Ever find yourself suddenly very unpopular for reasons arising NOT from anything you’ve actually said or done? But from what others THINK you’d say or do?
Well, I do. A lot. Or at least enough to want to rant about it. It’s when I find myself shunned NOT for things I’ve actually said or done. But for what others THINK I would say or do. Or what they THINK my thoughts or choices are about. Or THINK they know what my intentions are. In short, I get outcast by the suspicion, conjecture or even guesswork of others. And not by any direct, analogue, actual fault of my own towards them in real time and space.
I’m quite used to being cast aside. I accept it as the price one has to pay for being such a smart ass. For being someone who insist on developing worldviews based on one’s own enquiry, observation and experience rather than mindlessly inheriting worldviews established by anonymous others. I’m okay with that. It’s part of my responsibility for my choice of action. But it does grate me when I suddenly become persons non grata in absentia. That they choose to ostracise is not really the issue. That they choose to do so as a consequence of something I have NOT actually done is my grounds for contention.
Why the need for such guesswork, conjecture or suspicion in the first place? I propose that one of the major need for folks to guess and conjecture has to do with their non-familiarity of a situation but desperately need to explain it off with what they readily believe or know. They prefer that rather than open up their mental and emotional faculties to understand the circumstances for what they are. As their internal databanks are not accustomed to the newness of it all, they make assumptions based on what is closely familiar to them within those banks. Even if its totally alien to the matter at hand. Therefore what comes out towards you is guesswork formed around cross cut conjectures which you’ll find quite removed from the actual truth.
There is of course the related converse condition where they believe they are familiar with the circumstance but can only read it in the way that they have come to know. And that no other reading of it is possible. To them things can only be the one way. And they already know what that one way is. And there can be no other way else. Therefore, they’ve already formed a solid guess in their mind that you must be as they suspect because to them there is simply no other way to be.
I never know when such guesses or conjectures are made until it’s too late. When you do find yourself at the receiving end of them, the natural thing to do is of course to approach the self appointed judge & jury to clarify yourself. But futile that. My tiresome experience of this has taught me that if someone has self manufactured such strong conjectures in their own mind chances are they are quite adamant with the conclusions of their suspicions. They’ll gamble with their gullible guesses. I believe I can understand why that’s as it is. And this is my raggedy hypothesis.
I find that those capable of such self-correcteousness [and I think that that should be a word], do so by the mechanics of their mental categorisation procedures. I can best illustrate this with the worst group from amongst the lot. And that would be the binary minded. Those with only dichotomies for categories. Where there are only two sides to everything. A positive side and a negative side. So if something does not fall on to their positive side, it must then be negative. And furthermore, if something does not fall between their dichotomy, they would not be willing to open up to grey areas because they can only see in terms of black and white. They would not open up another category for you. If none fits the yin and yang of their mind, there is no place for you within it. Thus, no place for you amongst them. Hence you’ll find yourself gone. Real gone.
You’ll be on their disagreeable side. As you do not fit into their positive, they’d need to brand you in the negative. The labels they’d have on you would likely be that you’re severely suspect, crazy, liar, non-truther, half-truther, unreliable, evil, bloody fool or a bona fide idiot. That’s a list condensed from labels by others that I’ve become accustomed to for myself. Interestingly though, if you have the kind of status that they fawn over then you’re eccentric, visionary or just really clever. And probably very sexy too. But since I’m nowhere near such status, it would be utterly pointless for me to go there.
If ever they purport patience to hear you out, it would be an act of courtesy rather than charity. Because they don’t actually listen to you. They can’t. They wouldn’t have points of references for point-counterpoint dialectics or deliberations. But that can be quite a moot point because regardless whether they listen or not, they’d only be justifying why they’ve conjectured the way they have. The more astute amongst us know that justifying something will only strengthen the resolution of the thing and does not resolve anything. You’d be stonewalled for your efforts. After all, the binary minded cannot comprehend the possibility of a third premise. Nor the finitely minded grasp the concept of infinite possibilities.
But what can a poor boy do? Well, not much if you want to get back into the fold by bringing such folks to your point of view. They can only be satiated when you show yourself moving towards what’s more familiar to them. Something they can then positively categorise within the confines of their minds. Unfortunately, that means shifting yourself to the mental limits of others. Some call it compromise. I call it claustrophobic. And I especially find it a waste of a personality that has been developed by the diversity of thoughts and experience. Only to have such bravado bamboozled just so it’ll fit into the pigeonholes of non-flying birds.
If you stand your ground you’d be in the negative. If you decide to not contest because of the sheer tedium of what you know contesting will trigger, you’d still be in the doghouse. You’d be arrogant. Aloof. Which is rich in irony coming from people who insist their guesses or conjectures are valid, conclusive, and absolute.
It’s also not always easy to accept such shunting. Because in my life, I end up in mixed emotions as the result of being shunned by loved ones. Mixed emotions because I delight with having worked out my worldviews through discovery. But saddens when being outcast by loved ones who refuse them so vehemently. Of course the mindless cliché thing to do is to step down for our loved ones. But I prefer what’s professed by one of the smartasses from the 80s simply because it offers me solace as well as prevents me from being such a tight arse like the folks I appear to be disfavouring. If you love somebody, set them free.
Which is probably what they do when they cast me away. They’re setting me free. I only wish it not be done with animosity. Or even finality. Because when loved ones do it they no longer want to keep in touch. In contemporary current day culture that would include de-friending, blocking, unliking and even deleting. Which is strange. Because it seems that the concept of agreeing to disagree can only work amongst strangers. And not between loved ones.