Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Sometimes I wonder



Maybe this just happens to me because I am essentially a contrarian. You tell me, OK? But sometimes I find myself defending a point of view I know nothing about, absolutely nothing. Sometimes I find myself defending an idea that I actually disagree with. I can't say for sure how I get into these conversations, because by the time I wake up and realize, for instance, that I really have no idea what I'm talking about, I'm already deep into it.

In the past when I woke up in the midst of one of these experiences, I was almost always too embarrassed to admit it. In my embarrassment I would push on even harder to defend whatever it was I was defending.

People who come to know me, those who love me in spite of myself, see right through me. I had a very good friend who used to stop me halfway into one of those conversations. She would say, "Ruby," (my nickname at the time) "Do you really know what you're talking about, or are you bluffing?" She always asked with such genuine curiosity, that it broke the energy completely. This great friend helped me learn how to let go, turn on a dime, when I was indeed just bluffing.

As I've gotten older, I've gotten a lot better at stopping myself, laughing at myself, and then admitting that I have no idea what I'm getting so vociferous about. But I still slip into those conversations. I wonder why? Maybe I'm looking for friction, heat, energy. Maybe I enjoy the spark created when two people disagree about an idea or philosophy. Maybe it's my martial art, my way of sparring. Who knows?

Sometimes, though, I wonder - what in the hell am I doing?

29 comments:

glnroz said...

lands a'goodness, young lady, you ain't alone with that..lol. I am sure your friends know it as part of your charm.. lol,,

Angela said...

It`s all of what you suggested, and don`t I know that myself!! Me, I hate it when people all agree too easily. There is ALWAYS another point of view to defend, and good if you jump into it, with all your spirit! Even if the point you defend is not RIGHT (not even in your eyes), it helps everyone to come to a better conclusion. Hahaha, Reya, let`s go and fight one day! Martial arts, indeed.

ellen abbott said...

Oh, I never do that. hee hee.

My husband does though, the guy I have lived with for 35 years. He'll start spouting off about something I KNOW he has no experience with even though he is very well read.

Reya Mellicker said...

Angela I would be honored to spar with you sometime. Maybe we can choose a topic neither one of us knows anything about! Ha!

Whitney Lee said...

It is fun, at times, to get into those kinds of verbal debates. It's like exercise for the mind. It keeps you on your toes (mentally speaking).

Have you considered that debating what you don't know or don't believe helps you clarify what you do know or do believe?

NanU said...

I used to do just the same thing with my now-ex boyfriend. Every time it was an attempt to get him to express an opinion of his own, if even just to tell me I was full of it. Never did work. But it sure was easy to go from being slightly provocative just trying to get a ball rolling, to wandering off into absurdity.

Reya Mellicker said...

Nancy - oh yeah! I've wandered WAY into absurdity so many times. Yikes!!

lakeviewer said...

Ah, sounds like hubby and me, never agreeing until after we have brought up contrarian arguments up. Our way to keep us sharp and independent, I think.

Sometimes, annoying as heck.

LadrĂ³n de Basura (a.k.a. Junk Thief) said...

I wonder that same things many a time too. Like the new blog title, though it may take a while to wrap my head around it.

The Bug said...

Dr. M is just like Ellen's husband - and as a professor he isn't shy about just going on and on. I'll be thinking, "we watched that same documentary & I sure didn't get all of this out of that." LOL.

I'm not sure enough of myself to full out argue a point - most of the time. This is not to say I don't argue - I just don't back it up with anything :)

Meri said...

I think that perhaps one of your assignments here is to shake things up and make people think. Sometimes taking on a contrarian persona advances that. Does that resonate?

Reya Mellicker said...

Meri, that would be the bright side of what's going on. Part of it is that it's just a habit.

The sufi acupuncturist tells me that when I get sanctimonious, it means I have lung heat, so maybe when I argue for (or against) something just for the hell of it, I have some kind of imbalance. Who knows?

Butternut Squash said...

Cool bike!

My husband can take the contrary position on just about any subject. I think it is left over from his 'Speech and Debate,' years in high school. He's extremely good at it. But it has had the effect of keeping me very honest. If I don't know what I'm talking about, I will say, What do you know about X? Before I make any grand statements. I have become very comfortable with the idea that I don't need to be an expert on every topic.

Reya Mellicker said...

Yes Butternut! YES. I'm learning that lesson, too.

Ronda Laveen said...

I don't often get caught up in those type of debates with others. When I step in, I usually am pretty clear on my subject matter. But I do like to engage in extemporaneous debate and will take any side of a subjet in that instance.

However, in my head, in my own internal dialogue, I can argue and see both sides of any arguement. Sometimes it drives me crazy. I wonder if it is an Aquarian thing?

Glad we won't have to squabble over Jack though. I know I'm a goober but I find genius to be a sexy quality:-)

John Hayes said...

I've known people like that--I do think they thrive on the competitiveness of the debate--not saying that's true of you! But the person I knew best who was most able to argue any position, & could vehmently argue both sides of a position, was also extremely competitive in things like card games, etc. Maybe it is a form of martial arts!

Ronda Laveen said...

Ooops! Forgot to mention...I'll send Reiki to DC.

Reya Mellicker said...

Genius IS sexy and yes I often can see many truths. So why do I bother getting into these discussions? I must need to vent my spleen or something. I'm going to ask the sufi acupuncturist about it tomorrow.

Pauline said...

Maybe it's your way of learning what you really think - especially if you recognize what you're doing and then pursue that realization, like you did here.

Fabulous first photograph - trees and light, what could be better?

ewix said...

Arguing is lots of fun --except I tend to cave in or want to start calling people names and thinking they are evil for disagreeing with me (Republicans?!!!)

I like your blog because you come up with unexpected angles on things.
I HATE knee jerk anythings........

yes, dragons aloft and about

Reya Mellicker said...

Thanks, Pauline. The pic is of the big windows on the Air and Space Museum, with the afternoon sun shining through.

Yes maybe this is how I figure out what I believe - though - that, too is a moving target!

Steve said...

I think it's part of the dynamic of conversation. When someone asserts something, it's natural to examine what they've said and consider alternatives. It's two people using their brains together to think about an issue from all perspectives.

In the same vein, I find it hard sometimes to admit I don't know something. We're taught to be smart but pretending to know actually inhibits our truly knowing!

Reya Mellicker said...

Steve I totally agree with you!! Woo hoo! A new trend.

Barry said...

Sometimes I don't know I have an opinion about a particular topic until I discover I'm in a passionate argument with someone and I realize, oh that's how I feel! Who knew?

steven said...

reya - the bike with handlebars from two different parts of the bike world. connected through the frame. so riding the same ride but with a different experience, a different feeling passing through the handlebars. that's what conversations are like - connected but experiencing the connection in a totally different way to the other. cool post and i love the photos - especially the bike if you couldn't guess. steven

Ronda Laveen said...

@ Steve: Ahhh, two brains working out a problem? Me like!

@ Reya: Last night, my Tues night meditation group, as a whole with no agenda other than to be of one heart, sent LIGHT to DC.

Namaste.

Pam said...

My husband will often say "you don't know what you're talking about do you", to which I can quite happily reply "Nup!". Much better him adding "do you?" rather than just walking away.Nearly thirty years of marriage, still going strong, both of us full of it.

California Girl said...

it's hard enough defending pov I do know something about, let alone one I do not. I leave that to my husband. ha!

Deborah Carr said...

You have something to say and a desire to say it. Yes, sometimes you have to say it out loud to figure out what it is.