I would go for the former any day since I love to believe the Inner Child is silly because s/he is free and secure enough to withstand being self-deprecating and ridiculed. If you know me even a little, you are aware of how much I believe in silliness power, along with vulnerability, in raising the spirits, nurturing souls, and maybe…just maybe leaving a lasting impact on someone’s existence!
ENJOY MY RELATED ARTICLE BELOW↴
Today, I had an epiphany. My tendency is rooted in my need to make an authentic connection. That is, if the person at the receiving end is not receptive, there is no point at all.
Appealingly, I have some thoughts about the unfiltered silliness/funny demeanor. Instead of a genuine will to engage or inspire, the main goal or need could be:
A coping mechanism for our real feelings of inadequacy and the urge to achieve something great and build an avatar the world can talk about and look up to. Jim Carrey is the example that comes to mind. I love his authentic being following his depression and awakening much more than the character.
A narcissistic supply fishing strategy. If you know anything about NPD, it should be no surprise they need to be the center of the world. By being the funny guy/girl and the life of the gathering, the fragile ego is sure to be nurtured and the specialness delusion to be confirmed. A legitimate question could be, “How can we make the difference? Are there any clues one may observe?” Fortunately yes, should we make psychological education a high priority, and learn to incessantly develop our observation and critical thinking skills, it seems to me!
Inherently good people versus manipulators
Watch out for their ability to be empathetic. You will need to pay attention to your intuition when they show compassion. Perpetrators know what empathy looks like intellectually and are masters in mirroring it. Trust your gut feeling.
A second detail to keep track of is how they respond to criticism. Intrinsically good folks who are still diving into life with their heavy psychological luggage would feel discomfort when criticized. Their self-esteem is at fault. They may become defensive. Nonetheless, they will not aggress you or make it about you unless they have moderate to narcissistic tendencies. Aggression can vary from passive-aggressiveness to narcissistic rage. Difficult personalities and mental pathologies whose core part is narcissism cannot take criticism, and it is a consistent pattern. It defies the grandiosity narrative they created to survive.
A third detail that could be telling is how entitled the person is. We have all met someone who seems to act like the whole world owes them. This is a red flag to take into consideration.
Another element that might be informative is how much the person you are dealing with craves control. A control freak who can be genuinely compassionate and a kind-hearted soul can instead be suffering from Imposter Syndrome, though. A fair judgment will take time.
The last detail of this non-exhaustive list is the inclination to exploit both people and situations, sometimes without even showing any remorse, should they be exposed. They would rather gaslight you as a means of accountability avoidance.
Inherently secure good people versus still insecure ones
A simple detail to keep an eye on is the range of feelings they are openly showing and embracing, including the bad-reputation ones: frustration, anger, sadness, disappointment— you name it. The bigger the feelings scope is, the more secure people they are. Vulnerability is at the very top of the checklist. Observe them when they screw things up badly. Their apologies would come instantly and they would feel sincere. It takes a great deal of character strength to be vulnerable and expose ourselves to rejection. You want to have those precious people in your world!
I will leave you with some brilliant thinkers’ wisdom:
“The path of light is the quest for knowledge.”
― Lailah Gifty Akita, Pearls of Wisdom: Great mind
“The most powerful people are the ones who never stop learning.”
― Rejoice Denhere
“There is a striking difference between going to school, and getting an education.”
― Michael Bassey Johnson, Before You Doubt Yourself: Pep Talks and other Crucial Discussions
Educate yourself. When a question about a topic pops up, google it. Watch movies and documentaries. When something sparks your interest, read about it. Read, read, read. Study, learn, and stimulate your brain. Don’t just rely on the school system. Educate that beautiful mind of yours.