I like to be loved or hated – I don’t like mediocre. So I’d rather have the entire crowd hate me than to have 90% hate me.Patrice O’Neal
Patrice O’Neal is one of my heroes, and the reason is because when he spoke, I know he was telling the truth. He was being unfiltered in what he thought, and he stood on it regardless of what others thought. He was righteous. Rest in Peace.
Let’s talk about the unfiltered mind.
What do I mean? Well, let’s start it off with an example that many people know:
Your girlfriend or wife asks you if she looks fat in an outfit (You think she does).
What do you say?
A) Tell her yes, because that’s what you think
B) Tell her no, she looks great in whatever she wears
C) Say nothing
D) Tell her yes, but it really doesn’t matter because baby booby boo you’re beautiful etc etc
Well, what do you say?
If you said D we can’t be friends.
My answer would pretty much be A if that’s what I think. I’m pretty upfront about my thoughts and while the interpretation that many people take from that is I say it in a cold, Patrick Bateman-esque manner and with psychotic energy, the reality is I’d take the question for what it is, which is not very seriously and just say what I think playfully. You can be honest but not in a shit head way, you know.
That’s pretty much it, and that’s called being unfiltered about your thinking.
When I talk about an unfiltered mind, I’m talking about “editing” what you actually think or outright lying in order not to hurt other people’s feelings, to fit in, to belong, to simp and make me cringe, etc.
Most people that I’ve met have this kind of filtering in place when they speak about topics – I have it for sure, but in recent years it’s been almost completely eliminated, because I never felt great about filtering what I thought and made me lose respect for myself. I wasn’t being righteous to myself, as Patrice would say.
But I digress, we all edit what we say depending on context. Whether it be talking to your girlfriend, negotiating with your boss or speaking to a stranger, we’re all constantly adjusting our language to fit that particular social context and very frequently even evading what we really think.
There’s nuance to what I’m writing about here. Filtering has its uses in the sense that within specific contexts, particular language needs to be used. When I teach English to students, I adjust my level of complexity in speaking to ensure that the student understands what I’m saying. If I use academic language, no one understands me – I can explain complex concepts with complex language, and my mind tends to think that way naturally, but it has zero value to the person listening if they don’t share that same language, essentially.
It’s a case by case thing, but the thing is it is still honest. That’s the difference.
If you’re filtering language to meet a particular context so that things can be understood clearly, then it’s fine. But if you are filtering your thoughts to not upset people or fit your opinion in, then you’re just fucking lying.
That’s the blunt truth of it: you’re a god damned liar.
I really don’t like that people do this, either. It’s like when someone tries to meet you in the middle of an argument by giving you fence sitting answers.
“Well I can see your point with freedom of choice, and I totally get it, but at the same time mandates may or may not have some effect in th–“
Shut the fuck up and just say you’re not for freedom of choice. You either are, or are not. There’s no middle ground in these kinds of discussions. Stop editing your opinion to avoid conflict! STOP BEING A COWARD.
People on all sides of all debates do this, they’re always trying to meet people in the middle and not actually holding their ground in a principled way. They’ll try to understand the others point of view by appealing to emotions and relating to them. Here’s the thing: you can have firm disagreements on things and just say “no, I don’t support that or agree” while simultaneously being pretty friendly with one another.
It’s not hard, but it’s a social skill few have nowadays. I have friends who I converse with frequently and there are things we just straight disagree on – we conflict with one another, go at it for hours, then we go for a coffee. We ultimately respect each other more by the end of it, too – because we’re not bullshitting each other.
These kinds of unfiltered conversations are the ones I have learned the most from too, and likewise my friends. I know what the other person actually thinks and there’s no editing system in their head catering to my feelings in order to soften a blow I might not agree with.
If you’re for something, just say you are. Stop trying to make everyone feel better about it. The principle is that reason is the absolute – the emotions don’t matter, motherfucker!
But I’d say this issue of filtering your thoughts and being raw has consequences, particularly within the society we live in now.
By being filtered and keeping it all nice, you can get by just fine and with little conflict. Comply with everyone and you’re a drone that will get paid its honey and left alone. The consequence comes at the cost of your ability to think though – it melts your brain. No longer do you even know what you really think, because you’re so focused on filtering it out that eventually, your brain just wipes your reasoning capabilities out. Why think when consensus does it for you?
However, being unfiltered and raw about your thoughts on things keeps that reasoning alive, strengthening the ability to act on your own accord and within your own hierarchy of values. You’re alive, aware and in tune with reality.
But the consequence is more often than not, ostracization and being seen as a “black sheep”, for lack of a better word. By being unfiltered in thought, you filter out potential networks, friendships, jobs, etc.
Majorities do not like independent thinkers – while they may say they do, they’re filtering the truth – they don’t, they hate your ass.
Galileo, Ignaz Semmelweis, Ayn Rand, Patrice, Diogenes all were strangers in a society that showcase this point quite clearly – there are probably more that I don’t know of. They all thought differently about a lot of different things, and they were essentially punished for it. Ignaz in particular was fucking right about his findings and the dude went insane. After he died, dumbasses finally agreed.
Being a raw thinker is a hard path and more often than not one where you get ratioed for daring to go against the grain and just saying what you think. I’d even argue that it’s not even going against the grain – it’s just disagreeing and looking for a better solution. Don’t mix this up with being a contrarian – contrarians want validation for being different. Disagreeing seeks none, it’s just looking for the right answer.
That’s proper to me, always has and always will be. When I was in my 20’s and even in my teens, I became a very filtered frog because I didn’t want to be judged. One of the greatest demons of my life was the demon of needing to fit in – you can thank our terrible education systems and bullying for that. It hung over every word I said to people, in the back of my mind, reminding me that I shouldn’t upset people around me – I needed to be careful.
I think that demon fucking died of a heart attack or something. At some point in my late 20’s to now, it started to get really sick and eventually just went away. I killed it, and the cause of death was likely COVID.
Maybe it still hangs around a little or it had some little kids or something, but I’ve noticed that I just say what I think more and more often. It ends up leading me to being a happier person, too.
There’s no substitute for self-respect. If you’re constantly feeling shitty about having to filter your thoughts – maybe think about changing that. Might just fix that problem right up.
All you need is courage. If you’re not interested and the thought of it repulses you, then congratulations, I don’t like you and get off my blog.
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