The Outsiders vs. Us
I have this friend, this guy sort of friend, who has this incredibly annoying habit that I am extremely jealous of. He knows how to read people. Really, really read them, able to dig to the deep stuff without even knowing their name. It bothers me a lot, especially because he’s right 99.9% of the time.
The reason it bothers me is because it makes me see how very blind I am.
And here I was thinking that I was some sort of insightful person.
Anyway, he likes to tell me how predictable I am, how predictable people are. Which tempts me to climb on top of a water tower or something, because I can’t stand it when certain people are always right. Or at least more right than I am.
It’s sort of the selfish truth.
But my friend’s talent got me thinking: can people on the outside really see the picture better? Or is it the people actually experiencing the emotions, the moment that truly know what’s going on?
It got me thinking about this sort-of situation I’m in.
At work, everyone likes to tease one of the guys and I about being together. And that’d be easy to write off if it weren’t…if it hadn’t been true. Sort of.
It goes like this: I liked him-sort of, and we got to be work friends-sort of, and everyone noticed-NOT sort of, and there’s still a little something stewing between us even though I’m sort of involved with someone.
It’s sort of complicated.
I was just thinking to myself last night, I wish I could read an outsiders mind right now, because it seems like he’s flirting with me right now…but maybe it’s just me.
The worst part was when I’d look at Jake’s face when I’d be joking around with the guy. Jake had the same exact smile on that I wear when he talks to Roger. Which kind of put my stomach in knots because I wondered: am I flirting too?
I have a bad feeling I was. A bad, bad one. The only thing is I didn’t even notice it while it was happening. I never told myself to do it. It just…happened.
It makes me feel rotten because then I think, what happens if this other guy, the one I’m sort of involved with, and I are completely involved. Are official. What if I do something really, really rotten?
I always had a feeling I was going to be weird when it came to commitment. Of ‘course, at the same time, I always thought commitment and I would be like peanut butter and jelly. I never really sorted that out in my head.
But anyway, it’s obvious to me that I’m just attracted to the work guy and the sort of involved guy is worth it.
Would an outsider, though, be able to say that? Could an outsider tell me if this work guy is going to be a problem down the road?
Do people looking from the outside in really see things more clearly? I know for fact that people on the inside usually let their feelings muck up situations, but don’t they have missing pieces to what can’t be seen on the outside? Is everything really that obvious, or are there still buried thoughts and moments that are important when seeing people?
Maybe an outsider could tell me to steer clear of this work guy, or tell me to jump at the chance while I’m still free. Maybe they’d say I’m scared to be in a relationship for real with that other guy, or maybe they’d say I want to make him jealous so he’ll go ahead and make things official. Maybe they’d imply that I am a flirt, maybe they’d imply that I’m a masochist. But that’s just it. I just came up with all of those ideas myself. They were all on my radar. I have considered all of them.
So maybe it is not that outsiders have the true knowledge about us, maybe it’s merely the fact that our brain is willing to accept what they say, as opposed to what we think.
I have a pretty good feeling about the thought of that.
Originally written: 10/30/11