Read this and wonder for yourself: am I having the same 'problem'? Am I suffering? (these questions and answers are taken from Reader's Digest)
Q: I hate choosing things. When I grab a spoon out of the drawer, I have a hard time picking one, even though they're all the same. Then, when I finally choose a spoon, I feel bad for all the others. I even sort of apologise to them: ''Sorry, guys. Next time!'' Is this weird?
Hooo-eeee! Our experts made a smorgasbord out of you, and they each picked a different spoon. While Perman sees a wounded soul and ''a great sensitivity that has arisen out of being hurt, omitted or neglected,'' Wymes thinks you're awfully self-involved: ''It's narcissistic to think the spoons would want to be exposed to your cuisine.''(Narcissism: the habit of admiring yourself too much, narcissistic: adj)
Joshua Coleman, PhD, a San Francisco psychologist and author, on the other hand, doubts that you're standing up for yourself in arenas more vital than the silverware drawer. ''To be successful, you have to be decisive about what you want in your life and career. You need to know when to prioritise your own needs,'' he says.
And Beresin wonders, ''Is this a joke? Do you apologise to tools in the box? Pencils on the desk? Products that you don't buy at the store? Magical thinking – that is, believing that inanimate objects have feelings – is normal for a four-year-old. But it's definitely not normal for an adult.'' Since you're such a feast for the psychological mind, you might consider talking to a professional. You won't have to apologise to him.
[My personal experience]: I don't know. Sometimes when I go buying something, lets say pencil, i feel pity to other pencil that I didn't choose. Is that so weird, feeling sorry for something?
Q: Why am I incapable of throwing things out? I still have my full wardrobe from the 1970s. It'd be a movie costumer's dream if it weren't all moth-eaten. And I never throw out a computer – our attic houses four of them now. My family makes me throw out the newspapers, but I hate it. I always think, We might need that! Am I nuts?
Well, Freud would call you anal-retentive. You may well have pack-rat syndrome, or pathological hoarding. Pack rats feel the world is out of whack if they don't have all their things, often meaning anything that's ever passed into their possession. Pathological hoarding is related to OCD, and in both, it's a futile attempt to control something in an unstable world.
At the extreme, says Gitlin, ''people who are truly pathological hoarders can't get into their house, they're crippled by it, not able to find things, making their dwellings into major fire hazards.'' Your problem sounds less severe than that, but it's all a question of degree. Your family may well have a better perspective, and if they say you need help, listen to them.
For this behaviour, as for most of the others here, ''there are no absolute criteria,'' says Nando Pelusi, PhD, a clinical psychologist with a private practice in Manhattan. Psychological problems are contextual, ''so we have to look at the whole picture. Something might be just an emotional quirk, or it might be truly unhelpful.'' Since there are no hard-and-fast rules, you and your family have to decide for yourselves. ''When people decide it's dangerous or disturbing,'' says Pelusi, ''that's when they give therapists like me a call.''
Hmm, seems like I do have problems afterall, don't I? Well, h ow about you?