Friday, August 30, 2013

Confident Expression

I /naturally/ speak 'with authority.'

From the time I was a toddler, so I am told, I knew my own mind and valued my opinions enough to just say what I thought. Given that my self-esteem was going to get a lot of shocks from my bad situation(s), I thank God He made me so confident of my own identity and self-worth. I truly believe it was His Provision for what I would be up against. Because of His Grace to me, I became a voice for Him. Though sometimes victimized, I am and always was, far more than just a victim. By His Grace, I pray I always will be.

Sometimes being myself isn't appreciated. lol

Most people on joining a group naturally do a kind of 'initiate's dance.' They quite reasonably recognize they are 'low man on the totem pole' and actively defer and mimic the local authority.

I can't do that. I understand how it works but the behavior is unnatural to me. Seriously, it comes off unpleasantly artificial when I've tried. Some even thought I was mocking the usual process!

So, I just aim for being respectful, dealing with others on equal terms. People see my confidence and know I could be a natural leader, which makes some current leaders nervous, but I never come in with the idea of taking over. [I don't want that much of a headache. True authority comes with a lot of responsibility, and I don't shoulder that load lightly.] Unless I like the current leadership, I may not even stick around. If I *do* decide to join in, then I believe in you, and I will support you. Don't worry so much!

I was continually criticized in one group online for seriously holding opinions. How dare I know my own mind! How non-hive of me! Hey, those convictions/ideals/beliefs/interests weren't approved by our clique! You better be willing to justify them effectively or we'll snark/ridicule you off the thread!

The implicit idea was that if I defended what I'd researched, speculated, liked, or believed, I'd then be granted respect for my variations. Too often the other side reneged on that deal. Now I don't feel obliged to defend facts I've quoted or philosophical/religious ideals. I did the work. I considered the question open and all questioners equal. I came to a conclusions based on evidence and experience. You can too. If you really want to know more from me, better approach me with respect, or I'll tune you out. You're just not going to get anywhere with me by  offering snarky/contemptuous 'challenges.'  I've dealt with too many closed minds to waste my time trying to ping pearls of truth off pigheaded skulls. I'll respect you IF you respect me!

Unsurprisingly, a lot of other people in that group who were trying to fit in sounded like... the alternative. It was total submission, and suppressed free communication. It was an indication of how little respect was shown to independent thought that people felt like it was safest to express their beliefs/opinions/interests in uncertain tones, so that if an empowered 'other' challenged them, they could surrender the mental ground immediately and avoid being thought 'controversial.' [Controversy is ssooo subjective, referring to real trolling sometimes - but also used as shorthand for societal nonconformity.) Those who didn't surrender right away sometimes adopted a 'begging' tone, asking the other to mercifully consider their position. It rarely worked.

This is how people become sheeple.

Not me.

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