Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Action and reaction

Today, a total random incident which provoked a serious thought: In the course of my normal work environment interaction, I responded to a coworker with what is often my satirical dry wit at my place of employment. Her reaction was less enthusiastic. Then, later in the day, I reacted in a calm, pleasant, positive manner, and got a distinctly different reaction.

This led to another thought: how am I interacting with everyone around me? How am I interacting with the Ravishing Mrs. TB? Is it as an adult, or do I still act and react according to a behaviour or maturity level that used to work for me, and I still believe it does?

The question is not an idle one. If much of an individual's response to me is how I present myself to them, and I am presenting myself to them in a way that gets the responses that I have always gotten, and therefore associate with "Okay", is it real or am I just continuing to play music off an 8 Track in an MP3 world and thinking the sound quality is great?

In speaking with Bogha frois about this issue tonight, I hypothesized that it was a question of behaviour and maturity, that one could change one's maturity and have a modified for of behavior, or not change behaviour and maturity. Bogha frois disagreed, presenting a couple of example where if the maturity level did not change, the behavior did not change, but instead got transmuted into age appropriate situations - boys who love toy cars have real, large, expensive toy cars; girls who loved to gossip about others in their social circle of friends becoming women (homemakers or professionals) who loved to gossip about others.

I think the jury is still out for me on this, as I can see both sides: there are forms of behavior I have changed as my situation has changed and I have matured, but are still recognizable echoes of myself (but are they good), and there are behaviors that have stuck with me all these years, as they have transformed with my life and situations (oddly enough, mostly bad habits).

If I interact with the Ravishing Mrs. TB as I interacted with her as a girlfriend and newlywed, I am not likely to get the same response as if I examined my level of maturity and changed my behavior to act accordingly. One example is that while I think that the help that I give around the house is a demonstration of my love, or being "hopelessly romantic" in hopes of getting my way, a more practical method might be to do the things that it is evident need to be done, but that she has not been able to do - the things I selfishly don't like to do, like paint, or trim bushes, or put laundry away. This represents a maturity level - moving out of my self-centeredness - and resulting in a change in my behaviour.

I'll continue to think about it. Odd how a single incident can prompt such a string of thoughts.

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