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.
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!)
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.
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.
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,
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 crisis for everyone involved.
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 thing 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).
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:
When I first glanced at it I was very YES!!! about it,
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…)
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…
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.
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…
the concept of it…
the abstract concept of it…
is an abstract and very moveable feast.
Just like the concept…
the abstract concept of…
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.
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…
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.
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…