Completely out of character?

Pretty flowers

Yeah, I have not posted on here in ages!

On the other hand, I completed my “Nidhra and Pradha” story, which is now available here.

I’ve also completed quite a few other things in the time while I’ve been away from here, and that is the reason why I have just not been able to blog on here as I would have wished. My schedule has been so tight!!!

However, I really do want to find a way to regularly make time to blog here.

This post concerns something that has confused me for many many years.  I don’t want to reveal quite how long, but it has been a long time!

So there was this guy and for once, the guy in question was actually a Christian.  Before all the drama happened, wholly caused by myself, it has to be said, I did not know that much about him, but I knew enough to be sure that he was a sincere Christian, and he loved God, and he had a kind heart. As I say, I was the one to cause all the drama, that is definitely not in dispute!  However, he acted in a way which was very different from what I had known about him – disappointingly so. Since everything played out, I have been so confused about how to think about him. I like to work things out so that everything is neat and orderly in my mind and my thinking, and I also like to know how to consistently think of people Actually for most people it does not matter so much what I might think of them, if I am not going to be in close interaction with them.  However, for this one particular individual, I really needed to understand how to think about him.  And my mind has been bouncing back and forth, trying to grapple with the issues:  should I think of him as the basically sound individual whom I knew him to be beforehand?  Or should I think of him in terms of the way he acted towards me? This was most important for the purpose of thinking how to possibly relate to him in the future, if at all.  Because I interact with people based on my perceptions of their character, I really needed to decide for myself how to think of that character.  If my initial analysis of him was wrong, then I wanted to make sure I did not make myself vulnerable to someone who did not quite have the character I had assumed of him.  On the other hand, I was sure that my initial analysis was not wrong, and I did not want to risk hurting him by overreacting to behaviour which might have been completely uncharacteristic on his part. I must admit that in the years of thinking about this, I have let my heart grow very angry towards him, and I adopted by default the thinking that he was actually the unkind careless person that he had been towards me.  However, deep down I always suspected that this was simply wrong…  I really beat myself up about this, as I asked whether I was just a very poor judge of character.  I wanted to mentally dismiss him as having poor character, but I just knew that that was not true or fair.

Well finally, after tussling with this for so many years, I have finally come to a conclusion which I feel to be correct. (Please understand that I have been evaluating all this from a distance, because I just could not bear to put myself in any kind of proximity to him and make myself vulnerable that way.)

I now believe this: that on one hand, my initial analysis of his behaviour was correct:  he was fundamentally a sincere Christian, and a kind guy.  But on the other hand, my analysis of his subsequent behaviour was also correct and also representative of the behaviour I could consistently expect of him. So he was generally a kind person, but there was just something about me that happened to trigger uncharacteristic behaviour within him.  So when he acted in that weird way, it was not a crazy once-off. Rather I could predictably expect him to act in that similar crazy way towards me on an ongoing basis, even if his behaviour towards other people was completely different.

So my decision to politely cut him off was actually correct and the perfect response.

Trying to look at things from his perspective, I sense that he was a little confused that I cut him off. He may or may not have realised that his behaviour towards me was different from his behaviour towards other people.  I’m guessing that he may have reasoned that if his behaviour was so uncharacteristic, any reasonable individual should have been able to overlook it.  But the truth is I did not know him back then well enough to truly be able to say that his behaviour was uncharacteristic, and I had no desire to stick around to find out!

Sometimes when people act in a way which they feel is uncharacteristic for them, they might not know enough about themselves to be able to see that they would continue to act this way towards us, even if they genuinely never act this way towards anyone else.  So they might plead for forgiveness, sincerely believing that that crazy behaviour was not the real them.  Not that this particular individual pleaded…  And yet I’m sure that many of these people would continue to act in these “uncharacteristic” ways towards us, much to their own surprise, as I am sure that this particular individual would similarly have continued to act carelessly towards me, if I had given him the slightest ongoing access to my life.

That said, moving forward, I can now think of him in more generous terms, as being someone who is fundamentally kind and sincere, but someone whom it would still be wise for me personally to avoid.

And you know what?  All of this describes not just one but two sincere and genuine Christian guys, who acted in ways that I believe were uncharacteristic for them, at approximately the same time.  Actually the second guy cut me off, but now at least I feel confident about how to think of his behaviour.

As a reader of this article, might this shed light on any super-confusing interactions you might have had with someone else in the past?  Perhaps, like me, you could categorically say that this individual was a sincerely kind person, and yet the way they treated you was different from what you would have expected?  And now, like me, you do not know how to think of this person – as the fundamentally kind person you know they are, or as the less kind person who interacted with you?  Perhaps like me, you might have to accept that they are simultaneously both.  The question is whether you can afford to believe that the person who is causing you confusion can overcome their poor behaviour towards you to treat you with consistent respect.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.