Posturing and illusion / by kevin murray

It has been said that not all that glitters is gold, of which this is surely true, for there are many things that look like and even glitter like gold, but are not, in fact, gold.  So too, not everything that people say, or every body language so produced -- are the words that need worry us, or the body language that need unnecessarily scare us, for people will posture all sorts of actions that those people have little intention of following through on; in order to save face, in order to show they are not a pushover, in order to produce fear, and for all sorts of other reasons, legitimate or not.


This world is full of all sorts of exaggerations, of which, exaggerations often are resorted to, in order to get, for instance, a point across, or in order to get attention, or to just make for a better story.  So too, if every time that someone said that they were going to kill someone, in which, subsequently, they actually went ahead and did so; then this world, would have an absolute epidemic of murders -- for people use words just like that, all of the time, or posture those words, but in virtually all of the cases, those people actually had no intent to kill anyone, though, they may be legitimately upset about something, or thoroughly embarrassed about something, or just be in a really foul mood.


The main reason why there is so much posturing as opposed to a lot more actual physical aggression occurring is the fact that posturing allows people to "act the role" without actually doing something that would be harmful to another person.  That is to say, when someone hurls an insult against another, in which, this insult is purposely done in front of a lot of people, the person so insulted, is almost required to respond to that insult, or they will lose face in the eyes of their peers.  How and what that response is, depends upon the skill of the person so insulted, because the correct art of posturing is not to escalate something into actual blows, but to respond in a way that indicates that they won't permit someone to just walk all over them, or to be taken for a fool.


Then there are those that claim that they don't ever posture, but rather, that they keep it real, 100% of the time.  In point of fact, most people can't keep it real for even one day, let alone, all of the time, because social situations almost preclude giving answers and responses that don't take properly into account the other person, meaning that those that are being "brutally honest" with someone, are actually pretty much just being brutal. 


The very point of all this posturing is to demonstrate that one is self-respecting enough, that they will respond as necessary in a posturing mode to demonstrate to the other person that they are willing to do battle, though, with the hope that cooler heads ultimately will prevail; so that, just as in dueling back in day, which was all about honor and respect; the hope is that the posturing will safely discontinue on both ends, and therefore though neither side will win, more importantly, neither side will lose.