One of the recurring themes of human interactions is the asking of questions.
Why is that?
Questions are a good way of breaking the ice, of dealing with awkward silences in social situations, of getting to know others…
An interesting post about questions asked – How to give people insight into your character by nobodysreadingme – which discusses weird brainteaser questions asked in job interviews by prospective employers, and what that could mean about that employer, such as that they may be a sadistic narcissist (according to a study the author of the post read)… or they’re just mimicking a trend – everyone does it, so we must all do it too – and no one has bothered to question the validity of that trend.
I don’t think there’s anything wrong with asking a weird question in an interview as long as there’s a logical purpose for doing so. Such as trying to find out more about a prospective job candidate which takes them out of the comfort zone of rehearsed answers to typical job interview questions and reveals who they really are underneath the veneer and facade they’re presenting.
Once you’ve hired someone the real person behind the facade will be who will actually be working for you, and maybe the weird questions are being used to find out if a prospective employee is a sadistic narcissist (that kind of thing flows both ways and isn’t just something an employer can be).
Once you hire someone it can be tricky to fire them if they turn out to be not at all who they pretended to be to get the job. Narcissists in particular tend to give great interviews, they’ve practiced who to be and what to say to impress others, they know what others want (they’ve asked questions and made note of the real answers to those questions), they know how to charm their way in… and once they’re in that’s that, they can stop being who they pretended to be.
(this is mentioned in nobobysreadingme’s post)
I have to admit that I’ve never been on a typical job interview. I have however watched The Apprentice (UK version) wherein at some point the remaining candidates have to do a typical job interview with CEO types who seemed to be acting all ‘sadistic narcissist’ for the cameras (whether they really are that way normally is hard to tell – since narcissists think they’re being filmed even when they’re not).
And I have lived and worked with narcissists (mainly my parents) who were sadistic (although they didn’t view themselves and what they were doing as that at all. Narcissists tend to view what they do as a necessary survival reaction to what others are doing first… and that’s not entirely illogical. Humans have been effing over humans since… before we kept a record of it).
Narcissists do love to ask questions, and many of their questions are weird brainteasers, which often come out of left field, don’t seem to have anything to do with anything being discussed, and won’t make any sense in the moment or afterwards when you think and rethink over and over about what was asked (and what was answered… which is probably what’s got you thinking and rethinking over and over.. if only you hadn’t said that, but had said this instead!!!!).
People who’ve never met a narcissist before are often bowled over by all the interest which a narcissist seems to be showing in them by asking all of these questions – they enjoy the warm glow of being in the spotlight and having all of this intense attention focused on them and only them. Is this love?
People who have met a narcissist and have had a bit of experience with the whole third degree bright light shining in your eyes and the heat which makes you sweat, panic… tend to use this quirk of narcissists as a red flag. This is not love! This is torture. This can and will be used against you until death (possibly by homicide) do you part.
(you can learn a lot about who you are when who you thought you were gets broken)
This wasn’t what I intended to write when I started this post.
What did I intend to write?
Good question. My answer sucks though – I don’t know. My method of post writing is to start somewhere then ramble and see where I end up (that’s also my method of living life… I tried to do it otherwise but I always end up doing things this way).
What do I know?
Well, now, that’s… a loaded question! Bang! Bang! You shot me down! But I got back up again after letting you think that you killed me so that you would go away happy and leave me alone to get back up again, brush myself off, ignore my bruises or look at them as battle medals, and keep going… probably to get shot down again (yeah, I’m the effing energiserduracell bunny… it’s one of my role models).
One of the questions I often ask myself is – What do I know? What do I really know?
Those are fairly impossible to answer because the answers will be biased, and biased answers aren’t fact, they’re often fiction we want to be fact… and if enough people want that fiction to be fact then it most likely will get magically transformed. But does that make it fact?
I don’t know since I usually don’t tend to get enough people to want my bias, my fiction, to be fact. And I usually don’t tend to want to join in on the fiction which others want to make fact.
