Sometimes you learn new stuff, which you, some time later, promptly forget. Probably, it wasn’t as useful as you thought it was. Time is an excellent judge that way.
Conversely, when you re-remember something you learned a while ago, it is probably a sign that it is useful. I experienced this with the Dancing Monkey meme.
I noticed that lately I tended to get along better with people in my professional life than in my personal life. This puzzled me. I was still the same person, right? Then I realized: nonsense, I’m exactly not the same person.
In my professional life, my income is related to how well I get along with people. Consequently, I play a role that people like, which role I guess you might call a 17th-century gentleman. People like this role – it is colorful, mysterious and slightly larger than life. Thus, social success.
In my private life, I am less inclined to put energy into my act. I have come to the realization that, privately, I am a bit of an asshole. Well, professionally I am also a little bit of an asshole, but professionally I am a charismatic asshole. Privately I’m just an asshole. I am overly critical, including with friends. I must come around from my initial agreement with Aristotle’s definition of friendship; my new opinion is that Aristotle was a spoiled boomer whose high status ensured that his friends were yes-nodders, tricking Aristotle into thinking his friends accepted him for who he was at heart, and not his monkey dance. Nonsense. Your values never completely align with other people’s values. They might show great overlap, but they never completely align. You and your friends will have differences of opinion. That’s just the way it is.
The dancing monkey meme says we are performers. It is leftist nonsense that people accept you for ‘who you are’. No one accepts you for just who you are, or at least, no one cares for you as you are, not even your momma. It’s like, have the personality of a rock, get treated like a rock.
In my professional life, I have the personality of a minor rock star, so I get treated like a minor rock star. In my private life, I have the personality of a curt asshole, so I get treated like a curt asshole. This realization made a lot of sense to me, with the only thing still puzzling me being the fact that my girl loves me for who I am in my private life, but then I realized that women love curt assholes, so even that made sense.
There is no way around the dancing monkey meme, no way to get away with ‘just being yourself.’ Your dance must add value. If it does not, you can always turn to leftism, but if you turn to the left, be prepared for the left to turn on you.
The world’s a stage. When you interact, you act. You put up a small show. People can pick up on some subtleties, but generally, bigger gestures do better. As you grow older, you become a more pronounced version of yourself, because that makes it easier for everyone to make sense of your dance.
And everyone means everyone, including friends. Good friends are merely men who enjoy acting together, enjoy dancing together, if that metaphor does not sound too gay. Thus, the eternal introvert realization: if I spend my social energy performing professionally, why should I want to exert much more social energy performing privately?
Which leaves the final question: what role am I performing on this blog, for you, my reader dearest of dearest? I guess I’ll leave the answer to you.