Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Humans Are Social Animals

That lasted a few months anyway. But I've just had to reduce the comment access of this blog to registered users only. Anyone can still read it, but no anonymous comments. I apologize if that inconveniences anybody but there has been a lot of spam lately and the latest was hardcore porn. Have to draw the line somewhere.

Right then, yes, I AM up early. Lots to do, so may as well begin here.

I am here this morning to let you into a little secret. I had no idea it was a secret, but apparently it's still not common knowledge.

I don't take myself very seriously. It would be lovely if that were due to modesty, but it isn't. In fact I'm quite full of myself, but I still don't take myself seriously, and if that itself sounds like a contradiction, oh well...just read on. It'll all make sense eventually.

I have noticed that some people take themselves very seriously indeed. I don't know why, and I can't, because they probably don't know either, but I think a lot of it is that they never think about that sort of thing at all. They never ponder their place in the scheme of things, never question their own motives, never stop to ask why very much...ever. Their loss.

But it goes like this. They behave in a way that just puts other people off them. They're not behaving terribly badly. They're not cruel, they're not dishonest, they're not rude. They're just boring or mildly offensive in some way, and they either haven't noticed, or whatever.

As a result of this they don't get a lot of attention. They may have friends, but it's loyalty for whatever reason rather than really enjoying their company.

Anyone with half a brain would say "It's me, I'm not much fun, so I get forgotten." And bloody well do something about it.

But no, instead they whine, to anyone who'll listen, about being lonely, about being misunderstood, and how nobody cares. Wah wah wah wah. OK, that's not very sympathetic, but really, this is all a bit "bang your head on the wall and complain that it hurts". Isn't it?

We all like to be liked. Attention is nice. But it takes effort.

I am one of those people you either like or you don't. I'm more annoying than boring, but we all have different tastes, and I'm not to everyone's taste. Especially locally.

In the area where I live I'm a minority "type" and consequently I am absolutely NOT part of the local community. Local people fall roughly into two categories.

1. Old families. Farmers and children of farmers. Many can trace their families back to the first European settlers in the area, in the 19th century. Solid country people with a solid country person's outlook. Simple needs really. Give them simple food, plenty of it, a nice big TV, some beer, some hockey, and they're happy. They don't bother anyone, and they have hearts of gold. Kind and gentle, but they don't get me at all, so they smile and wave and keep going.

2. The wealthy or highly educated (or both). Professional or business people who either rose out from the above, or arrived from elsewhere, mix among themselves, and "do" things. They may play golf, or travel, or keep local restaurants in business, but the important thing is that they spend a lot of time and money on leisure. They like me to start with, then discover I'm not one of them, and that's the end of that.

I'm used to this. Not only do I accept it, I find it funny. Maybe I love it. Anyway, it isn't going to change.

So my circles, both on and offline, tend to be people like me. Not because of their occupation, or background, or social group, or anything like that, but simply because they are square pegs. All of us square pegs relate to one another, and shun the rest and we kinda like it. Go on, be honest.

So it sort of jolts us a bit when we run into someone who is desperately trying to fit/join in with people that don't want them.

When Tom started High School, I was worried about him. Alex told me to relax. He said "He'll find a group of weirdos and geeks and they'll all stick together". He was right. He found his own people, his own set of square pegs, and he was fine. That's how it's supposed to work.

In actual fact, those trying desperately to fit in when they don't, to be liked when they are, frankly, unlikable, rather break your heart. But feeling sorry for them is not going to help anyone. If you befriend them you'll be sorry. What they absolutely have to do is stop taking themselves seriously, and nobody can teach them that. They have to figure it out for themselves.


  1. Lordy, I couldn't imagine taking myself seriously. I'm a nutter. I annoy a lot of people and sometimes, I find it absolutely hysterical that anyone could take me seriously. I mean, really? What possible difference could my antics make to anyone except the family and they're used to it. I don't find you annoying or boring; in fact, you amuse the hell out of me more times than not and when it's "not"? You're making me think why I do or do not agree with you.

    1. That's enough to annoy some people (hear me saying this as my eyebrows do the rumba, there just aren't enough emoticons in the world). I do tend to force people to think, one way or another, and they don't like that.

    2. Thinking or laughing, we are always entertained.

  2. I can see where you're coming from. I was always a bit of an outcast myself. Your posts always get me thinking about things I can do to help myself or my environment get better. :)

  3. I think that one of the things that saved me from turning into an orange (let the reader ponder) during the 60's and 70's, was because I am really a lousy follower. I tried a few times to be one, at times following this Guru, or at other times, that revolutionary.

    Add to that, I have absolutely no leadership skills. So in most of my more successful relationships, we just happened to be sharing the same space at the same time, and little demands were put upon each other.

    But it has made me somewhat of a loner, and definitely one of those people who seem to antagonize people even when I am not trying to be divisive ...

    I suspect that you and I would really grate on each other if we had to inhabit the same space for a long period of time. Invisible people do not successfully hide from you. :)

  4. Oh gosh yes. I remain deeply grateful to the friend who taught me, first year out of High School, to be OK with being a square peg. I have never looked back. The older I get, the less seriously I take myself.