Tuesday, January 16, 2018

On Where To Begin

"What are you, antisocial?" someone will ask.

"I'm not antisocial," I'll say. "I'm just unsocial."

There's a big difference, although many people don't see it. I tend to avoid too much social activity (by my standards), but I have nothing against being social now and then; in fact, I enjoy the company of others.

Explaining such nuances doesn't always help. It could be due, at least in part, to my failure to explain things simply. But there are also other barriers.

Several acquaintances, in my opinion, don't believe in introversion. Some of them even claim to be introverts, but when they tell me that they were able to practice over the years and change, I realize we're talking about different traits. These acquaintances are the kinds of people who think everyone should be treated the same, and everyone should want the same things, and they take offense at anyone who spurns those ideals. Children shouldn't be treated with special consideration, they say, because you'll end up raising a bunch of babies. And adults should, of course, be given even less leeway.

I can see their point; in fact, I agree to some extent. And that's why I do my best to avoid too much social activity. It's up to me to look after my own well-being. Not the system I'm part of. Not my acquaintances or friends or family. I don't need others to treat me differently or to understand me. As long as I make sure to treat myself in the way that I need, then I'll be okay.

It's always worthwhile to try coming to an understanding with others, but that's a huge task, and not always a pleasant one. Creating an environment that I can thrive in is much more important. As they say: start with yourself.



Elaine said...

I often forget that I'm responsible for my well-being, and let the opinions of others shape me. Just the other day an acquaintance crushed an idea of mine and I was hurt. I thought about scrapping the whole thing.

I have a tree that I consult with on matters like this. It started out as "the me tree", and now I call it Demetri. I project onto it my fantasy version of a situation, and it reflects back the reality of it. The clarity and insight of Demetri's responses are uncanny.

I know Demetri is a tree, and the answers it supplies me with are my own, but I find myself waving to the tree on passing, and generally happy to see it. Is this me being grateful for recognizing my inner self? Or have I fallen in love with a tree?

Elaine said...

I asked Demetri about my affection for it, and the response was that since the tree is me, I might actually be starting to like myself.

Zeri Kyd said...

Elaine, for a tree, Demetri seems to be very wise. And, by extension, so do you.

I can't help but wonder what kind of tree it is. It must be a nice one.

Also: damned acquaintance!