Tuesday, November 25, 2014
Was talking to this guy recently and he started in on something really, really ridiculous. I mean something petty. But the way he expressed it, this minor, petty problem was actually the gateway to something larger and more sinister.
It wasn't just that Person A had bumped into him that morning, making him spill his coffee because Person A was in a hurry and wasn't actually paying attention, it was that all people who share characteristics with Person A were assholes intent on demonstrating to the world how everyone who wasn't a Person A-like individual (including the guy telling me this) were worthless.
This might be one of the dumbest things I'd ever heard.
I finally found a word for it, though. "Micro-aggressions." Supposedly, these small acts of "aggression" are indicators of greater behavioral trends. Supposedly. And they get turned into long-held grudges and resentment.
You know that red-headed girl who you asked out last month? The one who not only turned you down but made you feel small and worthless? Yeah, its not just that she wasn't interested and rejected you badly, its that all red-heads are actually bitches out to emasculate all men.
Did a guy driving a Ferrari once "steal" a parking space from you and then laughed at you when you gave him a dirty look? Yeah, its not that this one guy was a bit of an asshole, its that all Ferrari drivers are sadistic dicks who enjoy humiliating people.
Did someone with the government, say a Driver's License Bureau worker, give you a hard time when all you wanted to do was get something cleared up? Yeah, its not that this one person treated you wrong, its all government workers everywhere who are tyrannical monsters...
You encounter a single person acting badly, and you conflate it to all people who share that person's characteristics, or who are acting in a similar manner, or who you encounter in a similar way being villains.
You know, any sane person would tell you that shit just happens sometimes. Its life. Bad things happen to good people all the time, and sometimes those bad things are minor and petty and are driven by people who are assholes. But that's just life. Getting cut off in traffic, having someone snap at you because they have a bad headache, getting into a socially awkward position with someone, not being able to do what you wanted to do. These things are not carefully engineered and orchestrated personal attacks. These things are not part of some greater trend. These things are just life happening.
The entire concept of micro-aggressions is based on narcissism that has been taken to a level that is truly awe-inspiring. A person who thinks in this way believes the entire world either does or at least should revolve completely around them.
You know who else thinks the world revolves around them?