Paranoid

gossip

 

If you’re not paranoid, you probably think that nobody on earth talks about you behind your back. If you are paranoid, you think that everyone on earth is talking behind your back.

I’ve got news for those of you who aren’t paranoid: everyone is talking about you behind your back. Maybe not everyone on earth, but everyone you know is doing it – probably at this very second. Well … that may be a little extreme. Let’s don’t flatter ourselves here.

It took me a while to figure this out. I was well into my adulthood before I realized it. I was under the impression that everyone thought of me as Mr. Smooth, easygoing nice guy, because that’s how they treated me in person. Whenever I thought about my friends, family, and acquaintances, and I imagined them in conversation about me, it always involved effusive praise, laudable speeches here and there, and I pictured them sitting in a sunny meadow with a babbling brook rolling by as they made these testimonials.

But as I found myself talking with everyone else about everyone else behind their backs, it dawned on me that the same thing was happening to me behind my back. How dare they!

I’m the nice guy – always a smile on my face. Well … almost always. They have no right doing that. Do they? They do? I am shocked!

And yet, I know at some point somewhere, some of my “friends,” “relatives,” and even strangers are talking about me behind my back.

Here is how the equation works: Everyone I know, including me, talks about everyone else behind their backs which = Everyone else talking about me behind my back.

Maybe those who are paranoid are on to something after all. They aren’t paranoid and they don’t need those tin-foil hats – they are the true visionaries.

Of course it’s quite possible I could be wrong about all of this, because everyone I know, really, truly likes me. It’s those strangers you can’t trust.

 

From A Memoir of Most of It

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