I was perusing my Facebook feed the other day, reading all the things people are currently experiencing – the amazing, and the horrendous – with some drawing on past experiences or situations as they shared; things I know about them, that I’ve read before, or have even been privvy to at one level or another.
It struck me how true it is that we really don’t know what’s going on with people. We make assumptions based on … lots of things really. How they look when you see them, if they look happy / sad / tired / whatever in photos, and what they post on their social media profiles. All of these things can be a mask, some greater than others, but we are also swayed considerably by our own perceptions and perspectives.
Sometimes we want to see others in a ccetain light; we look up to them, for example, and don’t want to see any flaws. If we do, we wind up disappointed that they are merely human.
We want to see them as beneath us, because it helps justify our own actions and behaviours, or makes us feel better about ourselves.
Neither of these is ‘good’ or ‘bad’. It’s just human nature. We have an innate desire to compare, to compete, to justify ourselves, and to know we’re doing something right and, hopefully, fitting in at some level.
As I read through some of these shares, I reflected on my own sharing. How do I appear to others? What am I doing that leads people to think a certain – any – way about me? How am I pereceived by others? Why do some people get it so far off what’s really going on?
I realised I don’t really share a great deal. Whether it’s what’s going on at the time, or what I’ve experienced … and why I can genuinely empathise and understand, when apparently I have no experience or knowledge of …whatever it is.
I don’t say much for a few reasons; some of it I am well aware of how some things may be perceived incorrectly, blow out of propertion, or merely skewed to the perceptions and understands of those reading.
I am well aware that there are possible repercussions for my kids; whether it be opportunities within their schools, employment, friendships, bullying … whatever.
A significant part is I choose not to delve too much into them. They bring me pain, they send me into dark places I prefer not to go to, and I know I’m vulnerable to this. I know I can get caught there, either too deeply and darkly, or I’m just a pain in the arse and annoying to others. I don’t like to drag people down.
I also don’t want to have others in a bad light, or for them to be perceived as bad people, who did bad things … all that has happened, I am okay with, forgiven, and I bear no one any harm. Most people invovled won’t even see this; people who have not been in my life for years, decades even, but still provided me with experiences that give me understanding of various circumstances.
Other stuff is still happening …
Perhaps I should spend time delving into these experiences, to face them, address them, clear things up, whatever. Maybe I already have. Maybe I just choose to be one of those really annoying, positive people.
I won’t, because of my tendency to be too dark, too down, to pragmatic to be