A Funny Old Thing…
If there is one thing which is consistent in my life, it’s this – I’m a funny old thing and people have a hard time trying to figure out how to pigeonhole me. Every time they think they know where I fit and pop me into a box, there is always a part of me which sticks out awkwardly and refuses to fit into their box.
Some people rather like this about me.
Usually because they are similar to me. They don’t fit in to little boxes. They stick out, whether they want to or not. Those who are similar to me, don’t try to fit others into little boxes. They look for people who don’t fit in… hoping that perhaps we won’t fit in in a similar way and maybe find a kindred spirit. It doesn’t always work that way, but sometimes it does.
Others sometimes like this about me because they want a ‘weird’ friend – that’s a box, a pigeonhole. I tend to stick out of that by being normal when I’m supposed to be weird.
Those who don’t like this about me, eventually give up on me and move on.
I foiled their perfect people classification system, and this upset them. Their ego dumps me onto their reject pile and pretends this never happened. I don’t exist, and if I do it’s as an example of what a ‘reject’ is.
Sometimes being rejected is a relief.
Sometimes it is not. There is a part of me who has always hoped to find the box and pigeonhole in which I belong. I haven’t found it yet and neither has anyone else.
I don’t deliberately try to upset people’s perfect classification system for other people – okay, occasionally it is deliberate, but mostly it is not. I try to fit in. I like to please others if I can and if it doesn’t cause me too much inconvenience, but there is just so far that I will contort myself before the pain in my body bent so far out of its natural position will alert me to the fact that the pain is not worth the pleasure.
There are lots of things on my list of – Don’t tell people this about yourself.
This list could also be labeled – How to appear to fit in using lies of omission.
Because it will confuse them to the point where I can hear the gears in their mind grinding painfully to a halt as though a piece of grit just got stuck in there.
It will cause what is known as cognitive dissonance.
The result of that will be that they will ignore what they don’t want to understand and they will try to carry on as usual. They will remove the piece of grit and throw it away.
I understand that.
I experience that myself. Only when I get a bit of grit stuck in my gears, I tend to carefully remove the grit and then examine it under a microscope. The things which I want to reject and ignore so that I can carry on as usual, are the things upon which I focus my attention. Those pieces of grit have information which needs to be absorbed and understood.
I also have a list of – Don’t say this to people.
This list could be called – Don’t tell people what they don’t want to hear.
You know the answer to that, you have one of those lists too. We all do.
That’s why movements like ‘Radical Honesty’ exist and why they appeal to us even though we know it’s a bad idea, and probably a bit of bullshit in which we should not believe or invest our time and money.
Because most people who buy into concepts like radical honesty only want it to flow one way and aren’t ready for it to flow the other way too. Which things always do, because that is the natural flow of flow.
They like radical honesty because it gives them permission to be an asshole to other people. Being an asshole can be very liberating, especially if it is your natural tendency but you’ve spent a lot of effort trying to be a ‘good’ person, trying to be nice, but being nice hasn’t paid off and you’re pissed off about it. So now you can go around telling people exactly what you think, sharing your awful truths. But is it truth or just your opinion dressed up as truth and fact.
Since you’re being so ‘radically honest’, I guess you won’t mind people doing the same to you, right?
It’s not dissimilar to how many people view Karma. If someone does something ‘bad’ to you, you hope Karma will pay them back in kind (and maybe add an extra sting or two). You’re a ‘good’ person, so you’re not actually going to do anything ‘bad’ to the certain someone upon whom you’re wishing Karmic payback – wishing Karmic payback does not fall into being a ‘bad’ person territory. It falls into some grey zone which has been painted white for reasons known only to the person with white paint on their fingers. There is this gamut of right and wrong within each of us and we’re usually in the right and others are judged, by us, accordingly.
But what if the reason someone did something ‘bad’ to you is because you had it coming to you and Karma was paying you back.
Not possible? You’re a ‘good’ person, ergo you should only get ‘good’ Karma, you don’t deserve any ‘bad’ Karma.
Okay, so maybe you’ve been a ‘good’ person in this life… according to who? You? Others?
Then again, Karma tends to count all the things you did in past lives too.
But you don’t believe in past lives.
Hmmmm. So basically only what you believe counts.
What about what other people believe. Does that only count if it is in agreement with your own beliefs? Otherwise it is bullshit. Wrong. Lies. Not the truth… according to you.
But what if you have to interact with people who have a completely different set of beliefs to you. What if your version of good is their version of bad. What if their version of good is your version of bad. Then what?
What if the person upon whom you’re wishing bad Karma because they did something ‘bad’ to you, thinks that what they did to you was ‘good’ or perhaps that what they did was to pay you back, or was Karma paying you back for something ’bad’ that you did to them.
Yes, it’s complicated. When has living, life, being human, been anything other than complicated.
That list – Don’t tell people what they don’t want to hear – why do we have one of those?
I know why I have one.
I grew up with narcissists as parents.
Narcissists only want to hear what they want to hear, anything else… well, you learn pretty quickly not to say those things (out loud).
Those who are under the influence of a narcissist also only want to hear what they want to hear… which is how they came to be under the influence of a narcissist. That is how they get under your skin and into your head.
Narcissists are generally perceived as being liars. Expert liars. However, they are also quite adept at telling the truth… when it suits them. Or when they are boasting about of of their manipulations.
And sometimes they do it to ‘test’ those they are with. They particularly like to ‘test’ those who think they are ‘radically honest’ or ‘good’ people. The test sort of goes like this – Here’s a truth and here’s a lie, pick one. Which one will you choose?
Of course the ‘test’ is rigged. How it is rigged depends on the type of narcissist with which you are dealing. But it is always rigged for them to win. The difference is that an Overt Narcissist may give you kudos for picking the truth over a lie, they’ll still have contempt for you and mess with you, but they’ll give you some grudging respect which may pay off for you somewhere down the line. Whereas a Covert Narcissist doesn’t give a shit what you choose, they live in extreme denial, but picking the lie will mean you’re a ‘friendly’ tool, whereas picking the truth will mean that you’re a ‘hostile’ tool.
My father was an Overt Narcissist, my mother is a Covert Narcissist. I lost and was a tool no matter what I chose, truth or lie. I lost either way.
What they taught me about life, about people, was – it doesn’t matter whether you’re honest or crooked, whether you tell the truth or tell a lie, what matters is knowing what other people want to hear, because that tells you what they believe. And what people believe is what creates reality.
I have spent most of my life striving to be… authentic. To be myself. To speak my truth (knowing that it was not everyone’s version of the truth), to be honest yet also tactful (because honesty is still just my opinion, not fact). I have tried to stay clear of being manipulative. It is the easy way through life, but it is also complicated. I’ve tried to keep things radically simple.
Sometimes I think I’m an idiot for trying. Being an idiot comes naturally to me, and fighting my nature is exhausting. But fighting my nurture is energising.
So… What’s this post all about?
I don’t know, you tell me.
And don’t try to figure out what I want to hear, you won’t be able to do that. Mostly because I don’t know what it is. Telling people what they want to hear relies on them and you knowing what it is… and I’m still trying to figure this one out as far as I’m concerned.
Tell me what you want to say. Be radically honest… or whatever you want to be.
I think I just want your honest opinion, no holds barred… maybe I’m just lying to myself.