First Time We Meet Someone (and days after)

I got this from Paulo Coleho’s internet books (which I think you guys should check out). This one comes from the ‘Stories for Parents, Children, and Grandchildren’ which titled “Epictetus reflects on meetings”. So, apparently it’s extracting Epictetu’s (one of Roman’s great philosophers) Art of Living. It said that :

‘Two things may happen when we meet someone: either we become
friends or we try to convince that person to accept our beliefs. The same
thing happens when a hot coal meets another piece of coal: it either
shares its fire with it or is overwhelmed by the other’s size and is
extinguished.
But, since, generally speaking, we feel insecure when we first meet
someone, we are more likely to affect indifference, arrogance or excessive
humility. The result is that we cease being who we are, and matters
move into a strange world that does not belong to us.
In order to avoid this happening, make your good feelings immediately
apparent. Arrogance may only be a banal mask for cowardice, but
it prevents important things from flourishing in your life.’
Two things may happen when we meet someone: either we become
friends or we try to convince that person to accept our beliefs. The same
thing happens when a hot coal meets another piece of coal: it either
shares its fire with it or is overwhelmed by the other’s size and is
extinguished.

But, since, generally speaking, we feel insecure when we first meet
someone, we are more likely to affect indifference, arrogance or excessive
humility. The result is that we cease being who we are, and matters
move into a strange world that does not belong to us.

In order to avoid this happening, make your good feelings immediately
apparent. Arrogance may only be a banal mask for cowardice, but
it prevents important things from flourishing in your life.’

There we go.
I myself experience this kind of  phenomenon when I’m being introduced to someone new or merely said, new environment. The feeling of  ‘you have to be accepted by everybody, by means having the same perceptions as everybody has, OR else you will feel like you’re being left by your surroundings’. More often, to get accepted by our surroundings, we tend to show (sometimes too hard) that we do have something cool  -according to everybody there (the environment you live in)- so that they will recognize us as someone  ‘important’  to be joining the environment or group, even more, we tend to show people we’re about to hang out that we’re even more cool than anybody else.
This is what I assume as the beginning of arrogancy or excessive humility. When we feel like pushed by our circumstances and insecurities we tend to tell stories to ourselves that “we are great enough, even more great than anybody in the room” to gain confidence to face the environment. We keep repeating that stories over and over again that eventually we believe that we ARE greater than anybody else. The tiring part of this is that we have to maintain this kind of sense thorough our relationship with people from this new environment. This what makes us forget who we really are and get confused in the middle of the relationship. Because all we ought to do is about maintaining our what- so-called ‘masks’ than to show our-(considered)-weak and small-selves.
Eventually, like once Epictetus said, we ourselves who prevent the most important thing(s) in our life(s) from flourishing to its best.
Kinda sad, isn’t it?

– D! –

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