Wednesday, September 29, 2010

War of words

I've never been good at sparring, bantering and snap-gossip. I like to tease folks I know well, but I try not to go for the jugular - those really weak spots of other people. Also, I wouldn't know how to subtly attack those areas anyways, without looking really crude and evil.

There are people who are really good at word-to-word combat. Its not an easy task, to diss another person in such a way that a hypothetical, objective third party would notice nothing overt about your comments. The best verbal warriors can flip what good news you are saying into bad news.

I understand the need for such psychological weapons. Competition on this planet can be pretty brutal, and people use what they can to get ahead. Its just that in the past few days I've been hit twice by such people, and that is why I'm writing this blog.

I know the weaknesses of these two people. I don't know how, and I don't want to know how, to exploit them in a quick jab of a sentence. I don't want to hurt them they way they attacked me - I want to be stronger so that when this next happens, I won't be affected.

That of course, is the much harder problem. Its easier to study how people diss each other and develop a set of verbal weapons you can just throw out. Its also easier to be turn inward, analyze the ego for soft spots and create crisp, quick, credible sentences to defend them.

I live in this world too, and I'm human. I've developed a self-defense mechanism that is based on high-quality self-deprecating humor. It works by creating a story about your weaknesses in a series of really funny comments. Sometimes you just don't have time to do this.

Because I've decided I do not want to indulge in acquiring a repertoire of repartees the only other option is to simulate attacks in the mind and just get the internal emotions in order. The key is to avoid a detectable reaction (the ultimate defeat) since you've already imagined a pretty close comment to what you've just heard.

Of course, I could just stop obsessing and relax.

Which I will do right now. : )

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