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Misperceptions and Compulsions
November 15, 2012 - David Alexander
I don’t know how to deal with people making inaccurate statements, especially when they are assumptions about me. I try hard to avoid being litigious—often to no avail. But, having spent the better part of my life as a contrarian, my verbal ripostes are often viewed as … well annoying.
Still, I am a journalist, and I have an unquenchable thirst for truth and accuracy, if an objective form of those things can even be said to exist. So, when I hear someone say something I know to be false, I feel obligated by my duty as a reporter to correct falsities.
My innate hatred of meddlers, those people who feel the need to inject themselves into a conversation only to be disagreeable, offsets this desire. However, it’s different when the person is talking about me. While I rarely impose myself into conversations that I overhear when I am out and about, sometimes people will say false things about me without realizing it.
This puts me in a strange place. First, it throws the conversation for a loop. It undermines any sense of intimacy, sort of like if you have talked to someone you have met before and you both are acting like you are old friends and suddenly it becomes apparent that one of you doesn't know the other’s name. Furthermore, I am always faced with the awkward decision as to whether to correct the person.
Ultimately, I weigh whether the speaker of the inaccuracy is someone with whom it matters whether they have misperceptions about me. But most of the time it’s simply a knee-jerk reaction. I can’t help myself.
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