I think I need to join a support group. I’m not sure though if such a support group exists. I want to stand in front of a group of people and say “ Hi, I’m Kaush and my problem is that I’m easily impressed by people until I get to know them a bit better and then just as easily resent them.” It’s true. You know the golden rule “Never meet your heroes?”. Well, there’s a platinum rule, and it’s “Never get close to anyone.” I think this is the secret to a happy life. Never get too close to anyone.
Most of my relationships except maybe a handful in all my life have been this way. It extends not just to my personal life but people I find on the web. The Bloggers, Instagrammers, Tweeters.. I know that’s not what they are called, but you know what I mean. Those average Joe’s who think they are cool cos they somehow managed to get a blue check mark next to their name? There are thousands of them. One more uncool than the other, based of course on how long you have followed them. I quickly build a mental model of their behavior, their likes, dislikes and the things they like to rant about and their ticks. The initial fascination is further enhanced by their weird ticks cos that’s what makes them unique and interesting. Once I feel like I know the person enough then the very same ticks start to annoy me.
The trajectory of my fascination with a new person goes the same way every time:
I know what you’re thinking, you’re assuming that the reason I start hating them is that they have different views and opinions from me and as time goes on, the conflicting views begin to annoy me. Just like the whole ‘opposites attract until they don’t anymore’ syndrome. Unfortunately, it’s not true. I can really resent people who agree with me and have the same opinions. I know it’s weird Right? Right?. It’s like I start to hate them for saying things that match with my viewpoint and something that made me like them in the first place. Is it because I doubt the genuineness of their statement? Probably. But I think it has more to do with the fact that they are behaving according to the mental model that I have constructed about them. When my predictions about their behavior and reactions turn out to me right, I start to detest them. It suddenly changes my perspective of them from interesting to fitting a pattern, and that’s boring as fuck and good lord do I hate boring people. The fact that they behave exactly like they are supposed to in a predictable pattern is just so annoying to me.
This is my issue with people in general. It’s not that they agree or disagree with me. It’s that they follow a pattern. That somewhere along the line, they stopped thinking about how they really feel about something and instead base their decision on these little camps that they have joined with like-minded people because at some point their opinions matched on specific issues and now they are in that camp forever. It’s easier to just go along instead of having a different view for fear of being ostracized from the group. What Robert Cialdini calls ‘Consistency’ in his book ‘Influence.’ The human tendency to act consistently is exploited by many organizations to influence people.
This can be seen in identity politics as well. I’m equally annoyed with the left and the right. I have followed and then unfollowed a bunch of people both from the left and the right because as intriguing as their stance on certain issues are, they tend to play the same game as everyone else. The game that Seth Godin calls “People like us do things like this.” That if I belong to one camp then no matter what the other side says I will oppose it. Just look at the news right now. If you’re left-leaning, then you’re hurling curses regardless of the merits of the decision and the right, throwing praises no matter how reprehensible the action to the values of freedom and justice. How boring and lazy. Like the boy who cried Wolf, if you’re always saying the same things, then how valuable is your opinion really?
If there’s one thing I hope to strive for, is to just be interesting. I hope that regardless of the issue, I keep an open mind and think for myself. I don’t let my friends influence me. I hope to not be predictable based on my previous thoughts and actions. That for every situation and every decision, I think for myself and not be blinded by the herd mentality. Not everyone realizes it, but being interesting comes with a price. It requires a certain degree of courage. Courage to not always try and appease the people you are associated with. Thinking for yourself means not agreeing with people in your tribe. It’s scary. It’s difficult. It’s worth it. I hope to just be interesting. I’ll know I have succeeded when people unfollow me for precisely the opposite reasons that I unfollow them. Because my unpredictability annoys the fuck out of them just as their predictability annoys me. Just be interesting.