I like to dissect things – situations, conversation, experiences. If you’re not into it, it’s got to get real old, real fast, listening to me go on and on, teasing out my ideas even as I’m in mid-sentence.
I’m not a fan of the concept of being the devil’s advocate – because I think, too often, people use that as an excuse to be a jerk. As soon as I hear, “Let me play devil’s advocate here..” I immediately assume the person is, in fact, just stating their own opinion. We don’t have to honour shitty perspectives.
That said, I like to shove things around to reveal the other sides and the other perspectives. What if..? Maybe it’s because..? Why not…? Sometimes I end up convincing myself of something I hadn’t previously ever considered. I enjoy pressing a bit further, digging a bit deeper, trying to get further into something than the surface level discussion.
Lately, I find myself asking “Why not?” more often than anything else. It’s not in an attempt to convince myself of the opposing viewpoint, but to make sure my “No!” has a good backbone to it. If I’m saying that something isn’t going to happen, I need to ask myself why.
Sometimes I ask Coffee. Sometimes I ask my coworkers. Sometimes it’s just to myself, over and over, until I get to the core of it.
It’s part of that boundary thing. It’s part of trying to allow myself to be more vulnerable. (I haven’t talked about my boundaries in a while, but was reminded about my goals during a conversation earlier today in which I was dissecting some stuff with a friend.)
I am trying to figure out where I have constructed boundaries for no reason – or for expired, old, unnecessary reasons. I can’t do that unless I’m willing to repeatedly ask “Why?” and “Why Not?” until I get down to the core of the situation.
The problem, of course, is when you ask people the question, “Why not?” they often immediately think that you’re looking to justify something or that they need to talk you out of it. That’s okay, of course, as long as I can get to the centre of the situation – the little rice-sized grain of concern. I have to remember that not everyone likes to dig around in every conversation, on every topic.
There are things that my instincts tell me not to do – some more dramatic than others – and in a lot of cases, it’s easy to get right to the rationale. Don’t do X because Y is a negative outcome.
But in other cases, it’s more nebulous. Don’t do X because.. well.. why would you WANT to do it? What’s your reasoning? What do you mean why shouldn’t you do it? Why WOULD you?! You just.. can’t.
The nebulous is where I want to dig. This is where I want to back-and-forth it with someone else, hear their perspectives, let them grill me a bit and let me bounce things around. Not with my mind made up, but with a challenge underneath, perhaps knowing which way I already lean but letting myself flow with the discussion.
I want to be like a small child – questioning everything. Just, y’know, with fewer tears and more open-mindedness.
How are my boundaries these days? Better. How am I doing at being vulnerable? Better.
Why not? Why not? Why?