On exploding

I keep starting this post, erasing, and restarting.  Ugh.  I’m not sure what to focus on or how to make it make sense to anyone other than me. 

Something my mom noticed very early about me is that I kind of, um, don’t much care about other people.  Honestly, I treat them a little like furniture, or just a means to my own end.  Now, there are a few individuals to whom this rule does not apply for the most part (not to say I don’t slip up and it doesn’t sometimes).

This is also not to say that I’m not sometimes good at faking it.  If you were sick, I might ask you if you’re feeling better now, but really? There’s no feeling behind it.  I might check that we’re not walking too much for your back, but I’m more worried that I will have to stop walking than that you’re in pain. 

Conversations with me basically have to be about me or my cat or dog for me to even try to participate.  Your work?  Your friends?  Your anything?  I try hard to pay attention, but I just can’t.  Selfish?  Maybe.  Can I help it?  Honestly?  I don’t think so.  Feigning interest just isn’t an option for me, or I’d try it.   I don’t feign what I don’t really think or feel at the time.  Not capable.

The other day some lady came up to us in the grocery store, staff and I, and started telling me about her cats (but really, I think, it was more about her).  I said something about Elsie and she went back to herself and her cats… and me?… I walked away.  Just left. 

I think all of this stems from the fact that I simply cannot conceive that anyone else is a fully sentient human being, as I am.  Now, I warn you that some guy on WrongPlanet told me that the following is illogical, but it’s true for me and I’d thought it was true for everyone: I need physical space to think.  If you’re in the same room as me, you’re infringing on my thinking space and I don’t like it.  In light of this truth and the fact that I had thought it applied to everyone, it makes sense that I questioned how the world does not explode (my commonly-used-word for… short circuiting, I guess?) due to the presence of 6.whatever billion sentient human beings. 

You see, if everyone has a brain like mine that thinks as busily and complexly as my own, and if thinking requires space, as it does for me, then how can so many people coexist without some kind of major problem? 

As I type that, I guess I realize that there ARE major problems.  But, as not-so-nice-guy on WP pointed out, it’s not because people need space to think.

Once again, that’s just me, apparently.


3 thoughts on “On exploding

  1. I think I am like you to a lesser degree in caring about other people. If I am focusing my attention on someone, I do care about them and what they are dealing with, although my questions and comments may not be along the same lines as their own thoughts about the situation.

    The rest of the time, I can completely forget about people, even when they have major things going on in their lives that I should be asking about or offering to help or listen to them. I have even lost interest in the middle of conversations and realized suddenly that the person is still talking and I haven’t heard the last few things they have said.

    I don’t feel like a very nice person sometimes.

    I love the idea of our thoughts taking up physical space – it certainly feels like that sometimes!

  2. I had to take a one-day crisis management course for my summer camp job, and the trainer did a demonstration with us to show us the best way to talk to someone and expect them to comprehend and retain the information. We were supposed to stand at different distances, say a fun fact about ourselves, then after the experiment was over, we tried to remember the facts. Universally, it was harder to remember the facts when the person said them from a too-close distance. So I don’t think it’s illogical to think that your brain needs thinking space — from that demonstration, it seems that all brains do!

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