Big Event Anxiety E.g. Going to Weddings

I’ve been invited to a wedding three months from now, and the idea of going to it is already causing anxiety. The inner conflict is between the thought that I *should go* and the feeling that I don’t want to because it will be really hard for me.

I imagine this wedding to be hard for a number of reasons. First, as an introvert, I don’t like these kinds of big events, especially when they are full up with people from the distant past. I much prefer leaving the past in the past than I do being reunited with it en masse, such as by meeting again some of the people I went to school with years ago. It’s not that there’s anyone I dislike or specifically don’t want to meet again from my school years, it’s rather that I’ve moved on from all that. There’s nothing interesting there that I would want to dig up, and anyway, the social aspect of my school days brings up more bad memories than good.

Another aspect I imagine to be hard is the energy drain of going to a big event and the pressure to be ‘on form’. This means interacting with a lot of people over what is likely to be a very long day. I have been to weddings that I’ve really enjoyed before, but these were generally when I was the random guest who didn’t really know anyone else there. Not knowing many people actually makes going to a wedding a lot easier, as you can always disappear when you need to and nobody will care or notice you’re gone.

And the final aspect that is hard is going to a wedding alone without a guest. I go on holiday alone and will eat out alone happily. In the past I have been to nightclubs and music festivals alone, that’s harder but still doable. But going to a wedding alone, well, I’m already feeling the cringe of awkwardly standing about with nobody to talk to during all those in-between moments that happen at weddings, such as when waiting to pose for photos. If I go, I can imagine myself latching on another loner for mutual support!

I haven’t decided whether I’m going to go or not yet to this wedding. As an ideal, I do want to go to show my support and care for my friend who is getting married. I also want to be part of the memories of that day. But then again I also know my personal limitations. There’s a big difference between pushing one’s comfort zone (doing something that is hard because it will be good for you) and going against oneself (forcing yourself to do what is hard when your insides scream ‘No!’). In my case it’s much too early to decide whether going to this wedding will be within my comfort zone or not. Three months later is a lot of time for things to change and by then I may be feeling much healthier than now, and if that’s the case, I will have ample energy for a big event such as this. If I don’t feel in good physical shape by the time of this wedding, which is needed to avoid energy wipeout, then I’m just not going to go. I’ll explain my reasons to my friend and hope that she can be understanding of that.

Do I Have Posh Envy?

‘Posh envy’ is consciously or unconsciously disliking people because they are posh and you are jealous of them. So do I have posh envy? Let’s break it down…

For those of you who aren’t English and don’t know this because you haven’t lived it; a definition: being posh is something you are born into and you cannot ever become posh no matter how much money you acquire in your lifetime. It doesn’t matter whether you marry someone posh, how many degrees you’ve got, how you’ve changed the way you speak, or even if the Queen herself has given you a title. In England you’re either posh, trying to be posh, or on the common end of the scale (that’s where I am).

In my life I’ve met some brilliant genuine posh people whom I really respect and admire. The ones that come to mind are two retired English army officers (50 years plus), posh ex-pat brats (children of posh English people, often the kids of army officers who grew up abroad), and also old school posh in general (over 60 years old). But then, I tend to get on better with older folks than I do with people my own age, so that’s not a surprise.

I also tend to be charmed by posh eccentrics. I like them and find captivating, everything from their impeccable manners to their crisp speech. I especially love how they tell stories, how they use language so richly, or how they simply just don’t give a fuck. Among the real posh there is a high proportion of eccentrics. The rest of the posh or the upper middle class, then no, I don’t really care for them at all because these ones do not value individualism; they sign up to the status quo.

I like that posh exists because I find it very English. On the other hand, I’m glad I don’t have to deal with posh everyday. For me it’s better when it’s a rarity—then it’s the same like catching a glimpse of a rare bird in flight. If I had to deal with it everyday, let’s say if I had to work with posh, then in most cases it would get on my nerves and I would stop to notice its beautiful feathers. Working with posh is in fact annoying, because posh looks at the world in a very different light and does favours for other posh.

The good thing about being born posh, I imagine, is the security of place it provides. It gives you a firm background in all the little things that help in life, from the way you speak to the manners with which you conduct yourself. You also don’t generally have to worry about being totally broke, homeless or not being able to afford to have children or own a house. In most cases, if you are posh, you will be looked after regarding the things that matter most. You will often also be supported with connections—having access to good jobs which is supposed not to be the case anymore but still is in reality.

For my own part, I am happy to be who I am today considering that to get here I crawled myself out of the gutter. This way I know I did everything for myself, with no special favours included. I also know that had I not grown up in South London to a Cockney mum, I would not have learnt about authenticity. I would have learnt about manners and the ‘proper’ way of being, but I wouldn’t have learnt what it means to stick two fingers up to all of that and to be who you are anyway.

That said, I have explored a bit of posh. That came from university and from travelling to ex-pat kinds of places. I like it, but I don’t belong there, as indeed I don’t belong anywhere 100 percent!

I also realise as I age that the women I really admire and in fact aspire to be more like, due to their authenticity and charisma, are common as muck. The list includes both Amy Winehouse and Jade Goody, both deceased (maybe their authenticity can be seen and valued because it is gone now). These two were also very rare birds, but the sad thing is that they did not live long enough to become phoenixes. There was another older Cockney woman in a wheelchair I overheard in an airport bar in Cyprus recently—she had everyone laughing with her direct way of speaking and insulting jokes that touched a nerve. As I sat there I thought to myself, I’m going to express myself like you when I’m older.

