01 November 2009


Disclaimer 1: This is a late-night-I-have-lots-on-my-mind post. You've been warned.

Disclaimer 2: This post is in no way meant to be a criticism about anyone. It is merely observations of myself and differences people often have.

Disclaimer 3: This post has too many disclaimers, but I am going to publish it anyway. Because I used to be less inhibited about the things I said on my blog, but since having more readers I have found myself more and more reserved. If only for tonight, I am returning to some inhibitions. You should probably just stop reading.

Most of my life when I have been around somebody whose feelings have been hurt or somebody who is upset, I was the hurter or upsetter. Sensitivity has never been a strong point of mine. I usually wasn't purposely trying to hurt anybody, but it happened a lot more than I'd really care to admit. Which is why it surprises me that there have been a handful of times lately where I have been around a person who is upset in which I was not the cause. In some ways, this may be proof of my progress as an individual to be more aware of other people's feelings and the babble that comes shooting out of my mouth before I stop to think about that babble. In that aspect, it makes me happy. But in my experiences in the last six months or so, I have learned that even though I am more sensitive than I used to be, I still feel really incapable in areas of emotions.

That is, I still feel like I don't really get people. I just think entirely different than everyone else. Or at least that's how it seems. (I really am thinking about a number of experiences that I've had in about the last six months, both recent and far past). And in almost all of these experiences, I've expected a person to feel a certain way and been completely wrong. Generally, the person is upset, and I can understand why they are upset, or so I think. But when the person really starts discussing it with me, I realize that I was completely wrong to begin with. It has really dawned on me that everyone is really different. We all have such different backgrounds that it's nearly impossible for all of us to feel the exact same way about the exact same situations. And yet I still find myself sometimes being quite surprised/intrigued by the way somebody feels or reacts to a certain situation.

Example: A person is worried about what people will think about them. My thoughts? First of all, nobody is actually going to think that about you. And who cares if they do?

It is apparent that I sometimes just don't get it. And honestly, I don't know if there are times when I ever really will get it. But I have learned much better how to just listen and try to get it. Usually I feel completely inept.

I think this is why I don't talk to people a whole lot about my own feelings, besides happiness. Everyone gets happiness. Usually I don't even get my own feelings, and I find that a lot of times other people don't really get me either. I can think of a handful of times in which I have discussed a troubling situation with somebody, and the person responds with sensitively stated sentiments about how that probably makes me feel, and they are off. I just don't feel the way I am expected to feel about the event. So obviously, I am the anomaly in this whole feelings business. I see things from a very different lens than most of the people I know.

Now all of this is not to say that I want people to avoid me with talks of feelings. I really don't mind talking with people I care about who are having a difficult time (either with life events or with a particular person). I really appreciate that you trust me as a friend, confidant and calmer-downer. I apologize that I don't always get why you feel a certain way, but I am always capable of listening.

And as I listen my eyes will be opened to the fact that we human beings are all very different individuals, which will give me opportunities to learn how to better operate with my fellow humans, especially the ones I love the most. And maybe I will gradually begin to feel like a normal person.


Packrat said...

Sherry Dear,

You ARE normal - at least you appear to be. :D No one knows how another person thinks or feels. I'm glad you are trying to be more sensitive. Being able to listen is probably one of the greatest day to day things a person can do for another. You don't have to sympathize. You just need to be able to listen, nod, and maybe smile or give a hug if it is appropriate.

Also, this is your blog. You can say anything you want. I might not agree with you. I might argue with you. (Feel free to argue back.) But, your opinion is yours, and you have the right to express it.


Cindy said...

Amen. Some people have called me cold hearted because I am not as emotional as other girls. I didn't cry when I saw Charlie, etc. I think there are too many girls who are too emotional. Everyone is different. That being said I have a friend who reminds me of what you described. She sometimes lacks social tact when giving her opinions, comments, suggestions. Sometimes I think that she completely lacks empathy. Interesting post. Made me think. I liked it.

Angela Noelle said...

And to think, I've always found you empathetic. :P J

On the flipside...

I think it can be dangerous for anyone to believe they are not too shabby at understanding others and how they tick - it's a WHOLE lot safer to presume we can't possibly understand. I think your views are healthy, and wise!

Saying, "I suspect she's feeling this way because..." is really presumptious, and sometimes judgemental. Isn't it nicer to say, "There's no way to know what she's feeling because I'm not her"?

I guess I'm tryin' to say that it can really be great to assume unique reactions to unique situations and personalities.

That, and it reminds us there is only One that knows exactly what we're feeling.

trishtator said...

Happiness. It's one of those things everybody gets. You are so right, Sherry L.

P.S. People are complicated. There are some people I won't understand till my dying day.

Marcindra LaPriel said...

Yup. Feelings are weird.

And thank you for publishing this. I always respect it when people publish things despite what the readers might think. Indeed, to be a true writer one must publish truth as it is.