Truth is not determined by a show of hands—or is it?
The other day, I left a comment on some organization’s Facebook post. So far, my comment has received 86 Likes, one person replied “hilarious,” one replied “LOL,” one replied “hahaha,” one replied “very funny,” one replied “I assure you—you are NOT funny,” and one replied “you’re a jerk.”
So what am I really?
Irrespective thereof, judging from personal experience, it always tends to be the one that thinks I’m a jerk that ultimately gets me fired, banned from a particular forum, or otherwise in trouble.
Bill Cosby once said he didn’t know the secret to success, but the secret to failure was trying to please everybody.
Still, I perpetually struggle with striking the proper balance between pleasing others and pissing them off.
In a given situation, how am I to tell whether boldness, silence, or measured diplomacy might be in order? Not necessarily in terms of resolving the immediate situation at hand, but in terms of exercising the very muscles necessary for attaining my desired outcomes in the long term.
The proof, of course, is in the pudding—am I a successful person?
Far from it.
So I’m thinking the problem, or part of the problem, may be that I strive to “be myself” either (a) too much or (b) not enough.
Given that insanity is defined as doing the same over and over and expecting … blah-blah-blah, we all know the sagacious quotation … it stands to reason that I ought to adjust my ways toward either the more accommodating or the (even) more obnoxious, depending on which of the two I’ve been overdoing up until now.
Requesting feedback from others on this score, alas, seems futile, for I expect them to advocate uncompromising authenticity as a matter of course, followed by the caveat that one may suffer from a mistaken sense of self. (The alleged “real me” has a conspicuous tendency to align with the evaluating party’s personal preferences.)
When driving a car, the decision comes easy.
But when dealing with other people, choosing whether to step on the brakes (as if so say “I’m holding back, because I want you to love me”) or on the accelerator (as if to say “This is me, and I don’t care if you love me or hate me”) is more of a headache.
And since truth may or may not be reflected in a show of hands, our overall popularity may constitute a somewhat misleading gauge of whether or not we’re headed in the right direction, and if not, whither we should swerve.