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shedding, gloves off

Offense, Pt. II

Posted on 2013.09.02 at 00:00
Current Location: 67205
Tags: , ,

How we see ourselves may differ from how we present ourselves to others. In new introductions for example, I tend to limit myself to socially-accepted norms rather than potentially alienating verbiage. I think most of us who understand causality do.

Over time, however, nothing can unmask our true selves more than behavior - let's face it, many people (myself included) can be quite adept at erroneous self-deception. This is a good thing when we're trying to improve ourselves, as it allows us to squeeze into an alter-ego. It can be a negative thing when we say one thing and totally do the opposite. Where does that come from? Projection? I don't know.

When there is no evidence, the thing that you think someone else is doing is the very thing that you would, or are, doing yourself. Your thoughts come from you not someone else. If you think someone is doing something wrong, and there's no reason for you to think that way, you are the person who came up with the possibility.

I believe I am an information sponge who is almost always wrong about everything I think I know. I get excited when I discover some new way of looking at a situation. But is this just some shit that I say while I'm wrapped up in egotistical self-deception? Am I really a close-minded, "my way or the highway" bigot who says I understand different points of view but secretly believes I am right about everything all the time?

Let's find out!

Recently, someone told me my opinion of a situation was, "limited." Fascinated, I replied, "Explain." I questioned what the other opinions were to expand my own way of thinking - to consider possibilities I was not aware of. As outrageous as this may sound, some people have had different experiences than I have had; they've learned different lessons - perhaps they've drawn different conclusions? And anything which can expand my limited perspective is knowledge - perhaps what I learn from a different perspective I can apply elsewhere in other scenarios?

In short, my behavior followed my belief.

Much later, I mentioned to someone else that I thought their point of view was, (you guessed it) "limited." Much to my chagrin, they replied something along the lines of, Its very rude of you to call me stupid.

I wonder what self-belief that behavior predicates?

As you can imagine, I was shocked. Because now I had to defend myself of something I never intended to intone. And when someone who gets offended that easily thinks you've just called them stupid, the same broken "thinky" mechanism in their head that allows for easy offense, also stops processing logic. Nothing I could say from that point forward would ever change their mind. They were going to believe what they believed. Once again, "...[if] there's no reason for you to think that way, you are the person who came up with the possibility."


CeltManX, Devlin O' Coileáin
celtmanx at 2013-09-02 15:37 (UTC) (Link)
Yes, but what if the person isn't smart enough to know they are stupid so they can't be insulted. In Mr. Gallo's 8th grade science class I was unfortunately assigned to sit next to Luciano. One day as he was annoying me I called him a moron and then he asked me what a moron was. I at first responded, have you looked in the mirror lately and then I had to resort to the Websters dictionary definition. I'm still not sure he understood. So can you really insult someone if they don't know they are being insulted?
ehowton at 2013-09-02 16:46 (UTC) (Link)
Good point. And Luciano was a piece of work.
michelle1963 at 2013-09-02 17:27 (UTC) (Link)
It is a very odd feeling to be accused of something that is totally false.

Here it a case where it happened to me:

My visual memory pretty well sucks. My way to remember people that I don't see very often tends to be based on overall generalizations of height, weight, and coloring, names, and characteristics so unique that I can't help but take note.

I was working in a doctor's clinic. One day a young black couple came to the clinic. He was confined to a wheelchair, and they had come to confirm that she was pregnant. I interacted with her, because I ran the test. Fast forward about six months. We hadn't seen them in all of that time. I walk through the waiting area and I see a young black couple. He is confined to a wheelchair and she is visibly pregnant. After I had spoken to them for a moment, I realized my mistake. Despite the obvious similarities this was NOT the same couple. I apologize and start to offer an explanation, but the guy starts laying this crap on me about how to whites, all black people look alike. His accusation of racism on my part was rather blatant. At that moment, I realized there was nothing I could say that would fix it. He wouldnt listen, having already made up his mind that I was a bigot.

That said, it was clear to me in that moment who the racist was, and it wasn't me. Project much?
ehowton at 2013-09-02 17:41 (UTC) (Link)
It simply fascinates me to see such blatant exposure from behavior now that I know what I'm looking for.

I hope it doesn't show on my face! "Why are you laughing?"

"Because what you said revealed you as an ignorant bigot who questions their own intelligence!"

michelle1963 at 2013-09-02 17:45 (UTC) (Link)
And perhaps inappropriately, I did laugh! I know it didn't help anything, but it was an involuntary reaction. The situation was just so surreal - and oh so ironic.
CeltManX, Devlin O' Coileáin
celtmanx at 2013-09-03 21:11 (UTC) (Link)
It is amazing how often that some of the most racist people often accuse others of being racist.
ehowton at 2013-09-03 21:24 (UTC) (Link)
Admittedly, I find it equally staggering why anyone finds it necessary to accuse anyone of anything.
CeltManX, Devlin O' Coileáin
celtmanx at 2013-09-04 01:24 (UTC) (Link)
What it really boils down to is victimization. Some people feel that they are always the victim. They are socialized to feel like victims. The man is keeping me down. The man is out to get me. The man won't let me succeed so why try. Who is the man? The only man or woman keeping them down is themselves.

Edited at 2013-09-04 05:29 pm (UTC)
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