I’ve recently noticed something interesting. It’s been going on forever, but I hadn’t picked up on it.
There are ways in which my brain consistently lets me down. Sometimes it’s due to faulty programming, because my birth family wasn’t fantastic and I was brought up weird. Sometimes it’s due to past experiences that left me with habits that made perfectly good sense in that moment, but are anti-useful in almost any other settings. Sometimes it’s because my wiring is non-standards. Sometimes it’s a combination of all of the above, or I can’t tell why exactly the thing is happening. But what I know for sure is that it is a thing, and it is happening.
I don’t have data to support my assertions, but I do have anecdotes. Experience has taught me that, when faced with X challenge, I reliably make the wrong decisions. Hence, I do not trust my decision-making process when faced with X challenge.
In my head, that makes sense. I have observed a pattern. I have watched it unfold numerous times. I am thereby aware of how very badly it can fuck me over. When I try to have this conversation with people, though, 99.99% of the times I get told that I’m wrong.
I am underestimating myself. I have impostor syndrome. I need to work at my self -confidence. I am just saying that for attention (my personal favourite, because I obviously crave a public image as a fuck-up). It doesn’t matter how many times I’ve watched myself fall in and through a certain pattern, or how superficially those people know me: they know me better than I know myself, apparently. It’s all in my head, and perhaps not even there.
I find it super-duper interesting because I have zero tolerance for most types of jackasses. I don’t people good and I don’t particularly enjoy random social interactions, so I only tend to hang out with the people I actually want in my life. None of them are the sort of person who, if I were to say that I have a trick knee or a bad back, would discount that piece of information or try to talk me out of it. People who pull that shit on me don’t get a chance to do it twice. Yet the same people who readily accept whatever I have to say about my body, however negative, are perfectly willing to argue with me when I say anything remotely disparaging about my brain.
The easiest way to reduce the impact of this issue on my life would be to class the people who behave like this as a new, hitherto unidentified breed of jackass, and treat them accordingly. I do wonder, though, at how prevalent this behavior seems to be, and why. Why is it that so many people seem to consider themselves experts on other people’s mental processes? How do they support that level of hubris – or, if that’s not what powers them, what does?