Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Siege Mentality

A siege mentality is a shared feeling of helplessness, victimization and defensiveness. Although the term evolved from real sieges, today it refers to persecution feelings by anyone in the minority, or of a group that views itself as a threatened minority.

Introductions were made a few days ago after a common friend got us acquainted. I felt your desire to get close and I welcomed your presence with cautious approach. Your persistence was out of the ordinary: Sending text messages day and night to remind me that you were there was not just a gesture of friendship. Your unfounded sweetness was your weapon of choice and the moves you made led me to believe that a romantic revelation was forthcoming.

I agreed to a meet-up after attending a wake of a friend's father. It was an unscheduled encounter whose outcome may halt your further advances. The pitch black sky heaved with clouds as tiny raindrops still made their way to the ground. The drenched streets were empty and aside from the occasional Jeepneys racing the course of its permanent route, no one was around to witness our fallout.

At a convenience store not far from the intersection, I spotted you walking towards my direction. I knew it was you, but I delayed my introduction to see your initial reaction. You entered the store pretending that I remain unseen. A few minutes later, my phone buzzed and the message you sent confirmed your arrival. It took you sometime before emerging from the aisles. I do not know what your thoughts were but your empty eyes hinted of your disappointment.

Brief pleasantries were exchanged as tension mounted and awkwardness set in. You called our common friend in hopes of breaking the ice and restore the friendliness we had over SMS.

It would have worked had he knew we met.

But the conversation was cut short before I was able to pull a surprise and tell him of our eyeball.

The events that took place after led to our disconnection. What we had were dull moments, which ultimately spelled our hasty detachment. I stayed on until you were able to ride the bus. On my way home, the coldness, which began to manifest during our last conversation already permeated my inner senses.

"OL ka ha para confe tayo ni kuya."

Your sudden change of tone clearly spelled how disinterested you had become.

"Sige text text na lang bro."

One hour later.

The calls you made last night,

The whispers of concern that filled my inbox this afternoon,

and the sweet nothings of desperation were all gone.

What remained is the arctic silence

which will freeze the wall that now divides us.

Siege mentalities are particularly common in business, the result of competition or downsizing. Some churches may have this paradigm, particularly if they are not traditional mainstream groups. Dictatorships have been known to encourage this point of view among their own people, since it justifies the continuance of those in power. A contemporary example seems to be North Korea. This is also very commonly used in the field of sports, where coaches or managers often create a siege mentality in their players by highlighting an environment of hostility from outside the club (whether or not the hostility is real or exaggerated doesn't matter)


dr magsasaka said...

Is this event a recent one?

. said...

Dr. Magsasaka: Just last night. A few weeks back, between the doc and the E-kid story, it happened again.

macoy said...

boy bakal?! welcome back! once a b.blogger always a b.blogger hehehe :D