no. (roses_rejoice) wrote,

A ramble about having things in rare

i titled it that because "having things in common" sounds so...ordinary compared with how important I'm starting to think it is. Although it seems simple, I am becoming convinced that it is very important that I have some things in common with people I meet. It doesn't have to be everything, but it does have to be enough that there is a bond. It could be a similar personality type in some ways, similar tastes in music or lifestyle, a similar kind of upbringing or family life, or familiarity with the same area.

A while ago I read a comment in someone else's journal about how people don't leave journals because they're bored; rather they leave because they no longer share, or never shared, that person's interests. That got me thinking about how the shared-interest thang for journals paralleled that for real life as well, and how sometimes people don't lose track of each other because they're bad people. Their interests just diverge - or a mistake was made and their interests were never that close together in the first place.

I used to be more interested in interacting with people who were significantly different from me, to learn about them and see what sorts of folks they were. However, I've discovered that past a certain point people's values and backgrounds *can* be too different from mine for me to deal with. This is hard for me to accept because I feel like I'm judging or excluding people, and some people have the mindset that one should give everybody a chance. But I feel like I've run into too many situations, both on LJ and in RL, where there isn't a "comfort zone" for getting to know someone. Worse yet are situations where you think there is a "comfort zone", because a person is being nice and you're getting along, and then all of a sudden you find there isn't when they either suddenly take leave, or else do or say something so awful or annoying that you yourself feel driven to leave.

When I had the locked journal, a number of people who asked to be added did not seem to have anything in common with me, and in some cases ended up making me uncomfortable just by their online "presence". Perhaps I have had the same effect on some other people. I'm beginning to think these attempts at being friendly tend to fail just because there isn't much in common to talk about, and try as I might, it can be hard for me to understand people with radically different values from my own. For example, I've stressed before that I think independence at a young age is pretty important, so it can be hard for me to accept that there are people in their mid-20s and beyond who are significantly dependent on a parent or SO without a good reason (like serious illness). It's not that I think these people are bad, they're just doing the best they can, like everyone else. I just don't understand them.

There are many other subgroups that I likewise don't quite get. If your every third post is about your drug experiences, or your Wonderful Girlfriend or Boyfriend, or how you stayed up all night playing a fantasy game, then unless the other two posts contain something I can strongly relate to (and this is definitely possible), I'm probably not going to be able to talk to you, and I likewise can't imagine why you'd want to talk to me.

I'd like to give everybody in the world a chance but I'm realizing more and more that I have limited resources and I'd rather use them in interacting with people who see things similarly to the way I do. That is less stressful, and also more fun for me. It doesn't mean I don't ever want to hear an opposing viewpoint - the world would be boring if we all thought exactly alike, and I have significant differences over something with all of my friends no matter how close. But I would like us to be on the parallel path more often than not, even if we diverge in a few woods. I would also like people to be respectful of me like I try to be of them, and not make nasty or critical comments out of the blue when they get frustrated at me for not being whatever they think I *should* be. I don't believe in shoulds, and this journal at least is my world, and from now on if someone acts in that manner I am going to stop interacting with them sooner, not later, as I fear I let a couple of situations continue in the past and it just made me angrier the longer it went on.

Incidentally, this isn't a prelude to an LJ housecleaning; I don't feel uncomfortable with anyone who's around right now. I would ask, however, that if any of you would rather not read my LJ for any reason, including petty stuff like too many posts, that you please drop it - I won't mind. It's public (mostly) so you can always look at it from time to time. But there's been a lot of coming and going on and off this LJ for the last few weeks, and given that my posts have become pretty personal, I'd feel better if everybody who had this journal on their list felt generally okay about staying around and reading at least sometimes, even if they didn't have time to read every word of every post. I don't think reading every word is important anyway, you just have to read enough to get the idea. And maybe care a little bit.
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