or just start a blog and call it Alarming Involution, write something brilliant, and send me the URL, so I'll have something to link to while I have this instalanching power.)
Dr. Helen writes about Albert Ellis and something called Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy.
Ellis encourages people to "keep moving, moving, moving and to try scary things and not to give a s**t when they are rejected."In the diavlog, Dr. Helen put it this way:
"He says the best thing that a person can do is to be rejected over and over and over and not give a shit. I think that's really good advice. He says you basically arrive when you can basically be rejected and just not care."There were no asterisks in the speech on the diavlog, and it was possibly the only time anyone's ever said a bad word in the whole history of Bloggingheads!
Anyway, I didn't say it during the diavlog -- though I thought it -- but I think that maybe some people could come out well at the end of getting "rejected over and over and over" until the reach the stage where they don't "give a shit," but that this also sounds like a description of a sociopath!
Ellis himself seems to have developed his theory as a technique for picking up women, which Helen describes. He just forced himself to talk to every single woman, accept the rejections, and keep going.
Of the first 130 women he went up to, he got only one date, he said, but "with the second 100, I got good and made a few dates"—and, eventually, got to be "one of the best picker-uppers of women in the United States."I remember reading some Henry Miller book a long time ago -- "Tropic of Capricorn"/"The Tropic of Cancer" -- and he described a technique of rubbing up against women in the subway on the theory that you'd eventually find someone who liked it. Well, it's not a crime to talk to women, but I'm just saying that rejection-insensitivity could be evil.
I think it's liberating to get a thick skin and squelching to dwell on what other people think, but I wouldn't go so far as to say the goal is not to care at all.