ICYMI, here’s Part 1.
6. Jerry: Oh, I guess because you don’t want strangers calling you at home.
Telemarketer: Umm, no.
Jerry: Well, now you know how I feel.
Be it a telemarketer selling a credit card, insurance, home loan, mobile plan, etc., we have all experienced their torment. They can be terribly annoying and make unsolicited calls at just the worst times. You could be in a board meeting, an interview, at class or in the middle of a heated argument with your spouse. A phone call from a stranger compelling you to buy something, is the last thing you need right now.
We all wish we could do what Seinfeld did. I’m sure many of us have, if not always in those exact words. A few curse words thrown here and there, could help make them realize your current state of mind. Many of us don’t, realizing that they’re just doing their job. The telemarketers have a list and you just happened to be on it. They have a script which tells them how to respond to every objection. So the less you engage with them, the better. So, good luck!
7. It’s not a lie if you believe it.
This quote identifies humanity’s unconditioned ability to delude itself. This works in two ways. Regardless of facts, laws and evidence, we refuse to believe the reality in front of our own eyes. A lot of us continue to believe that, in the words of the inimitable George Carlin, “there’s an invisible man living in the sky, who watches everything you do, every minute of every day. And the invisible man has a special list of ten things he does not want you to do. And if you do any of these ten things, he has a special place, full of fire and smoke and burning and torture and anguish, where he will send you to live and suffer and burn and choke and scream and cry forever and ever ’til the end of time! But he loves you.”
Often, we delude ourselves in order to maintain a favored self-perception. It works well as a coping mechanism for our shortcomings. Our capacity for delusion is further heightened by our imagination. In fact, do you think we would have evolved if the early hominids didn’t delude themselves into thinking that they could take on the big cats and wolves with a pointy stick? Or how about when we delude ourselves into thinking that we stand a chance against someone way out of our league?
So yes, it works both ways. One pushes us into doing things we never possibly thought we could and while the other pushes us back to the Stone Age.
8. Why can’t I act with the ones I like the way I do with the ones I don’t like?
We often get caught up in this situation because we are insecure at heart and we deem ourselves unlovable or unworthy. When we like someone, we conjure up tall tales of romantic encounters. In our quest to fulfil them, we either give up due to insecurity and fear of being rejected or create a version of ourselves that would appeal to them. We invest so much energy focusing on them that we forget who we are. On the other hand, when someone likes you and you don’t, our feelings of insecurity and unworthiness invoke anxiety. Though we can talk to them easily due to a general lack of sympathy, the fact that they like us makes us feel that there must be something wrong with them too.
If we like somebody, it is natural to feel nervous around them, because getting rejected by them is going to hurt us a lot more than getting rejected by someone we don’t like. Thus, George and the rest of us are left to wonder how to behave with the ones we like, the way we do with the ones we don’t.
9. If she can’t find me, she can’t break up with me.
Choosing to avoid an issue when it gets uncomfortable is a signature human trait. We want to escape feeling or thinking about these issues as they provoke feelings of anxiety. Be it avoiding someone after you did something mortifying the previous night or avoiding answering questions in class due to a previous embarrassing experience. We avoid such situations in order to not feel awkward and trigger the painful memory again. In this case, George doesn’t want to confront his girlfriend to avoid the potential breakup and the incidental anxiety and loneliness. Rather than trying to escape the situation, we need to realize that, with time, the anxiety will naturally subside on its own.
10. Probably because this whole Universe is against me!
Does the unbounded universe make you feel infinitesimal? Do you feel weak and powerless against a universe which is always out to get you? Do you feel your life is sad and depressing and that you’re a victim to circumstances? Stop your boohooing and bellyaching. Accept the fact that each and every choice you’ve made up until this very moment is what has made your life miserable. Learn to make peace with the past, accept full responsibility for your life and start making better informed choices.
So now get up and go binge watch every episode of Seinfeld to better understand yourself, your life and your future choices. I’m just kidding!