Blending In

 

Chances are you are reading this on your mobile ‘phone, a tablet or a laptop, enjoying the mobility that is provided by accessing content such as this from an electronic device. You might be at home, curled up on the sofa or you quite possibly are reading this sat on a stool in the kitchen waiting for a pan to boil or a microwave to go ping. Alternatively, you may be on the bus or train, perusing this latest piece of writing with other people nearby and passing you by. Can you see the bus driver? You can. How did you know that it was him? By virtue of his position at the steering wheel of the vehicle, obviously. His uniform and company livery on his shirt, jumper or jacket might also tell you his role. You may be stopped at a station or some traffic lights and you can see a police officer handling an enquiry, marshalling the traffic, handing out a ticket or just casting a watching eye over the world around him or her. How did you know that he or she is a police officer? The uniform stands out most distinctly, as it is intended to do. Easy to spot isn’t he?

How about the man sat across from you? Who is he and what does he do? He is engrossed in the content of his tablet but you can see that he isn’t reading but is looking at some charts. An analyst maybe? A salesman checking his sales performance? A statistician looking over the latest data concerning crime rates in the city? He could be any of those couldn’t he but you could make an educated guess as to his role. What about the lady who is getting on the bus now, what can you tell about her? She is struggling with a buggy and two large bags of shopping as she is ensuring a toddler also clambers on board. Most likely a housewife and clearly a mother. You can see a wedding band on one of her fingers so she is married. Her husband is probably at work as she attends to the running of the house. You have gathered all that in a moment.

Perhaps you are walking home and as you scroll through this article you notice that someone is walking behind you. You lower your ‘phone and look over your shoulder to see a well-dressed gentleman walking briskly along carrying a briefcase. You do not regard him as a threat and you resume looking at your ‘phone as he catches you up and then passes you without incident. Your assessment of him was proven correct. Just like the time you approached a subway late at night and saw half a dozen tracksuit wearing youths hovering nearby. You were taller than them and older than them but something about the way they were stood made you realise that they were looking for trouble so you decided against taking the subway and found a different route albeit longer and circuitous but your safety mattered more than your aching feet.

You evaluate and assess everyone you meet. In conversations with friends you sit and listen and look for visual cues that they are interested in what you are saying. Poker players scrutinise their opponents as they look for the “tells” to assist their gameplay. Boxers stare into one another’s eyes before the bout begins seeing who will break off the stare first and concede a psychological advantage to his opponent. Judges watches witnesses carefully and through their facial expressions they are given hints as to whether the witness is giving his or her evidence in a truthful manner, this observation allowing the judge to assess the veracity of the witness. In bed with your intimate partner you will watch their face and listen to the sounds they make to ascertain what is working for them and what you should do more of. You can tell by the way somebody is walking through the office that with shoulders hunched and head down they are not in the mood to be approached and asked a question about a forthcoming meeting. That person in the corner of the room at the party is staring at the floor feeling too shy to speak to people. Each and every day you assess hundreds of people and make an instant decision as to who they are, whether you like them, whether you want to help them or if they present a threat to you. You instinctively know that certain ways the eyes look amounts to a warning, the slope of the mouth denotes irritation, the tilt of the head confirms a certain cockiness. The way someone stands, sits, walks and gesticulates all tells you something which you process in an instant. You gather so much from a lifetime of watching nostrils flare, lips thin, chins jut, brows furrow and eyes widen. Assessment after assessment is made and invariably accurate ones which enable you to negotiate your way through the day, through life as you interact with so many people in your private life, in business and socialising. You are highly adept at reading the signals, working people out and anticipating what will happen next. It is a highly developed and impressive skill.

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29 thoughts on “Blending In”

  1. Another great post. I have a question though. Do you think someone could have similar characteristics and not be a full blown narcissist?

    So where do you think the distinction lies? I have heard about and researched attachment issues. There are so many things that are similar to full blown narcissist.

    He told me about his song by REM….he mentioned it in passing.

    World Leader Pretend

    I sit at my table and wage war on myself
    It seems like it’s all, it’s all for nothing
    I know the barricades
    And I know the mortar in the wall breaks
    I recognise the weapons, I’ve used them well

    This is my mistake
    Let me make it good
    I raised the wall
    And I will be the one to knock it down

    I’ve a rich understanding of my finest defences
    I proclaim that claims are left unstated
    I demand a rematch

    I decree a stalemate
    I divine my deeper motives
    I recognise the weapons
    I’ve practised them well
    I fitted them myself

    It’s amazing what devices you can sympathize
    Empathise
    This is my mistake, let me make it good
    I raised the wall
    And I will be the one to knock it down

    Reach out for me
    Hold me tight
    Hold that memory
    Let my machine talk to me
    Let my machine talk to me

    This is my world,and I am the World Leader Pretend
    This is my life, and this is my time
    I have been given the freedom to do as I see fit
    It’s high time I razed the walls that I’ve constructed

    It’s amazing what devices you can sympathize
    Empathise
    This is my mistake, let me make it good
    I raised the wall
    And I will be the one to knock it down

    You fill in the mortar
    You fill in the harmony
    You fill in the mortar
    I raised the wall
    And I’m the only one
    I will be the one to knock it down

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      1. This is really screwed, should I make a new account? I only get half of what is posted. Why is this? A sign from the “gods” to move on perhaps? >

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      2. If you mean only half of your comments are being posted that is because there is a substantial number awaiting moderation which will be tomorrow’s order of business. Is that it or something else?

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      3. Something else. It will say there are 3 comments and I can’t see them on the blog. Frustrating. I get the email but if I go directly to the site, it is not there. UNDERSTAND? >

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    1. Yes, narcissism is on a spectrum, like many other things. One can have numerous narcissistic traits but only in small doses or perhaps a couple of narcissistic traits but to a much greater degree and not be a narcissist. Everybody has some degree of narcissistic behaviour in them, it is only when the traits are numerous and stronger that it becomes an issue.

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      1. Fair enough answer. Thank you for providing it. Please don’t get me wrong. I care but I don’t see myself as an empath. Thank you for providing closure at least in my mind.

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      2. I would love to tell either of them that another narcissist says they are inferiour narcissists but that would mean breaking no contact…so no. What would you do if someone told you that you are an inferiour narcissist? Being a superiour one keeps you going, day in and out. What if someone told you that you couldn’t even do that right?

        I don’t expect an answer. I feel that I’m working your nerves.

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      3. It would depend how they told me. If it was said in anger I would receive fuel and as ever the emotional content is what I look for, not the words themselves.
        If they delivered it deadpan and without emotion it would amount to a criticism and ignite my fury. I would most likely be able to control it and therefore would administer a silent treatment as I plotted a way of punishing that person for their audacity to suggest I am inferior in any way. They will come to understand what it is to suffer at the hands of a superior narcissist.
        You are not working my nerves by the way.

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