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Poll

What is Dora underneath it all?

Bitch
- 17 (7.9%)
Raving lunatic bitch
- 11 (5.1%)
Scared little girl
- 40 (18.7%)
Lacking self-confidence
- 46 (21.5%)
Overly self-confident
- 10 (4.7%)
A bundle of self-sabotage
- 51 (23.8%)
The innocent victim
- 5 (2.3%)
Other
- 15 (7%)
Oxymoronic oxygen ox
- 10 (4.7%)
Borderline personality disorder
- 9 (4.2%)

Total Members Voted: 62


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Author Topic: What is Dora's fundamental character?  (Read 6817 times)

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What is Dora's fundamental character?
« on: 16 Nov 2010, 00:34 »

This is a larger issue than this week's arc, so I started a poll separate from the weekly comic thread.
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akronnick

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Re: What is Dora's fundamental character?
« Reply #1 on: 16 Nov 2010, 00:41 »

We don't really know much about Dora's history before the comic...

What were her relationships specifically like?
How did she come to own Coffee of Doom?
Has she, in fact, made a Faustian bargain of some sort with one of the Old Ones?

we don't know any of this, hopefully we will find out, but judging from her behaviour since she moved in with Marten, she's currently serving as her own worst enemy.
'
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Streetwise

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Re: What is Dora's fundamental character?
« Reply #2 on: 16 Nov 2010, 00:47 »

Her frequent and varied attempts to cat-in-microwave-BOOM! the relationship lends me to believe that her prior relationships are probably even worse than described, and she's trying to 'get out' before things go terribly, terribly wrong between her and Martin. I sometimes think that Dora is in an even worse position than Faye at this point in the game.

However, Dora/Martin was a great thing for both of them, and I'm finding myself wishing that she would stop trying to screw things up, but I think she might have done it this time, and really went "raving-lunatic-bitch" for the last time.
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IanClark

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Re: What is Dora's fundamental character?
« Reply #3 on: 16 Nov 2010, 00:56 »

Was JUST about to make this thread...

Anyway, I think someone's fundamental nature is defined as what they think they should be, combined with any problems they can't overcome. To date, there is no evidence that I can see that Dora's misanthropic issues couldn't be overcome with a bit of therapy, and furthermore I see plenty of evidence that she wants to change. I'd say she's genuinely altruistic, pained by dealing with her own actions in hindsight and occasionally terrified of the person living in her skin.
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jwhouk

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Re: What is Dora's fundamental character?
« Reply #4 on: 16 Nov 2010, 01:06 »

Scared little girl.

When mom and dad were off doing their Hunter S. Thompson imitations, where were Sven and Dora?
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Blackjoker

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Re: What is Dora's fundamental character?
« Reply #5 on: 16 Nov 2010, 04:49 »

You know, looking back at it I think a lot of it is that Dora has trust issues that go a bit deeper than initially thought. Remember when Marten and Dora visited her parents, Doras mother said, IN FRONT OF HER, that she was honestly considering banging Marten and then got flippant when Dora understandably reacted poorly. We don't know how they were as parents exactly so I'll avoid speculation. Add in that Dora pointed out that plenty of her friends abandoned her in favor of Sven (it's possible that Dora freaked out at them for going with him so they avoided her but still). Add in Svens comments that Marten is the first 'positive' boyfriend that she's had and it gets rather depressing. Dora being nihilistic or misanthropic is fairly reasonable here, and the old sibling rivalry jealousy thing is possible too but I think it's a bit more primal than that; Dora seems to have a bit of Fayes problem near the beginning, where Faye was assuming constant attempts at groping or assault Dora instead seems to assume emotional assaults or betrayal. She had mentioned to Marten during the arc where they got together that she knew she still had issues but kept them well hidden, it's entirely possible that those issues ran much deeper than thought at the time. She might subconsciously see those around her as trying to sabotage her, Sven stealing her friends, previous lovers hurting her, and I don't know how many friends she has outside of the main cast.

I don't dislike Dora, but her behavior seems to be radically escalating in terms of viciousness and reaction. What actually bothered me was how irritated she looked in the Monday comic where she was looking at the laptop, angry that Marten didn't want her looking at it because apparently it was 'normal.' As for her fundamental character, I would probably guess depressed.
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ChippyD

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Re: What is Dora's fundamental character?
« Reply #6 on: 16 Nov 2010, 05:16 »

My view, based on the fact that I come from a similar personality type, is that Dora feels she has a very empty life.

