Banging my invisible drum

Dear Dr. brilliant Cliché,

He swaggered into the room, his lankly legs clad in tight frosted jeans with spotless high-top sneakers. His streaked hair covered his kohl lined eyes. This man was obviously gay! Maybe it was his purse?  His disdainful grin silently said “you’re an asshole.”

Turns out he only recently disclosed his gayness. Up until now, he has been trying to live the life he thought everyone wanted him to have; not that anyone ever told him. After many disappointing and shameful female relations he finally switched to men but he wouldn’t commit to any of them. He kept trying to find a way to make everyone else happy; not that they ever asked.

It’s difficult to imagine how his 3 failed suicide attempts, cutting , and the “you’re an idiot look”, might do this- but what the hey, he never asked anyone.

His lack of eye contact and  submissive posture suggested that he was trying to be invisible yet his exaggerated persona was like beating a loud drum: hey, I am gay!  It wasn’t like people didn’t notice, but as he never gives anyone permission to talk about it (he looks like he is always uncomfortable) people don’t talk about it. Instead they walk on eggshells around him. He interprets this as: “people treat me like a freak!” He does not see that his freakish behavior makes people respond to him as a freak.

He has been doing this for over 17 years. Outside of hitting him in the head with a mirrored shovel what can you do?


Dear Blame,

The single greatest mistake people make is believing that they know what other people are thinking. Then they base their own behavior on this false information, often inadvertently creating their worst possible scenario.

Even if people have an initial prejudice toward you, it is your reactions which confirm or deny that bias.  This is why self respect can elicit respect in others and why self-respect can lead to self-esteem. What you believe can change the behavior of other people. The technical name for this phenomenon is “I’m OK, you’re OK.”

This person you describe is doing the exact opposite. As he believes he is a freak he is forcing people to treat him as such. You have no real choice but to dislike him. This in turn justifies his hatred of himself and others.

This is a case of reverse narcissism. Rather than “I am the best,” it is “I am the worst.” Same result in the end.   It is all about him.

These are very difficult people to like, work with, or to live with. Do not take the blame or feel sorry for or guilty if you have one in your life. These are all manipulations.

DBT (dietetic behavioral treatment) and interpersonal therapy can be helpful.

Good luck,


Dr. Brilliant Cliché


Granny says: you should become a writer of B-rated movie scripts. Your imagination is just banal and sleazy enough that you could become very successful at it.

What on earth difference does it make to you how this guy is conducting himself? Are you married to him? Did he screw over your sister? No? Then ignore him if you don’t like him; and stop being such a judgmental prick.

You are imagining what YOU would be thinking if you were this guy. You have no idea what he’s thinking.

But here’s what I’m thinking: I hope someone hits YOU over the head with a mirrored shovel.

Now you don’t have to guess.


About Dr. Brilliant Cliché

Dr. Brilliant Cliché and the Granny Dr. are a fictional web presence and advice blog. Together we offer a joint perspective that is deep but not academic, entertaining but not fluff, and educated yet street smart. By joining the internet community we hope to share thoughts and stimulate insightful conversation around pressing issues that affect us all. Looking forward to hearing your thoughts. (This is not a site for therapy nor does it intend to replace medical or other professional care. ) You can leave comments here or email The Dr. at and don’t forget to like us on facebook. Our facebook page is Dr. Brilliant Cliche
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