Ratha (papertygre) wrote,

The line (or lack of it) between egoism and altruism.

I think a major reason I like to spend time with particular people is, what kind of person they make me feel like. There are some people who make me feel articulate, attractive, friendly, spontaneous, generous, etc. -- or maybe who just share enough of my neutral traits, to make me feel comfortable without necessarily having to be any of those things. Then there are other people who make me feel stupid, irresponsible, tongue-tied, frivolous, careless, or boring. It's not usually intentional on their part -- sometimes it feels like I developed a habit of acting in certain negative ways around them due to random chance on the first one or two times we were in proximity; other times it seems like it's just an unfortunate result of the way our personalities contrast.

There are people who make me feel like a person I don't like, but who still seek ways to spend time with me, and that makes me uncomfortable, because anyone who would like the kind of person that feel like I am when I'm around them, bothers me on some level, makes me wonder about their motivations. And of course there are people I like but in a read-only sense; I enjoy observing them but can't actually talk to them; what I like is their image, so I enjoy them more like a movie or a scene from nature than like a friend.

I wonder if a reason people end relationships, and get things like divorces, is because they stop liking the person they are when they're with their significant other. What they really want is to change their own self, but they don't know how to do it without removing the other person, who acts like an anchor for that self.

In any case, it strikes me that there are all kinds of people we wouldn't get a chance to be, if we didn't know the people that enable it for us. It's not just that we get feedback about who we are; it's more like some aspect of who we are is created by the transaction itself.


My sister and I were talking about shopping for cars, and she said I should know when I first slide into the driver's seat if a car is right for me. She said if I'm not in love with it, I shouldn't try to convince myself.

I said "I like the sound of that, but it doesn't make intuitive sense. What if I'm just not used to that car and I actually would like it if I gave it more of a chance?"

She said, "You just haven't driven enough cars."
Tags: decisions, material things, personality, relationships

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