Seriously. Early on in the comic, Faye and Marten pretty much had to abduct Dora from her apartment. Dora has issues with filling the void in her life. Before, she was a nihilistic goth as an excuse to validate this problem: "The world's fucking worthless, so I'm not gonna play in it!" sort of deal. Once she shucked that attitude, she was still left with a very big hole in her life, and not much to fill it with. She runs Coffee of Doom so well because there literally seems to be nothing else in her life that could occupy her time. She's never seen talking to anyone outside of their group, she has hobbies to speak of. So the way that she fills that void in her life is to completely throw herself into the lives of other people, living vicariously through them, and the input they receive from her. If anyone disregards it "Oh My God Why Did You Cut Your Hair Without Asking Me?", that hole gets a little bigger. Vice versa, any time she's connected to something positive, she's over the moon "OMG I WANT TO BE THE FLOWER GIRL!".

I think one of the most important things Dora needs in order to improve her relationships with anyone, is to develope a sense of self-worth, and fill her life with things that occupy herself in particular. A new hobby. Another ring of friends to visit when this one needs a breather. I dunno. But she needs something where she can feel self-involved, rather than needing to completely leach off the positive energy of other peoples.
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jwhouk

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Re: What is Dora's fundamental character?
« Reply #7 on: 16 Nov 2010, 05:45 »

C'mon, this is too easy. Piaget, Trust vs. Mistrust? Very big issue with borderline personalities.

Sven's man-hoeing wasn't the start of her issues, I'm betting. I'm not saying molestation as a child, but something screwed her up, and it was way before Sven's crusty socks.




Why, yes, I did graduate with a degree in Psychology, why do you ask?
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Re: What is Dora's fundamental character?
« Reply #8 on: 16 Nov 2010, 12:21 »

Do you think Dora's a borderline?
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IanClark

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Re: What is Dora's fundamental character?
« Reply #9 on: 16 Nov 2010, 12:47 »

The most defining borderline personality-ish trait of Dora is the fact that there seems to be reflexive Dora and rational Dora. Rational Dora thinks Marten would never cheat on her, respects people's privacy and doesn't fly off the handle for nearly no reason. The only problem is that rational Dora only comes out when she's had a moment to think about it or is in the mode of trying to analyze things. Being myself not a psychologist, I haven't dealt with enough BPD sufferers to know if such a distinct division is common, as in my experience both components of the personality seem to just exist without such a clear distinction of what makes one part show up as opposed to the other.
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jwhouk

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Re: What is Dora's fundamental character?
« Reply #10 on: 16 Nov 2010, 14:24 »

Do you think Dora's a borderline?
Yes.
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Golf Shoes

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Re: What is Dora's fundamental character?
« Reply #11 on: 16 Nov 2010, 15:00 »

I'm increasingly of the opinion that there's an argument that she displays more than a few of the criteria for sociopathy:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sociopath#DSM
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peterh

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Re: What is Dora's fundamental character?
« Reply #12 on: 16 Nov 2010, 15:28 »

I'm increasingly of the opinion that there's an argument that she displays more than a few of the criteria for sociopathy:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sociopath#DSM

That's just silly. We ALL display a couple of these criteria occasionally. So does she. Occasionally. But not consistently.

At least four of them, when displayed consistently, would prevent her from even remotely successfully running a business. There are at least three criteria that I have not seen in Dora at all, and there is one that absolutely, positively, does NOT apply to Dora whatsoever.

Out of all nine, there is only one that might fit her, but even that could be argued.

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tughluq

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Re: What is Dora's fundamental character?
« Reply #13 on: 16 Nov 2010, 15:28 »

I'm increasingly of the opinion that there's an argument that she displays more than a few of the criteria for sociopathy:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sociopath#DSM

The only criteria she fulfills are maybe irritability and MAYBE  lack of remorse - but her lack of remorse in one or two situations isn't serious enough to justify calling her a sociopath.
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Golf Shoes

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Re: What is Dora's fundamental character?
« Reply #14 on: 16 Nov 2010, 16:54 »

That's just silly. We ALL display a couple of these criteria occasionally. So does she. Occasionally. But not consistently.

The key factor is sociopathy is an inability to empathize with others. Dora's constantly reacts to situations through the filter of how it affects Dora, even when she's in the wrong. Maybe I should have linked to the more general signs and symptoms section instead since the DSM definition is a bit debated anyway. Again, I'm not LOL SHE'S A TOTAL PSYCHO, but she pretty clearly tends toward mild sociopathic behavior, IMO.



