I can easily admit to people that I am an asshole. I am not being sardonic either, I am a bona-fide asshole. I can easily be described as someone who expects more of others then I am willing to do myself. I hold people to a higher standard then I have a right to hold them to. I am extremely selfish, and I’m definitely a misanthrope. I judge everyone around me as if I have a right to judge them. Why? I have no idea. Maybe I feel I am entitled in some way, or I feel superior to those around me. Maybe it is just a convenient way of pushing people away or avoiding human contact as a consequence of being particularly anti-social. While I don’t feel I have any social anxieties, at least from a clinical sense, I definitely hate socializing. I hate every aspect of social behavior, everything right down to and including social interactions online. The only way to really get me to be social is when forced. In which case, the people I am socializing with think I am a nice, well-rounded, outgoing person. People generally like me enough to want to become my friend. I know that sounds cocky, but it is true. I have never had a problem with people wanting to be my friend, or wanting to hang out with me, lets face it, I’m a really bad-ass cool dude. Problem is, despite all my crying and complaining about it, I don’t really want friends. I don’t want more people calling my phone and asking me to do stuff, I don’t want to be bothered.
I think a lot of it comes back to forced interactions. I feel that forced interactions are the worst kinds of interactions. And for me, they are almost the only type of interactions. When I am sitting home on a friday night bored off my ass, I will not call people to see what they are doing, I will not go out to a bar or club where there are lots of other people. I simply have no desire to do so. Boredom for me is a very interesting state of being. It is the best combination of being totally miserable that I feel I have nothing to do, yet being completely able to discount any worthwhile suggestion to do something with an excuse about why not to do it. It is almost as if I enjoy being bored. But how can that be, because I know I hate being bored? Perhaps I just hate being bored slightly less then the proposed alternatives.
What are the proposed alternatives usually? Well, this has been pretty much constant no matter where I have lived; the metropolitan city, the country, small town USA, doesn’t matter. The alternatives for what a 20-something year old guy should go out and on a friday night that don’t involve staying in the house usually boil down to one or two things, all of which require a high level of socializing. What is it about socializing that I hate so much? Is it just me?
I tend to think not, in fact I think the vast majority of people in my age group, and in the generation behind me, would label themselves at least a little bit anti-social. Dissecting my own personal issues I believe my reasons to be centered around the fact that I am utterly selfish. When I say I am selfish though, I do not mean I am not willing to share my toys with you, or let you eat some of my french fries. I have no problem sharing. I am selfish with respect to how, when, and why I am used as a person.
It might be just that my psychological egoism is misplaced in modern society. Perhaps there is nothing wrong with me after all. Do I simply resist the expectations of those around me, and resist the rules of society based on my own self interests, which consequently makes me look like the strange one? I am driven to the opposite extreme of selfish anti-social behavior. The extreme where I am not naturally apt to behave the way I do, but I behave in a way which currently suits me. It might be the result of years and years of forced social interactions which have lead me to now bask in my freedom by taking an extended vacation from the social interactions of my fellow man.
Most people don’t like brussel sprouts. Its not that brussel sprouts aren’t delicious either. They were put on your plate so many times by your parents, and you were forced to eat them so many times. Now, you can’t stand the sight of them, and despite the fact that you might actually enjoy them every now and then, you will still never make the choice to eat them voluntarily. For you it might not be brussel sprouts, but I am sure almost everyone has something like this. You didn’t like it, you were forced to deal with it, and now that you are a freethinking adult, you choose to not deal with it anymore. For me, my brussel sprouts are social interactions. I went to public school, I was on every school sports team I could get on (not by choice), I am an eagle scout, I played little league for 10 years, etc, etc. All of these things I was forced to do by my parents. Do I regret having done any of these things? Not in the slightest. I am proud to be an eagle scout, and I am proud of my sports trophies. However, the moment I was given a choice, I stopped doing such things. Much the same as you stopped eating brussel sprouts.
The particularly odd thing about me is that I am highly social, in a very special way. In fact I pretty much demand and rely upon constant company and I do not do very well alone. I have a very small group of friends who have been carefully weeded out and selected by my subconscious over the years. I have a girlfriend. I feel much more comfortable when I have someone else around me; and I generally try to surround myself by my close friends and loved ones as much as I can. Preferably on the home field, though. I tend to be most comfortable when people come to visit me, and when I go out somewhere to see someone else I an generally counting the minutes until I can go back home. I live in my own little microcosm.
It would seem I simply never grew out of being forced to do things. Now that I am an independent, upstanding young man, I make my own choices. When I am allowed to choose, I choose the same thing I would have chosen had been given the option to skip that boy scouts meeting. I choose to not. When I am invited to a party, I will not go. However, when forced, I always enjoy myself and never regret the decision to go. No matter how difficult it was to persuade me. Despite all the bitching and moaning. I generally have a lot of fun. When the next party comes around, I do not learn from the fun I had previously, I simply resist the interactions all over again.
I believe it all comes back to a heightened sense of psychological egoism and as mentioned previously, being so tired of being forced to interact, that when given a choice on what to do, I choose to not interact. It all boils down to be being a selfish asshole with a little bit of some combination of psychological disorders mixed in there for good measure.
Is this so bad? Why am I in the minority? People are supposed to be propelled by their own self interests. By and large the entire purpose of living is to be happy and to do what you want to do. It has become such a world where most of what we do turns out to be things to please others around us. We do our best to blend in to the world. The way we behave socially can often be much different from how we behave naturally. In my case, being a very good socializer, and very good at “keeping up appearances”, socializing often feels more like a job. It is not a comfortable place for me. I cannot usually be my normal, cynical, abrasive self, and as a result, I avoid situations which make me uncomfortable. Because that is what I want to do.
As for my misanthropic tendencies I think that is best saved for another entry.
5 thoughts on “Anti-Social Society”
I think what most people mean by “being social” is “being in the company of people you do not know well”.
The reason us misanthropes disdain such situations is because we realize the universal truth that People Suck. It is only through a lifetime of really annoying forced social situations that we’ve managed to weed out a very few people who suck less.
Considering in 26 long years I’ve only managed to weed out like 2 or 3 people, it is highly improbable that I will find someone worthy of my tolerance at some dive bar or apartment party.
But what would be the purest expression of my complete and utter contempt for all humankind, would be to cynically manipulate people (and bitches) with my sly, charming ways. Alas, I don’t have much charm, or sly in me. My distaste for social situations has left me with precious little practice in navigating them.
I don’t really care tho, there are far better skills to have in this world than being a people person.
Ditto to your article !
My job takes up most of my time.
And it seems like the only day i get off, is the day that everyone wants to hang out.
Back in high school, I was a social buttery fly.
During college, I had to travel across the province for my education, and learned to be content with my own company, and my own hobbies.
Now, a 30 year old married man, I really h8 hanging out.
I have no desire to mingle, keep up in the circle of friends. I detest surprise visits at my house.
Don’t invade my space without calling.
ANd why when i finally get a day off, would I want to spend it with anyone other t hen my beautiful wife.
My wife is all i need.
any socializing i do is for her.
any other like this?
I’m sorry you hate people so much, but I doubt that is the case.
The problem is that in this society we are basically forced to act a certain way which align with society’s expectations. Older and more mature people are supposed to able to initiate conversations and mingle.. not everyone is the same.. for those that believe there is something wrong with them, which really is just a difference in personality characteristics, choose drugs for their “problem”.The thing is that there probably wasn’t really a problem in the first place.