“It is absurd to divide people into good and bad. People are either charming or tedious.” ~Oscar Wilde
Doing what I do for a living, I study people a lot. I study the way they think, why they do the things they do, how they got that way. All that stuff. I want to know (and help other people understand) what makes us tick and how to deal with one another. It’s part of my whole mission on this planet.
So, in general, I pretty much understand the way people behave, the way they think, the way they are and why they are that way.
But the thing is that sometimes people make choices that baffle me. I mean, don’t get me wrong. I can clearly see their “whys” – these are choices that scream to me about their motivations and perceptions.
Some people are simply, as Oscar Wilde would say, just tedious.
Take for example someone who knows what I do professionally and still attempts to sort of “play me” or manipulate me.
What does this say about this person, and what does it say about their perception of me?
It says about them that they believe they can manipulate me, which could indicate a certain amount of arrogance, given my often and fairly well-demonstrated understanding of an eye for such manipulation. But worse is what it says about their perception of me: that I am unintelligent and/or unaware and that I am easily manipulated.
Does this make me mad? I’d like to say that it absolutely does not – but if I said that, I’d be being dishonest. And I promised that this was a no-holds-barred blog. So I’ll admit it – yes, it does make me a bit mad. But in my somewhat evolved state, I can allow the emotion to pass and then remember that I must be aware of and accept openly the limitations of people like this. It isn’t their fault that they attempt to manipulate me, they just aren’t aware enough to know better.
Yes, that thought does sound a bit smug and yes, maybe it’s small of me to feel comfort in telling myself this. But what are the alternatives here? To attempt to explain to someone who clearly already knows what they’re doing why they are wrong? Or to drive myself crazy trying to explain simple decency to people?
Nope. I’ll just accept their limitations and move on. Those people don’t deserve to get free rent in my head, you know what I mean?