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Self-Contradicting by Slightly Cracked Personalities

Updated on September 23, 2018
ValKaras profile image

Val is a life-long practically oriented student of effective emotional and attitudinal responses to the many challenges of life.

Trusting of a Moment ago Turning into Blame
Trusting of a Moment ago Turning into Blame

A Strange Inconsistency

In those early years of my amateurish attempts to better understand the human nature, and my own in particular, I was frequently coming across a peculiar phenomenon in people's behavior---the one of their contradicting themselves by their words and actions.

Well, not being a shrink of any sort I don't know if it's a theme of the textbooks in psychopathology, or one of those innocent nuisances usually enjoying the umbrella of "just being imperfect humans".

However, here is my version of it, as I personally find it quite interesting, and maybe you will as well. Since many flaws in our nature can be more recognizable when presented in their extremes, I will mention two examples of such grotesque deviations from normalcy. After that we may take a curious look at those milder cases.

While not claiming to know much about psychoses, neither will I expect from you to know much, but we may both recognize schizoid characteristics in those two cases. I mean those unfortunate folks with a split personality where one version of them doesn't know what the other is saying or doing.

As for all those milder cases of self-contradicting, let me use an equally descriptive term of merely "cracked personalities". So, let's get to know a little more about both, those "quite split" and "only cracked" ones, which might not deserve more than a smile of a bona fide shrink.

On One Hand It's about Enjoying the Company of a Pope - "God's  Ambassador of Love". On Another Hand It's about Issuing an Order for a Bombing
On One Hand It's about Enjoying the Company of a Pope - "God's Ambassador of Love". On Another Hand It's about Issuing an Order for a Bombing

A Much Telling Blooper

Those folks with merely a character flaw of self-contradicting themselves would definitely qualify for the "cracked" garden variety. They were actually quite humorously depicted by one of the more memorable bloopers of the ex-president George W. Bush.

Namely, during one of his speeches he was about to make a point about some folks whose "left hand doesn't know what the right one is doing"---but then he looked at his right hand while mentioning the left one, and at his left one while mentioning the right. As that in itself was portraying him as one of such folks, he also gave us a good definition of what I am calling a "cracked" personality.

Those of you who had more to say about the president might want to interject by saying how his all career as president was one big blooper---but let's leave the man alone to enjoy his idyllic life on the ranch which was so rudely interrupted by the overwhelming demands of presidency.

At this point it could be right to say how "crackedness", or self-contradicting is almost a typical personality trait of all politicians who are saying one thing and doing something opposite, which would surely refer to their forgotten promises during the election time.

However, let's take a look at those two schizoid dudes that I announced at the beginning. Their examples should depict the phenomenon in question in its extreme and easily recognizable form.

In some of Them Called a "Genius", in some of Them - a "Village Idiot"
In some of Them Called a "Genius", in some of Them - a "Village Idiot"

Love You...Hate You...Love you...Hate You...

After emigrating to Canada in the late 60's I stayed in touch by correspondence with a friend or two. One of them was of that "split" variety, but having a good heart I was putting up with all those pearls of extreme contradictions, one of which I'd like to share with you. As a matter of fact, the dude would even occasionally call himself a schizophrenic---and I was too much of a friend at the time as to agree with him.

In a certain friendly letter from him that I was tempted to frame and hang on the wall in place of a nonexistent diploma, he said how "not only that he was happy by having me as a friend, but he was also honored." Then followed one after another some flattering things about me that probably made me blush.

But, of course, knowing him I was not falling for that shower of compliments, just waiting for that flip side of his nature to get triggered by something, anything on the list of things that easily got him all pissed off. And I didn't have to wait for long.

As soon as in his next letter he wrote: "You are a chameleon changing colors as you need it...a gelatin mass with undefined form...a liar and pretender with many masks...", and so on until the page was filled.

What further makes it interesting is the fact that, upon my asking him nicely in my next letter why he wrote all that, he completely ignored my question and continued as if nothing bad had happened in our interaction.

It certainly doesn't take a shrink to see how the dude was projecting on me what he felt about himself, one personality hating another in a constant inner war. Well, some years had passed before that correspondence became just a nuisance and I terminated our beautiful "friendship". To be honest, not without a temporary regret.

In a Moment He May Not Know what Pissed Him Off
In a Moment He May Not Know what Pissed Him Off

Hey, I got Myself a New Friend!

I met the other guy of the similar "split" in his personality during my visiting the family in my native European country. After a single conversation he seemed to get fascinated with something about me. He was not gay, so, well, it must have been my charisma---so they often tell me.

We had those "deep" kind of talks, and at a few instances I thought the dude was going to take some notes, along with compliments that were generously coming my way. At one point he asked "why I wouldn't return to my homeland". Quite casually I said my reasons, careful not to put down anything about my native country.

