Shrink To Fit

As I write this post there is a thunderstorm with torrential rain but without lightning (at least none that I’ve noticed) passing overhead…

which has yet to let up…

it has a lot to say and might not go away until it is heard,

not just heard but also understood…

it may be here all day long and long into the night…

and for eons yet to come…

waiting for understanding…

means you need to become proficient in waiting.

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A friend of mine recently had an experience on a social media platform which…

seems to be a fairly common interaction issue that we all come across at some point when we interact online.

They wrote a short post expressing themselves, sharing their views on a matter which means a lot to them. They did it in a place where:

a) you’re supposed to do this as you’re encouraged to do this there

b) it’s supposed to be okay to do this

c) if anyone isn’t okay with you doing this they can ignore you in several different ways and, in theory, no harm will be done.

d) free will is involved… oh… my… this storm…

the ground beneath my feet, my house, just shuddered (I’m not being poetic here, this actually just happened during this thunderstorm… and I have no idea why other than nature being nature and watch out when it does that!)

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transform or transmit suffering

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The content of my friend’s post on the so-called friendly social media site was not controversial. The opinion shared was one which my friend’s friends and followers know they have, and are used them sharing. They know my friend is passionate about the matter about which they spoke

(It was a sports related matter),

and many of them share similar views and enjoy my friend’s posts because of it or don’t share similar views

(because they support a different team)

but still enjoy my friend’s posts because a certain amount of banter between rivals

(rival team supporters)

is part of the fun of these kind of posts

(it’s a part of the sport).

The friends who saw this post float by on their timeline had many options of how to deal with its content.

They had free will.

One person decided to comment on the post, and do so with the kind of comment which basically told my friend that if they couldn’t post anything nice then they shouldn’t post anything at all.

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thumper of a lesson

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My friend replied by telling this person that if they didn’t like their posts then they could ignore them or if they couldn’t do that then they could unfollow them,

delete/block/limit their exposure from to that which didn’t agree with them

rather than tell others what they could and couldn’t post on their own social media page to suit this person following others posts on their timeline.

This seems like logical advice.

If you don’t like what someone is doing or saying, or both, and you don’t actually have to put up with it due to extenuating circumstances, rather than try to control them and make them into who you need them to be for you, using the kind of force which no one likes… whether it is passive-aggressive or aggressive… wouldn’t it be easier to pretend that they don’t exist?

Wouldn’t it be easier to use your powers of unfollow, block, ignore…?

But for some people online these powers are not enough, these powers aren’t the powers they want. The powers they want are to dictate to you what you can and can’t do… but don’t do that to them because there is nothing reciprocal about this relationship.

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row row row your boat...

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My friend had dealt with this person’s antics and issues displaced onto others before… so there is history here. As there always is where humans are concerned

(even if we ignore history, we’re still reacting to it, being a part of it, and creating more of it).

The reason my friend told me about this interaction is partly due to the fact that I introduced them to each other, with the assurance to my friend that this person was a good one to know.

A quick guide to the difference between my friend and this person from a totally personal perspective:

My friend accepts me the way that I am even when I don’t accept myself the way that I am, and has helped me accept myself a bit more than usual…which can be challenging.

Whereas this person,

well,

I thought they did something similar…

and they sort of do with me, however…

when someone does something with me I tend to check that they do it with others too…

I have a stupid fairness issue and hate to be an exception to someone’s usual rule.

My friend does what they do with me with everyone. Which is fair and consistent.

But this person… seems to only do it with me or with certain people while not with others. Which is unfair and inconsistent.

Being an exception to someone’s usual rule of interaction with others tends to make me tremble with fear or anger, or both, rather than puff up with the self-importance that comes from being somehow special to them.

When someone views you as being special to them… it can be an identity crisisΒ  for everyone involved.

