The true character of a person comes out when the chips are down and your back is against the wall. I started noticing this a few months ago when so many public and political figures were melting down in painfully public ways, but as the news headlines demonstrate, it’s still happening.
In this overly fast-paced world, stress is the norm, nerves are frazzled, and chronic fatigue, anxiety, shoulder and back pain, digestive problems, reduced immunity and illness are the result of forcing ourselves to the meet ever increasing demands of life. The lifestyle most people live is the perfect cauldron for cultivating a person ripe for true character exposure. We’re all at the point of exhaustion and we’re raw. All it takes is a poke at the right moment to get a person to react and unleash their real inner thoughts, particularly those who’ve lived the life of the carefully crafted and fabricated persona. Because of the fast pace of life, and the omnipresence of surveillance and broadcast, time for crafting, spinning, rehearsing, and buying support has been significantly reduced if not entirely eliminated, so more comes out that is spontaneous, off-the-cuff, and authentic. The real deal shows up more and more in our politicians, our leaders, our neighbors, and our family members. In some ways it’s frightening. “What a bigot, money-grubber, egotist, self-serving arrogant jerk” we say of each other when the chips are down and people spill out their real opinions and attitudes. Small infractions illicit bigger responses than the situation requires, and often blame comes out rather than personal accountability.
But in some ways it’s refreshing. As more of this “outing” of the real person and their real agenda continues to show up, we start realizing who people really are, and more importantly, we start assessing, and waking up to who we really are, what we really care about, what is really important to us. As the millennials populate the workforce more densely, I think we’ll see more conflict between transparency and the drive to do things that benefit the greater society, and opaqueness and the drive of the individual ego to attain fame and fortune.
What are you experiencing?