Thursday, January 13, 2011

Words and actions. Do we really mean them?

I was going home one night with this great guy I had a ‘thing’ with. Now, you must know, a ‘thing’ is something you can’t define as a relationship yet can’t be defined as something else either. We were dating for about a month, but without going exclusive or ever having discussed the options of a relationship, when, as I was thinking all was going well into that direction, he told me he was planning to see other people as well. When you’re a Territorial (and we discussed that in a previous post concerning the “Four Types”), that is one of the things you never want to hear from a potential partner. So, I thought about working things out. After somewhat getting over my anger of having let myself into yet another dysfunctional shit like that, I accepted the fact that he was one of those few people I could talk to about pretty much anything, so at least what had remained of the friendship should have been saved. Back to the story, we had spent a decent evening in one of our local pubs, sheepishly talking through the unresolved tensions we had, telling each other how we couldn’t really afford to lose the friendship since it was one of those rare things you get to find in another person, everything seemed perfectly clear, starting with his relaxation of not being able to offer more, ending with my persistent rage on the whole situation manifested in perfect courtesy and acceptance; and now he was walking me home, as a friend. We reached the destination point, I kissed him on the cheek and, what a surprise (not!) he turned towards me and BAM! Kiss on the lips. Seriously, what the fuck was that all about? Hadn’t we talked things over? Weren’t things perfectly clear? So, after I went upstairs, gave my dog a proper amount of attention, I picked up the phone and called him. “Dude, what the fuck?”

There are many situations in which the “WTF” line fits so well that whatever else would be said could not manage to condense the whole surprise, anger, frustration, revolution and humor. This was one of those situations. “Don’t interpret my words” he said “but I love you, in my own way.” Now this, and anything else that ends in “my own way”, is a line that I am tired of hearing, be it in my own life or in the lives of my friends, who share with me. How can you not interpret something like that? If there were something anyone would like to say that would not be subject to interpretation, it would be nice and clear and surely not ending in words like “in my own way” or, another ‘personal favorite’, “you know what I mean”. No, I don’t know what you mean unless you tell it to me and no, I don’t know what “in your way” is unless you let me know. People ask not to have their words or actions interpreted but they fight against it with all elusive word-sets they find available. Why is that? Why is it so hard to speak your mind once you have something there that’s just nagging the shit out of you? Why does one assume that the other would scorn up a “right interpretation” (and, let’s face it, there is no right interpretation, all that we have is what our subjective little perverted minds feed us) when it would be so much easier to just set barriers aside and speak up? A friend of mine once said “It’s either a cat or a dog.” and I love those words so much! In so many ways, it’s either black or white, gray is just an illusion. You can’t go on saying “I care about you, BUT…” because once you put the “but” there, it’s clearly not the first term. It’s like me going around with my dog saying “Y’know, she’s not a cat, BUT…” it’s a dog. It’s clear even to the dumbest of people that my dog is a dog and nothing I say will make it a cross-over ostrich. So why take that to the next level and try to apply it to relationships? Why do we say things that we don’t mean and why do we then contradict ourselves in other words or other actions?

A couple of years ago I heard a smart joke from a colleague. He said that the mind is formed of 3 parts. One of the parts says “I gotta pee.” The second says “No, don’t pee yourself!”, while the third announces “Ohh…. Too late!” Can this be the case for some people concerning relationships? “I’d like a relationship”, “No, don’t have a relationship”, “Damn, I just got laid, I might as well light a cigarette now…”. I’m thinking it’s a matter of honesty towards your own self. If these three states of mind really exist, we have to stop after the second one has made its statement and ask ourselves “WHY?” Why do we want this? Why wouldn’t we want this? Why would it be good or bad for us? What change would it imply? We can’t just go around throwing misleading actions everywhere we see ‘fit’ just because we can’t control our impulses or can’t be clear of our own motivations, or else we’d become… well, just what the rest of the world is. I’ve seen this so much and, in the past year, I’ve heard of it so much from my closest female friends, that I’m actually starting to wonder, has it become a trend to go on experiencing everything without knowing what we want in life? It is said that once we ask ourselves something, or we are put in front of a decision, a subconscious part of us already knows what to choose and what the answer is. Why can’t we tap into that form of consciousness and harness the ability to stick to what it is we really want or feel? Why must we enter loopholes that eventually takes us to the initial place where we were at?

It's easy to understand if you accept that people always hide behind the simplest way of expressing themselves which has the least possibility of consequences. At first, they'll hide behind the mask of appearance, then behind that of simple gestures also known as flirting. They will hide behind misleading and mostly elusive words without promising anything. Some would even go as far as to hide beyond words that do promise whatever, be it the moon or the stars or even a lame date they never plan on having. Actions, of course, are the hardest to hide behind, because when you act upon something, you bring it into existence, there is no way of un-doing it. Saying that you were "drunk" or "not thinking" are lines that might have worked on a highschooler, but, facing the facts, once you have chosen to perform a certain action, the choice is there, no matter what bumpy road or western highway it has taken in your head. I remember having talked about this issue to a friend of mine, the discussion having the specific subject of cheating. There are no mistakes there, a guy can't tell his girlfriend "I was so drunk, I had no idea what I was doing, so I slept with that chick". As she very well pointed out, it's not like he accidently fell with his penis into her vagina, even to the foggiest of minds, there is a certain pattern that takes the thought into the field of choice and then into the world of action, making it real. There are no mistakes in any action, there are just mind patterns, dysfunctional or not, that lead to that point. And however fucked up they might seem, they are all real, reflecting real issues in the person performing them. If we were all sane, our actions would be fluid, natural happenings that never contradict thought or subconscious stream. Unfortunately, sanity is greatly overrated and, instead of us all undergoing therapy, we allow our own short comings and frustrations to seep into our lives and the lives of others, creating confusion or conflicting situations.

We should all perform an exercise and, for once, try to put our thoughts, impulses and actions on the same line. If we feel something, try to put it into words in ourselves. Once we have completed that, let us all find the actions that reflect what lies within and not something else. I love spontaneous events, but let those events be enriched with a deeper background that one can rely on. Selling false impressions or false hopes won’t give us anything to gain and won’t make us better. It’ll just give us an impression of how smart being retarded feels like right before hitting the next wall that’s out there, which is a wall we ourselves have built and have chosen to crash into.


  1. The key, I think, is learning mental discipline and taking responsibility for not just words and actions, but every stray thought we become conscious of. Integrity is so elusive because we are a race of imaginative creatures. It's the abstraction of thoughts and scenarios that make us self-aware and able to communicate in so many elusive ways. That inherent insecurity shapes our personalities and thus lends itself to the projection of a malleable ego prone to constant shifting as we learn and become ever more unique from our life experiences. Is it ever possible to be utterly and indefinitely certain that we mean our words and actions? It's only our flawed mirage-like perception that sets us apart from command-obeying machines and allows us to err, to invent, to make miraculous escapes and therefore survive.

    Grey is that subtle and frustrating magic, the irrational and uncertain thing we call human nature.

  2. True, but if we let ourselves dominated by the grey area, will we ever be able to make a choice and stick to it? Saying that we control our own lives is a longshot, but, to a certain extent that is granted to us, we are able to maintain a nice ammount of control. Taking responsibility is indeed key and I would love to see more and more people think this way and act accordingly. Most people like the shortest and easiest way to whatever it may be and we should know that aquiring mental discipline is neither short, nor easy. On the long run, the easy way in or out is never stable or lasting.