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soul work

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Every time this person acts in a bigoted, biased to what seems like an extreme, and intolerant of others manner

(which has become increasingly common and regular),

I argue in their favour and excuse them by saying that they must be going through some personal shit which is making them behave this way.

This isn’t who they are, this is not their identity.

They used to be a considerate, understanding, and reasonable person, but now they’re not that at all. It must be a phase they’re going through and we need to be patient with them while they go through it. They’re worth the effort… right??

I’m beginning to think that it’s not a phase, and that what was a phase was them being considerate, understanding, and reasonable.

I’m beginning to think that I was wrong about this person – that’s a tough piece of humble pie to eat.

Did I introduce and expose my friend to an a-hole? It’s one thing for me to expose myself to an a-hole…

(I grew up with this as being and becoming part of my identity – and will explain this a bit better later on in the post if I ever get to the point, that point)

…it’s another thingΒ  if I expose those I care about to one, and they let themselves be exposed to the a-hole because they trust me and my guarantee of a person not being an a-hole.

The person who went all old-fashioned censorship on my friend’s post

(is someone I used to think wasn’t an a-hole, even though they sometimes played the part of one on a certain social media platform where I first met them… oh, dear, this doesn’t bode well for me…)

doesn’t seem to do what they told my friend to do. Their page is full of rants against the world, their posts are all about what’s wrong with everyone else, how they live in a world full of idiots

(with them being the only good and clever person around… it’s lonely up there on cloud nine),

and the world is going to shit because of everyone else being idiots

(except for a couple of celebrity idols they worship – one of these idols is a professional comedian and the other one… is someone I could rant into infinity about for being a total self-involved ass drunk on ego due to their celebrity status – that shit is fleeting but those who own it temporarily seem to forget about that, although they never forget about it when commenting about other celebrities).

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the fuck filing system

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While feeling really conflicted about the conflict between my friend and this person, my mind wandered…

it has a habit of doing that, one which I’ve tried to quit…

but can you quit something which is natural to you?

Should you quit doing something which is an intrinsic part of who you are just because you think it’s a habitual pain?

One of the things which my mind wandered to was this quote below:

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INTP - trying not to be INTP

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When I first glanced at it I was very YES!!! about it,

because

being typically human

I read it from my own point of view and only saw the part which struck a chord with me, with which I could relate – I’d love to be better organised because I’m a scatterbrain.

This is a point which is sorely annoying me about myself at the moment, so I only saw that part when I looked at this – I saw the sore spot and agreed with it.

But something bothered me about this quote/meme/internet sound bite.

In typical INTP fashion

(if you’re an INTP you’ve probably taken the MBTI test many times more than you needed to take it… because you’re always questioning…everything and everyone, especially yourself… especially yourself viewed form the eyes of others),

I reviewed the matter in detail,

because when you think/feel/intuit that something is ‘off’ you can’t rest until you find out what it is

(if you’re an INTP… and if you’re me – to take the personality test which determines if you’re a me, all you have to do is read one of my blog posts… if you think that shit is too long… you could actually be a me).

Eventually concluded that I was very NO!!! about what I had had been very YES!!! about.

Switches in allegiance are common for INTP’s…

and for me…

but only after careful consideration of what hadn’t been taken into careful consideration originally

(our intelligence, if we have some of that stuff, comes from being stupid and becoming aware of our own stupidity enough to do something about it, like think about it and investigate its consequences…)

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Edison

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I like to have the bigger picture, even if the only likeable thing about it was the smaller picture.

You could say that this is part of my personal identity.

To say YES and then decide that the YES was premature…

came out of an immature reaction due to not paying attention to the finer points which… a mature person would do… and which it takes me awhile to get around to considering.

Sometimes this makes me giggle

but

is that giggle a nervous reflex due to being too aware of everything that is wrong with me or some such thing…

or a sign of humour at the ever-changing ways of the human beingness.

You think you know someone…

you think you know yourself…

but then you realise that maybe you know less than you thought you did.

