Sunday, May 19, 2013

Honesty in Personal Dealings - Different Stories for Different Friends?

Here's the hallmark of vicious self-deception.  You find yourself telling one set of friends one story, and another set of friends a completely different story, or, perhaps, withholding all sorts of information from a second friend/group of friends.  It represents an aggressive need.  It is a need for control over other people's perceptions.  It is more importantly, a need to control all angles of all personally experienced events such that they comport with thresholds or standards of comfort when digested personally. I am as guilty as anyone, or at least used to be.

And so, what inevitably happens?  Some friends get together, two spheres of friends perhaps, at a party, or graduation, or what have you, and viola, they start comparing stories.  After all, they liked the stories they independently heard.

And one day you're therefore sitting at a party, perhaps your own, trying to explain discrepancies that you barely explicitly consciously knew were there.  You just always kept certain friends away from other certain friends because those people were naturally incompatible--it never had anything to do with self-interest.


I recognize that we have to do this self-selection stuff to some degree.  And I guess the real question is whether it is manifestly negative to avoid negative aspects of our own lives, i.e. to avoid thinking about them, to usher away conversation from them, to sort of keep them at all times from consciousness, even while therefore being consistently aware of what we need to keep away from.  After all, what's the use of thinking about bad stuff?  Is there a use in it?

As I've sort of relaxed (although outwardly become much more stiff), memories constantly hover, descending at odd junctures.  But I like them.  Even the bad ones.  I like that they are there, that I can even safely relive them at times.  It is weird, I know, but to safely relive harrowing stuff isn't really traumatic at all.  It is comforting.

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