Many of the people who read the things I share and disagree come to a similar conclusion. “Who is this self-righteous asshole and why should we listen to him”? They are not entirely wrong. I would say “self-righteous” is one of my biggest character flaws, right up there with perfectionist tendencies (which, by the way, is why I may seem inclined to belabour points).
The fact of the matter is, if I were not self-righteous I would likely not be sharing anything at all. Besides self-righteous, I am an introvert who despises confrontation and who lives with social anxiety disorder, generalised anxiety disorder, panic disorder, and obsessive-compulsive personality disorder.
Sure, when you read one of my public compositions you might think, “Like at this self-assured, over-confident prick pushing his dogma on everyone”, but the reality, that I am fully square with, is that I have no idea what I am doing or talking about – I am trying to make the best of it. So are you. If you think you are not, feel free to stop reading now – there are plenty of other blogs, articles, memes, and videos on the Internet for you.
I know what I know and I know some of what I do not know. Some things I think I know, and then there is the whole array of cognitive blind spots. I know the thoughts that traverse my mind and I know how I see the world – that view of the world is that people are generally good and decent, but it takes little to make them behave selfishly and cruelly to one another. Sometimes people need a talking down or need to be checked – other times it happens simply because the one person decided they do not like something about the other. In the latter case I am referring to matters of equality of opportunity.
No matter the severity of the social anxiety, it’s that self-righteous streak, that sense of “people have no need to be that selfish, cruel or prejudiced with one another” – the very thing that makes me so anxious – that drives me to put those ideas out on paper. Does that mean, “everyone should life their life according to these tenets”? No, it means, “Here is the best sense I can make of this, what have you all figured out?”.
Yet we live in the age of the Internet where plenty of people will Like or Love an entry because they agree with it, or they will feel a need to comment about how the language used annoys them or they found a hole in the reasoning.
You know how you think my argument is a bunch of bullshit and yours is airtight? That’s the cognitive bias talking. You found a perspective that works for you and anything contrary to that needs to be explained away, not assessed and considered.
Some people may read that and feel a sense of hypocrisy, that they need to evaluate my arguments with an open mind and I am free to ignore whatever I want. In this forum – kinda. Believe it or not, I do not come to my blog or postings on my page to learn things. I go to other people’s blogs and pages to acquire different perspectives. I come here to share my thoughts. That is why in this particular location, you get a strong dose of that self-righteousness – because what appears here is not some graduate thesis on the subject but my thoughts spilled out in an assertive way.
You may disagree. You are free to comment. When that comment does not offer an actual rebuttal though, do not feel shocked when I dismiss it. Some people think what they offer is a rebuttal, but it tends more towards, “You think that is the problem? Well, you’re a f***ing idiot. Here is why everything you said is stupid and wrong”. At no point in there was a, “Here is what actually happens”.
Want a pretty good indication of which side of the fence you are on if you disagree with me? If I am responding to you with questions, I am actually evaluating your points. I am going to continue to argue for my side, because again, I am not here to persuade people. Even if I like your point, the idea that I will stop the argument to accept your position and announce, “You won the argument, congratulations!” is stupid. Rather, in a Socratic fashion, I will keep arguing and keep asking questions to draw out more of your position and learn. So do not be surprised if some aspect of an argument you had with me appears in a future piece as part of my argument. Adults can disagree in a civilised fashion and discuss their disagreement.
The others? You are just trolling, and I have zero need for confrontation in my life for no good reason. I will ignore you and then block you if needed.
One last thing that I want to establish with this post. I admitted over the course of these paragraphs to several character flaws and even mental health issues. Defaulting to violence to handle disagreements, resorting to name calling or personal attacks rather than addressing the issue, pretending that insecurity, fear, and character flaws do not exist – that is not strength or courage. That classic machismo/bravado/whatever you want to call it is crap. Having those things and getting up and getting life done every day is strength and courage. Taking ownership of mistakes and flaws, being accountable and responsible is strength and courage.
The time occasionally comes when we need a little old fashioned physical strength or courage in the face of danger, but defaulting to that and the constant need for everyone to know that is who you are – that is insecurity talking. It is like a rattlesnake’s rattle – when the snake is on the hunt, you do not hear a peep out of it. That rattle is fear and insecurity, the bluff of a terrified creature warning, “Back away and do not turn this into a thing”.
You know why we have physical violence? Because two rattlesnakes get together and refuse to back down to the rattle of the other. If people would respect the autonomy of others, show a little compassion, empathy, and kindness, none of that crap would happen. But we live with this expectation that we need to be that tough person and make sure everyone else knows it.
That is why, instead of sitting quietly in my home and working on fiction novels, I feel compelled to come to this blog and share my thoughts – not out of some misguided, self-righteous sense of “I know better than anyone”, but out of a genuine sense of, “If we do not share our thoughts, if we all sit in our corners and in our tribes and rattle, this will go a whole lot worse for everyone”.