Thursday, December 3, 2009

Out Of Character

I’ve had lengthy discussions about how I feel about people doing stuff only to please. Things that people do, just to please or make someone happy were seen to me as something false and condescending on occasion. My underlying thought was that people went out of character and were essentially someone else whenever they carried out that action or whatever it was, just to please someone. The more I tell myself that and the more I bring thing topic about with Jam, the less I believe my words.

Out of character, the underlying implication that I believed to be behind this ‘people pleasing’. Personally, I deter people from acting as someone else, someone that may not define who they are, then again, especially in this materialistic economic imperial world, defining oneself proves to be the challenge of the century. I cherish differentness, may it be outwardly obvious, or only exposed to the trusted few. With all that in mind, my personal values are in complete contrast with this underlying implication of “Out of Character” and so gave reason to my dislike of a notion of ‘people pleasing’.

To further the case, this “Out of Character” denotes some act, coerced most definitely. There then leaves room for doubt in my mind: whether or not everything was a complete act trying to genuinely make someone happy or just to make someone happy because you don’t like seeing them happy. That’s what my cognition says each time I think of people pleasing and its subsequent trait of being an act. Putting that thought in words literally showed to me my bias. Essentially, my cognition uses two courses of argument, pros and cons. I usually side with the cons because it puts more of a legit case, speaking personally of course. Yet looking over that thought there be no cons, yet I believed there to be one, the latter one. That suggests to me that it is not the motive behind people pleasing that dissuades me, but rather the connotation of it being an act and all concomitants to that contrast with my personal values. In support of this, I’ve been told profusely that I always see the negative. I thought I was beginning to see both sides of the coin and make my judgement based on both perspectives, what I didn’t realise is that I saw both sides as negative. It’s taking me a while to rid myself of that negativity and I guess I was getting ahead of myself, but I am getting there.

Jam’s constant argument against this whole debate about the genuineness of doing stuff to make people happy, is that it shows how much they care for you. I see where he comes from, but I stood against it believing that going out of ones way to make someone happy is unnatural. Making someone happy shouldn’t have the need for effort to be put in. It should be as natural as it can be, thus it can be seen as pure, untarnished, genuine and true. That in my opinion is an irrefutable action of the depth of how much one cares. On the other hand, acting out of character repelled me due to my values and so I disregarded on principle everything that denoted itself to people pleasing. However, looking over it again, written down, I see it in a different light.

Acting out of character needs effort to be put in. To act out of character is something no person can do easily. So an action out of character purely carried out to make someone smile is something I now see differently to as I once saw it. To be honest, it now seems to me that such this effort may even show more strongly about how someone cares for you, that said however, there still remains the purity of motive and naturalness of the action. Despite that, either way, both the natural action and the out of character ones now stand on par with each other in my eyes. I stood against people pleasing because it went against naturalness, and I did not want any of my relations to have anything coerced within them. I wanted them to be as natural as possible that way you could truly be yourself, who you are, and free to speak your mind. Naturalness is paramount in all my relations; if it isn’t present I think otherwise about the genuineness of the relation, then again that is based on my values and not the other party of the relation. The unnaturalness of actions and its coercion went against my values, but now I think I’ve finally overcome my disdain for people pleasing, however people pleasing in excess is something I cannot stand, it is as if the whole relation were based on someone’s ‘coerced’ character.

You need to appreciate both sides of the coin to fully appreciate one side.

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