the terrible truth

18 05 2009

as i continue to meet new people at an alarming rate, i’ve had ample opportunity to observe myself in new person action.   i suspect that everyone has their own rituals or self-refined scripts when they meet someone new.  i suppose i do as well, but i couldn’t predict them.  it’s a little irritating.

don’t you think that when you meet someone, before much else happens, their personality extends and you get to know it?  that’s how i see it, and maybe i’m wrong.  but it’s usually not so difficult to see, in the first couple of hours of knowing someone, what their primary emotional motivations are, and how forceful they are (or how unsure), and how they react in situations they feel are threatening, and if their judgment of what is threatening is or isn’t reasonable.  but the point is that people exude their personalities, and whatever they’re like is generally presented.  maybe.

but of course, everyone presents that which they most wish to present about themselves, right?  i don’t tell people, when i first meet them, that sometimes i poop, do i?  they could probably guess that i do (because of common biological knowledge and for NO OTHER REASON), but i choose not to put that image into their heads immediately.  nor do i tell people that i think about how cool it would be if i could levitate them by my sheer will in the first five minutes of knowing them, in general.  why not?  it’s me.  i think these things.

here are all kinds of filterings we perform daily in order to be better accepted…. in business, personal relationships, and in blog broadcast form.  i wonder what kind of natural personal expression damage is done as a result of this widely practiced, seldom considered act—-and i wonder about it often.  i know i do it beyond my liking.

my favorite people are those who will tell me what’s in their heads, no matter the content.  i recently figured out why i liked jen,  a girl i dated for a bit, so much: because she never filtered and never gave a thought to my judgment.  our first time out together, she openly farted and shocked me with how open she was on certain subjects.  my admiration of that carries forth to this day, 10 years later.  how long does it take most people to simply be themselves around others?  or even around themselves?  repression from concern over judgment runs deep.  that’s why i love my people who don’t seem to give a second thought to saying the honest, volatile, angry, or stupid thing that’s on their mind.   all-is-on!  you’re a champion!  people like you are rare and you need to know how appreciative i am, and how much i try to be more like you.

the probably unfortunate truth is that we’re all knee-deep in deception, whether by silence or another device.  it’s  a fear with logical anchors.  but it’s bad for us, isn’t it?  if we don’t admit to the parts of us that don’t fit a standard that we’re maintaining out of habit or comfort, aren’t we denying ourselves the opportunity to be ourselves and to possibly one day become the ourselves that ourselves are trying to become?

my friend who’s dating a married couple in a very cute (seriously, you should see them holding hands when they’re walking sometimes), honest tri-relationship…  they wouldn’t be where they are if the wife hadn’t told the husband that she was interested in the not-entirely-normal convention of seeing another person while they remained happily married.  now they’re all three experiencing something with which they’re very pleased.

i won’t give an example of honesty in a negative situation, because there are plenty of those to go around, and you doubtlessly have your own to insert here and consider.  it’s frustrating to have such a simple and obvious principle be such a difficult concept to implement in your daily life.  you know this all too well if you’re reading this at work, where others always seem to find your favorite toe to step on.  or if you’re thinking about seeing your significant other later, and he/she is great!  really!  but you know something’s not right, and you know you’re afraid of admitting it, even if only to yourself.

or even if you’re in your car at a red light, and a stranger who’ll you’ll never see again is next to you, and you’re not singing along to “benny and the jets” on the radio at the highest volume your voice will allow.  even though you don’t know most of the words.

capped expression.  secrets kept.  ourselves restrained.  what’s the damage?

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