Thursday, September 8, 2022

The Social Stigma of Easy Shifters

When people change my mind via argument, and I declare them correct, they always keep arguing. Always!

After I've apologized, people keep reciting their injuries.

And after I've expressed forgiveness, they keep apologizing.

No one ever believes me! At least, that's the superficial explanation.

Deeper explanation: it's not about me (nothing's ever really about you). They're enjoying watching themselves argue and recite. It's only nominally performed for you. You're a non-player character. Simmer down and bear witness to the performance. It's their time to shine.

Even Deeper explanation: The above is true, but exacerbated by the fact that I reframe effortlessly.

Most people persuaded into a change of mind perform a ritualized series of squinty facial gestures to signify the weighty internal changes taking place. Similar kabuki also applies to apology and forgiveness. One conveys a process of emotional boulders weightily hoisted and blockages solemnly released. Then: a beatifically calm re-composure. It's all different now. I HAVE SHIFTED!

Yeah, I don't do any of that. I just calmly shift and I'm there. And this gives the impression that I'm glibly insincere. I’m just saying it. They haven't viewed me undergoing the ARDUOUS JOURNEY OF SHIFTING. If I'd truly changed my mind, or genuinely apologized or forgiven, that journey would have played out on my face. They'd have witnessed me passing an emotional kidney stone. But, no, I simply arrive, and the insistent sincerity of my words can't possibly override the innate parsing of body english and sniffing of pheromones, so they remain unpersuaded.

See also "Angel on a Bike"

That was only my second use of the word "insistent" in 14 years of Slogging. As I wrote in "My Grave and Pitiful Faults", I am creative but, alas, not consistently inventive ("day in/day out, I'm mulishly complacent about following templates").

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