September 6, 2023 6:46 AM   Subscribe

I once again solicit your experiences for the sake of songwriting ... next ... A person who gives themself the illusion of freedom but really doesn't have it. There are no external forces preventing it but they consciously and/or unconsciously limit themselves. Not physical limitations, more like psychological or emotional ones, though I don't want to rule out anything.

What can you tell me?

I am ever so grateful for what you share.
posted by falsedmitri to Writing & Language (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Someone who doesn’t get close to people because they feel freer not needing anyone, but in reality is limiting themselves from the full range of fulfilling relationships?
posted by wheatlets at 6:56 AM on September 6 [1 favorite]

Looking at the horizon from the ground, not realizing you'd see more if you climbed up even a few feet. There's a lot out there, but there could be much more.
posted by EvaDestruction at 7:00 AM on September 6 [1 favorite]

Best answer: "You can't tell me not to _____, I'm a free person" (smoke, take drugs, run off with the romantic partner, whatever)

...until I'm stuck buying a carton of smokes every week just to feel normal, or I'm dopesick until I can score enough to get well, or I'm remote from all my friends and family trapped with someone I barely know, and I'm not really free at all.
posted by adekllny at 7:26 AM on September 6 [3 favorites]

Gangs, Yakuza, Mafia, etc., Criminal groups who decided not to obey the laws but then subject themselves to all sorts of arbitrary rules so they can be part of the group.
posted by fellion at 11:10 AM on September 6 [1 favorite]

Women who say they shave their body hair or wear heels or makeup, not to be attractive to men, but just for themselves, because they like it and it feels good. Never questioning why what they "freely" choose to do "just for themselves" happens to fit so neatly into society's conventional views of what is normal and attractive for women.

Men who won't give up their freedom for any woman. Maybe they have a girlfriend or a wife but they're not pussywhipped like a lot of other guys. They do what they want. (But there are whole classes of things they never even let themselves want because those things don't fit in with their concept of manhood.)

People who want the freedom of working for themselves instead of a boss, so they start their own consulting business or open a store or buy a little farm and then have to work or think about their work every waking hour of every day, never even taking a vacation because there's no one else who can do the work while they're gone.
posted by Redstart at 11:47 AM on September 6 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Chiefly, what they [Americans] have been trained not to know or even suspect is that, in many ways, they enjoy far fewer freedoms, and suffer under a more intrusive centralized state, than do the citizens of countries with more vigorous social-democratic institutions. [...] An enormous number of Americans have been persuaded to believe that they are freer in the abstract than, say, Germans or Danes precisely because they possess far fewer freedoms in the concrete. (Commonweal, 2020 / excerpt, 2021)
posted by Iris Gambol at 2:20 PM on September 6 [3 favorites]

Perfectionism/the fear of failure? You tell yourself "I could do anything, I could try [new thing] if I wanted to but I don't feel like it right now" when it's really the fear of not being good at something. So you're stuck only doing things you already know.
posted by Baethan at 4:36 AM on September 7 [1 favorite]

« Older Is there a 401k breakdown?   |   Posting social media with links Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments