On Not Liking People

New EMS Blogs writer CCC from Captain Chair Confessional posted recently that he does not like people and the post got me thinking.

Have a read for yourself.


I left a brief comment but wanted to expand on it here.  I too hate people.  We all do to a certain extent.  There are those who would like us to believe that having a large circle of friends somehow makes us better, or that loving everyone equally is the norm.  Some think that my political leanings dictate I love everyone no matter what.  The truth could not be farther from the truth.  That doesn’t sound bad out loud.  Try it.

CCC’s post is more about hating the BS floating around these days and I have to agree there is plenty.

There is an order to things.  When this order is disrupted it causes after effects, ripples.  That is why there is traffic on a road where everyone is going the same direction.  Someone who does not understand this order or who can not see it in their lives is doomed to disrupt it.  As I said in my comment over at CCC’s place, this isn’t some kind of “God’s plan” order, or some other deity of choice, or even some love-in touchy feely new age crap.

I’m talking about the beams.

I read Steven King’s Dark Tower series when going through an interesting part of my life: My OCD.

OCD is not just washing your hands 30 times or touching every lamp post, but has many manifestations.  OCD had penetrated my life and lifestyle to the point that when I got frustrated that I could not manipulate my environment to make things work better anxiety and depressions were not far behind.  When confronted by a stack of magazines at the dentist’s office, I had to straighten the pile.  HAD to.  No matter what else was happening.  Crooked pictures got straightened, things out of center got centered.  Water rings on tables at restaurants had to either overlap to create only one or make a pattern.  Salt shakers, chairs, store displays anything and everything that was out of it’s optimal place HAD to be manipulated to meet my specifications.  Funny thing was, I had no idea I was doing it.

This irrational behaviour (miss you Mark) led to a deep disgust of people who did not understand the way things were supposed to go.  People who cut in line without thinking about those now behind them, all inconvenienced because of one person.  The guy at Costco who clogs the main isle getting a sample of pulled pork salsa, then gives you a dirty look when you move his cart out of the way.  I disliked more people than I liked.  When it came time for a shift at work however, everything seemed to change.  It wasn’t until later on, with the help of therapy to understand what I was doing and why, I learned that EMS is a form of OCD all it’s own.

Not to say that CCC’s not liking people is obviously a nervous disorder, or even maybe, just that reading that post was like looking into my own past.

Not liking people is not a bad thing.  I hate some people.  I have said on multiple occasions I do not carry a firearm because of my opinion of many person’s driving abilities.  Liking people or not liking people, I think, means you need to find some new people.

Many of you in the business of helping others will relate to CCC’s post and likely agree that you too hate people.

But I would ask each of you to stop and think WHY you have these emotions towards certain people and if, perhaps, there is something in your past or present that is filtering what you see.

As was mentioned above, for years I had no idea that what I was experiencing was any different than anyone else until someone commented how funny it was that I was arranging the colored sugar packets at the table while inside I was hating whoever had left them that way.

The things that bothered me before that I was compelled to fix still catch my eye and I can control the impulses to alter my environment but it took a long time to realize my own hatred for most people was because they did not jive with my path.


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2 thoughts on “On Not Liking People”

  1. I had no idea you and I were so much alike.  In fact, I could have written everything you just wrote there, but less artistically so.  And I have hated people for a long time, if anything, because most of them are like sheep.

    I have mentioned this before, but maybe you hadn’t heard it, but my wife gets upset because I am such a cynic (yes, the Zen Master is cynical).  But I tell her that while she is the eternal optimist and gets wound up everytime something goes wrong, I just assume people will do something stupid, so when things DO go right, I’m pleasantly surprised.

    Firehouse Zen actually began almost as a way for me to better understand how I SHOULD be looking at the world and the result is that I have become more and more that and less the other.  Kind of an affirmation of sorts.

    I think that if people paid just a little more attention to others and considered the reactions to their actions (or inaction, as it were), maybe this world would be a better place.  Whenever I pass some dumbass driving below the posted speed limit in the left hand lane with traffic backed up behind him, I always look – just to see their expression.  Universally, it is that glazed 1000 yard stare, mouth agape, catching flies.  Or a cell phone is attached to their ear: same effect.

    Giving humanity a chance to redeem itself scares me.  If our pets knew they’d get fed if something happened to us, they’d probably go ahead and eat us.  They certainly wouldn’t be as nice to us.  A little more consideration for others would be nice.

    Well, that, or a cool tiger tattoo on my fanny.

  2. Interesting.  I have also found myself rearranging the colored sugar packets at restaurants, and likewise hating the person who left them in such shambles.  I seriously doubt a God would have a plan with such disarray.

    I enjoyed your post, it is very succint and well-written, and expands marvelously on what I felt like saying.  You are much more eloquent than I could ever hope to be.  I very much appreciate your link to my blog. 

    The crazy psychiatrist I saw mentioned that she thought I had some PTSD, mild OCD and an avoidant personality disorder.  I told her that I just plain old didn’t like people.  I still don’t think there is anything wrong with that. 

    Regardless, and at risk of a shameless plug, I expanded on my initial post, since it garnered such traffic.  I wasn’t necessarily planning on it, but I did anyway.  Perhaps some will gain a new knowledge of why I don’t like people, and perhaps some will call me burnt out.  Whatever.  I don’t care what they say about me, as long as they are reading!


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