The "Puck" factor, or "nobody cares what you think"

I heard a sermon yesterday about "Authenticity."   The general theme was: "Isn't it exhausting wearing a mask all the time.  Stop caring about what people think and expect and just be yourself."

Wow, I wish it were just that simple.

First, we must deal with "The Puck Factor".  This guy:



Bascially "Puck" was a universally-reviled character from the MTV Reality show "Real World" in the 1990's.  To sum-up He was unapologetic in his self-centered asshattery.  Looking at Puck and saying, "Just be yourself," was like an exercise in an Ethics class.  Puck liked hurting other people.  That was genuinely him being him.

....which brings us to yesterday.

Yesterday was going just fine.  We went to church, got home, and I was outside setting things right from our rained-out camping trip, and my wife comes around and we start to talk.   All was still going well until we got to a topic of general disagreement between us.

I kept my mouth shut.   I know what topics are useless discussion.  My nonverbal communication made it clear I wasn't happy, though.   

"You keep pursing your lips, crossing your arms, and rolling your eyes.  Please stop that."

"I'm doing that so that I don't say what's on my mind."

"Please stop."

"Ooooookay."

Remembering the sermon, I proceeded to speak what was really on my mind for the next two minutes.  It wasn't what I meant per se, but it was just what I'd describe as  a "clot" of emotion that was pent-up on said topic.

Two.  Minutes.

What followed was 3 hours of me apologizing and trying to repair the relationship to what it'd been before I opened my stupid mouth.

* * *

That is to say:  Sorry, pastor.  Living with other human beings means wearing a mask, whether that be civility, toughness, manners, or whatever.   I'm genuinely sorry about that, but I've never encountered a single person in my life whom I could be fully "me" around, long-term.

That's not entirely, a bad thing.   I don't like being around "real" me, and no one else would, either.

I'm selfish and I think myself more important in the grand scheme of things than I actually am.  That particular mask of not being "king baby" only-child is useful, even if everything is filtered through my limbic selfishness to my cortex so I can mitigate the "WAHHHHH I WANT WHAT I WANT I WANT IT NOW".

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