Sunday, July 25, 2010

Trust and the Absolutist Mentality

It Happened Again, I was a victim both of my longing to be understood and my unwillingness to conform when an absolutist question arises. The absolutist mentality I speak of his the All or Nothing, 100% or 0%, u're either with me or against me mentality that arises so much. One topic it arises with is trust. As I've gotten older, I've had to shed the overly nice guy attitude becuz I've been betrayed a few times with it. So when it comes to knew people I meet now, rather than starting at 100% trusted and having to lose ground, I start at about 50% and people have to work their way up. And becuz of how I operate and try to do things independently, very few people get a chance to gain there way into the 80s or 90s. There r very few people I have the confidence to lean on. So to me, saying that I trust you 90% is a tremendous compliment as that makes you one of the most trusted people in my life. That essentially means you're just short of the 100% trust level where if asked I'd give you $5000 and not even ask what you need it for. And upon speaking to others about this topic, it's easiest to keep the peace if you just say "Yes, I trust you completely" to anyone who's over about 75%, becuz on a yes or no scale, that's a definite Yes. But as I get closer to people I want them to understand me, so like a dumbass, instead of a yes or no answer, I tried to explain on the percentage scale. And to an absolutist, anything short of 100% is a 'No.' It's a hard lesson to learn, and becuz of my fundamental problem with absolutism, I can't guarantee I'll always apply what I learned, but I'll never forget it. My problem with it is gangs, dictatorships, political scandals, and other people or groups use absolutism as their main tool to force compliance; like the inserted picture (obviously the phrase on the picture is an exaggeration). They convince people that everything is 100% or 0%, either you sign up to do and support absolutely everything we do or you're our enemy. That's bullshit to me. My inner rebel doesn't allow me to let some talk me into complying to shit unless I want to. Just becuz I'm a Democrat doesn't mean u can automatically cast my vote to endorse 100% of what they advocate, just becuz I'm Black doesn't mean I automatically endorse 100% of everything Black over the alternate without you having to ask me, just becuz I have confidence in someone as my boss or coach doesn't mean I'm going to agree 100% with you on every decision, and in this case, trust builds up through years of experiences with people instead of automatically shooting straight up to 100%. I try to avoid putting people in absolutist ultimatum scenarios for this reason. When I get closer to someone, I try to help them understand me by explaining these things. Unfortunately, many times people's perceptions change the meanings of your words and your plan to go above and beyond the Yes or No answer fails and turns them against you. Life lessons, heavy shit. Words to the wise, be careful how you handle these absolute ultimatums when they come your way, u could end up in a position of unquestioning compliance or end up with a friend turned against u. U heard it here first...

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