Saturday, 9 November 2013

Misunderstanding

People sometimes suggest (because I like my own company I guess) that I hate other people.

That's very cheeky. And totally untrue.

Firstly, I don't hate anybody. Secondly, my attitude to other people depends entirely on the person. If they're intelligent and interesting and considerate to others, I warm to them. If they're dumb and boring and selfish, I give them a wide berth - but I don't hate them, I just wonder what made them like that.

I don't go out of my way to meet other people, I tend to keep to myself, but that's not because I hate people. It's because the chances of their being dumb, boring and selfish are alarmingly high.

And no, that doesn't mean I'm an elitist snob, it just means I don't want to spend my precious time humouring someone who's intent on airing their ignorant views about immigrants, homosexuals, lefties and welfare claimants. Or how long they had to wait for the bus, or the supermarket checkout, or the plumber.

Far from hating people, I'm hugely compassionate towards them. I want to understand other people's personal circumstances, I want to know why they're the way they are, I want to grasp the often traumatic and daunting situations they've been through that have influenced their personalities and their outlook on life.

We've all faced overwhelming and terrifying events at one time or another, and I can't hate people who've done their level best to overcome those obstacles and keep their lives on track. I can't hate people who're simply frail, vulnerable human beings trying to cope with the messy unpredictability of their daily existence.

I don't even hate rapists or murderers. They shock and sicken and bewilder me, but I don't hate them. I just want to know why on earth they did what they did, why they lacked the normal scruples and inhibitions that stop others doing the same. And I want them to be treated or rehabilitated rather than punished or ostracised.

I've seen enough vicious hatred in my life to know that hate achieves nothing except yet more hatred. I'm not that way inclined and never will be.

24 comments:

Bijoux said...

Is it people in real life who say you hate other people???

Nick said...

Bijoux: Yep. I've met some strange people in my life.

Nick said...

You'd be surprised how many people have accused me of hating men.

Bijoux said...

That is truly odd!

Cheerful Monk said...

I don't hate people, and I don't go out with them very much either. It's not because they're dumb, boring and selfish, it's that we're interested in different things. I'm sure some of them call me boring. I just figure we're not a good match. So I have a blog and write about anything that turns me on. If other people aren't interested, then they don't read what I write. No time wasted.

Nick said...

Bijoux: People blurt out the oddest things in a reckless or drunken or malicious moment.

Jean: That too, sometimes other people have such different tastes and interests that we're just ships passing in the night and that's that.

And yes, fair's fair, maybe some people find ME boring and selfish. No way I'm dumb though!

Ursula said...

Hate? Pretty strong stuff. A word as overused as love. Have a feeling I am repeating myself since we've had similar subject before.

Your post a truly tricky one to answer. If it were just you and me - in the same room or on the phone - I would make a possibly helpful comment, one I cannot commit to paper, ie this comment box (Ain't it quaint how I think of writing on screen still as 'paper'?).

As to your feelings about men: Since you normally use photos of women to underline content of your posts I was amused to see that Russell Brand made it. But then, as you say, and I couldn't agree more, he is a beauty.

Dear Nick, you are one of those people I feel need comforting - maybe something lacking in your childhood. There appears a deep seated need in you to please, at the same time you appear very sensitive to how other people see you. Nothing wrong with either. Have forgotten your exact age but dare say that how you feel now is pretty much ingrained. Little chance of change. Except - with a bit of luck - you will mellow, certain, possibly painful, edges will blur, fade.

God damn it: How to express empathy on the written page! Is there anything more frustrating than knowing exactly what you want to say but can't say it?

Sun is shining ...

U

Nick said...

Ursula: You could always message my Facebook page, except that I've never worked out how other people can google it. Do you have a Facebook page?

My feelings about men - that's a long story, and one I don't blog about.

I guess I do need comforting, though I've also learnt to be resilient in a generally comfort-less world. A need that mostly goes back to my dismal childhood, which I've mentioned a few times on this blog. You're right about simultaneously wanting to please but being sensitive to others' opinions. An agonising situation at times.

I'm 66 but still inwardly changing so there's still hope for a mellowing process....

Nick said...

Ursula: Thanks for your long comment, by the way. More than all this self-centred rambling deserves.

Rummuser said...

I don't hate anyone. I simply do not have anything to with people who I find not worth bothering about.

Nick said...

Ramana: That works okay if you can just walk away, but if you're stuck with a loathsome employer or relative or neighbour, it's not so easy. Even so, I wouldn't feel hatred, more like deep frustration and anger.

Secret Agent Woman said...

I don't usually use the word hate for other people, but there are a few who I loathe because they've done loathsome things. However, I can be irritated by folks. My ex-husband used to say I don't suffer fools gladly. I think that's true.

Nick said...

Agent: That's the impression I get too, that you don't suffer fools gladly! And why should you, if they're irritating the hell out of you? But in general it seems like you don't often loathe people, your feelings are softer than that.

Anonymous said...

I get the impression that people don't irritate you
But they do disappoint you sometimes x

John Gray said...

Ps that last comment was mine

Nick said...

John: I wondered who Anonymous was! You're right, on the whole people don't irritate me so much as puzzle and intrigue me. And disappoint me, as you say.

Jay at The Depp Effect said...

Once again, you're voicing the way I feel.

I don't hate anyone - it's a waste of energy, for one thing, and for another, there's probably a reason that people are the way they are, and it's not for me to judge them. Like you I am bewildered and saddened by people who commit hideous crimes, and I simply don't understand them.

I feel antisocial at times. I hate the telephone, I don't like to go out and party, and I'm quite happy in my own company and that of OH. But like you, I am capable of enormous compassion and empathy for people. I just ... yeah. I don't suffer fools gladly and I don't like being in their company.

You have a facebook page?

Nick said...

Jay: Hate is really pointless, isn't it? It doesn't solve any problems, it just screws up the hater. But I know it can be hard to resist if you're that way inclined.

Yes, why bother to humour people you simply can't have a rational discussion with? Life is too short.

I do have a Facebook page. I've emailed you about it.

Cheerful Monk said...

Nick,
You mentioned there's no way you're dumb. A lot of people have thought/still think I'm stupid. That always cracks me up. A friend once said, "Maybe you do know something after all, Jean. I always thought you were so happy because you were stupid!"

Nick said...

Jean: Do people still think happiness and intelligence can't go together? Bizarre. Has it not occurred to them that you might be too intelligent to waste your time on misery?

Jay at The Depp Effect said...

I don't see an email from you, Nick - I've sent you one!

Nick said...

Jay, I used the email box on your Contact Me option. Maybe it's not working properly?

blackwatertown said...

When I was wee I only hated two people.

The headmaster - cross, big boots, dark clothes, corpse-smile, wielded a stick, banned us from running (anywhere, anytime).

A prominent politician - big, cross, dark clothes, loud, sneered, brayed hate, urged violence, threatened.

But as I grew, it grew on me that it was odd to hate someone I didn't even know. So I struck the politician off the list.

Never warmed to the headmaster though.

Nick said...

Paul: I also used to hate two people. My father when he was alive because he was a bad-tempered tyrant. And a former boss who threw the book at me for no good reason. But I've put them both behind me. Festering hatred simply rots the soul.