Sunday, August 9, 2015

Your facade is slipping...

“You wouldn't worry so much about what others think of you if you realized how seldom they do.”

Eleanor Roosevelt

When I was a kid, I really enjoyed watching cartoons.  A lot of times, I'd watch Bugs Bunny and Friends on Saturday mornings.  Over thirty years later, I still remember some memorable lines from Bugs Bunny and Friends, including one from the 1955 cartoon, "Sahara Hare".

Your slip is showing!

In the above clip, we see Bugs Bunny taking a bath in an oasis when he is confronted by an angry and territorial Yosemite Sam, who does his very best to be impressively threatening.  Bugs just stands there and listens to Sam, then says "Your slip is showing!"  Suddenly, Sam is embarrassed and weak.  Bugs had spotted a chink in the armor... a slip of the facade.

A situation I've become entangled in reminded me of that old clip.  People often try very hard to present a convincing image of the way they want other people to see them.  They put out all kinds of bluster and hang up the trappings of the images they hope to project.  Facebook is like a huge billboard for people who are trying to project an image.  It really can be fascinating and even somewhat sad to watch.

A long time ago, I was Facebook friends with someone who was very fond of using memes.  Not that I knock meme use.  They definitely have their purpose.  But this person, more often than not, would use a meme to passively make a statement or, more often a threat, rather than posting something coherent that actually says something of substance.  The memes were seldom very clever or original, but they do say a lot about the person posting them.  Below are a few examples...  

What should I think about you if these are the kinds of memes you post all over the public part of your Facebook page?

I don't think people who engage in this type of behavior understand that it usually has the exact opposite effect of what they are going for.  When you litter your Facebook page with this kind of stuff, people are not necessarily going to think you're a badass.  They're probably going to think you have emotional problems.  These types of memes won't make people want to engage you or be your friend.  It won't impress them.  It just looks stupid and desperate.  Only insecure, needy people are going to be intimidated by this kind of thing and really, only insecure, needy people feel compelled to put shit like this on Facebook.

Anyway, getting back to my former Facebook friend...  After awhile of being "friends" with this person, we had a parting of the ways.  There was never a blowup or even any kind of explanation.  We just fell apart.  While I don't like losing friends, I don't mind losing fake friends.  I usually find that after the initial sting, I don't miss the fake people in my life; instead, I feel bad about the time I wasted with them.  But again, my meme loving former "friend" likes to issue idle threats and make vague statements to so-called "fake friends"... and usually, this person insinuates that other people are engaging in the same behavior.

It hurts when you find out someone you thought was a friend turns out to be a trash talking fake who sees other people as possessions, extensions of themselves, and the means to stroke their egos.  However, when you really think about it, what's even sadder is that so many times, these types of people deliberately belittle, shame, and manipulate the people who associate with them in an attempt to keep them close.  Empathetic people will often believe the shaming comments, feel bad about themselves, and willingly tolerate this crap for awhile.  Empathetic people often make excuses for their facade wearing "friends".  They'll keep giving them chances to show that they value the friendship and can reciprocate their esteem.  Empathetic people seldom get the respect they're waiting for from their facade wearing friends, yet the pattern continues apace.  Sometimes, it can go on for years.    

To successfully be "friends" with the type of person who wears a facade, the other person has to be willing to take abuse and do all the work of keeping the relationship going.  There is no give and take or reciprocity.  After awhile, most healthy people begin to feel used up and resentful, so they withdraw.  That withdrawal causes the insecure fake person to be wounded.  A lot of times, you'll see them lash out.  Sometimes they do it in the form of public temper tantrums and smear campaigns among mutual friends and family members.  Sometimes, they simply use social media memes as flashing billboards for their insecurity and narcissism.  Like minded people or people even less secure than they are will come together for the chorus of trash talking and ego stroking.  Then they become guilty of the very thing they passively accuse others of with their snarky memes.

People are going to talk.  You can't stop them.  You can make vague, attention seeking threats via memes on your Facebook page, but they usually turn out to be empty threats.  And they make you look silly, immature, desperate, and insecure, especially if the memes are poorly written or not funny.  I'm just saying.  Just be glad someone cares enough to talk shit about you for a few minutes and then realize that before long, that feeling will inevitably pass.


  1. I just blogged about this. My situation was totally middle school, but this person's behavior is totally middle school.

    1. Yup... And this person is the same age I am.


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