Caliban’s Sister crafted a post which hit me square in the teeth. She explained how Narcs speak in vague terms and in clichés. I can't say that was the first time I've heard that though: my wife and I had this same discussion several times over, only it was about me. Kicked in the gut. Twice.
I speak in vague terms. I always have. It was an effort on my part not to be forced to remember details to then explain them. I was putting in effort now to show lack of effort later, I think. I would start out a sentence with “We” without defining who “we” were. I explained that the mysterious We “had a good time, hung out, and stuff”. And that was always good enough for my mother, and I brought that type of talk into my marriage. Awesome, right? When Truth is in the details and Love is lived in Truth, then Love is also in the details. It’s logic. It’s simple. But it’s also foreign to me. Rather, it was. Being vague allowed me to give the basic idea of whatever it was I was explaining without having to get into the really difficult work of, well, thinking. Being vague allowed me to be non-committal, giving me the appearance of being decisive, when I actually wasn’t.
And here’s the segue –
Using clichés when I spoke gave me the appearance of emotional intelligence, when the opposite was actually true. These clichés, already vague in nature, allowed me to speak as if I had something of substance to offer. I am thinking specifically when I used to answer questions internet users posted on a particular forum. I would scour the forum for math/science questions (I actually knew about that) and relationship questions (I pretended to know about that). I thought that I could help these people somehow in my infinite wisdom. “Trust is of the utmost importance!” I would say. That was me also being a hypocrite. Essentially, I could answer any question I came across with a handful of clichés, like: it’s always best to learn from past hardships; love can transcend all; don’t sell yourself short. It wasn’t hard for me to come up with phrases that I knew would or should or could generate some hope or change in these people. And if enough people thought that my answer was best, I felt that much better knowing that I was King of the Answerers. Feeding on Narc supply much? Yeah, I think so.
I’m sure that my mother was the Queen of Vague, especially during her decade of family defilement. But even before that, I can hear her answering my questions (if I ever bothered to ask) of how she loves me with phrases like: oh, I love you in all the ways possible; there are too many ways to count; don’t ask me such questions; a mother doesn’t have to explain her love. Or something. My mother never went into specifics about anything really. Not how her day was, not how she was feeling at a particular time. Details didn’t matter to her. She passed that onto me. Or maybe perhaps, details mattered in that she couldn’t disclose them. Or a mixture of both. So I've got that penchant for falsities that my mother has been perfecting over the years. Damnit.