There is a huge difference between playing cool and being a fool. But it is amazing how not that many people comprehend the gap between the two.
I’ve found myself in different situations, with different people and in different places, and in a few too many of those occasions I have been taken for a fool, for an insignificant being that was thought to not realize I was being played. Little they knew.
To be honest, there are countless times when I just downplay or play dumb on purpose for a while, pretending I don’t hear, see or sense certain things. I tend to do it because that way you get to know the “real yous” in the people that surround you, and in the people that you meet. But also because I am not a person to make a fuss, take things too seriously or give too much importance to actions or to people who don’t deserve it.
A lot has been written about the “Power of Nice” and how it works better to be nice to people than not, but I am not sure whether I completely agree with that statement. It’s true that even though I am usually good at distinguishing them, everyone should be given the opportunity (only one) to prove they are good people, be given the benefit of the doubt, sometimes merely for the sake of somebody else. Nevertheless, way too often, people identify friendliness with stupidity.
If you ask people who know me, many will describe me as nice and most will even use the word sweet. So that makes me extremely prone to be seen as really foolish in the eyes of others. But we all hit a limit, and that is when people start to blatantly treat you like you’re a moron.
That is the exact breaking point. Once you have uncovered the “real yous” around. Hence, there is no further need to play dumb, small and invisible. Surprise, surprise: you are you, letting everyone know where you’ve been standing all along, now standing tall, and then, oh! (awe!), you can see who really stays near once they know you can’t be fooled.
(This post best read while listening to: Big City Secret by Joseph Arthur)