The Ostrich Syndrome

June 13, 2014

It always amazes me how some people can bury their head in the sand and not see what is right there in front of them to be seen. We’re not even talking about something that you would have to look closely at; we’re talking about something that you see over and over but refuse to acknowledge having seen, or if you do acknowledge having seen it repeatedly, you refuse to acknowledge that it could happen again.

When someone keeps throwing sand in your face every time he sees you, why would you think that he wouldn’t throw sand in your face the next time he sees you? And, yet, that’s exactly what some people do.

It goes something like this: “I was shocked that when I walked into the room and he saw me, he threw sand in my face.” When you remind him that he always throws sand in your face whenever he sees you, the response is something like this: “I know, but I didn’t think he would do it again.”

When you ask him why he didn’t think the other person would do it again, having never experienced a time when he didn’t throw sand in your face, the answer is almost like a mental shrug and an “I just didn’t think he would do it this time” answer.

This goes above and beyond not wanting to face unpleasantness. It smacks of not wanting to live in the real world and only being comfortable in the world of make-believe, in one’s fantasies.

It’s very difficult to deal with people who are always burying their head in the sand, refusing to face reality. They keep assuring you that next time they will be prepared and they will protect themselves, but next time never comes.

We live in uncertain, and often, violent times, and I don’t know how these human ostriches deal with life when it becomes too stressful. The rest of us who live in the real world, have been learning coping mechanisms all our life and our expectations are more reality-based to protect us from being blindsided most of the time.

As tempting as it is to hide our heads in the sand at the first sign of unpleasantness, the thought of not being able to see the freight train coming toward us at breakneck speed is too dangerous for most of us to consider.

Leave a Reply

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

Back to Top