Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Not What You Think

I've mentioned before how I have this desire to understand what makes people act the way they do. I like to understand people. I feel like, in a lot of ways, this makes them easier to deal with. If you know why people are the way they are, and what they are thinking and feeling that causes them to behave a certain way, it makes it easier to accept the things they do without getting angry at them.

There is another side to this though that is a bit less helpful. When you understand what makes people act the way they do, you also tend to understand what you really are to those people. I feel like other people have a certain level of blissful ignorance when it comes to what others really feel about them. That's not the case for me. I know who I am to the people around me. I know what makes me valuable (or not valuable) to them.

I think people in general have this tendency to pick out certain aspects of a person and let those things represent the whole person. That's not really how people are though. We are complex creatures and can not be defined by just a few characteristics. I'm not going to get specific here, because I don't want to create any unnecessary conflict, but I think that nearly everyone I know (or ever have know) sees me as something very specific. They see me as whatever role it is that I play in their lives, or whatever trait seems most salient to them, or (sometimes) as a symbol of something that they think I represent.

I mean, I understand why this happens. We try to make sense of the things around us, even people, and I think I probably make even less sense than the average person. Because of this, the people around me just pick and choose what they want to see in me. To them, I am whatever they want me to be, and I usually play along.

Whenever I think about this topic (which is probably more often than it's healthy to think about such things) I generally find myself humming this song.

No comments:

Post a Comment