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dear haters

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The biggest NO was this – be patient with less intelligent people – this made me suspect that this hadn’t been written by someone who is an INTP

(or if they are…. they have a lot to learn about being an INTP and human),

or by someone who doesn’t understand INTP’s.

This was most probably written by someone who only understands the stereotype of the type… and how it affects their type.

The INTP can come across, if you only bother to know this type superficially, as an annoying know-it-all who can make you (other MBTI type) feel stupid, feel as though they (INTP’s) think you’re stupid = less intelligent than they are, and feel as though INTP’s aren’t being patient with you being less intelligent…. this couldn’t be farther from the truth but…

sometimes we’re not interested in the truth, we’re only fixated on our version of truth which… may be far from the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth…

truth,

the concept of it…

the abstract concept of it…

is an abstract and very moveable feast.

Just like the concept…

the abstract concept of…

identity.

Try to pin it down and it will find a way to make your pins the problem rather than the problem being that it is hard to pin down.

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shrink to fit

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The quote above was the inspiration for this post,

or at least one inspiration for this post,

but my scatterbrain got sidetracked from whatever the original idea was about…

this isn’t a phase…

this is it…

this is me…

this is a part of my identity.

I often find myself trying to shrink myself to fit into the view other people have of me and what I should be doing, saying, being…

this is an old habit… borne of growing up with… people like that person who old-fashioned censored my friend.

I always fell too big to fit in to the ‘normal’ size…

(too big = too weird)

everything about me is just… always the wrong size.

The difference between then and now is – I realise this problem isn’t unique to me, it seems to be unique to all of us…

so…

why do we impose upon others a size which none of us want or can fit into…

yet if others don’t fit into it we see it as being their problem… they need to make the effort to fit into our skinny jeans…

but if we don’t fit into it…

we make it the problem of others, they need to make their skinny jeans into our size so we fit perfectly into them and can feel special for doing so.

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the exception

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The person who old fashioned censored my friend would be horrified to be seen as the kind of person that censors the free speech of others…

they see themselves very differently from the way my friend experienced them, due to that experience and several other experiences before that one…

they seem themselves as…

the one who isn’t the narcissist in a society which…

both rewards and hates the narcissist.

They’re basically a human being who isn’t handling being a human being well…

and transfers that not handling things well onto others.

I can’t do it…

neither can you…

so I’ll point out what’s wrong with you and tell you how to fix it while I apply none of that to myself…

that’s totally going to work…

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8 thoughts on “Shrink To Fit

  1. You are a very considerate person. Personally I don’t give a flying duck how my friends interact with each other, of course I’d feel sad if something like that happened but what could you do? It’s beyond your control.
    Look at it from another perspective: what was the reason behind your friend’s sharing the story with you? Was he blaming you for introducing them to each other? The reason I’m asking is that you can’t quite monitor every single person in your life, it’s simply impossible and unhealthy for a number of reasons. If your friend (I mean the original poster of the controversial story) wasn’t happy with the other friend’s comments (especially if that wasn’t the first time) he could have done the same thing – block/delete/whatever them beforehand and the stop button activated, just like you said. Why escalate? It’s not like if two of your friends stopped communicating you would’ve stopped communicating with either of them if you are on good terms with them. Bending is kinda pointless in my personal opinion.
    What surprised me is why your friend put the burden of their miscommunication on you knowing that it’ll make you feel uncomfortable (at the least)?
    On the other hand, the more info you have about others the better you are prepared for the future. Maybe it’s time to look a little closer into that person? Don’t blame yourself (if you do), it’s obvious that it’s not your fault, it’s sad when you find out that you were wrong, but let them live their lives how they please. Look, it’s better that it happened earlier than later. Less strings attached. =)

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    1. Thank you πŸ™‚

      In this particular case my friend wasn’t making me responsible for their interaction with the other person. This friend isn’t the sort of person who does that. They shared this story with me because we’re friends who share our daily lives with each other, and this was one of many things which they shared with me. They didn’t expect me to do anything about the person or the problem. This friend prefers to solve their problems themselves, as they did with this issue.

