SwirlingFire: Who am I ? Who are YOU ?

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Who am I …?

Who are YOU …?


How we describe ourselves is not the way others see us.

Forget the outside package. That’s not who we are.  That’s what we look like.

That’s a big problem for me.  Many of us make snap decisions based on external/visible traits.  We rarely see the true depth of someone’s character, the real essence, the good bits.  Those Pieces we hide to protect ourselves from the hurt and harm thrown at us through life.  Keeping our vulnerability away from prying eyes and those that would take advantage given the opportunity.

This is a big Disadvantage of social media anonymous accounts.  We can be whomever we choose.  We can big ourselves up.  We can hide our success and achievements or make up a whole career of expertise.  We could however, make a whole new online only life.  Whilst for some of us, hiding our face is not to deceive, it’s the freedom to deposit information without fear of reprisals in real life.  Unfortunately, there are those that choose to focus on what’s not said rather than what is visibly typed/posted/tweeted.

Social media sometimes falls massively short of being “social”.  We don’t have intonation, pitch, timbre and playful inflection.  I’ve fallen foul of this many times.

More often than not lately I type something then backspace/delete.  Words have been taken out of context or misinterpreted to tell me what I meant

Sometimes I’m not as articulate writing short tweets as I can be with a written piece such as this,  or how different the intended inflection with face to face speech patterns.  Facial expression is lost.  Of course the flip side is that I don’t fall into the category or pigeon hole of where someone else wants me to fit.  We like everything easy and comfortable. We like our views to be understood; just as  someone else’s..  We like to find our fit with others.  We don’t want someone pushing us out of our comfort zone and highlighting our differences.  We want to fully integrate with peers and be accepted for our presence, essence and qualities. We want you to be like us. Whomever US is?  I’ve been known to be challenging and provocative at times.  It suits me to “push the envelope” and learn their truth.  Examining boundaries to hear others tell the truth is a difficult knife edge to walk.

© Sarah Boswell

Mostly people appear to be honest.  I always try to believe.  My gut kicks in and I will push and push with different questioning styles until I hear what seems authentic.  More often in the past I have ruthlessly cut people from my life. (Proven liars/manipulators/users/fakes)

I don’t expect full disclosure at day one, in the same way I wouldn’t purge my experiences to the person on the bus, but I do expect a modicum of genuine exchange.  The common decency of courtesy and respect you’d expect face to face or from a shop assistant/in public settings and locations.

Social media allows us to disregard someone’s presence.

Silent treatment. A powerful form of mental abuse/narcissist behaviour!  Gaslighting to friends.  If you wouldn’t behave that way in real life then why do it online?

My past character flaws?  Apparently I’m intimidating, too direct, won’t suffer fools, unforgiving and strongly controlling of workplace guidelines.  I’m told I’m a strong character with high standards in the work place and passionately professional.  These ways have been to protect myself rather than to be sneaky and construct a totally fake version of myself.   An acceptable face forward, very much a dilution of my real self but not my character.  My private life / work life do not cross over.

However, when I’m “on form /having a good day” I’m described as being a “breath of fresh air” upon entering a room, I have presence and an air of authority … it’s funny to me, as at times I’m mistaken for senior management in places I’m not a permanent team member.  A quiet air of control.  It feels good to belong for a millisecond.

Whilst I’ve hidden behind layers of protection for years (see my first blog post), I’ve developed a plethora of responses for all the usual questions.  I can still be 100% honest and tell truthful anecdotes and make amusing self effacing comments.  I’m not a liar.  My memory recall is not polished enough to  accomplish easy deceit and daily manipulation of the truth.

I’m not a liar in the accepted definition of the word.  I’m probably doing myself a disservice by keeping people at arms length until I’m ready to talk – really talk.

My questioning techniques are from years of specific training and experience in my field.  This is something I must refrain from or reign in, remember to ease back. Especially on social media.  A playful “push” face to face is sometimes massively miscommunicated when that same technique is used in writing.  This is 98% due to my inability to trust explanations/people at face value anymore.

Life has been cruel at times.

For a very long time I thought it was my fault.
I thought I was to blame for incidents that occurred more often than they really should.
I was the common denominator.
It was my responsibility.

This is all conjecture for another post however, it gives the background of how my extremely critical inner voice has punished me for far too long and why I react when regular people (untainted by my experiences with others) can brush actions/comments away.

I find it really difficult to process if they’re having a bad day or did I really deserve to be treated/spoken to in that manner or are they, as is most often the case, insensitive or selfish and rude with no interest of the impact of their words?  Provided they get their own way anyone else’s views are irrelevant?. Whatever the cost to someone else.

No understanding of how they would feel if someone mirrored the exact actions and flung them back?

A case of I can do as I want but don’t you dare ask/challenge me?

And this is the uglier dark underbelly of Twitter et al…..

We behave the way we want to because we can. We can be decent stand up guys and support, encourage and be friendly or we can be angry bitter masked fakes, unhappy individuals that spew insults and comments about situations where we don’t have any background information of or never had a good conversation with that person to fully understand.  It’s all too easy to make accusations or what you thought somebody else was saying.  Instead of quietly chatting through the post or miscommunication, we can block and move on.  It’s the “fingers in my ears I can’t hear you” brigade.  Then we tell our buddies how awful so and so is and we must block them or ignore the replies or mute/silence them ?

Social media can be a blessing for those of us that are lonely and have become isolated from living.  It’s where we can come to escape the real life serious issues of day to day struggles.  Used for the benefit of learning to integrate with society again, to learn new ways to converse, it’s an invaluable lifeline.

We will all continue to make mistakes or misunderstand one another.  It’s a natural human state.

The difference is how one manages the outcome.  To learn from it and adjust our behaviours/outlook or plough on in a stubborn state that you’re the Captain of your own White Star Liner.

In the wrong hands, social media is a powerfully dangerous tool.

Choose your weapons and words carefully.

@SwirlingFire, 26 sept 2018