Social Schizophrenia

This is going to be a short one. I’m drunk and I just came back from a drag queen bar, which was much more of an interesting experience than I first thought. There’s nothing quite like a guy / future gal on hormone therapy flashing his boobs to you, while making some very straightforward sexual offers. Good times!

So, I take my current drunken state of mind as an excuse to do some navel-gazing – even more than usual I mean. It’s just that a thought hit me earlier: I’m most content or “happy” if I find myself in a situation where I can perform many different roles, in relation to others. I think you could call that social schizophrenia.

What I mean by this is that I will act out a certain aspect within myself with person A, and then will act out another aspect with person B, and so on. This in itself is not too unusual I think: We all tend to be different people around different people. The way you interact with your parents is not the way you interact with your lover. D’oh.

What worries me, however, is the extreme to which I take this. I laugh differently with different people, I change my speech patterns, my sensibilities and my emotional intensity. The most disturbing part: I even change or at least very much adjust my convictions, according to whom I’m talking to. If the right person is placed in front of me, I can wrap my head just around anything.

This sounds like pure turncoat behaviour, an attitude I myself find disgusting. However, I would argue it is actually something different. First of all, this only happens with very few people. So I really don’t think I’m trying to win any favours by being a lickspittle. Second, I myself find these different stances I tend to take with different people not as un-agreeable as most would, as I can still see the connection among the opposites, so to speak. To butcher Hegel a little bit: Truth in its totality always implies an antinomy, which is resolved on a higher level. The question is never one of either-or but one of as well as, if that makes sense. Probably not…

One more try: Instead of limiting yourself to just one persona for yourself, because you always “have to” be congruent and say and believe the same things, why not become a little bit more fluid? Or a lot more fluid? Why not perform many different, even opposite personae in your life with different people, in order to get a more complete picture of what the totality of the human experience entails? Taking up different stances to eventually realize these seemingly opposite worldviews lead to a kind of synthesis after all?

In any case, practically speaking, I just get immense joy from being multiple people. Granted, some of these roles I take on I can act out for longer before I tire of them; meanwhile, others grow stale rather quick. However, all of them feel real; none of them feel like a lie. They might to the observer – but to me, it feels like a chance to soak yourself up with life – more and more life. I’ll take that.

I wish you a drunken good night.