At least four of them, when displayed consistently, would prevent her from even remotely successfully running a business.

Actually, it's generally thought that sociopaths are more common among successful business people. Not altogether surprising given the kind of behavior that gets you ahead in the business world often requires being a less than nice person. Not every sociopath is Ted Bundy.


The only criteria she fulfills are maybe irritability and MAYBE  lack of remorse - but her lack of remorse in one or two situations isn't serious enough to justify calling her a sociopath.

And promiscuity, rejection of social norms, inability to maintain relationships, lack of empathy for others, impulsivity, etc.
« Last Edit: 16 Nov 2010, 17:00 by Golf Shoes »
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tughluq

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Re: What is Dora's fundamental character?
« Reply #15 on: 16 Nov 2010, 17:27 »


The only criteria she fulfills are maybe irritability and MAYBE  lack of remorse - but her lack of remorse in one or two situations isn't serious enough to justify calling her a sociopath.

And promiscuity, rejection of social norms, inability to maintain relationships, lack of empathy for others, impulsivity, etc.

When exactly has she displayed these traits?
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Re: What is Dora's fundamental character?
« Reply #16 on: 16 Nov 2010, 17:38 »

I don't see any sign of Dora lacking empathy. Reacting through a "filter of Dora" doesn't mean she's a sociopath, just self-preserving -which does not mean she's got a serious mental illness.  :wink:

Also I find these threads about a comic character's psychological state quite amusing 
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Re: What is Dora's fundamental character?
« Reply #17 on: 16 Nov 2010, 17:39 »

One of the books about dealing with borderlines is called "Stop Walking on Eggshells". Another is "I Hate You, Don't Leave Me". I bet those would resonate with Marten right now.

Dora strikes me as being too functional to be a borderline. Precarious though her self-control is, it's better than the torrents of skin-off emotion that spill out of borderlines.

One feature that she does show is "splitting", the tendency to see others as completely good or completely evil, with no recognition of context or nuance.

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jwhouk

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Re: What is Dora's fundamental character?
« Reply #18 on: 16 Nov 2010, 18:18 »

It could be something as simple as that purple dye in her hair. Might be doing something to her scalp.
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Re: What is Dora's fundamental character?
« Reply #19 on: 16 Nov 2010, 18:26 »

I disagree with the psychopath theory.
I think she's actually pretty chill for a human, and those acting that they are completely rational all the time terrify me.

Yes, she's got her issues. I think she lacks confidence, and she goes on the theory of "fake it 'til you make it" in hopes that if she acts confident, she'll eventually become confident. She knows she fakes it, but she would like to become more confident in the long run. She knows it, but that doesn't mean she can control it. It's like depression, it just happens no matter how irrational you realize it is to feel insecure, you can't help it. She also picks up on the potential of the people around her. I see her flipping out on Sven so much because she knows how amazing a person he can be, but for their entire life he's done nothing but squander it. I see her being encouraging of employees because she knows this job is beneath them, and I see her encouraging Marten as best she can because he doesn't have any confidence in himself.

As far as her blow ups, they really are tame for a girl. Seriously. You all know friends who have done worse.
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Re: What is Dora's fundamental character?
« Reply #20 on: 16 Nov 2010, 20:29 »

Borderline personality disorder is now a poll option.
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nichomach

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Re: What is Dora's fundamental character?
« Reply #21 on: 17 Nov 2010, 03:24 »

After reading the last few strips, all I could think was http://xkcd.com/814/.  As much as one feels sorry for her, it's not the first time that she's messed him about.
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Re: What is Dora's fundamental character?
« Reply #22 on: 17 Nov 2010, 06:23 »

Borderline personality disorder is now a poll option.
Unfortunately, changing your vote is no longer an option. :(
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Re: What is Dora's fundamental character?
« Reply #23 on: 17 Nov 2010, 07:46 »

As far as her blow ups, they really are tame for a girl. Seriously. You all know friends who have done worse.
Not really. I know people who have done far worse, but I don't retain them as friends, cause you know... not a masochist, not into enabling shitty behaviour just because of someone's gender.
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Re: What is Dora's fundamental character?
« Reply #24 on: 17 Nov 2010, 09:17 »

As far as her blow ups, they really are tame for a girl. Seriously. You all know friends who have done worse.
Not really. I know people who have done far worse, but I don't retain them as friends, cause you know... not a masochist, not into enabling shitty behaviour just because of someone's gender.

