How you see yourself is not how others do. This has become increasingly apparent in the time I utilise social media: how you ‘market’ yourself to the World and in turn how that is interpreted is often a point of some considerable contention. In psychology, the Johari Window above is used to help people better understand their relationship with the world around them: presented with a list of 55 adjectives, individuals are asked to describe themselves using them as are others, and these are then inserted in the appropriate points in the grid. This then forms a more cohesive picture of how the individual views themselves, but crucially how they are seen away from their own perception.
Labelling’s a dangerous tool, and must be used with a great deal of care.
|How I’d see myself if I was a car. Not 100% accurate.|
The problem with perception is that it is entirely subjective, when all is said and done. However objective you’d like to think you are, or try to be, it never works 100% of the time. Take my obsession with Aston Martin, for starters: I blame 007 for this, completely and utterly, and I’ll go back to the DB5 as an iconic view of how the world decides that lumps of metal are sexy. At the weekend, for instance, I was described as an Aston Martin Vantage. As you probably don’t know, they look like this:
|I… I can’t ^^|
This car is clearly a classic, but it’s not me. I’d like to think I’m not as angular, and perhaps less stuck in a particular age. I appreciate a compliment however, and that’s what this was, but if I had my way I’d become less rough edges and more cohesion, and there in a nutshell is the problem with how other people choose to label you. Do you take offence because you don’t agree, or will you consider the place from which the original compliment comes? How do you live in the modern world when there is so much to consider around you? Is it no wonder therefore that many choose just to not listen to begin with?
Curating your life is all well and good up to the point when you understand that at any given point you could have a problem with everybody.
|GOOD JOB BOI.|
The longer you spend with people, the more you find out about them, and often this is more of a revelation than many grasp. People let their guard down and reveal stuff about themselves when they think they’re only talking to a single person on social media, quite clearly unaware that potentially the entire World is reading. This happens with increasing frequency if the ‘relationship’ has been going on for some time, and the person forgets where they are, and it does happen even to the most cautious of individuals. I know this because I watch it, and suddenly you’ll get a ‘oh RIGHT’ second of connection when it becomes clear that you’re being given new (and often vital) information about why someone is the way they are. The choice then is how you use this, and mostly what ought to happen is that it allows you to understand. You can decide if this person meshes with you. It might give you the incentive to strike up a conversation. However, more often or not it becomes the stick to beat them with, or a reason to make a snarky subtweet.
Mostly, its just simpler to take the piss out of someone who’s different.
Ironically, it is often the people who garner the most abuse from others who end up as the experts at throwing it back. You would think the individuals with the issues would have a measure of sympathy for anyone else, but often they become highly efficient self-reflecting mirrors, just throwing back everything that is directed at them, in a desperate attempt to deflect the truth. I know this from all too much personal experience, and it has absolutely nothing to do with the Internet, before anyone wants to come along and decide this entire Blog post is somehow my way of attacking an individual who’s pissed me off. Sometimes, the truth is absolutely the last thing you want or need to hear, but it remains the only sure-fire way to set you free. That’s the gist of John 8:32, for what it’s worth, not a movie reference or some stupid internet quote. It’s a piece of text that could have survived for thousands of years. One of the oldest recalled pieces of human wisdom, written down and passed through hundreds, thousands of generations. Not much has changed in that regard, when all’s said and done.
What all of this navel contemplating comes down to is simple: it isn’t just the Internet’s fault you got angry. You’re as much to blame for that as they are, and you can continue to cut people out of the equation for as long as you like. However, there comes a point where you’re going to wake up and be alone, and when that happens maybe them you may realise that actually, perhaps it wasn’t just them. Listening is becoming a lost art, and those of us who know on any given day that even the positive people will fuck us right off need to understand there is only so much that you can pin on others. Mostly, you have to go back to the whole ‘balance’ thing and understand that actually? Give and take is how the best relationships work. Mostly, don’t press ‘Tweet’ unless you’re REALLY sure you’re ready for the consequences.
Everybody has shit days, even the perfect people. Never forget this.