I’ve thought of writing this for a while – in fact I’ve thought about writing a lot of things for a while, and potentially even starting a type of journal where I talk about all the awesome stuff I come up with on a daily basis. But this has always held me back.
I think to relate to me, to understand me, you need to know something kind of intrinsic about me. Something I’ve only discovered through a lot of soul searching and internal reflection. And it’s personal, very personal, and not something I just sit down and tell just anyone.
I pose you a question – if a friend said “I don’t like people” to you, how would you respond? When I say it, most people look at me for a cue, so I smile and they laugh – it’s all a joke of course. But it really isn’t. I rarely say things that I don’t mean (sarcasm aside), or won’t stand behind, and this falls in to the same category.
Now I’m not saying that I hate everyone, that’s a totally different phrase. I get along well enough with people in general. I can be personable, I can be funny, I can work in groups, I can make small talk – I can even empathize, sympathize, and have been told I make a great listener (mostly because I don’t like to talk).
I just don’t particularly like any of it and there are myriad reasons that it isn’t my favourite thing.
First, I’m introverted and even more than that I’m solitary. Interacting with people exhausts me, they steal my energy – the only way for me to recover that energy is to spend time not interacting with ANYBODY. That might be a unique to me quirk, but sometimes even animals can steal my energy, those greedy little fluffballs.My favourite time, is by myself – and it’s probably the only time I can really relax. I’m fortunate to have a wife that understands me, and knows that just because I like being by myself, doesn’t mean that I don’t also love spending time with her. I know that sounds like those two things would be mutually exclusive, but I’m awesome enough that I can accomplish both in one single brain.
Now this is going to sound kind of braggy, but too bad. (Spellcheck seems to think braggy isn’t a word and is recommending baggy – but I don’t think baggy is a word, so we’ll have to agree to disagree on this one).
I have a lot of self confidence and I’m very independent – which leads me to internalize pretty much everything and not seek any kind of external input or validation. When I make decisions about basically anything, I’m confident that I know what’s best and don’t need any further discussion about anything.
This has led me in to some serious problems, where I figure if people are sharing stuff that they want MY input and for me to fix it – cause you know, I’m good at that stuff – so I volunteer solutions. In my defense, that’s the kind of input I would be seeking if I was going on about how in my dream clowns were going to invade my house and my only weapon was a pair of safety scissors. Grab a knife dude! It’s your dream isn’t it?
But I’ve discovered that some people just need to share, so I’ve learned to listen and commiserate and comfort instead of always looking to resolve the problem.
I need time to think. My brain has a lot on its mind, so it isn’t always ready to drop its current load and pick up a different one – and even when it is ready, it’s not always quick. Nothing I say or do is off the cuff. Everything gets run through a pretty rigorous testing process before I’m willing to commit. This gives me a very big picture approach to subjects, and it’s a huge boon to me in my professional world, but in my personal interactions it often leaves me struggling to keep up. This in turn frustrates me, because I hate being sub-par at anything, which leads me not to want to bother in the first place because what’s the point of talking to people anyway?
This is also why I love texting, emails, chat rooms and anything that isn’t real time face to face communication. Don’t get me started about talking on the phone. Who talks to real humans anymore if they don’t have to?
I need structure – but if I’m confined by that structure I will need to break that structure. This may sound like another one that you can’t do at the same time, but that’s probably what they told the cronut guy too. Somehow we make it work.
More specifically, if there isn’t some kind of outline for me to follow, I’m lost – and that scares me. I don’t like going in to the things blind, because that means I can’t plan. When I can’t plan then unexpected stuff happens and my brain has to work overtime – and sometimes, every once in a while I’ll end up saying or doing something that wasn’t perfect and awesome, and I just can’t take that stress. I still beat myself up at night over things I don’t even remember doing, but I only know about from hearing stories of myself as a kid from my family.
So I guess you could say I’m a perfectionist – which I am, but the reality of it is, there is a right way to do shit, and if you don’t do it the right way, then you’re doing it the wrong way. I hate doing stuff the wrong way, and spend a lot of effort making sure that doesn’t happen.
Unfortunately there are a whole ton of people in the world that do stuff the wrong way. You know that big joke about their being wrong people on the internet? Well I’ve just totally given up on them so I don’t even try anymore, but holy crap are there a lot of them. They all deserve what they have coming for not listening to me.Now at the same time, I can’t follow traditions, or rules just because they exist. I mean it’s nice to have structure, but what is the point of doing things just because someone said so? Now, if it makes sense, and it’s a good rule – I’m totally ok with it. But if there is a better (read -> right) way to do things, then rules need to change, and if they don’t then there’s no point following stupid rules in the first place. And only stupid people make up stupid rules then blindly follow them, and there is no point listening to anything stupid people say.
This may sound harsh, but it’s really the way my brain works.
Now I recognize that I’m not the emperor of the world (yet) so have to follow rules (that are important and won’t get me in trouble) that I don’t necessarily like or agree with. That’s life, but it’s a sucky (no spellcheck, not “ducky” that’s like totally the opposite) part of life, and just one more thing that makes me not like people.
Sooo – this got kind of long, but like I said, I’ve done a lot of introspection and self study to get here, that stuff doesn’t happen overnight and it takes up a lot of ink to explain. I think this might at least give you an overview of what I mean when I say “I don’t like people”. I’m curious if any of the rest of you out there feel like I do, I’d love to hear from you. And I know you’re out there, cause it was too easy for me to find funny pictures to fill in this post with.
If you’re extra curious, you can read my personality type here: (I’m an INTJ-A)
I took this 16 personalities test a while ago, and it really helped explain some stuff to me about how my brain works and why I think the things I do. If you haven’t take it, I recommend it to check out your own personality. It’s a pretty involved quiz, but well worth the time. Maybe drop me a line and let me know what your results are.