The Positive Side of Dysfunctional Behavior
Updated: Apr 6
In this article, I would like to share some food for thought I have obtained thanks to a dream I had a few weeks ago.
Have you ever found yourself being scolded for doing something, not even maliciously, by the External World? Have you ever been told there are things you shouldn’t do because they, technically, they disrupt the harmony of a place or a situation?
Well, I did, in the following dream. In the dream, I was a kid that was sent, from time to time, to a luxurious social club for kids. The club itself was, in fact, a mansion in a large grassland area, with a view of the ocean. The mansion itself was large as well, and the environment that surrounded it was silent and peaceful.
In one of the meetings, when we sat and talked, one of the other kids told me, in front of everyone present, that I was "stupid".
I have then proceeded to enter "rage mode," yelling in anger and waving my fists back and forth, raising my stress levels. I really hate being told I’m stupid, because it doesn’t go hand-in-hand with my autistic logic, whose perception is not very dynamic nor flexible.
I was then told to calm down because I make the rest of the company feel uneasy and that my response to that kid’s comment is exaggerated. It is, as if, my fault, for receiving information that destabilizes the logical structure on which I’ve been working for years to make the world appear to me as a rational, organized place.
Instead of arguing with the club’s authority, I quit the club, without consulting anyone.
As I headed for the exit, I witnessed something suspicious, in the form of the club’s private army. It seems that the club had soldiers, tanks, and military equipment of its own, with each member of their army wearing a pink and black uniform, with the insignia of the club, and the tanks, as well, having the same colors and insignia printed on them.
As my mom picked me up, while she expressed disappointment, she also was grateful for my decision to quit, as the membership fee, in the dream, was too expensive to regularly afford.
The dream has therefore taught me, that sometimes, behaving in a dysfunctional way can benefit you. If I have decided to attempt to repress my rage and re-think about quitting, not only would my mom have a hard time with money, but who knows what the heck that private army was used for, and, most importantly, how were the soldiers recruited; perhaps they were slaves? Perhaps they could’ve done something to me if I were to resume my membership in the club? Why would a club have a private army in the first place, and large tanks, as well?
I have also learned from this dream that it is best to leave some questions unanswered rather than finding the answers empirically.
But regardless of the specific details and of this specific anecdote, I have ultimately learned that dysfunction sometimes has its own functionality, even if said functionality contradicts the functionality of the entity you're facing, either by will or by circumstance. Even if people tell you not to do something, it is still beneficial to compare your own wisdom with theirs, evaluate whose makes more sense, and follow that rationality in accordance with your best judgment, even if your judgment is poorer than that of others.
That is because working in accordance with your best judgment is one of your rights as a human being -- the right to protest, to voice your opinion, and to live life as best you realistically can in accordance with your own philosophy. Even if these rights are not respected, they should at least be tolerated by those who cannot control you.