In college, I studied Communications before transferring to (print) Journalism. The type of journalism I most admired was written investigative journalism that produced books and/or magazine features exposing corruption and manipulative political/corporate behavior– this was material I consumed in spades during and after my college years. I boycotted many companies and products, read product labels, and did background research on companies and ingredients. It was a mind-expanding and empowering time, the beginning of a realisation that there was a lot I could do in little ways for the world, even if it was by not buying stuff.
This passion for researching/exposing corporate and political misbehavior set me at direct odds with a now-ex-relation (in broadcast journalism) who saw my anti-consumerism and anti-corporate stance as, I think, a mental or character defect. This person and their enabler were quite “mainstream” (to the extent of defending processed and junk foods) and the differences between us were actually vast. I was especially shocked at the willful ignorance and denial I encountered in them–they who “started it” by picking on my habit of sharing pages and sites about political and media criticism on my blog at the time. There was never evidence they could provide against any information I shared–it seemed their biggest issue was that they now knew someone looking behind the PR spin that they had always swallowed and perpetuated. (As I said, my main antagonist had worked in broadcast journalism.) The only real criticism they could raise about my links with any (debatable) merit was how “angry” I seemed online, ie. the tone argument, a derailing tactic much abused when an opponent can’t actually argue on content.
I’ve learned a lot since that encounter about integrity, boundaries, but especially projection, and over time have gotten less bothered by people who are obviously of such different frequency/character that trying to get along would be an exercise in futility/masochism. I can’t be guilted into playing along and agreeing to things that I don’t believe in, especially after the research and experiences I’ve gathered forming my position. I reject such attempts as the emotional manipulations they are.
It did take me a long time to learn how to recognise narcissistic and controlling behaviors–some of it present in myself–and to know when an exchange should be abandoned once these tricks appear. Prior to these realisations, I thought these causes of drama were “normal” of egos, part of the push-and-pulls of human interaction, the striving of acceptance from others. I suspect dramas are still par for the course for many people afraid of rejection. But a big part of waking up is learning that once you have self-acceptance, you don’t need it from outside. You can live in your truth, without the intent to offend/antagonise others, and you will simply walk away from others trying to antagonise, manipulate you, or accuse you of offence. Being agreeable is a truism you start to question for its worth–politeness is a veneer; honesty a rare gem.
The person who lies to another, even in the name of propriety, believes that one of them cannot bear the truth. In that vein, lying insults or at least dishonours the person to whom the lie is given. This also applies in self-deception.
If it is a character flaw to believe everyone is capable of hearing “the whole truth” as long as they’re mentally able, it’s a flaw I’m going to keep for now.
I believe in self-acceptance and universal love. I don’t believe in universal agreement.