I recently watched an episode (season 4, episode 4 – Talk) of Better Call Saul which started and ended with a scene that I can totally relate to (not something I can say about most of the stuff I watch on TV and Film – also watched Molly’s Game, couldn’t relate to it at all, but it was very interesting – I’m an INTP, so ‘interesting’ and ‘very interesting’ are used as genuine compliments rather than polite put downs. That film is relevant to some of the things mentioned in this post).
A main character (whom I call Frank, but his name isn’t Frank), Mike Ehrmantraut, is part of a group which meets regularly to discuss their grief over lost loved ones. He doesn’t usually talk…
(Frank/Mike is the guy on the right)
…but he gets asked to do so and so he lets rip. He points out that one of the group members is a lying liar who lies. Everyone else gets pissed off at him for saying that in defense of the lying liar. So Frank/Mike also points out that if the others had actually been listening to lying liar’s story they’d have realised that his facts didn’t add up to = truth, but did add up to = lies. Lying liar makes a swift exit… so we’ll never know why he did what he did. And Frank/Mike explains to the others why they couldn’t spot a liar, a person turning fiction into fact, in their midst – “He knew you wouldn’t notice and you didn’t… All wrapped up in your sad little stories, feeding off each other’s misery.” – and he ends it with something along the lines of – you asked, so I answered. Bet you wished you hadn’t asked.
Yes, what he did was harsh. Too harsh. Frank/Mike is a harsh man, so he’s being true to who he is. Anyone who’s watched Breaking Bad knows just how harsh Frank/Mike is, Better Call Saul is a prequel to Breaking Bad.
Anyone who’s been in a relationship with a narcissist, especially for a prolongued period of time… might, like me, relate to a character like Frank/Mike doing what he did as harshly as he did it. Over and over you watch people falling for the lies of a narcissist, just like you once did, so you get it… you also get why others don’t hear what they don’t hear because that was you too… you also get why it would probably be better if you kept quiet, said nothing, didn’t talk, you’ve been silent, you listen to the tinsel waiting for inlets (sorry about that, I woke up from a dream the other day anagramming the word listen)… you’ve had enough of the BS, and every now and then you let rip even though you know how that story ends, for you anyway.
I am getting better at ignoring the questions. Or more to the point, ignoring the impulse to answer just because something was asked… had a ? tacked onto it.
questions get asked…
that doesn’t mean they have to be answered…
answers are not always what the question is about…
sometimes the question is the answer…
answers aren’t necessarily wanted, needed…
or listened to when they come even whether truly wanted or needed…
Out of all the questions in the world, and the world is full of them, the one I prefer to ask is…
What do you really want to know?
Why is that my preferred question?
I used to think that – knowledge is power – until I kept seeing that theory repeated by narcissists over and over, with them thinking they had the knowledge and therefore the power… which they intended to package and sell to others while not sharing it at all, just accruing more for themselves.
I did grow up with narcissists, so it makes sense that I would think – knowledge is power – was a fact rather than a fiction.
Narcissists think intellect is everything (Everything must be intellectualised in a narc’s world – you are but a formula which can be cloned – but they aren’t).
Grow up with narcissist parents and they’ll push that theory onto you, initially to become your gods (our knowledge is power over you), then to be better than your peers (you must be better so they can maintain their betterness – my 3 yr old is a chess champion, nyah, nyah…), but at some point your pursuit of knowledge as power becomes a threat to them (this can happen at any point – beware of being a precocious child, this is good and this is bad for narc parents. How dare you beat daddy at chess even though daddy loves that you’re a 3 yr old chess champion! which will confuse the hell out of you). They’ll push you to be smarter, to become the smartest person on the planet… while punching you in the head when your smarts challenge theirs, and suddenly being the dumbest eff in existence is what they really want from you.
The more you have of the candy that is – knowledge is power – the more you are a force to be reckoned with (a view promoted in Molly’s Game… but the film also showed the powerlessness of that theory). But is that true?
What is knowledge?
What is power?
Does it make you happy, healthy, and wise?
What is happy?
What is healthy?
What is wise?