I’m not great at interacting with people.
For starters, I’m intense.
Not intense like “awesome!”, more intense like “will attack you with a battery of thoughts, words, and commentary and stop making noises by moving your lips in the figures of speech, because I’m still talking”.
I’m not for the weak. I pick up on everything going on—sounds, smells, cues, placement of objects, etc. I’m like your dog, but with night-vision goggles on.
we will fight fire with fire.
That probably puts off 50% of people right there.
People have different temperaments. Just think among your group of friends.
how was my day? it was fine, thank me
Half of them run at a slower speed. At the deepest end are the most unflagging of stoners, who can’t be bothered to move if they bong-lit the apartment on fire.
Then there are the casually-stoned, the non-inhalers, the leisurely, the relaxed, and the calm.
None of these people enjoy intensity. It harshes mellow.
The other 50% of people run at a faster speed. There’s the brisk walkers, the mild joggers, the sprinters, and the most unhinged of cokeheads.
I’m somewhere right below “sprinter” on this scale. There’s a constant beat going and if things aren’t moving, I get irritable.
I do best around people who operate at about one half-notch below me in speed. If I’m convinced you’re keeping up with me but that I’m moving too fast, I can then slow down and be relatively comfortable.
But life doesn’t work this way.
And then I realized–I have no chill.
Lots of people have their meditations–golf, art, hiking, exercise, writing, glassblowing, underground gardening, whatever.
I don’t have those. They bore me and if I don’t get them right the first time, there’s little incentive to continue.
I have to spread my chill over the day to keep functioning, like a hummingbird who ingests sugar to stay alive. And as a result, I can be self-indulgent. It’s hard to stop at one chocolate because it’s the perfect distraction. Anything that can take my mind off what’s going on is a plus. My future office will have rhabdomancing acrobats in the background just to give me something to look at.
WHY ARE YOU JUST STANDING THERE?!
Also, I challenge myself in weird, spiteful, masochistic ways.
How many cups of coffee can I drink before I go for an intense run and be able to get back to work with increased intensity?
I only need, like 2 hours of sleep, right?
Of course I can get this writing completed in a crowded coffeeshop!
Unfortunately, my lack of chill gets taken out on other people.
Most people probably don’t notice.
But for those who do it’s visibly off-putting.
Who wants to engage with someone who’s consistently high-strung, hardheaded, and physically uncomfortable? If there’s someone shifting in their seats, I will bet you this half-filled jar of nail bitings it’s me!
There’s few people I can relax around, and I treasure those that I can. And to those that I can’t–I’m sorry. Not “sorry not sorry”, not “sorry BUUUT…”, not “sorry IF…”, but sorry.