The situation has changed.
Because of the entry of the lady has created a significant new factor in the minds of the two conversationalists. And so, the aim of each conversationalists has changed in accordance with the new situation. The two men now are speaking with the intention not to convince each other about their argument, but rather, to impress the lady in the room. Of course, this example doesn’t imply that this is always the case; however, what I am trying to point out, is that situationalism is a fact of life, whereby a different situation can change, in varying degrees, people’s perceptions of the reality around them. Example: you go to dinner with one person, and you find out, that you would then be far more ‘forced’ to converse with that person in the restaurant, than if you were sitting at home, with that exact same person! Now, going back to our two people in the restaurant: if a third person joined them, then the pressure would be somewhat lifted for the two original people to talk, precisely, because the arrival of the third person.
Situationalism warns us of the fickle momentary nature of our reality. It warns us of the meaning and the fragility of the context in which a person finds himself in. Everyone is affected by the circumstances of any situation, and reacts mentally therefrom to the changing context. Thus, we understand better the depths of people’s depths, their ‘loves’, their seriousness and any other emotional posturing. We can thus see through the fakery, lies and deceit, or indeed, we can see through the reasons for the person’s sincerity – and its duration!
Thus, when a person speaks to me, I ask myself:
‘Why is this person saying what he is saying?’
‘What role is he playing when he is talking to me?’ For example, is he playing the role of the vain, boastful businessman; the role of the joker; the role of the excessively polite person?
‘Why is the person I am talking with, taking on this particular role?’
‘How secure is that person in understanding that he is, in fact, simply playing a role that is not his real self, and is a role that is affected by the situation and context that we happen to be sitting within?’
And so on.