The Positive Side of Dysfunctional Behavior

The Positive Side of Dysfunctional Behavior

Updated: Apr 20

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, disrupt the harmony of a place or a situation?

Well, I had, 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 to 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 am “stupid”.

I have then proceeded to enter into “rage mode” - yelling in anger, 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 unease, and that my response to that kid’s comment is exaggerated. It is, as if, my fault, for receiving information that de-stabilizes the logical structure 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 have instead quit the club, literarily and abstractly, without consulting anyone.

As I headed for the exit, I have 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 have had, as well, the same colors and insignia printed on them.

As my mom have 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 much 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 my mom would have a hard time with money, but who knows what the heck was that private army 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 against, either by will or by circumstance. Even if people tell you to not do something, it is still beneficial to compare your own wisdom with theirs, and evaluate whose wisdom makes more sense, and follow that rationality in accordance to your best judgement, even if said judgement is poorer than that of others. That is because working in accordance to your best judgement is one of your rights as a human being -- the right to protest, to sound your opinion, and to live life as best as you realistically can, in accordance to your own philosophy, that even if not respected, should at least be tolerated by those who cannot control you.


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© 2019 Tomasio A. Rubinshtein, Philosopher