Blogging + lying vol. 2

There we go. Got rid of some posts I no longer liked polluting this space.

I’ve enjoyed gradually developing my own style of keeping a blog. When I started out,  the way I approached a blog as a medium was as something much more pre-defined. When a text goes up in a blog, that’s it. The end. You may correct a spelling mistake, but what’s up, stays up, in the way it went up. I’ve moved away from this to a more fluid approach. A kind of mind diary, with chapters I can sometimes re-read and decide that a) I’ve used that exact phrase twice! How embarrassing. Delete one. b) That post is badly written/too personal/too stupid/total drivel. Delete entire post. c) That photo is no good. Delete. Replace. d) Hmm. This needs a post script. Write it. e) This needs a paragraph added. Write it. f) That sentence is badly written/too personal/too stupid. Delete. g) This post in the trash folder is quite good after all. Publish again.

I do that a lot, really. A kind of delayed perfectionism. At first anything goes up and I’m not very critical but later I like to polish things. It’s a great tactic for any kind of writing, by the way. Highly recommended for perfectionists who want that first paragraph perfect and spend enormous amounts of time getting nowhere. Do your polishing later.

And of course the content has developed over the years too, and has become ……more authentic? If I want to write a one-line post, I do that. If I want to write a longer one, I do that.

Lying Vol. 2

I wrote about being one of the liars of the world, the fantasist, the dramatist, the exaggerator. The thing with this is that it is other people that think I’m exaggerating or being blind to the truth. I don’t think that. I believe in it all at the moment of telling/experiencing it. Sometimes with every nerve cell, sometimes with half.  That’s my authentic self. I can turn on my highly analytical mindset and then I do see that, well, maybe things aren’t quite like that. But at the moment of experiencing or telling it, I’m perfectly frank.

Actual lying, and that thing that gets classified under politeness but is closer to manipulation, is very hard for me. It seems to require a lot of social energy, which I don’t have oodles of to begin with. I knew a guy once who was always telling me what rubbish colleagues he has. One day he showed me a reference letter he had written for one of them upon being asked. It was the most glowingly positive reference letter. I was confused. How can one manage that while disliking the person?! That is the sort of lying I have no aptitude for. I would have at best written a coldly positive letter – no glow, no superlatives, no style (because no inspiration), but positive enough in a formal sort of way.

The best I manage in situations of that kind is being civil. If I think someone’s new hairdo is unflattering and they ask me for an opinion, I will say, “It’s nice, glad you like it”. I won’t say “Oh my god, you look so beautiful with this. Wow!”. That’s terrible. I don’t know what would have to happen for me to manage to fake a reaction like that. I’d need to prepare for this like Elizabeth rehearses her surprised reaction for Hyacinth’s table decor in Keeping up Appearances. And I’d feel sick at myself for having to resort to this.

I do struggle with this sort of social lying if it goes beyond what is necessary to avoid hurting someone. At the receiving end of it, I’m quite gullible also. Since I usually don’t express things I don’t mean at the time of expressing them, I don’t assume it of others either.

I thought this was an important addition to the lying subject.


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