But it seemed like I was not careful enough, because he gave me as hostile version of criticism as I was able to take without having to walk away. All wound-up he was giving me a lecture on patriotism, and maybe only my calm gaze at his eyes with hardly any blinking had something to do with him abruptly stopping and switching to something completely different..

Just like in the first story with another schizo, he suddenly changed the tune as if nothing had happened, and you believe it or not, now he laughed at my jokes patting me friendly on the back after we joined others at the party. He had a few more of those episodes in the days to come, and by then I was ready---I derailed the train of his tirade with a smile and by turning my back on him.

One of the "cracked" ones that I had a pleasure meeting some years later explained so nicely his "policy" about friendship with words: "Today I take your head off, tomorrow I put it back". Luckily, it was merely a figure of speech, but clear enough to spoil all prospects of our becoming friends.

O.K., before you get some ideas about my choice of friends, I do have many normal ones, you know.

It Takes a Trigger Word

Earlier I mentioned how this self-contradicting is actually quite common, even though in much milder intensity than in those two mentioned cases. Indeed, we could say that in so many folks their "left hand doesn't know what the right one is doing".

In my personal experience with such individuals, first I thought that had a lot to do with my somewhat radical stand in many areas of discussion stemming from my out-of-box thinking---as if they didn't know whether to love me or hate me. But then I noticed how they were displaying the same behavior while interacting with other people.

My conclusion in the matter was that some people have certain unconscious triggers that make them go ballistic. As if some words have the power to instantly open a crack in their personality allowing a "dragon" to escape from their animalistic part of the nature to mess up the momentary interacting with its primitive, out of control tantrum.

Then the crack closes on its own, and the person who had momentary lost the attachment with reality may not even register that they have acted out of whack. It doesn't have to be an exhibit of the rage intensity but something much milder, like a momentary flare up followed by calm.

But during the course of it, they may say things that you would never expect them to say, that are totally contradictory to their nature and to the nature of your relationship. A short rhyme comes to mind that I read long time ago, and I wouldn't remember the author if my life depended on it. It goes:

"I thought I had a noble mind

with courtesy and tact,

and no one's more surprised than I

to notice how I act".

They May Sweep It Under the Rug, Not Acknowledging

That's what makes it a crack---that momentary black out of awareness about the fact that you are that same person they normally trust, respect, maybe also love and admire. By acting like that they unconsciously breach that something of value that you have going with each other.

After having discharged that strange load of animosity, they quickly do a mental move similar to the cat's covering its poo with a soil of denial, oblivious of the whole process. If you let them continue without any fuss, they may never know they owe you an apology.

And if you do, you are achieving nothing, because they are bound to rationalize their words or actions, possibly even blaming you for their outburst of negativity.

Misunderstanding Is like a Wind that Puts Out Small Flames, and Blazes Up Big Ones
Misunderstanding Is like a Wind that Puts Out Small Flames, and Blazes Up Big Ones

It's Not About Betrayal of Trust

Even though it may be an obvious breach of agreement that has the potential to hurt the relationship---according to my experience with "cracked" personalities--- it could be hasty to make a big deal out of it. Many people are truly respecting their relationship and because of an unconscious trigger, possibly amplified by fatigue, or some family, job, or health issues they may "forget themselves".

It's not even a case that would call for forgiving but for understanding, and delaying the reaction until we eventually get to the bottom of it. I don't even hold a grudge against those two dudes with episodes when their left hand really didn't know what the right one was doing.

This article was definitely not about betrayal of trust, whether between lovers, friends, or siblings, but about a forgivable tantrum-like emotional exhibitions that folks can't help---for any conceivable unconscious reason.

Many otherwise good relationships get broken because of such a breach of trust, and I hope that some of you may have a person in your life that would deserve mending of relationship.

There is still so much that we don't understand about human behavior, and misunderstanding of the situation should not be detrimental to a good relationship. Sometimes it's simply beyond us why we say or do certain things, and that should be taken into consideration---if there is still a leftover of a closeness present in our heart.


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    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 

      2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      1. we are both searching for whatever it is

      2. we both believe in the "mini gods" concept

      3. Both groups would read to find answers for themselves

      4. Let us explore just who is "past that point". I contend that I have been where you are and have moved on -- you contend that you are the one past that point.

      5. Truly nothing wrong with either, so let's give people a choice.

    • ValKaras profile imageAUTHOR

      Vladimir Karas 

      2 years ago from Canada

      Eric...If it was about "winning", then it would be about our hurt egos, not about simple clarifying our individual differences. I ended my recent hub (about the "ugly side of competitiveness") with words : "You win". If I had made an impression of wanting to compete with you, my friend, then I have failed miserably.

