I once met a guy on line and told him I was a practicing therapist because, well, I was. And told him I had a Masters degree because, well, I did (and do). One night we were on the phone and his brother came in and said ask her who Gestalt is. And I said, “What?” and then there was some mumbling and we went back to our conversation. I never thought another thing about it.
A few weeks later he accused me of being a fraud because, as his brother pointed out, I didn’t know who Gestalt was. I said, “I have no idea what you are talking about.” and he said if I had a Masters in Psychology and was a therapist I should know who Gestalt was.
I said, “Gestalt is a theory of psychology. It’s not a person. Gestalt means ‘whole’ and again, it’s a theory of psychology, not a person.”
So in the middle of a phone conversation about something else, the brother asked him to ask me some wacky, random “without any context whatsoever” question and in the ensuing two weeks the two of them took my “What?” as evidence that I was not who I said I was.
Footnote: neither guy nor brother had gone to college or ever taken psychology or even knew, remotely, what the HELL they were talking about.
What did happen was that I went on the defensive offering to bring a copy of my Masters degree to his house.
me to me: Are you freaking kidding me?
It was a knee jerk reaction to the dysfunction as a kid and in my first marriage: defending myself against nonsense.
Defending against nonsense robs you of energy that you need to be putting in to your own life. My ex husband used to like to accuse me of thinking things I wasn’t thinking. I spent hours, yes HOURS, trying to explain that I never thought any such thing.
Don’t defend against nonsense. It’s so tempting to show that you are right and they are wrong but if someone is saying something completely inappropriate or accusing you of something outlandish without even giving you the benefit of asking you something LOGICAL and rational, then the hell with them.
I just have to say this:
It’s hard to say, “Look if you don’t believe I am who I say I am then the hell with you.” It’s hard to think that this person is just completely nuts or that you should flee.
But you should.
Life is too short to be proving who you are especially when it’s easily provable or to be defending yourself against things you aren’t thinking or doing.
Life is too short to defend against nonsense. We all have misunderstandings and we all think things that are not true, but you ask someone point blank. You don’t set them up with quizzes that don’t make any sense (”who is gestalt?”) or accuse them of what’s really in their head when you have no idea.
And no matter what side of the argument you’re on, remember one thing: the truth shall ring true. If you’re looking for trouble you will find it but if you just sit back and listen for the truth, it will ring true.
If someone is accusing you of nonsense, they are not listening for the truth. They have a separate agenda which includes doing everything to not find it.
If you are thinking someone is lying to you and your head is in knots, step back and think about it and really think about the gut reaction you have to it. Is it ringing true? If not, it’s probably not.
Don’t defend against nonsense. Don’t believe nonsense.