Exploring the emotions of loneliness, rejection, low self-esteem, perfectionism, “nice guys finish last,” anger, resentment and hate through Elliot Rodger.
I recently watched “Jiro Dreams of Sushi,” a documentary about the world’s greatest sushi chef. Jiro operates a restaurant in Tokyo where customers must book at least a month in advance and pay ¥30,000 (around USD$370) in order to enjoy a 15-minute meal consisting of about twenty pieces of sushi.
According to Jiro, talent plays a very important role in the success of a chef. When a chef talks about talent, he or she is referring to the sensitivity of taste and smell, something that people are just born with. To give you a better idea of how this “talent” works, if a person with absolutely no “talent” has only two categories (“rotten” or “edible”) and the average person has five categories (“disgusting,” “tastes bad,” “tasteless,” “tastes good,” “delicious”) with which they sort their food, Jiro has hundreds of categories. Like Jiro, people with OCPD have hundreds of categories in many different areas because of their sensitivity.
Sensitivity gives people the power to catch subtle details that most people miss. In order to not miss any detail, Jiro tastes everything in his restaurant before serving his customers.
Like many people with OCPD, Jiro’s high standards come from the combination of his sensitivity and his gift for excellence. Jiro knows exactly what excellence tastes like. While most other sushi chefs buy all of their ingredients in bulk from one seafood supplier, Jiro takes the more inefficient practice of buying all of his ingredients separately from different suppliers who specialize in catching only one type of fish.
Jiro suggests that talent and high standards themselves cannot amount to success. Hard work is what is needed to turn those high standards from ideas into tangible things that others can enjoy. Jiro works extremely hard, even at the age of 85. When he goes on vacation, which he hardly does, he wishes to go right back to work. He has worked so hard his entire life that, until working with him as his apprentices, his children do not remember their father ever being around.
Like many people with OCPD, Jiro has a certain way of doing things to achieve perfection that many others would find tedious. To achieve the perfect amount of tenderness, Jiro spends up to fifty minutes just massaging his octopus. Because of his uncompromisable love for excellence, he requires everyone who works under him to follow his inflexible ways of doing things. His ways are so difficult to adopt that his apprentices must learn under him for a total of ten years before they can call themselves master sushi chefs. Their restaurant has seen workers quit the night of their first day of work because of how demanding the job is.
The documentary also shows how Jiro is a man of many routines.
Finally, the documentary examines Jiro’s survival mentality, an attitude of the mind that people with OCPD are no strangers to. While he was still so young, his father left his family and Jiro had to learn on his own how to take care of himself. Jiro treats his children with the same kind of cold, tough love because he believes that that is what makes a person strong.
I highly recommend this documentary to all those who are passionate about excellence!
I leave you with one thing to think about. Because of Jiro’s high standards, he is more likely to be disappointed with the taste of sushi that is prepared by other average sushi chefs. But does that mean other sushi chefs suck at what they do? No. Now think about an area in your life where you get disappointed frequently because of your high standards. In the same way, when other people fail to meet your high standards, it is not because they suck at what they do. Do not give others such a hard time when they fail to meet your high standards. Just be excellent yourself.
WARNING: Spoiler Alert!
Having gotten to watch “The Dark Knight Rises” last week in the perfect seats that I discussed earlier in my post titled “Theatre Seat Selection,” I was able to focus all my attention on the story. I loved it!
People with OCPD can expect to relate to the story of “The Dark Knight Rises” because it celebrates principles that are so dear to the heart of every OCPDer.
Even though his intentions have always been to do good for the undeserving city that was responsible for the death of his parents, Batman is subjected to the misdirected hate of the entire city of Gotham for the majority of the movie. Again and again, Batman is betrayed by those who come to him with false promises to help his honourable cause. But despite all the suffering and lack of appreciation he gets, Batman gives up his life to save Gotham City, not because he gets something out of it, but simply because it is the right thing to do.
Like Batman, you are a person of justice. Your heart breaks when you see injustice happen as a result of the absence or lack of moral order in this world. No matter what, you do not compromise your convictions. Even when everyone holds you down, even in the face of suffering or death, you keep on fighting for what is right. It is people like you who make history. It is people like you who change the world!
More than others, sensitive people spend their time thinking about the question “why?” Among this group of thinkers, there exists a rare breed of gifted intellectuals whose innate orderliness makes them highly skilled at finding an answer through the orderly process of logical reasoning.
People with OCPD have a gift for logical reasoning.
Logical reasoning is a very powerful tool used by the greatest mathematicians, scientists, diagnosticians, and detectives. It is what Sherlock Holmes and Dr. House (from the American TV series “House”) use to solve their respective mysteries.
It is what I have used to solve the mystery that is OCPD and build this entire blog without any formal education in psychology. People with OCPD just have to start with the question “why?” and then connect the puzzle pieces in their mind together.
But the “puzzle pieces” that they use to make their conclusions are not always accurate. The all-or-nothing thinking of people with OCPD can sometimes distort their judgment and cause them to make logical fallacies instead.
In an earlier post titled “Don’t Be Such a Chicken,” I linked a video of a frightened boy running away from a swarm of hungry chickens and suggested that he would probably develop a fear of birds from that traumatic experience. But why should all the thousands of different bird species be discriminated against when the boy’s experience only involved chickens?
Generalization is just one of the logical fallacies that gets committed by those who reason with all-or-nothing thinking. Racism, sexism, and all the other “isms” develop as a result of this kind of erroneous reasoning.
SO WHAT NOW?
HOW TO CO-EXIST WITH THE OTHER (OCPD):
Do not take it personally if others do not agree with you. Take the disagreement as an opportunity to refine your own beliefs through the learning of others’ different experiences.
HOW TO CO-EXIST WITH THE OTHER (OTHERS):
Do not “JADE” (justify, argue, defend, explain). If your OCPD friend tries to impose his or her beliefs onto you, you really do not need to defend your own beliefs. Instead, just say that you do not agree with him or her. If your OCPD friend corners you with his or her logic, try to catch the all-or-nothing thinking in his or her reasoning and respond by saying something along the lines of, “Hmmm, your observation is interesting. But I cannot agree with your premise because it is not true in my experience.” Your OCPD friend may then try to challenge the validity of your experience. You do not need to defend the validity of your experience. Instead, challenge him or her on the validity of his or her experience. No person’s experience justifies generalization.