Umm, yeah. Not to be the token feminist but what does being a girl have to do with anything? Sometimes people act shitty. You forgive them. Some people act shitty most of the time. You avoid them. I put Dora in the sometimes act shitty category. But her being female does not absolve her. Seriously, you sound like my roommate, "But women are just like that hurrdurr." Poor guy doesn't even know he's a misogynist.
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Re: What is Dora's fundamental character?
« Reply #25 on: 17 Nov 2010, 10:46 »

As far as her blow ups, they really are tame for a girl. Seriously. You all know friends who have done worse.

Nope. Maybe you should shop around for new friends, particularly female ones. This reminds me of a guy I knew who talked about how all brothers fight like cats and dogs and then laughed about the time his younger brother shoved him down the stairs. Meanwhile, I can think of maybe two times I've raised my voice at my li'l brother. One man's "normal" is apparently another man's bat-shit insane.
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Re: What is Dora's fundamental character?
« Reply #26 on: 17 Nov 2010, 10:59 »

I'm now banging my head against my invisible wall that i can walk through.  If you get that joke, Hi, Freelance Astronauts rock dont they?

Ok in the "More than NOT DORA" thread, which i saw before i even knew of the concept of this one, i broke down Dora's defining character traits.  Should i copy/paste or what really?  I'll just summarize for now i guess.

She lacks self-confidence to the point where she's so desperate for something really good to happen in her life (apparently owning a successful business doesn't count) that the moment she detects something that could possibly threaten it she goes on the attack.  To that end, she actively (if unconsciously) seeks out negativities so she may be able to boost herself by going "well i was right about this one."  Pride is one of her major weaknesses, and she has a lot of it.  This pride keeps her from being able to accept her part in negative situations, as well as causing her to get pissy with anyone who tries to require more than an apology from her, while she wants the same.  She's trivialized her head problems in her own mind to the point where to her, they are nothing compared to other people's, and thus, that notion combined with her pride create a blanket of falsehood that makes her think she's got weaker problems than the others, when in reality hers are worse.

Because her problems stem from her being so desperate that she literally looks for things that can screw stuff up, "chasing shadows" if you will, and because she refuses to look at them as they truly are, she leads herself to be alone by her own choice, because she'd rather be "alone and right, than with someone and wrong."

Basically she doesnt want to understand anyone else, she believes she's superior to others inside her head (even if she doesnt act it, you can see that in her actions and mannerisms to some people), she refuses to acknowledge her own problems to the point where she's tricked herself into believing that they're somehow lesser than others' (which made them now subconscious, and hard to detect unless you spend a lot of time close with her) which made them worse, will not accept blame for anything, wants everything and isnt willing to give the same back, and wants so horribly to be correct about her life that she'll actively if subconsciously choose to doom a relationship of her own will just so she can go "well, i knew it wouldnt work.  it never does.  once again, they left, and i was right.  they always leave."

seriously should i copy/paste my other posts?  quote them or something?  i mean i really went to town in the other thread. balls.

Also, i did have friends who did worse.  and i kicked them out of my life after ripping them apart verbally and making sure they felt like the pieces of crap they were for doing that shit.  real friends dont let their friends be complete asshats without saying something, because that just leads to more stupidity.  Male or female, i made them feel like crap for thinking it was perfectly fine to fly off the handle like that with no proof, even my own girlfriend.  i'd rather be called an asshole that tells the truth straight up than the guy who sits there and lets his friends be morons.  And that's Dora's issue.  she's doing stupid stuff inside her own head, people are aware of it, but nobody speaks up until the problem comes about.  and she's the type that gets pissy when you bring up what she did wrong period.  So because of that combination, she further doesnt grow or understand herself, which then causes all this to happen over and over.

like i said in the other thread, she had something good in Marten, his words:  "I dont want your apologies" didnt mean "go away we're done" it meant "I dont want you to be apologizing anymore!  I want you to not be in a situation where you HAVE to!"
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Re: What is Dora's fundamental character?
« Reply #27 on: 17 Nov 2010, 13:16 »

Previous annoying experience showed that the forum software disables vote changing as soon as the poll get edited (in other words, just when vote changing is needed). Grr. The only workaround is to reset the poll to zero and have everyone start over, which I would hate to do.
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