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A guy I didn’t like

Last night I met a guy who I disliked after only a few minutes of conversation. That’s unusual for me. I wanted to get out of his presence, which is also unusual. Weirdest of all, couldn’t figure out why I didn’t like him. There was nothing wrong with him. If you asked me, I wouldn’t be able to come up with a single explanatory factor.

Only after I’d politely exempted myself from his presence did I realize why I didn’t like him: For whatever psychological reason, I found myself becoming competitive, trying to impress him. In his presence, I was an a-hole.

It was me, not him. And it makes me wonder how often the people I don’t like I don’t like because I don’t like who I am with them.

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9 Responses to “A guy I didn’t like”

  1. Great self awareness that’s got me thinking… thanks!

  2. I resemble that remark, but don’t always have the sensitivity to know when I’m turning into a competocreep. Thanks–this is a useful idea to have in my head.

  3. It reminds me of one the of hardest things about being a parent — the flaws/failings in my child that I find hardest to take and be reasonable about are the ones that I share.

  4. I have a brother that kinda hate. I dislike him totally. Actually, I can’t stand him and I think he feels the same way. It’s weird situation. My family says that we two are so similar and I can’t stand this idea of being similar than him. But for some reason, I can see the worst part of me being reflected on him and this is unbearable. Amazing how many things happen with no awarness of it.

  5. Isn’t this the classic explanation for why civil wars are usually even more ghastly than other conflicts?
    A recent piece in the New York Review of Books examined the American Civil War, and found no lack of massacres, revenge killings, murder of prisoners of war and so forth, nor any reluctance to mention such things in letters home. From our own time we have the example of Greece, Yugoslavia, Ruanda, etc. What we might forgive in presumably beknighted foreigners, we can find no excuse for in our compatriots, since the eduction and background we share should be enough for them to reject the evil they seem to embrace.

  6. It would be interesting to know if the said person reads your blog and how he thought about you during that *competition*.

    Am asking because we often only get to see our part of the story and not the actual feedback from others, i.e. the way they feel about us and not only us imaging what they may pres. think about us.

  7. […] at Joho the blog, David Weinberger tells a brutally honest story about meeting a guy he didn’t like. He realized that the problem was not the person he met, but his inexplicable response to him. And […]

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