      I know my friend and this person are adults and can take care of themselves and any issues they may have with each other. They’ve sorted things out.

      This post and what I shared in it came out of reflecting on the story and the things it stirred up for me. My posts tend to be internal conversations which I have with myself as I figure things out and reflect on things which happen and catch my attention.

      I was the one who felt responsible for introducing this person to my friend. I have a tendency to cut people slack because I like it when people cut me slack, and humans are a mess, as am I so it’s usually a good thing to do. Occasionally a review of our relationships is a healthy thing to do, especially when new information comes in, keeps coming in and you’re ignoring it or making excuses, explaining it away.

      I like to think about things, reflect on stuff, see where it leads.

      You made excellent points, thank you for sharing!

      Like

    2. As an INTP, I absolutely love this blog…lmao – that’s exactly how I felt too “Justified” in telling my narc to get the f*#! Out of My Space. I know, those lonely hard times to come … Lmbo πŸ˜€

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  2. I am also an INTP and can relate well to the comments you make about our bunch.

    It’s nasty when you give a recommendation and then find out you’ve been wrong. Like when I thought the ex-narcissist was a great guy … But it’s happened at other times, too. It’s a cringe-making, oh fuck, where’s a rock moment that leads to lots of other moments where I have to think everything over. But as you say to many of your commenters, you’re human. You’re subject to human beingness, too. It’s important to sit with this but it’s also important to give yourself credit, too. πŸ™‚

    Great post. πŸ™‚

    Like

    1. Thank you πŸ™‚

      One of the first lessons which I recall vividly learning at school was – always double-check for yourself if a person really is who someone else says they are.

      A person may behave differently with us than they do with others. Not necessarily consciously but more like a chemical reaction. So how we experience a person may be different to how someone else experiences them because the chemical reaction is different. A personality which we find likeable may be one which someone else finds irritating, and vice versa.

      Perhaps all recommendations should come with disclaimers like those adverts which list the possible symptoms caused by taking a medication or using a product. I like this person, but they may cause hives in those with sensitive skin πŸ˜‰

      Like

  3. “the powers of unfollow” etc, haha, I laughed at that! πŸ˜€
    I think those powers are very good to use, if there is someone writing things that are truly disturbing to ourselves. Why on Earth would we want to sit and get upset about things that other people write? And expend energy to write a “censoring” comment to them? That is just so much waste of our own energy and time… Time better spent on reading something that we actually like, in some way. I mean, time is after all limited, for us humans.
    But, I often find that these people (the ones doing “censorship” to others) have some sort of… control issues, as you say.

    Also, in my line of work, we often say that people like that may have a hard time “sorting and separating”. Meaning that they can not sort through which things/statements/feelings belong to themselves, and which belong to another person. (And that the other person has a right to his/her own feelings/thoughts, etc). Having a hard time with boundaries/seeing what is their self and what is another, separate self ( = another human being).
    This is a fascinating topic, because pushed to its extreme, we all know from history, what can happen, when people force their own world view onto others, censoring others’ world views… Great post!

    Like

    1. Thank you πŸ™‚

      That’s a very good assessment.

      The person doing the censoring in this story recently said that they expect the worst from people and hope for the best. I wanted to explain that if you expect the worst then you’ll find it first which means that your hope for the best never has a chance. If you consistently go around telling other people what is wrong with them, other people aren’t going to be happy to see you or hear from you, and you’ll end up bringing out the worst in them. But there’s no point in saying anything to this person because they are afraid of listening.

      They basically want to change others to make themselves feel better. But if everyone changed for them they’d still be in the same predicament because they’re stuck in finding fault in others mode. The problem is everyone else.

      Liked by 1 person

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