Monday, December 8, 2008

Face Value

I have decided, from here on and forever forth, that I am only going to take people at face value.  I've come to the conclusion that I spend a large amount of personal time trying to determine a person's ulterior motives and personal feelings; is this person angry with me, is this person annoyed with me, does he hate me, or does he think I am untalented or not worthwhile?  And I say this with a certain amount of foresight into what is an essentially impossible undertaking.  I will second guess; I will try to ascertain a person's true emotions no matter how hard I try.  It is simply human nature.  But these are my reasons for trying to live so.
I have come to realize that my gut judgements are typically accurate.  There is a wealth of research into gut reactions, if you're interested read Malcolm Gladwell's Blink.  And I have to admit that I am usually accurate in my guessing.  
But that being said, when I think something negative about a person, I certainly don't want them to know how I feel, and I should respect the same want in my compatriots.  You have the right to dislike me despite my knowledge.  
There is a new show on TV called "Lie to Me".  It's about a man notorious for his ability to spot a lie, and his help is solicited by all sorts of police agencies and other people who need to come to the truth.  The point is that this man is able to tell what people are thinking, or more importantly, feeling, based upon micro-expressions and body language.  "If the emotion doesn't match the words, it's a lie."
But there is an obvious coercion that the man chooses to exert with his talent, he chooses to believe people's faces, instead of people's words.  But he allows himself the privilege of lying to his coworkers and friends.  He holds himself to lesser standards than others.  What's more, he is not happy for it, but somehow the quest for "truth" is more important.
And I have a certain obsession with truth myself.  The inner workings of the mind, how people really feel.  What part of inhibition is keeping them at bay, what is their secret analysis of their surroundings.  More importantly, what do they think of ME?  Think of the load off that would entail a constant knowledge of your standing in your friend's lives.  You'd KNOW if you were the friend everybody hates, or if people just plain out couldn't stand you.  
But it would have to be a two way street.  A single person with such an advantage is destroying the system and would take advantage of people to no ends.  And more than that, it's simply not fair.
And that's why I want to take people at their words.  Why I'd rather believe a lie than second guess.  They have the right to mislead me, like I have to them.  
But I would much rather you just tell me the truth; as much as you think that'll hurt me, it hurts less than never knowing.

1 comment:

Alan Bahr said...

Your mom says you think too much. Did you see that Matt has a blog?