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Being WYSIWYG ...

I was a software boffin in the days when the acronym WYSIWYG got invented. That was way back in pre-Arc days, 1974, when I began getting into my boffin software career – it means What You See Is What You Get, and is the interface that makes out modern desktop publishing so user-friendly. I was already half into psychology back then too. My Dance degree had included the Rudolf Laban techniques of understanding, using and working with body-movement and that, of course, means understanding the shadow side of what people are saying with their bodies. And so that entails noticing how what their bodies say agrees, or disagrees, with their mouths. Anyway … what you see is what you get works super-well for word processing … and, I thought, it works super-well in ordinary personal relationships too. How often do we say of someone we get on with, ‘You know where you are with her/him!’? That’s WYSIWYG. You’re seeing what you’re getting. Not having to faff about between the lines working out the code of what they really meant to say, what they really think. It’s so, so much easier to work with somebody when you know where you are with them. It means you can TRUST them !!! You’re not slipping and sliding round the possible maybes and political correctness and snarky comments, smarmy remarks, justifications, endless and confusing “clarifications”, massive misinterpretations. They just say, the cat sat on the mat … I sometimes feel I might even warm to Hitler if he talked like that – rolls eyes!

The lack of WYSIWYG is what get so many of us about politicians – certainly me. Advertising is another thing that’s built on reverse-WYSIWYG. With adverts you can pretty well guarantee you will NOT get what you see. That was just a “smart ploy” to get you to buy the rubbish you almost certainly neither want nor need! Is this how we want to work with each other? Is this how we want our leaders to be? Is this how we want to lead ourselves? Well, I don’t. How about you? So just how WYSIWYG are you?

If somebody asks you if you like cornflakes, and you know they adore cornflakes and eat them 3 times a day, while you gag at the mere thought of them, what do you say? Do you go all havey-cavey, well, they’re very nice I suppose … Then they offer you a bowl, so do you choke them down rather than say no thanks? OK – that’s a trivial (perhaps) example … now let’s take it to say Boris Johnson. This person thinks the sun shines out of Boris’ arse … you want to kick Boris’ arse. So what do you say? Just spend a moment pondering on that … What did you come up with? How much is your response geared to what you think the other person’s response to your truthful answer will be? Does the idea, I don’t want to hurt their feelings, go through your head? What about the idea, Ooo you can’t say that!, does that go through your head too? And all that's tough stuff to do on your own ... too easy to get bogged down, not see clearly, can't see the wood for the trees Like I said, tough stuff! So find someone you trust to help you on the journey, someone who is WYSIWYG themselves, who you can work with. Then set off with them into the tangle of the Enchanted Forest of your mind, battle the dragons and then befriend them, and so find the treasure that's your True Self ... and be WYSIWYG

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