When we know that people are in an abusive relationship, and we see them act like this isn’t the case, we know they are performing their relationship. Same with adulterous relationships.
There is however, a performance that we feign ignorance on that is more prevalent. I was listening to the Kidless Podcast and the guest, Jordan Blok said something that made me think and hence this post. They said “I was more wearing a human suit at that time rather than being an actual person. Like, just performing person. Like, I could just perform a relationship at that point.” And it was like a bulb had switched on.
It made so much sense to me how it actually is a thing. A common thing even. We can be so good in performing relationships, romantic, familial, platonic…….
I have written about some of this previously in the post about competition and the one on obedience because part of that is performing. In the podcast episode on friendship, we also talked about it, including how we make plans to have coffee with people we don’t intend to.
One of the things that people keep yapping about is authenticity and in speaking about authenticity we have to acknowledge that often, we perform. Even sometimes, when people are talking about authenticity, they are playing a role because it is quite topical to talk about it. And sometimes we do it to survive in this capitalistic, patriarchal world. I get that. But sometimes, we internalise things, we are socialised to think a certain way and rather than question, think – we perform.
You know what I am talking about. The things we do because it is expected of us by our parents, society, and if we were asked, we would rather not do them, don’t understand why they are a thing that people do. The things we do because we don’t want other people to talk, even though we say we don’t care about other people. The things we say because that is what we have always said them – without a thought to whether we mean them. The people we keep in our lives for no reason. The best phrase to describe what I am talking about is “going with the motions.”
Sometimes someone can say something to you and you find yourself responding in a manner that they expect you to, not in the way you truly want to. I have been grappling with this one for a couple of months now. A cycle that you can’t seem to get out of. Like how we perform adulthood. We have no idea what we are doing, but for all intents and purposes, we act like we do, burying our heads in the sand.
Basically, your life becomes doing things for external reasons, validation – robotically even with no thought as to the why. An act – Performing. As usual, I have no answers – more questions. I know I need to sit with myself so I can catch myself because surely, this cannot be life.