Do you ever pretend to forget something just to make conversation? Ask a question you already know the answer to just to establish connection with someone? Are you ever told something you shouldn’t know and have to act like its the first time you heard it every time someone else tells you the same secret?
Playing dumb, feigning ignorance in these respects has become sort of a way of life for me and I can’t be certain when it began or why. While I don’t think I have been doing it more often lately, it has come to my attention more often due to my conversations with a friend of mine at work, and it bothers me with her particularly. At least part of the reason it bothers me is because I asked her to read a partial draft of a book I have been working on dealing with the flashbacks and bizarre experiences that began in high school. My fear is that as a side effect of me feigning ignorance regarding things she has already told me she will come to doubt the veracity of the memories I documented and had her read. After all, if it appears I cannot remember elements of our recent conversations, how could I remember childhood memories and past lives?
It also brings me to wonder: why is this act of playing dumb so impulsive? Why has it become the default? It makes you seem less like a know-it-all, for one thing, and people like to be the first informer to shed light on something if they think you’re in the dark. When everyone thinks they’re the first and only person to tell you something, you get to see who is fibbing and where and gain insight on how myths evolve. You also maintain distance and gain insight into their circumstances simultaneously. Is that what is behind it?