English with Lucy – The Copycat Method

Hopefully this will be the last post I have to make about English with Lucy, Lucy Earl, English teacher. However, this will be the last post only IF she stops copying me. There are other teachers and ‘accent specialists’ I could add to this post for being copycats but for the time being it will focus on Lucy as she is the most systematic, well-executed and scheming copycat. This post will be updated every time Lucy copies the titles of one of my videos. I’m sticking only to her copying my titles as I don’t actually want to watch her videos to find out how she has copied me other ways regarding the actual content.

Is it a problem for someone to copy your titles on YouTube? I say yes. The reason for this is that there are 10’s of thousands of potential English lesson videos out there one could make. There are so many topics that haven’t been made. If you have a creative consciousness (as opposed to a copying consciousness), it’s easy to make something new and to put totally new information out there on the internet. But even if you don’t have a creative consciousness, what you make should be completely original in that it should teach the topic from a completely new angle. Lucy doesn’t even do this.

English with Lucy even openly admits to being a copycat. You can watch her admit it HERE. Also bear in mind that this interview was published approximately a week after I confronted Lucy via email about her copying of me. I suppose she thought she was being sneaky and clever in this video when she admits to spying on her competition (ME!). And she must have thought nobody would realise she’s a fraud when she said her secret to success is copying but making it better. –Although if you ask me, she doesn’t make it better, only more FAKE and sexy-time. Side note: the interviewer hit the nail on the head when she said most new YouTubers start making videos because they want to make lots of money or get famous. Ahem! Lucy!

Here’s a list of titles Lucy Earl has copied directly from me. It also includes very close retitles as this is a way to get featured next to my videos in the search results and to harvest my subscribers. I’m beginning this list from summer 2016 as that’s when my beef with Lucy began behind the scenes:

  1. ’10 English Words You Pronounce Incorrectly’ (with a thumbnail that says ’10 English Words You Pronounce WRONG). My original video ‘3 Words Americans Say Wrong’ published in January 2013 and one of my most highly viewed videos of all time.
  2. ‘English Pronunciation Training – Imitation Technique’. This video is a very poorly executed rip off of my own accent course. Lucy’s video and announcement that she is in the process of making an accent course was published one month after I launched my accent course – coincidence, not!
  3. Lucy is very keen on using words to the effect of ‘Speak Like a Native’ in her titles. This is based on my most successful YouTube video ever Sound like a native speaker: the BEST pronunciation advice.
  4. Lucy also decided to jump on to the accent video bandwagon and loves to make any kind of video that occupies exactly the same niche as me. E.g. ‘How to Learn British Accents’
  5. And finally, Lucy’s featured video on her channel is not a copy of me but it is one of her scheming. covert attacks. It’s a long, quite boring interview with a voice coach. This is Lucy’s passive aggressive way of platforming an expert in my genre, above me. Don’t you think it’s odd that the featured video on her channel is Lucy being informed by some voice coach — must be groundbreaking stuff; more important than her own English lesson content, at least!

FUTURE PREDICTIONS

I’m ready to move on from my YouTube war with Lucy. I’m doing this by repositioning my own content into being more authentic and different to anything else in the genre. If Lucy makes any changes in her brand towards my own new direction of being real and not always nice and smiley — you know where she got that idea from first! Time will tell if she’s going to be a next level copycat!

Finally, I’ll end with a song:

 

Swarm of Ravenous Copycat Fake Teachers

I was watching some old English lessons of mine on my EngVid channel today which I don’t normally do when in the suggested videos section I chanced upon a nice looking face who was teaching something about the schwa in a pronunciation lesson. I clicked on this lesson to discover that this English teacher who apparently specialises in speaking skills (what a coincidence!) had copied my own video on the schwa. He even went as far as to lift an example from my video to use it in his lesson, without even changing it. This to me shows he doesn’t even understand what he is teaching; he simply goes to watch me first, so that he has something to say and can get views on his channel. To this he adds a nice professional intro and conversational manner so it looks like he knows what he is talking about, but the substance itself is stolen from the video I made first. People like this are ravenous copycat fake teachers.

This is not the first time I have found other ‘English teachers’ and ‘accent specialists’ on YouTube ripping off my videos and in fact my whole brand identity so that they can occupy the same niche as me, so I shouldn’t be surprised by how unoriginal most people are.  Whereas I go out and research topics for myself think them through painstakingly (an original lesson about a new topic on my English Jade channel can take a whole day to prepare with examples), these copycats just go watch me, change the title, give it a different intro, then sit back and rake in the ad revenue.

People have said I should take it as a compliment that a whole genre of copycat English teachers has sprung up around what I did first. But actually, I can’t see what’s good about it at all. It only makes me want to run away from them as fast as I can in the other direction so that I’m not associated with them. I also find it funny and very telling that the style I brought into being 5 years ago has now finally hit mass mainstream appeal, even though I have since moved on! It’s not good for my pocket but it does show that I really know what I’m doing, even if I do get there a bit early.

Lastly, what I would say to you is that as a viewer on YouTube is to apply discernment regarding teachers you are watching. Before you subscribe ask yourself if you are watching someone who is original, who stands out in some way. Also ask yourself if this person seems to be a real teacher. The way to know is that they will be true to themselves!