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people are the most difficult part of life, I think. dealing with people - knowing the right thing to say and the right way to act, figuring out what they're thinking when they don't say anything or seeing what they really mean when they say something - it's so hard. I don't think that's normal, some people seem to understand others more easily than I do. they take for granted just how complex interpersonal interactions really are. I feel like it's a foreign language I've been trying to learn all my life. when I was a kid it gelled well enough, but kids don't let things like metaphorical language barriers get in their way. now I'm awkwardly getting by with a halting grasp of pidgin 'people talk' and wow this metaphor has gotten too convoluted.
You know, when I saw her in the comic store today, I didn't feel the usual moment of revulsion. I said 'hi' and she said 'hi' and I thought to myself, maybe we're finally over all that bullshit. I know her boyfriend is still mad as hell and making a complete arse of himself every time he sees us, but I was fine with just dropping it because I am way too depressed to waste time hating right now.
But then I get home, I do some dailies, my boyfriend pops in briefly to get his bag befoe going out again, and he says to me 'I just don't have any allies here anymore.' She's trying to fuck him over out of utter pettiness again, and another so-called friend is joining in, and it's like... what the fuck, guys? Are you university students or are you five year olds arguing over who gets the teddybear? Did I actually call you lot my friends and trust you with stuff last year? Fuck.
I find that the most interesting distinction between people that is so often pushed forth in my case studies is with their particular frame of interest. There are the general brackets of "humanities people" vs "science people" vs "math people" who don't really fit into the science bracket. The way that the people in bracket A think is going to be (at least) slightly different from bracket B. Por ejemplo, las personas en A son muy bueno con hablar en idiomas del mundo. While people in B may only do well with num3rs. Also, there's a difference in the way that they approach problems, teasts, and homework. I've noticed among the scientific community a great deal of analytical (sometimes overly analytical) thought with regards to mathematics and sciences, but when faced with the mountain of any sort of humanities class they sit, and struggle to apply the same sort of organized, sequencial analysis that they used previously. Humanities people may not always grasp the systematic a ->b -> c methods, partially because they may have to go through all of these steps to get to answer z when they note that the science person is flying through the problems on their test.
Also, there is a difference in people according, obviously, to more sociological predispositions, such as religion and other cultures. For example, in some asian religions, namely Buddhism, the brain chemistry of a monk is quite different from that of the "average" person. Likewise with nuns who pray constantly. Constant meditation and prayer, it seems, can change a person. Some call this being moved to a higher level.
All the same, people are interesting, but not to terribly important beyond interesting studies and to help you in a selfish way, ie improving yourself. I hate to admit this about myself, but the only reason why I truly tollerate the majority of the people that I am around is because it helps me to be a better person, to learn to cope with them and accept them as a fellow, existing, living creature.
These are some of the most important distinctions that I have found in judging people. When I meet someone, which side of these dividing lines that they fall on tends to be more important to me than any other details about them.
Shit-talkers Vs. Well-wishers
We all have people and things we dislike. I don't expect anyone to like everyone and everything. But I find an important distinction between the people that talk shit (i.e. disparage, belittle, ridicule) for no constructive reason other than to make themselves feel better, and the people that are self-conscious about being negative. And I don't care about this distinction because of a PC goodie-goodie "don't hurt people's feelings" mentality, it's because I see everyone on one side of that line make characterizations of people and things that are self-satisfying without regard to the actual truth of the matter. They demonize people because it feels good to hate something. They fear something because it's exciting to have something to be scared of. The people on the other side of that line at least seem conscious of the different interpretations that could be made of a situation, thing, or person, and try to assume the wisest and most considerate stance that they can. And yeah, sometimes that means taking a stand and talking some shit. But self-gratifying negativity rarely does anyone any good.
Faith Vs. Science
Yeah, it seems like a secularism vs. religion deal, but that's not what I mean here. I mean the dividing line between "I'm stubbornly convinced of the truth of this because it's gratifying to believe in it" and "I believe in this for reasons that I'm skeptical of and aware of the possibility of it being false / I only believe in that which is both practical and logical to believe in". This extends into the trust that people have for each other in relationships, business ethics, the direction that people take in their lives, etc. While I usually have an instinctive aversion to your average religious type, I also have an aversion (for much the same reasons) to people that will not work on their personal relationships because they have "faith" that it will work out, or anyone who makes assumptions about themselves, other people, or the world in general because it would be convenient if those assumptions were true and because they're gratifying to assume until they're proven false. This usually corresponds with the same people not wanting to take personal responsibility for the consequences of their action or inaction. And anyway, faith doesn't make for good conversation or good people. Action makes for well-developed, adventurous lives and the actual transformation of the world around us.