Clare Voyens ~ Anxiety Aunt

Dear Clare,
Iíve noticed that I react emotionally to television commercials whenever Iím starting a relationship (or after just ending one). I normally donít react to these commercials. Is something wrong with me?

Clare replies: This is a common problem, but the causes are fairly complex. The favourite pastime in competitive societies tends to be social comparison. Comparing oneself to others starts at school, where your worth as a person is measured in categories not chosen by you – categories applied uniformly to everyone. Although personal worth ought to be seen as a measure of uniqueness, itís never actually viewed this way in respectable society (unless you become a celebrity, like me). Social comparisons therefore become an obsession, leading to one of two feelings: inferiority or superiority...

...The former feels awful; the latter is vastly overrated – neither are recommended.

Addiction to social comparison really takes hold during romantic (ie sexual) relationships. Hormonal changes can emotionally sensitise perceptions of socio-sexual status. This explains why car advertisements feature babies or tantalising glimpses of female thigh. Advertisers juxtapose social-comparison anxieties with suggestion of sex-bonding for maximum emotional insecurity button-pressing.

Social comparers (winners and losers) make good consumers, but sad individuals. There are two ways to escape this trap: i) donít have romantic relationships, or ii) donít watch TV (if you can avoid both, youíll achieve enlightenment within a year).

Clare Voyens is an unregistered practitioner of neo-Reichian gland therapy, and runs an aura alignment telephone service for stressed executives.

–FOR YOUR ADVICE–
• ALWAYS FLUSH
• TURN OFF TAPS
• RE-FASTEN CLOTHING
• CLOSE DOOR BEHIND YOU
• DO NOT STEAL TOILET PAPER
• DO NOT LEAVE SOAP ON FLOOR