People Person Paradox

Say that three times fast. It’s my way of saying that I’m not good at this whole humanity thing. I find it hard to empathize with other people, to trust them, to value them as equal to myself. This is introversion and then some. I suppose it might be considered anti-social. I feel like people use that term like they’re bragging about themselves. But putting any consideration into this anti-social attitude creates an enormous problem. How do I begin to feel like I have value to other people when I don’t place value in them? What draws the distinction between me and everyone else?

All that I can claim is a limited view. Here in this head is the only place I can live, and so by default it is the best place to be. It can’t be otherwise. If it is better to be someone other than myself, then I am doomed. I am this person. The only choice I can see in wishing I were another person is the choice to despair. So to protect myself, my mind prefers its own company. I may want to be in better condition, but I still want to be me.

It’s not that I don’t care about anything. Clearly I do. The problem is the egocentricity. It is so pronounced that it is isolating me. I am at once glad and frustrated with my distance from other people. I know that human connection can be a truly vital component to life… and yet at the same time I wonder if needing that connection isn’t some sort of vanity or weakness on my part. I exist whether anyone knows it or not, don’t I?

What bothers me most of all is the idea of an extreme. I am falling victim to an absolute way of being when I shut everyone out. I am being rigid when I value flexibility. I am letting black and white thinking take over when I prefer the gray area.

So how do I change? Where do I start? The only thing I can think of at this point in time is to keep myself aware. I am also going to try and rationalize my way into having a heart. If there is no use expecting to be valued when I am selfish, doesn’t that mean that the value lies in generosity? It seems so cliché and obvious… it’s essentially a clumsy way of expressing the golden rule. Maybe that’s why I don’t quite feel it deep down. It almost seems too simple to be real.

Even if I can’t convince myself for now, it’s a start. It seems that it’s necessary to trace the same patterns of thought over and over again before they truly stick in a different direction. This makes a lot of sense. After all, most of what we learn, even the negative thinking, is a product of repetition.


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