"Things are not always what they seem... but things are always what they are."
-- My (sainted) grandmother.

Reading thru some of the many online comments about the new US President, I noted one comment with interest. To paraphrase: "At least Trump's a wolf in wolf's clothing. Worse than if he'd been in sheep's clothing only to throw off the disguise on taking office."Β 

Whatever your feelings on President Trump [!]Β it did make me think of a little analogy about friends and associates that I came up with a while back, that I'm returning to after conversing with some a couple of clever people who know a lot more about psychology and personality types than I do. 

This may be an over-simplified and rubbish analogy, but it's worth a try, so here goes: 
Abandoning wolves and sheep, I'd like to move across to a different metaphor: that of ice and fire. 
I find that people I know, or have known, fall into four types: 

Type [1] is in many ways the best of people: providing illumination and warmth to those around them. Some are louder than others, some more openly charismatic, but each is worth their weight in gold. 

Type [2] is as warm and invigorating as [1], but outwardly withdrawn or bashful, and it sometimes takes a little work to find the quality within -- but it's well worth it. Most of my best friends are these. 

With type [3], what you see is what you get... which is not much at all. They drain, and make no secret of it. One of the worst was a chap at a pub I used to frequent, who had no smiles for anyone and whose nickname was 'Chuckles'. Protracted silences and dead-end monosyllabic conversations were the order of the day. If I never meet him again, that would be fine.

The worst, however, is type [4]; the Fiery Ice type is someone who is, on the surface, charming and warm and maybe charismatic, and makes you feel like a million dollars -- similar to [1]. Underneath the charm, however, is a talented emotional manipulator with a cold sense of self and little regard for anyone else. Not a shred of guilt. Sooner or later they'll leave you feeling drained and worthless... even though they're the emotional parasite, and you're merely the host. 

I must admit I've come across the borderline-addictive presence of these type [4]'s quite a bit in my life -- both men and women, lovers and friends -- and I can say that it's not only Ulysses who had a bloody close call with the Sirens' song [!] These people can be lethal to your own sense of self. Knowledge of their mind games is a good defensive weapon... so be cautious of flatterers and people of whom you think: 'Wow... where have you been all my life?' 

Whether any potential friend you meet has a soul of fire or ice is difficult to ascertain at first, but the bottom line is that actions speak louder than words.
Now, I love a good, delicious slice of eloquence -- I love to hear it and I try to be it -- but the sad fact is that eloquence can often be parroted: so when someone is full of delicious, pretty words but these go alongside bad/indifferent actions, then they're not a person to want in your life. 
As my (sainted) grandmother also said: "a turd in a shiny bag is still a turd." 

So, in conclusion:
Type [1] (Pure Fire) -- keep them as close as possible, but don't smother them. If you keep them close, they will set your heart ablaze. 
Type [2] (Icy Fire) -- be patient; if you can tell that there's more than meets the eye, make a few efforts to get to know them more. They can be the most valuable friends. 
Type [3] (Pure Ice) -- walk away slowly. Don't pity their misery; they don't make any effort with you, and there's a reason for that.  
Type [4] (Fiery Ice) -- RUN.

If we can know and recognise integrity and authenticity without much effort, would our lives not all be much more joyful? 
...And thus ends Mr Buffy's attempts to understand psychology [!]


  1. I like your psychological analysis. πŸ˜‡ I will come back to you with more detailed feedback if I think of any way to better it πŸ˜‚ but right now I can’t! It’s superb 😊😊😊

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