      As I was trying to make it clear, and didn't succeed, the two of us could not appear in the same book, maybe not even on the same shelf in library, because ours are different objectives and methods. There is a simple proof to it in the kind of readers we attract. As I read comments to your hubs and what those good folks are "grateful for", it's obvious they would not enjoy reading about stuff that's digging into their intimate Pandora Boxes.

      They, just like you, are in a need of peace, love, spiritual uplifting. My readers are a sort of "past that point", and just curious about the impediments to achieve a better functioning selves. It's the difference between reading poetry and prose, which require a completely different mindset, possibly different personalities. Absolutely nothing is "wrong" or "less dignifying" in either, it's only the difference that stays. Maybe the best example I could provide here would be: while you are referring to the love of God as an ultimate inspiration, I am saying how God has nothing to do with our personal evolution, and ALL inspiration is to be found in ourselves. In one of my hubs about our own divinity, I am even going as far as stating how WE are mini-gods. So how in the world do you see any resemblance between our messages?

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 

      2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      What a wonderful debate between to extremely intelligent and wise individuals. This is more enlightening than the hub itself (no offence meant Val) and I am happy being a silent observer, but just letting you know I am here so don't appear to be just lurking.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 

      2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      And so it is you should write your second book. You the point and me the counterpoint - both leading toward a better self. Shall you win the day or shall I. I will give you fodder - So shall I write the point and you the counter?

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 

      2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Marvelous, now we get to the core.

    • ValKaras profile imageAUTHOR

      Vladimir Karas 

      2 years ago from Canada

      O.K. let's have fun with comparing our past (I didn't start this fun, you did, remember that).

      Considering our age difference, while I was a drill sergeant you were only a boy. And before you were born, I was twice dangerously sick on lungs from starvation. On some days I was dipping mouldy dry bread into vinegar so that I could swallow it, and that was my breakfast before going to school where I was a straight-A student despite hardships that would have driven you to a crazy-house. At the age of ten I read my first book on psychology, following with classical Greek philosophers and the whole line of them to the modern times. I destroyed my fear of dark by visiting cemetery at midnight by myself. In my teens I practiced yoga, being able to do a bridge and let a 2oo pounds man sit on my stomach; and bending backwards to put my head between my heels.

      My friend, by the time I was twenty, I had more inner dragons to defeat than you know they existed from your books, holy and mundane. While you were philosophizing about life - I was living it, pulling myself by the bootstraps and not counting how many times I fell, but how many times I got up. I was not wallowing in despair, depression, visiting shrinks, and my teeth were drilled and pulled out without novocaine. I was a torero grabbing the life by the horn, with no audience to shout "Ole!" for me. Life taught me to produce ecstasy at will, not waiting for others to make me feel good. I was raised in the rough Communist dictatorship, not in a cuddly America, and I emigrated twice, having to start life all over again. There is no way for you to imagine what those years of study, self-discipline, and observing looked like, felt like. While you were juggling with some abstractions and calling them "life", I lived their definitions.

      I salute your dancing with Shinto and sitting around in your underwear and searching the universe within yourself. Are you sure we were gazing at the same universe? - I was my own parent, priest, teacher, guide, friend, trainer - and damn it, I did a good job when I see myself these days at the age of 71. One young and pretty Hubber told me I looked good for 40, never mind 71.

      I don't mean anything bad if I say now that your mentioning of "your having been where I am now" sounds , well, you name it for me. You are a wonderful human being, Eric, and I honestly respect you for who and what you are - not for who and what you are not.

      We don't compete, so please don't tell me about your being a "philosopher while I was starting my adult life in the army". My life made me an adult in my puberty, and a philosopher in my early teens. You were a boy then. A good boy I should say.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 

      2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Are you confident that they have not crossed already? You see what you see in me, but can you see the path which I followed to get here. Is it possible I have already been where you are? You may find your path leading right straight away to where I am. Enough of the within with a passion for the without. You see I did not start my adult path as a Drill Instructor -- I went straight to the head of my class as a philosopher, degree and mountaintop experiences. At the age you were worried about how spitshined shoes were, I was dancing with Shinto and going to sweatlodges with Jerry Manygoats and sitting around in underwear looking for the universe within me.

      Do not be so sure my friend that the rabbit hole does not come out where I am at.

    • ValKaras profile imageAUTHOR

      Vladimir Karas 

      2 years ago from Canada

      Eric...I have been reading a few of your sermons and the comments that people are giving you - so it's quite clear that your readers are getting what they want from you, and you are getting what you want from them, and that mutuality seems to work just fine. If I were you I wouldn't give much thought to your Jekyll and Hyde and all the psychobabble that doesn't have uplifting for a goal.

