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Three Categories of Being a Shit

Three Categories of Being a Shit

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Published by Jane Gilgun
This article describes three different types of being a shit: Reactors, True Believers, and Clever Foxes. Many people walk around feeling guilty and depressed. What they don't know is that someone has convinced them that they are at fault. This article shows three different ways that other people get us to feel as if we are at fault.

This is a chapter from a book called On Being a Shit: Unkind Deeds and Cover-Ups in Everyday Life. The book is available everywhere, including on Scribd.
This article describes three different types of being a shit: Reactors, True Believers, and Clever Foxes. Many people walk around feeling guilty and depressed. What they don't know is that someone has convinced them that they are at fault. This article shows three different ways that other people get us to feel as if we are at fault.

This is a chapter from a book called On Being a Shit: Unkind Deeds and Cover-Ups in Everyday Life. The book is available everywhere, including on Scribd.

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Published by: Jane Gilgun on Jun 18, 2009
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07/27/2009

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Three Categories of Being a Shit
Getting others to believe it is their fault is the crowning achievement of being a shit 
By Jane Gilgun
o matter where we go, we run into other people who practice the art and craft of beinga shit. We are awash in execrable behaviors. Everyone contributes to them. They aresuch a part of everyday life that we fail to notice them and, as a result, take them forgranted. Some practitioners have reached that state of perfection where recipients think they areat fault. Getting others to believe it is their fault is the crowning achievement of being a shit. Without the cooperation of others, being a shit would be impossible.Being a shit dates back to antiquity and perhaps to the dawn of human history. The firstinstance was when a member of a mastodon hunting party threw a lance into the side of anotherhunter and then scolded the injured man for getting in the way. The injured man immediately saw the distress of the hunter who had caused the injury and said, “My heart goes out to you. You must be distraught that this accident should happen to you. How thoughtless of me to getin the way. I hope you can forgive me.”The spear thrower accepted the apology with grace. The wounded man was filled withgratitude at being forgiven. Since that time, human beings have had an unbroken record of beingshits.T
HREE
C
 ATEGORIES OF
B
EING A 
S
HIT
:
EACTORS
,
 
T
RUE
B
ELIEVERS
,
AND
C
LEVER 
F
OXES
 There are three general categories of being a shit: Those who react without thinking andare out of touch with the effects of their behaviors on others, those who believe their ownconcoctions and dismiss the effects of their actions, and those who know exactly what they aredoing and enjoy themselves while doing so. Each of these three types has a better chance of success when social customs and traditions justify their behaviors.
Type 1: Reactors 
Despite humanity’s long acquaintance, we know little about being a shit. Those whoreact without thinking cannot enlighten because their actions are automatic and happen in theabsence of conscious thought. Automatic behaviors may originate in the subconscious, perhapsin as yet unmapped regions of the lower brain, areas referred to as reptilian. Automatic responsesby-pass the brain’s neocortex, which is the site of reasoning, and the cingulate gyrus, which is theseat of caring and empathy. Typically, these responses also by-pass areas of the brain associated with a sense of humor.Individuals who react without thinking are unable to say why they behave as they dobecause they have no thoughts to report. When their unkind deeds come to light, theirspontaneous responses are blunt, blaming, and loud. They are incapable of insight into their wrongdoings, and they blame others rather than admit they did something wrong. Self-focused
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and clueless about the effects of their actions on others, they show little caring and empathy forthe recipients of their unkind deeds. Finally, they have no sense of humor.These are Type 1 enactments of being a shit and the persons who perform them areReactors. Reactors are the least skilled and least reflective of the enactors of being a shit. Yet, they could be the most common.
Type 2: True Believers 
 Those who believe their own concoctions represent the second style of being a shit. They explain their behaviors at length and think their insights are rare, well-said, and self-evident.Captivated by their own perspectives, they view recipient objections as inappropriate andunjustifiable. When recipients question their unkind deeds, their favored responses are attack and dismissiveness: “You’re too sensitive.” “Where’s your sense of humor?” “I was only kidding.”Other typical responses are indignation and even outrage. “How dare you?” “Who do you think you are?” “How can you think such things of me?” Their incapacities to see the points of view of others and their intolerance of alternative explanations confuse those who take them seriously.rom a neurological point of view, their neocortex is not fully engaged. Their brain circuitry taps into selected areas of higher order reasoning which permits their sometimes elegantexplanations, but also detours away from areas that are essential for broad understandings of theirown behaviors and how their behaviors affect others. In addition, their thought patterns by-passthe cingulate gyrus where capacities for empathy are encoded, which makes it hard for them toimagine how others might receive their explanations. This results in short-sightedness with theconsequence that they may be confused and even enraged when they meet with resistance.Finally, brain circuits that encode a sense of humor are underdeveloped. As a result, they mistakemockery for wit.Unlike Reactors who have few or no reasons for why they do what they do, this secondtype of enactor has explanations that are logical and even elegant to them, but, when viewed withclear eyes, their explanations are partial and distorted. Under these circumstances, they cannotshed light on the true nature of their behaviors and cannot contribute to a theory of being a shit.These are Type 2 enactments and those who operate this way are True Believers.
Type 3: Clever Foxes 
The characteristic behaviors of True Believers are self-deceptive compared to the thirdtype. These are individuals who know exactly what they are doing and enjoy themselves whiledoing so. Their conscious goal is to deceive others. This third type of enactor will not contributeto a theory of being a shit because they do not want to give up the pleasures, joys, and otheradvantages they gain from unkind deeds and cover-ups.Not only do they have thought processes that engage the brain’s seat of reasoning to amuch larger degree than those of True Believers and Reactors, but they also have well-developedcapacities for humor, irony, bluffing, bullshit, prevarication, and other higher order talents.Despite these talents, they are deficient in sympathy and compassion.Some brain circuits related to their neocortex and cingulate gyrus are under-developedthrough lack of use while other circuits are over-developed through frequent use. They haveadvanced capacities for a special type of empathy in that they have sharp instincts about the
F
 
