Wyo4News Switchbacks: You Can’t Argue With Crazy, But You Can Stay Sane

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By Ryan
Wyo4News feature writer

We used to think everyone was fairly normal. Not anyone we knew… but we generally assumed that people we didn’t know were likely okay. Then everything changed in the early 2000s when social media came of age. We then discovered that the infinite monkey theorem doesn’t always apply. It seems that the works of Shakespeare would require something we lacked. Apparently, the intellect of the said typing monkeys needs to equal that of.. well… a monkey. 

Alas, no works of Shakespeare emerged from the haze of our collective consciousness. We discovered that we were all crazy. BUT… some more than others.

The “Karen” label soon surfaced. The meme and now the emoji began to symbolize that “I need to speak to your manager” type of person. (I feel so sorry for those actually named “Karen” nowadays. It’s such a beautiful name.)  Soon everyone had the ability to record a video.  Then a host of entitled and angry people began to surface. Somehow, “Karen” became their name.

 

The meme and idea went crazy because we all know someone who’s not just normal crazy but really crazy.  We all know so many controllers, manipulators, and abusers. There are too many people willing to use us to get whatever they want. We must learn to deal with these toxic people.

Think about it. You have likely tried to avoid them. You have unfriended them online and in person. If anyone even reminds you of your particular tormentor, you are out. 

But they keep coming.

Zig Ziglar used to say, “There are really only 10 mean and nasty people in the world, but boy… do they get around.”  

I suppose that it’s possible that their numbers have increased.

Will we live our lives in fear of the crazies, or will we live our lives free of them? Is it possible to enjoy life and deal with the controllers? The answer is a resounding “Yes,” and it begins with a simple idea.

submitted photo by Ryan

Build Fences, Not Walls

Don’t get ahead of me now. We are not running off to our local lumber yard searching for planks, nails, and a machine gun nest.  (I know, that went dark. oops.)

We build too many walls in life and not enough fences. We build walls trying to protect ourselves from toxic people. If we were honest, we would have to admit that it has never worked.  A lot of good zombie movies have a wall to keep the zombies out. People live in their zombie-free prison for a while but then… The wall always fails, and the zombies get in. 

Walls don’t work. They do keep people out. In fact, they keep everyone out, even healthy and helpful people. The worst part of building walls is that we become the prisoner.

Fences are better. Fences have gates. Fences give us a chance to talk to someone before we let them into our yard. And, yards give us a chance to know them even better before we invite them into our home.

What is the difference between a fence and a wall or between a healthy boundary and a toxic prison? The difference is what I am going to do versus what you are going to do.

Walls say, “You are not getting in here.” Fences say, “I may or may not let you in.”

What makes this concept difficult to grasp is a truth we struggle to accept. The truth is that there is only one person on the planet we are able to control. Ourselves. We can’t control anyone else. We can’t make anyone else do what we want them to do. We can only make ourselves do something… barely.

We build fences that allow good things and good experiences into our lives. We must own that our life is a product of our choices, not the choices of others. Yes, the choices of others impact our lives, but our responses are always our own.

So, I can’t tell anyone what to do, but I can tell myself what to do. I can’t make you leave me alone, but I can leave you alone. I can’t stop you from being mean, nasty, and entitled. But, if you choose to be that way, I can choose to be somewhere else.

Learning to build fences is about learning to let the good stuff into your life and keep the bad things out.

The good news is that you get to be You! 

Enjoy Your Shiny New Fence,

Ryan.