Us VS Them and the Repeater Personality
Conversations are funny things. Mildly entertaining at their worst and thought-provoking at their best, but when is it not a conversation? Most would say there are a whole plethora of reasons as to why we all struggle from time to time when it comes to having a good chat. Be it anxiety, pre-judgments of the individual we’re with, or a whole heap of other things. There is however, something I’d like to discuss and possibly, make the discovery that these thoughts aren’t merely my own.
The Repeater Personality. It’s the terminology I’m least proud of since many could link it to anti (insert label) in a heartbeat given the wording alone. But I do believe that it serves as a great visual description. It's a psychological circuit board serving only one purpose, repeat information in a loop, indefinitely.
Imagine conversing with your friend, a family member, or even a coworker. You’re both sharing words, the sound waves are bouncing off the walls, but is anything genuinely being said? I’d hope that some of the time it is, but there’s a trend, especially in the UK of repeating information at random, primarily when a specific trigger word is spoken. Basically, person A tells person B that they had a lovely meal in London, but instead of going ahead with the conversation, something clicks in person B’s brain. They heard a statistic or report about London last weekend. Their brow drops, their face reddens, hands shake, and suddenly they’re an antenna for spouting wholly unrelated content like a possessed record player.
Information is incredible, and with current media, we can learn or do just about anything on a whim, but when the information we receive appears as factual on all accounts, a lot will take it as the word. Whether that information is accurate, however, should be up for scrutiny, but the guy on the thing said it, so why wouldn’t it be true? Do all Chinese people eat bats while they bow to their evil overlords from blood-ridden sewers? No, and to believe so is naive, but when it’s said with confidence by somebody in an authoritative position, it sounds pretty damned convincing. So, almost channeling their personality as a means of dominating a conversation could become second nature, since anybody who says otherwise is wrong.
Remember listening to your favorite band as a teen? You’d bond with others over their music and even make a few friends along the way, but what about that other, similar band? Hell no, they sucked, right? Possibly, or somebody decided that a “rivalry” between those bands would sell more records because controversy sells. Does that mean you were used as a means for profit? That's for you to decide.
The same can be said for conversations in the current age. At the risk of a mild generalization, if somebody doesn’t agree with your views or opinions on (insert topic you saw trending on social media), then they’re one of them. A lesser human, even. They do not deserve your friendship, nor to breathe the same clean air since they don’t agree with agenda A or B. In reality, they simply have a differing point of view, and the entire thing could be spoken about by taking each other’s words into genuine consideration, but why bother when the Repeater Personality is around? It can alienate them on command without so much as a care for the fact that they’re another living, breathing being who deserves respect.
At the end of the day, having a strong viewpoint is excellent. It shows passion, but to alienate or risk disowning others because they’re not in your figurative camp is to treat them inhumanly, and will only further the risk of demolishing ethical-moral standards. Families shouldn’t be against families, they should be enjoying their time together, relishing in life and treating their brethren with the same respect they’d expect to receive.
Share that new scientific discovery or your favorite thing, but remember that being right should never overthrow being a decent human being.
So, remember, the next time you feel that twitch, think for a moment. Am I having a conversation here, or is this individual nothing more than a fleshy wall for me to bounce my ego off of?