vulnerabilities of others, but, instead of sympathizing, they take advantage of these vulnerabilitiesfor their own gain.These enactors are more complex and some may say more interesting than True Believersand Reactors. This third type of being a shit is called Type 3, Clever Foxes.
ECIPIENTS AS
U
NWITTING
E
NABLERS
 On their own, these three types—Reactors, True Believers, and Clever Foxes—cannotaccomplish being a shit because attaining that status requires recipients who buy into their cover-ups. Recipients come in more than one variety. Some believe they are responsible for the conductof others. When enactors blame them, they take the blame. Some others are susceptible tohumorous cover-ups, and others fall for cover-ups that play upon their sympathy. Somerecipients flounder in confusion when enactors cover up. They are unsure of what is going onand give enactors the benefit of the doubt or think maybe it is them. Others are satisfied withenactors’ explanations and are not confused. They think they know what is going on but they donot.Theories of being a shit that come from recipients cannot enlighten because enactorshave succeeded in hoodwinking them, have led them down the garden path, taken them to thecleaners, duped them, and eaten them for lunch. Any theories recipients construct are basedupon the premise that false representations are true.H
OW 
L
ITTLE
 W 
E
NOW 
 
The three types of enactors and the many different kinds of recipients have only partial views and even these views are distorted. As a result, we know little about being a shit. We do not know how many different kinds of shitty behaviors there are, what purposesbeing a shit serves, or how being a shit ties us to and divides us from other people, includingpeople we love and who love us. We have few ideas about how to respond to those who enactunkind deeds and cover-ups. This present investigation may be the first to developsystematic knowledge about being a shit, further testimony to the neglect of this importanttopic.
 About This Article
This article is a chapter from a book called
On Being a Shit: Unkind Deeds and Cover-Ups in Everyday Life.
The book is for people who have free-floating guilt and low-leveldepression. Whenever something bad or uncomfortable happens between them andother people, they think, I must be at fault. I must have done something wrong.Otherwise, she/he/they would not treat me this way. What blame-takers do not know is that other people make serious efforts to shiftblame and avoid responsibility for their own unkind behaviors.Typical blame-shifting strategies are indignation, hurt, humor, name-calling,mockery, threats of abandonment, white lies, and stonewalling. There are many 

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