Unlearning patterns

Tue Aug 28 21:04:28 PDT 2018

Hi friends. A bit of a spontaenous & raw piece today.

I’ve been noticing a pattern of mine. There’s a particular sort of person that I notice that I tend to really struggle with.

They tend to be very loudly opinionated. Somehow I will end up being friends with them, or some kind of relationship forms. I have at least one family member like this, as well as an ex.

These people tend to also be black-and-white thinkers. This is someone who tends to see things through a lens that permits only binaries to pass. To them, everyone is either “awesome” or “the worst”. An idea is “brilliant” or “stupid”. They see things as a world of polar opposites, with little in between. They make the things they like and dislike well known.

They tend to also see themselves as rebels or underdogs. I know that I find this romantic and charming.

They’re also quite good at spinning victim narratives. Stories about how they’ve been wronged, or double-crossed, or sabotaged, or whatever it happens to be. Stories that can be quite engrossing.

The scary thing about these people is that, if you spend enough time listening to their stories and living in their “world of I’m right and everyone else [who isn’t in my “good circle”] is what’s wrong”, you start to believe it. It’s really easy and almost knd of fun to get in to. After all, playing the victim feels surprisingly pleasant. And these people are sure to lavish you with praise and sung songs about how AWESOME you are each time you support their delusions. It can be addictive.

And then, eventually, you find yourself disagreeing with this person. You want to agree, because you like their romantic underdog worldview, but the delusions hit the edge of the veil, and you can see the outline of reality on the other side. So, in one way or the other, you express your disagreement.

Oh shit. You had better believe that now. It. Is. On.

Now you get to see the ugly side. These people will try to manipuate you into re-immersing yourself in their deluded world of victimhood. What seems to consistently get me is the threat of being moved from the AWESOME bin in their mind to the ENEMIES bin. The more you’ve been buying into their delusion, the more terrifying this prospect will be.

Now you’re left with a choice: do you put aside your beliefs and rejoin the world of delusion, or do you choose reality and accept that you will be henceforth seen as A VILLAIN or THE MAN or THE ENEMY henceforth? All ties will be cut, and you will be reduced, in these people’s eyes, to an Other.

I’ve realized that I’ve fallen into this pattern with several people (I can count four major relationships). I really don’t like the idea of someone thinking I’m against them or don’t like them, so it’s really really hard to pick reality over this person. Especially when that romantic underdog narrative is running so strong.

I’ve just broken away, back into reality, for what must be at least the fourth time. I’m getting increasingly aware of this pattern, and I feel good about my odds in the future.

It’s not fun to be in somebody’s ENEMY bin, but, it’s not me making that choice.

Plus, the real world is far more precious to me.