If you are a keen watcher of espionage films, as I am, you might note a recurring theme. This is that when people want to do something “dodgy” they try to create an angle, a pretext, a cover story. This enables them an entrance, a semi-plausible way in; an excuse, a rationalisation. They may spend ages trying to manufacture one of these. And we might do this for a crush we have. Somehow, we engineer a “chance” meeting in the corridor. Quite why people feel the need to go to such lengths is strange, but I guess we have all done something similar, to a greater or lesser extent. The thing is that these angles, these pretexts are subject to things going wrong and the basic motive is one of deceit.
Now most of us are not taking part in a le Carré novel in our daily lives, yet we do engage in this kind of intrigue. Maybe by playing games we keep hold of our “power”. I don’t know. But that tendency to manufacture rather than being straightforward is not uncommon. In so doing we set a tone. Of course, this could be part of the fun and games of courtship, with some frisson. But game playing is game playing, and it can go wrong. Too much game playing, and we feel unable to say what it is we feel for fear of handing over “the advantage”. We may miss, by our games, that which we want or need.
We are such a clever bunch, but that is not always wise. Being so caught up in this, what we fear most is being authentic and real. Always trying to be foxy and cunning, we may fail in our covert missions. To think and behave like the SAS behind enemy lines, in our day to day interactions, does not breed goodwill. There is an unusual tactic that may work, and that is simply saying what you want or need and asking the other person what it is they are thinking. Call me a revolutionary if you want, but maybe you might need an angle or a pretext before you could broach the subject.
Do you get my drift here?
The more “sophisticated” you are the more you will search for an angle or a pretext so that you might have plausible deniability. The sand runs fast in the hourglass. Why is this plausible deniability so important? Well it is simple, we would not want to lose face or “power”.
And so, situations go foul because of this need for an angle, a pretext.
This fear of being vulnerable wounds us more than vulnerability itself ever can. Humans are fond of self-harm. And so, time after time, we seek an angle, a pretext, a cover story.
It is a bit sad.
Having cued this up:
Have I ever lost out by seeking an angle, a pretext?
If I had been simple and straightforward, might things have worked out differently?
Is it possible that I am a slow learner?