Sadness comes in two forms. One, when you try and fail. And one, when you don’t try at all and wonder if trying could be successful. Usually, I’m a voter of trying and experimenting and learning; but today, oh no no no. I’m not.
Before this semester commenced, I had made a goal for myself to try to be social (ooh what a nightmare, I know right?). The thought was huge in itself. So what I had planned was to (1) try and break my walls a little (2) laugh a little at their judgemental jokes to fit in (who doesn’t want to fit in and be one of the cool kids, right?) (3) go out more (4) have faith in people that they are good human beings, and (5) involve myself in their ‘community’.
I thought maybe all I really needed was a push. I wasn’t always as reserved as I am now.
But whoa, I couldn’t be more wrong. I walked with baby steps, really careful. Discussing TV shows and movies seemed like a good start. And it was, to be honest. This is one thing I can talk hours about – so, no big deal. [Alert: if there’s a movie/tv show/book/musician you want to talk about, hit me up. I’ll talk and listen even if I have no clue about it]
Level 1: Complete.
And then, I thought to talk to more people. Willingly. My functioning is based on an uneven amalgam of shyness, social anxiety, awkwardness, introversion and anti socialness. So when I say that I wanted to try to talk to people willingly, what I mean is to try and convince myself that I’m not making a fool of myself.
I like smiling at people. I really do. There’s this unworldly charm to it – one I don’t think I can fathom. Smiling at people, tilting a subtle nod towards them with an acknowledgement is one of the sweetest gesture a man can do without doing much.
But, I can’t. Dang, I know.
There’s this weird twist in the gut when the other person is not really a friend and I take minutes to evaluate if we are close enough to pass a smile, but then I think that a smile doesn’t require such relativeness; but wait, what if the other person thinks that smiles are exclusive and I’m just being weird and very clingy. No, we don’t want that now, do we?
And by the time the result of the calculation comes out, hello to the person fifty miles away from me, It was nice meeting you, wish we could pass a smile.
But I tried nevertheless. It took some adjusting to a spontaneous reaction but I had to follow the goal. I tried to walk up to people, smile, and laugh at jokes that I must have heard a hundred times already on Jokes That Might Be Offensive 101. No complaints yet. I’m cool.
I wasn’t that into talking to people yet. I still couldn’t talk to more than ten people in a short span of time. I needed a reboot. But I was a block forward. That’s enough for me. Say hello to – Level 2: Complete.
Crossing two levels is tiring. My break included to maintain this level of interaction. I even attempted a project – to post on Facebook in years which was not something promotional. Phew, bloody weird.
But that is the story of how I tried. Now here’s the story of how I failed.
The story is quite trivial, actually. And one I don’t think I can repeat to words.
Just know that I simply don’t have enough strength in me to bear people’s larger-than-life ego, their bigoted views, their unbalanced thoughts, their mind games of manipulation and deceit, and their unnecessary screaming because – strength??
Today is the day I can confirm that I’m not made for people. People represent mass – a generalized mass, a mass that shares very less in common, with the tag of being humans acting as one of them.
Maybe, I’m made more for persons – individuals I can handpick and hold in my cocoon forever. And to be honest, returning to this idea does seem like a relief.
Today, I sat with my friends, discussing why people suck and crossing out names I wouldn’t want to try my experiment with. But I know that there are people out there who are good and far from negativity – persons who are ready to wait and talk and understand.
Maybe they’re in their tight cocoons as well – snuggling their way with individuals who push each other up. In which case, I hope your cocoon expands into a valley of love and sunshine. I really do.
At the risk of sounding like a total pretentious person here, let me just be over and done with it. I think that I hate people. Because like I said, I don’t function well with people. My algorithmic design is a tad bit different from others. But I also don’t mind knowing and exploring persons who want the same.
To all those persons I can talk to without thinking twice and sing with and share how the world becomes absolutely unbearable at times – you people are more than amazing, for lack of better words. You all define me.
And to all those people I’ve talked to on my own (and want to), without trying to experiment, and just got carried away – thank you for existing and making me have faith in this act of socializing.
Note: In case you ever hear someone say ‘Ugh, Vidhi is a homophobic’, rest assured that they must be talking about how I hate homo-sapiens, and not homosexuals.
“I Hate People”
I’m not one of those movie franchise guys but if you’re reading this, you’d also want to take a look at its sequel, I hate people. Un-Confirmed.