      Looking at the world that you have created for yourself, I am happy what I see. You can be really proud of your achievements. You are a fine intellectual with a loving family, probably a great career, and many people who admire you. What else can a man possibly want? Look for the truth that doesn't undermine your ultimate goal which is a lots of love and spiritual uplifting.

      Going down the rabbit hole is not your cup of tea, Eric. There is a lot od strange adventurism there, a lot of uncertainty, and you are a person who needs a firm ground under feet, concrete proofs for your beliefs. You are a delicate soul, so stick to your world where you only feel at home.

      My path is different, I like "pulling the devil by the tail", questioning this and questioning that, turning everything upside down and moving every rock to see what's hiding underneath. Love is just my regular do-it-yourself thing, and yes, I have trained myself to get ecstatic at will, and then I do what I can to make everyone in my world feel better. When it's about my wife and kids, sky is not high enough to measure my love for them.

      But my passion is creating new forms of experiencing, never leaving the obvious to stay that way as the "only" possible truth. My passion is exploring the limits of human potential, and on my way a lot of the unexpected and strange is happening.

      What is a lots of love in you - would be a spiritual hedonism in me. Feeling good is too easy, feeling God is too finite. I am dreading the idea of "knowing what I ultimately want", because me-of-tomorrow has to be allowed to want for himself.

      Our paths are parallel, and it's a pleasure seeing where you are going, but they don't cross at any point.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 

      2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      I was off playing build tunnels with books and carpet. But this really got me thinking. And I think of my own Jekyll and Hyde. Sometimes I would like to think that a change of heart is due to reflection but more often I think it is a shift in attitude. I just cannot be the same on Tuesday as I am on Monday.

      But I don't get the snap, just a movement. So now I will look at others who do snap more compassionately.

    • ValKaras profile imageAUTHOR

      Vladimir Karas 

      2 years ago from Canada

      Eric...I don't think you lack any testosterone, and you must be really a lucky rare person not to have experienced "your own degree" of intolerance and anger about others. People like that get ordained as saints. Good for you. You don't seem to be that old to talk a bout "age" being a factor that's slowing down your emotional reactions either.

      Like I say, you just seem to be that lucky one to be so calm and composed. There are not so many believers who are indifferent about atheists and other "attackers" of religion, Bible, and the stuff they cherish. People snap in different ways, it doesn't have to be something violent. Some explode, others implode and show very little on the outside. Then they go depressed, while those unexpressed energies are messing up their nerves.

      Nevertheless, I was not talking about an inner war, not directly, but - how that inner war with our own prehistoric dragons may exteriorize itself through impatience, intolerance, anger. And how such outbursts, no matter how small may mean a breach of silent agreement with others.

      That was the main theme, interchanging with folks contradicting themselves - preaching one thing and expressing another under the influence of that "pressure-cooker" inside.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 

      2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Vladimir, I must admit that I am a little far removed. I don't think it is anything I have done, I think just age. (maybe a lack of testosterone ;-) I also just have no need to associate with "snappers". But I darn tootin see you point. So "to a certain degree" it is within us all. I notice we do not suggest it is without us all. I gather you are speaking or our internal war with ourselves that we must somehow get to an armistice. Like I said a very cool hub and your further comment adds even more great stuff.

    • ValKaras profile imageAUTHOR

      Vladimir Karas 

      2 years ago from Canada

      Eric...The fact that you never "snap" at your wife, doesn't necessarily mean that you don't have such moments with, let's say, those who "have the nerve" to question the value of your beliefs. I personally knew guys who were at constant war with their wives but were saints at the job.

      One of the points in my hub is that to a different degree we all have that subconscious emotional volcano that now and then erupts - selectively, sparing those whose love we can't emotionally afford to lose.

      What you mentioned as an example was a normal change in our perspective, not an abrupt shift with a temper flare up - the one that people in retrospect have hard time explaining. Note that just because you didn't record in your memory anything of the kind in your own behavior with others, it doesn't mean that you didn't experience it. People often go "amnesiacs" about those displays of their emotionality that are somehow below their dignity and their maintained self-image.

      In the last part of my story I mentioned how deep love for the world can heal that "crack" through which our crude animalistic nature finds an outlet for its expression.

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 

      2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      We are interested in such a personality difference. I wonder, sometimes I treat my wife as my best friend, sometimes as a protagonist and sometimes like a lover and always like the mother of my child. A point of view can change from a few inches of movement. How much more so can we change from a few moments of being in our head?

      Very cool hub with great things to consider and think about. Age seems to be a great builder of sameness in our perspective.

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 

      2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      This was an extremely interesting exploration into the "crack" I'm the human psyche or personality Val. I have known people like that, maybe the potential is in all of us at times but some are stronger than others at suppressing it. I remember one of my friends at school was very studious, friendly and well behaved, but at times would suddenly snap and abuse a teacher or another student for seemingly no reason. Thanks for sharing.


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