'Tard of the Week - Yours Truly, Part II

Wednesday, March 11, 2009
For the second time in less than a year, I'm the 'tard this week, y'all.

You want to know why I'm riding the short bus at the moment? I'll tell you. I'm a slow, slow learner. SLLLOOOOWWW.

For over 40 years I've been making the same mistake over and over, and even now, I continue to make it on a regular basis.

I'm not sure what psychologists call this mistake, but for the purposes of this discussion I'll call it "projection."

I project myself onto other people.

If I believe I am rational, or reasonable, or ethical, or accommodating, well, then other people must be the same way, right?

If I care about something deeply, then other people obviously feel the same way.

And I project my negative shit out there, too - if I'm feeling bitchy or antagonistic, well, then other people are clearly bitchy and antagonistic, too.

Clearly.


I know this is a problem. It's been a problem my entire life, and I feel like I've been working on it for that same period of time.

My friends and family (and especially the SmartMan) have been telling me for years to stop pushing my own motivations and attributes onto other people. It's irrational. It's sloppy thinking. It's lazy. It's unfair to the people on whom I'm projecting.

Why can't I learn this lesson? WHY? It brings stress into my life. It makes communication with people I care about more difficult. It makes communication with people I don't care about more difficult. It means I frequently don't see people for who they truly are, which is patently unfair and devaluing.

This is one of those lessons where it appears that a load of bricks dropping on my head simply isn't sufficient for me to GET IT. I will probably go to my death bed making this mistake, given my epic fail at learning this lesson to date.

I'm such a fucking 'tard.

12 comments:

Shawn Powers said...

I feel the exact same way you do.

(hehehe, see what I did there? ;)

Janiece Murphy said...

Well, at least someone "gets" me.

Hehe.

mattw said...

Maybe we could be warned of your mood with some kind of Janiece blogger mood ring widget?

Nathan said...

Somebody get Janiece a cookie. She's had a hard week...and it's only Wednesday!

Lance Weber said...

Hey wait a second, that means you're projecting yourself onto me and calling ME a 'tard! Screw you!!! :)

Wendy said...

Huh, and all this time I thought it was just me! Guess that makes me a 'tard too!

Just last month I got pissed at a whole group I work with on a volunteer committee. I tried real hard to project my level of commitment to the group. They ignored me completely by not doing the one thing each person needed to do and send to me. To try and teach them a lesson, I projected back at them, and ignored them. In all honesty I couldn't do my assignment without their 5 minutes worth, so it didn't get done. Now they're all pissed at me. Go figure.

We should start a support group. I'm sure we could come up with a cure that involved chocolate and/or wine.

I'll start...Hi, my name is Wendy, and I have projection.

WendyB_09

Random Michelle K said...

It's be MUCH better if we could change it to holographic projection.

That's be awesome!

Konstantin B. said...

Acknowledging is a great step. I have that problem. It manifests itself in readiness to give people the benefit of doubt.

Always causing me problems.

Janiece Murphy said...

Konstantin, my Hot Mom tells me that at some point, THERE IS NO MORE DOUBT.

I haven't learned that lesson, either.

Because I'm a 'tard.

Karl said...

I'd wager some of it comes from the job you used to do, Janiece. You're used to everyone around you of equal rank and skill to be as equally qualified and professional about things as you are - which, I think, would cause you to think that they think the same as you. And I think it's natural for that to occur in that set of circumstances. (I'm not a pro so you better ask around) Now, in 'The World', things aren't quite the same and you wonder why some people seem slack-jawed and out of step all the time. Happens to me all the time and I sometimes have a hard time dealin'... I've had to look back at my life and see where that sort of thing started happening - I can pin it to the day I came back to the ole hometown after basic and saw what I had left behind. You're not a 'tard :)

So (raises hand), I'm Karl and I have projection, too.

John the Scientist said...

Now see, Janiece, I tend to have the opposite problem - after only a few chances, I write people off. I tend to go from benefit of the doubt to no more doubt in about 2 tries.

Maybe deep down, that's why I'm a conservative and you're a liberal?

We should trade our bad qualities. Except that we'd get 2 centrists instead of a righty and a lefty, and how bring would that be. :p

We like you the way you are. Modulate your personality, don't eliminate it. Least, that's what I tell my kids.

Anne C. said...

Hmm... sounds like you're human. :)