How Well Do You Know Anyone?

People tend to make a host of assumptions about others and imagine that they know them. In an academic environment few consider the outside interests of others and if they do, they might imagine them benign, maybe hiking, gardening, arts or whatever.

Unless you belong to the “front row” club you have no idea as to the mentality of the sort of person who plays front row rugby. It does not compute unless you have experienced it. It can entail having semi-drunken light-hearted head butt competitions in a Paris café post-match, for example. It is not genteel though many front rowers are indeed gentle men away from the pitch. They tend not to be gob shites. They put up with a lot. They have broad shoulders.

I’ll wager that those who used to see me in a pastoral care role would not imagine me packing down, nor choking someone out during judo ground work. I got very close to causing unconsciousness on a number of occasions. Limpet like choke holds were a favourite of mine. People usually tapped before starting to go beyond. There is a latent capacity for controlled violence in me. People have walked closer than they think to its release.

“Are you having trouble concentrating? Have lost your appetite? Has your libido changed? Are you drinking more or less than usual? Have you had any self-harming thoughts?”

Is a bit of a contrast to full contact sparring, with take downs, locks and immobilisations. Until you have tried full contact martial arts you have no idea how you are going to respond to a donkey kick to the stomach or a punch to the head.

As I have said before I once met a geezer at an entrepreneurship event who said that he knew me well. He did not know who he was talking to. He had no idea that I was looking at the bridge of his nose as he was speaking, quite close to me, thinking that it would be very easy to head butt him and break his nose. That would cause quite a stir. He was oblivious, caught up in his bullshit.

Here people make some assumptions based on their general experience of British people. They are not so valid for us. When one says that they don’t have to try using English, one can see a brief wave of relief, I guess.

The thing is people make so many assumptions which are in many cases way off the mark.


How well do you know anyone?

Are your perceptions and assumptions in any way accurate?

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