Hiding The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

Warning: This post contains a lot of generalisations! As such it is in no way indicative of individual people.

As humans surrounded by other humans we are constantly surrounded by peer pressure. Some absolutely could not care less about peer approval and will not change themselves in any way to gain it. But these people are rare. From the moment we understand who we are and what other people want to see, we are presenting ourselves in a way that will gain peer approval. This kind of behaviour very often leads to disguising parts of ourselves whether they be mental or physical. Because everyone knows having a third nipple is weird and liking Westlife more than The Back Street Boys is insanity. Though I do now realise the band name makes them sound like a gang started by a bunch of 10 year olds.

Peer pressure can start people off smoking (which is clearly not a healthy life choice), make them feel they should conceal their sexuality or make them feel there are things they cannot do. I think we can all agree peer pressure is quite restricting. We are determined to fit into a “norm” and make friends with other “norm” folk. The pressure not only affects the things we do but also the things we say. There are a number of taboo subjects that you just don’t talk about because it’s not the done thing. If anyone is wondering about an example I can tell you from experience that a joke about a baby dying will go down like a cup of cold sick…

All this hiding your personality can make you pretty miserable because you are never really being you. One has to assume the rise in social media and thus a rise in peer pressure has directly led to a rise in depression. But I wonder if there is something even more insidious about it too. Because you can think you know people and think they are a decent sort when in actuality they are terrible arseholes who think that a woman’s place is in the kitchen, gay men are the devils work and ethnic minorities are a scourge on mankind.

So what’s worse, the guy that’s openly sexist or the guy that pretends he’s not sexist? The obviously homophobic ass hat or the secret homophobe? Raving and ranting racist or the only at home racist?

I’ve thought about it a bit and I’ve talked to a couple of people about it a bit. And I’m no closer to deciding on a definitive answer to that.

On the one hand the the out and proud small minded folk are abrasive and ghastly to have to suffer through a conversation with. They are distasteful to say the least, and worst of all might influence other peoples opinion with their open speech.

But on the other hand there’s something so deceptive about the secret sexist/racist/homophobe. You think they are a good person, only to have them knife you in the heart at an inopportune moment. They can make you mistrustful of everyone because you couldn’t trust them. They are aware that their opinions are unpopular and offensive so they hide them, the ones that don’t hide it often don’t realise how ignorant they are, but these guys and gals know.

One type spares your feelings to fit in with the “norm” but resents and despises you, while the other type abuses you but you aren’t deceived by them, they are honest and I suppose their disregard for peer pressure is… admirable(?)

So, yeah, I haven’t come to a conclusion. Thoughts?

S. Hansen

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8 thoughts on “Hiding The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

  1. Good post. As annoying and infuriating as openly racist, homophobic or sexist people usually are, I prefer to know what a person is about — preferably from their own mouths — then to wonder if someone’s claims of tolerance and compassion are just a ruse. If I realize I’m conversing with a bigot, I can always cut it short, but if I believe I’m conversing with someone whose values align more or less with my own, I may just befriend such a person only to find out somewhere down the road that every second spent interacting with him or her was a waste of time.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Exactly! No one enjoys being deceived, it makes you second guess a lot of things. I keep my social group to a minimum and my time spent socialising the same. So i would hate to think I’d wasted time on some such person too.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Ah, I see desertcurmudgeon beat me to it. I’ve been burned by people who I’ve known for a significant amount of time who suddenly turn around out of the blue and say or do something totally disrespectful or offensive to me and my morals. By then I genuinely LIKE this person, so have a hard time setting the incongruence right.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It certainly is an awkward position to be in. It doesn’t happen a lot to me on account of the no friends but I did once befriend someone who went and slept with a married person. That was the end of that friendship…

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Is it really a total waste of time? I know what you mean, but I’m not perfect myself. I’m not a homophobic asshat, but also not the person I ought to be by my own standards. I figure when I get burned – it happens – then I’ve learned something, and the other person’s learned something, and we both move on. If nothing else, it leaves me a little wiser, more careful, and knowing better who to avoid. There are all kinds of tells for people not to allow into your life, and you learn more of them as life goes on. By the time you’re 100, you probably have 100% perfect asshat detection capabilities!

    Liked by 1 person

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