Thursday, March 31, 2011

Right, Wrong Or...

I've written before that I am a big fan of Keith Olbermann and I regularly read his blog, FOK News Channel. While Olbermann has many, many fans, he also has his share of critics and the word that many critics use to describe him is mercurial. As I was watching a video on his blog this morning, I realized that the word, mercurial, could well be used to describe me. So, in Olbermann, I have found a kindred spirit!

Ask anyone who has known me for any length of time and I'm guessing he or she would tell you that I can be funny, caustic, witty, moody, satirical, inappropriate, smart, boorish, insightful and, most of all, obnoxious. While I often feel like I was dropped on the wrong planet (common feeling for those of us with autism), I have no lack of self-confidence. It is true that I wrestle daily with mental illness, but unlike many, I have rarely doubted my self-worth.

And, if you haven't figured it out yet, I generally think I am right or correct in what I think. I am certainly not alone in this regard. Most people who possess a strong degree of self-confidence tend to think they are right too.

Of the various people I have met throughout my journey through life, I have met 3 types of people.
  • People who think they are always/most always right.
  • People who think that they are always/most always wrong.
  • People who can't decide -- the wishy washy majority.
Those of us in the first category are people who tend to take charge of situations. We often behave like bulls in a China shop. We size up the circumstances we are presented with, formulate a definitive plan of action and then go charging off into the wild blue yonder. Of course, it sometimes turns out that we are charging off towards an oncoming train, but we would never be convinced of that until we heard the horn and saw the train's lights moments before impact.

People in the second category tend to wait for someone -- anyone -- other than themselves to take charge of a situation. If something goes wrong in the plan, these people immediately volunteer to serve as the scapegoat. They possess minimal self-esteem and almost no self-worth. They are the follower's follower.

The people in the last category tend to be inactive because they are never sure what is the right move to make. So, to ward off making the wrong move, they don't move at all. They tend to be followers, but mainly in word, not in deed.

While most of us fall into one category as the predominant feature of our own unique personality, we each skirt the other categories as well. I have never met a person who is a monolith!

It is because I fall into category #1 AND I am OCD that I am slowly learning -- through the help of my mental health counselor -- to try to avoid debates whenever possible. This is a way to explain why I pick and choose which of your comments I respond to.

I have a tendency to obsess on things and so I tend to obsess on the back-and-forth of a good debate. Since I tend to think I'm correct in what I believe and I have this need to get in the last word, I have great difficulty in being able to walk away from a debate.

As my counselor has suggested numerous times, the best way to thwart an obsessive episode is to cut it off at its knees. In other words, if I consciously choose not to enter a debate, I won't get caught up within it.

This is why the comments section is reserved mainly for you to have your say with little input from me. What I have to say appears out here!

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