January 23, 2011

Sitting on the fence

I never really understood that saying. I mean, I know what it means - not being for or against something - but you'd think being in a position like that would be a tad more comfortable sounding. I mean, why can't it be 'sitting on a deck chair'? It's not like standing in no man's land creates enemies, does it? In fact, you can swing from both sides of the camp, gather as much information as you want and if anyone asks you to decide where you stand, you just plop yourself back on that 'deck chair' and start dangling your legs. 

I don't like fence sitters and I don't like them for a jolly good reason. They are two faced and they need to be. It's the main criteria for fence sitting. That's not to say all people who plonk themselves in the middle of any debate are two faced. Some are just plain old cowards. Some just can't be bothered with issues and others, the more cynical kind, just have their own agenda - the latter, I think, fits most fence sitters.

It is those fence sitters who generally like to be the "Switzerland" of sensitive issues, I regard with the utmost disdain. They are the people who get a thrill out of being included yet shun any responsibility or angst about what to do about it. Actually, come to think of it, I think they're called 'drama queens' too. These are the ones, I think, people should be most wary about because the only 'thing' of interest to people like this, is gossip.

If you ever need to a "check" to see if your buddy or pal or support person has become one of those 'self-indulgent fence-sitters', then try this simple little test: Say nothing. Play your cards close to your chest and keep smiling. It will drive them nuts, so much so, they may even get off that deck chair and sit alongside you for a wee while, hoping their mere closeness will give you the illusion of 'togetherness' and you start divulging more. 

In the end, the silence will do one of two things: Drive them away or have them sit alongside you 100%. Knowledge is power. Remember that when you "tell" anyone anything. And if it's 100% support you need, 100% trust, then push them off the fence. Tell them to decide and if they can't - they, in effect, have. 

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