"Your blog is your public persona, but it is not the you I know from your years of grousing at work, your angry outbursts, etc. I am sure your blog is therapeutic, but you need real therapy -- someone to talk to and help you work out all the dysfunctional aspects of your life -- from your finances to your pathetic diet."
This is true. I have a public persona, as reflected in my blog. And among those people I see and interact with on a frequent basis, I reveal more of myself -- or maybe not necessarily more, but a different side. It isn't always pretty. But it's me.
I call this being human.
I can be judgmental, temperamental, stubborn, mean-spirited, impatient, critical, and a bunch of other downright nasty things. I can also be the exact opposite of each of these traits.
But who can't?
My response to my friend (a very honest, perceptive person and my closest friend at work) included my observation that "dysfunctional" is one of the most abused and overused words in our language. I don't like this word when it is applied to people (and I'm guilty of that myself) because it implies that there's a perfect state of being against which everything else is compared. It's very easy to bandy this dismissive term. I think its message is that a behavior is EITHER normal OR abnormal, functional OR dysfunctional -- one or the other, instead of recognizing the behavior and its opposite as different aspects of the same thing.
If this is true and if I'm not full of shit, then how can I be anything but dysfunctional, because in a battle with perfection (if it exists), imperfection always loses. Maybe I'm just rationalizing and justifying and trying to deflect a very well-aimed arrow. Some of that surely is going on.
I want to bathe in my many imperfections, accept that I have them and deal with those that I can. When I know better, I'll do better.
Meanwhile, I think we all act as mirrors for one another. The trick is in being able to see the reflection, the same potential for perfection and imperfection in ourselves that we often see more easily in others.
To put it another way: I know I am, but what are you?
To put it still another way, "If you cannot find the truth right where you are, where do you expect to find it?"