Those that spend all their time trying to make others think they have no frailties, expose themselves as individuals that have more than any other. Teens love to mock those with open wounds to gain favorable comparative analysis. As we age, we learn that mocking the weak, only makes us appear weak, so we transfer that mockery to the strong. Everyone enjoys mocking the strong.
I have one friend who is really engaged in stories when they involve other’s frailties… My frailties. She joins in and adds little quips to the stories, and she laughs as hard as anyone. When the subject matter turns back to her, she clams up. She doesn’t laugh. She doesn’t even participate in the conversation. She’s psychologically damaged. The compassion, in the strong, forces us to turn the subject matter back to us, where she’s laughing, and adding in her tidbits, and more comfortable.
Another friend’s stories are delusional. The guy speaks of himself in a manner Stan Lee would consider noteworthy. In this guy’s mind, there is a silent parade in everyone’s mind the minute he decides to walk down an aisle. I consider it my job to provide a reaction to everyone’s story, just like I consider it everyone’s job to react to one of my stories. After he finished one particular story, I made it a point to provide no reaction. Doing this was prominent to both of us. After a careful space of time elapsed I said: “It would be nice to hear a story from you in which you weren’t such an incredible person.”
This may have been a little harsh. I don’t think it was. I think it was appropriate to the situation, but I have to leave the perception up to you. I realize that with raging insecurities being what they are, we find it difficult to tell stories about ourselves that reveal our failings, but it makes it so much more enjoyable for the listener to hear someone reveal themselves as a well-rounded creature.