An inquiry on human nature

Discussion in 'Relationships, Discrimination, and Jealousy' started by D_Vladimir Jurkov, Feb 14, 2011.

  1. D_Vladimir Jurkov

    D_Vladimir Jurkov New Member

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    Why does life have to be a big game of manipulation? I mean, think about it: isn't most of our time spent trying to get others to believe and do the things that WE want to see them thinking/doing? Maybe it's just me and the unfortunate excuse for an environment which I was raised in -and I'm REALLY hoping that's the issue here - but it seems that everything from careers and relationships is about trying to convince other to act accordingly to our own preference. Think about what you did at work today. Think about the last time you liked someone and wanted something more with her/him. Did you tell any lies or misconceptions to illicit a certain response from that person? Did you even go so far as to try blackballing other people who you saw as threats (business competitors; others who wanted to date the person you saw as a perspective mate?)

    Maybe I'm just being self-centered, only taking accounts from my own life where I've been screwed and not known why until a year later when I find out it was because a "friend" or even "friends" spoke incredibly unfairly of me. On the other hand, something tells me that this is a fairly discussed topic amongst philosophers and such.

    Oh yeah, while I'm on topic: Happy Valentines day.
     
  2. nudeyorker

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    Wow I've worked almost my entire life in either the entertainment industry or law and I don't feel this jaded. I'm going to give your questions some thought and will post them when I come up with something. But the key thing is I never lied and it's an art on how to deal with being lied to and coming out on top.
    Happy Valentines Day to you too.
     
  3. heist

    heist New Member

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    The first question is, do you know yourself? If you're insecure about your own identity (whatever that may include), it will seem like people are attacking you when they off-handedly speak their mind. (A good clue: if you feel insulted by this comment, you probably have to do some reflection and think about who you really are and whether you are comfortable with that person.)

    More likely, it's possible you just need to learn how to tell when someone isn't a good person. Most people shouldn't need to lie to do what they want; if they do lie, there's either much more to the situation than seems, or they themselves are just not good people.
     
  4. B_theaussieone

    B_theaussieone New Member

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    YouTube - ‪Germaine Greer thinks women still have cause to be angry.‬‏
     
  5. D_Vladimir Jurkov

    D_Vladimir Jurkov New Member

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    Naw, no where near offended. I wouldn't say I have an identity issue. And I'm talking about people telling me things that I later find out to be blatant lies. Maybe I should just chalk it up to bad luck.
     
  6. Not_Punny

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    When you haver kids, yothe big questions in life somehow cabinet magically different weR
     
  7. Not_Punny

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    When you have kids, the big questions in life become magically different
     
  8. maxcok

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    OP, I think I understand where you're coming from. One of my hardest lessons in life, which I still struggle with, is realizing that people are often not what they seem or how they present themselves, that I shouldn't presume they operate from the same ethical core I do. Most people present themselves as better than they actually are. Most people imagine themselves to be more honest than they actually are. Most people have a personal agenda underlying what's on the surface. Most people are on some level to varying degrees calculating. Genuine unselfishness and self-sacrifice are not that common in practice. People may have the best of altruistic intentions, but those intentions are often easily compromised in the pursuit of self-interest or self-preservation. They may not even be aware they are doing it; it may just be (baser?) human nature. The ego of the human animal is capable of all sorts of extraordinary self-justifications.

    Am a jaded? Perhaps. I prefer to think of myself as an optimistic/cynic, a misanthropic/humanist where people are concerned - hope for the best, but be on the lookout for hidden agendas, and try to prepare for the worst. All this makes me appreciate those rare honest, open, forthcoming individuals all the more. It's a small band.
     
    #8 maxcok, Feb 17, 2011
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2011
  9. earllogjam

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    I hate to put my jaded 2 cents in here but life is an endless sales pitch. What are you selling? What do you have to offer a spouse? employer? scholarship commitee?

    Life is a shit sandwich. The less dough you have the more shit you have to eat and that means you need to prove or sell yourself to eat less shit when you get older.

    You need to sell yourself to get the job, respect, a spouse and a decent life unless you win the lotto or are an heiress. It's just one fucking beauty pageant and you need to play by someone else's rules you had nothing to do in making.

    If you don't, you live as an outsider for the rest of your life and suffer the consequences of unhappiness and the dread of a meaningless existence.
     
  10. Bbucko

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    If your life is one big game of manipulation then you're doing it all wrong. People are not tools to be worked to your satisfaction (or pleasure), and if you feel as though peoples' main goal in interacting with you is to manipulate you then you hang with the wrong crowd.

    My experience is more rooted in finding my own path based on my own goals and aspirations, accepting my strengths and weaknesses as essential components of what makes me me. Perhaps it's an accident of my own upbringing, but I learned early not to take the opinions of others too much to heart, especially if they differ from your own perceptions. Change and growth should come from inside, not be externally directed.

    Likewise, expecting others to conform to your expectations is an exercise in futility. I was in a relationship in my early 20s, and during one of our fights he contradicted something I said as an affront "on common human decency" :eek: Excluding the fact that there's nothing common about me, I am both very human and believe myself to be decent, but the fact that he was trying to impose some arbitrary societal norm on me, even after a year or two of being together meant that the basis for our relationship was deeply flawed. He eventually retracted what he'd said, but things were never exactly the same again.

    FWIW, I have never had a lick of luck in any attempt to change anybody, and gave up the concept (to my great relief) before I turned 30. Accept people as you meet them or move on: people are not fixer-uppers.
    I always made it a practice to never climb over any dead bodies in my professional path; in my career (which ultimately spanned over 25 years) I strove to be as forthright, honest and consistent as possible, and it was sales and marketing, where such practices aren't always rewarded.

    Over half of that career was designing and selling custom, artisan-made furniture. Each sale was the result of hours worth of qualifying, tweaking and relationship/trust building. The only way that I could conduct myself was to do so with as much integrity as possible: I was part of the community, after all. If I bumped into a customer in a store or a restaurant, I wanted to make sure that, regardless of the bumps along the way, that relationship/trust would be maintained and respected. Without it I'd have never been able to do the work I did.

    When I was in a supervisory level job, as I often was, I always tried to be the boss I'd always wanted but rarely found in others: tough, demanding but fair and compassionate. When something went wrong, my first impulse was (and still is) to look for solutions first, fix blame later.

    "Friend" is an over-used word, especially in these days of social networking. I enjoy a broad network of support and many more people who truly care about my well-being than at any time in my life previously, but I'm not always sure "friend" is the best word used to describe our relationship. Interestingly, I recently had dinner with my parents (from whom I'd been estranged for many years), and when I tried to describe this network of support, my mother said she had one friend; my dad claimed not to have any at all.

    Perhaps the reason for this lies in differences in our priorities and goals. They have always pursued materialistic concerns, I've always pursued emotional and intellectual satisfaction regardless of the payoff. That's not to say that I haven't worked very hard for what I've achieved, rather that I judge the success or failure of my achievements by an entirely different rubric, and in the end, ironically, have more positives to show than they do.

    Hope you had a great Valentine's Day :wink:
     
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