Dec 24, 2007

Neurotics (yes, I know neuroses)

I often find myself thinking that when we are first meeting people we emphasize qualities about ourselves we view to be positive. Maybe it’s because these are easy to talk about?

“I love jogging.”

“I find history so interesting.”

“I love hearing about peoples’ experiences.”

Am I saying we’re lying?—No. But ultimately I think it’s like trading pleasantries. For better or worse, I don’t think that what we like or love defines us; or if it does, it only defines us for ourselves.

For the people in our lives besides ourselves, I think the most defining character facets will be the things we don’t like, the things we can’t handle, can’t stand.

I don’t believe this because I think people are awful. Rather I find that these are the things that most strongly influence our relationships with others—our neurotic tendencies can push the people closest to us away, making their relationship-defining power, for lack of a better phrase, awe-inspiring.

Ignoring them seems to result in a beautifully imperfect picture; one where you see a person without this all-important aspect, and perhaps on the vain side of things, that person sees how you look at them and sees his or herself without it. But it will either be ignored incessantly for life—without going away—or... It’ll make trouble.

At the end of the day it probably won’t matter how much two people both love football, sex, or astrology. The deepest and most successful relationships between people are transformed and guided through the ability of the parties involved to recognize, admit and deal with neurotics.