Recognition Kills: An Easy Concept Made Way Harder Than It Has To Be


Recognition kills, is a concept that I have often thought about after writging a rambling blog post years ago on MySpace. Now I am going to attempt to make something very simple more complicated. It basically means exactly what it say’s. If “A” (an outside observer) recognizes an action that “B” (any one party) commits subconsciously on “C” (either another party or ones self/B), it usually causes B to “kill” (or cease) the action directed at C. For example, if a man (B) puts on his left sock first every morning and an observer (A his wife) tells him that he does this, at that point he might stop doing it, only because he recognizes his actions and begins to think consciously about them rather than doing them out of habit subconsciously. This example has three variables, but, the husband occupies both B and C at the same time. He is B in his subconscious habitual state, but when he transforms into a conscious state of mind, that recognizes the actions that he subconsciously commits he becomes C.

Lets use this couple again for another example to show how B and C can be separate entities. In this example B is the husband and C is the wife. Every Friday they go out to supper with their friends, their friends represent A. Every Friday they go to the same place and do pretty much the same thing. They go to a movie and go to a local coffee shop. The husband and wife usually drive separate cars because they meet at the theatre after they both get off work. Every week the husband will leave early because he has to be up early on Saturday. When he leaves he gives his wife a hug and a kiss, say’s “I love you” and he leaves. Upon observing that the couple does the same thing every week their friends (A) recognize this action and point it out to the couple next week. When the couple (B and C) are told of this by their friends, and made to recognize what they do every week they begin to second guess what they were so unconsciously accustom to. In this example they both become aware.

The question might be asked, why in this situation does the couple not represent one variable as they act in a subconscious state, and then transform into another variable, as in the first example, once something is realized? The answer is simple, the two people react to each other, therefore, when the husband leaves he is initiating an action subconsciously, an action that is directed at his wife. The initiator must occupy B, because B acts subconsciously towards something or someone. Whether or not C is reacting to B’s subconscious act consciously or otherwise is of no consequence. One might say, if C consciously knows and recognizes B’s actions and tells B, does that not effect the theory? It does not, you then are using the first example I illustrated, where B and C are occupied by the same person, and the C in the second exampled would actually be A if you were to look at it that way. If you do look at it that way the friends do not matter, they become obsolete.

Now lets examine the reasoning for people to behave this way. There are many reasons why a person might stop something that they are doing, as a result of it being pointed out to them. Based on the first example we can see that the husband might stop putting his left sock on first solely based on his desire to not be predictable to his wife, and or not wanting to be predictable to his own self. In life we are our worst critics because we know so much about ourselves. The husband might have very well known that he put his left sock on first but it didn’t matter to him and it became a pattern enacted at a near subconscious level. Only when it was pointed out to him, did he start to think about his life in terms of the small inconsequential actions that he commits. I think that humans like to be individuals, each human’s individuality is on a different level, but if you look at the basic actions we make every day we do not want to be predictable because that keeps us from having a firm grasp on our individuality. This is only a byproduct of being around other people for long periods of time. Earlier I said that we are our worst critics because we know ourselves so much. The same could be said for Husbands and Wives as well as a couple’s or a person’s friends. If we are around people long enough we start to open ourselves up to those people and they can then start to see what we do on a subconscious level better than we can. This is because they most likely don’t do the same habitual things as their friends or spouse.

It should be noted that this is not a rule for human interaction, nor is it the only thing that can happen in the given situations. I have to admit that something could be pointed out to a person and they could commit that action again with more fervor. That would most likely be done intentionally, maybe with spiteful intentions, but nonetheless humanity does not react to every situation the same. A person might also just live in denial about what they do at a subconscious level, even after it is pointed out to them by another person. All this is, is a way to view how a person that is not self aware acts when that person becomes self aware. And as goes with this situation everyone will react differently, this is just how I think most humans would react.

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5 Responses to “Recognition Kills: An Easy Concept Made Way Harder Than It Has To Be”

  1. That was very reminiscent of Philosophy 101. Interesting though.

  2. raingeg Says:

    Ha thanks, I has to think a bit for this one.

  3. had*

  4. I’m not sure if recognition is the real problem. It’s the reevaluation of the recognition that kills the action, especially when it’s a societal pressure.

    Recognition doesn’t necessarily involve second guessing. I could be re”cognitive” of a certain activity I do without having any real concern over it, so the dwelling on and returning to is where I see the problem lying.

    Reminds me of a possibly cliche analogy [You can’t drive a car looking in the rear view mirror]. And to tie it back in… You “recognize” you are driving the car and are fine, but questioning your driving is where the concept or activity gets ruined.

  5. raingeg Says:

    As I stated that there are always exceptions. The problem with your being re cognitive is that you cannot make yourself recognize in this theory, while it is possible in real life, I was exploring recognition of ones actions as they are revealed to that person, and ALWAYS in this theory. This calls for mandatory action between two parties.

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