Humans. We’re multifaceted. And I don’t mean, as a society that we are varied. I’m specifically talking about each individual human. Some, observably more than others. Those less diverse in personality seem to either have been born with a very solid, very stable artichoke core while other more multifaceted people are more like that of the onion but this argument or definition of self is for another time and another blog. What has boggled my mind over the years is the “shock” or “surprise” that is all too often the response when anyone does anything that was previously unknown to the observer.
For example, when someone commits a crime, the response is seemingly always unanimous. “But, he or she was such a good/quiet person who never did anything like this.” And then wait for it….”I’m shocked.” Why are people still so unbelievably shocked when human beings have so many facets they are not showing to your nosy, meddlesome, undeserving face? People just expect way too much from others yet somehow tend to the “hide yourself” garden pretty well.
On a more positive, less abrasive note, when someone pulls out a guitar and is able to play it, people say the same thing too “I didn’t know you were able to play guitar, I’m surprised.”
The question I’m asking is “Why the shock and why the surprise?” Human beings are amazing creatures who have no lack of possibility. Let’s all just sit back and decide that these things make sense because we know what humans are. Hmph!
And now for the real point: society cannot handle the truly multifaceted individual. Just look at our response to celebrities. “I CANNOT believe he would divorce her, I thought he such a nice guy.” Well who says one of his facets isn’t a nice guy? People can do mean things and ALSO be a nice guy. SURPRISE! (Disclaimer: I do not think the specific act of divorcing someone is a mean gesture, I need more details and I don’t have any because this is hypothetical.) “She is so quiet; I was shocked to hear her curse.” What in the actual F? It’s as if all these adults with the asinine comments are that of a baby prior to the 8th month mark! Babies have this same issue but it is due to physical and mental development. They generally don’t believe what’s happened in front of them because they can no longer see it. This is where the shock and surprise come in. Thankfully, afterward, they have gained what’s called object permanence. It’s the understanding that objects continue to exist even when they cannot be observed (seen, heard, touched, smelled or sensed in any way). I’m not sure object permanence is something adults are significantly good at. Babies are smart and have not been filled with guidelines yet to thrawt their genuine and unspoiled perspective. Babies would understand multifaceted people.
My other theory is that we have been guided with a heavy hand by society in believing we are on a path and just one singular path. As long as that path fits with the most positive of reputations, of course. Unfortunately, now our expectations are not in line with appreciating how very opposite, similar, and varied one SINGLE person can be. We do, on the other hand, understand that society as a whole can be varied. This person is a dancer, and this one is a CEO. Yay! Anyone can be anything as long as it’s ONE thing!
I’ve always had an issue with this because as a multifaceted person myself, at least within my thoughts, being anything other than what one has previously observed can bring forth a sense of guilt. I unnecessarily worry I will deny their expectations bringing a feeling of discomfort between us just at the fact that people have a difficult time when others have changed or present a new facet. This is the same reason I have a hard time sometimes speaking with someone for a second time if I am in a different mental state or layer of my personality or phase of my life. Also, this is exactly why I will not visit a previous place of work.
So please, I’m begging you, when people act a fool and all you’ve seen is an angel, embrace it and when someone has been drinking at the bar all night and you see them at church the next day, just take a chill pill. People can be much more than one, tiny, facet of a diamond. Who’d want that anyway?
*Note: Sarcasm is running rampant through this blog. I only wish you could hear the whiny and self-arrogant voices I wrote this with.