*Warning: I’m about to get passive aggressive. I am speaking directly to specific situations that have arisen, and I am blogging this as outlet for my left eyebrow, which has been in a state of permanent imperious quirk for the past several weeks.
Now that you have been notified, you may proceed, or exit here.
Would you like to know what I’m learning about right now?
I’m learning about wolves (real ones, not the cute human-shaped ones on TV).
By real, I mean the ones that exist in real society, who bark orders, mark territory, and spend significant amounts of time trying to establish their pack position.
I have observed, and have occasionally come into contact with people who walk into a room and instantly begin to size up their competition. You can see them doing it… and I find it annoying. These people will begin to say or do things to teach, remind, or reinforce those around them that there’s only room at the top for one wolf (which in nature is reality, and in human practice is rubbish). They take special note of those who do not respond either with deference or an overt challenge, and those people are added to a list (entitled: People to Rumble With Later).
This is a frustrating concept for me, because I generally don’t care about position. I don’t really need to know who has the most power or clout. I’m wired to care about principle and ability, rather than one’s pedigree or ability to reduce the self-confidence of those around you to so much powder. I can count on one hand the number of people that I am intimidated by, and they are, to a person, completely brilliant.
There it is.
Smart people freak me out. I always assume that they’re going to look at me, penetrating eyes blazing, and say, “That IQ test that you took? The one it said that your IQ was… that particular number? It couldn’t possibly have been more wrong. You poor stupid snausage.”
This is why I’m perfectly comfortable never meeting Benedict Cumberbatch or Tom Hiddleston or Maria Konnikova… I’ve already met George Wood, and I can barely choke out a civil greeting… if I ever met Dorothy L. Sayers, I would vomit, promptly and explosively (she is deceased, so this won’t happen for awhile, unless I met with a sudden and sticky end). This is why, despite an all-consuming desire that makes my fingertips all tingly and numb, I will never set foot in the Bodleian (that place probably has a security system designed to reject poseurs). I’m wired to be impressed by intelligence, and there’s a niggling fear that I’m not as intelligent as my teachers have reported.
If the smart people of the world had a pack, I would be a beta. I understand this, and rage against it impotently, but then we all can’t be astronauts. However, the smart people of the world (or at least the ones that I’m actively terrified by) don’t seem to care much about position, so I doubt there would be any dominance fights among those with excessively high IQs.
Now, I don’t mean to suggest that those who struggle for dominance are low grade morons (the fact that I think of them that way by no means makes it truth), but I have noticed that there are quite a few people who desperately want to make sure that everyone knows their “place.”
This strikes me as an idiotic way to relate to your fellow humans (since, you know, YOU’RE NOT ACTUALLY A WOLF).
I dislike jockeying for position. I dislike attempts to intimidate anyone, and can be quite shockingly resistant when such attempts are directed at me. I dislike competition for competition’s sake (because I’ve never been able to say “it’s just a game” and mean it), but I particularly dislike competition when taken off of the field and into offices and churches and the competition is meant to prove that the winner is the alpha.
Here’s the truth:
I don’t care if you’re an alpha.
I don’t care if you THINK you’re an alpha.
I really don’t care if everyone else genuflects or shivers when you pass by.
It’s one big solid “meh” on this end.
I’m not trying to be rude or offensive… it’s just that your pack position makes no difference to me, which you may find threatening, and to that I repeat my earlier statement: I don’t care.
My (completely rude) assumption is that if you had the sense God gave an onion, you would recognize that leaders do not become leaders by dismembering their “competition” and ruling through fear and insecurity… people who employ such methods are called despots.
I don’t respond to despots.
Leaders lead through gaining and giving respect. They recognize and encourage the skills and gifts of those serving beside them… they don’t kneecap those people to make sure that the betas stay in line. Leaders remain in leadership because they have the loyalty of the masses. Despots and alphas have to watch their backs, while leaders have an entire force of people to protect them. The reign of despots and alpha are usually “nasty, brutish, and short”… and not because of people like me, who exist outside your precious pack structure, but because of people like you, who need heads on a sticks to prove that they’re a force to reckoned with.
You’re not a wolf. Your instinct to play by wolf rules is fascinating on a psychological level but, ultimately, just plain silly.
It’s all one to me, really… keep doing what you do, if it makes you happy.
I mean, you’re doing it wrong… but I’m not a wolf, so…
I don’t care.