What does that word mean anyway? Weird. Strange. Odd. Different. All words that have definitely been used to describe me. J’accuse Anu, of being weird! But the thing about such definitions is always the intent and undertone of the accusation, right? Sometimes its loving- oh Anu. So strange. But we love her. Sometimes it’s joking- Anu- haha WEIRD! But sometimes, it’s sort of malicious. It doesn’t happen very often, but it happens.
To abstract it, I think we’ve all been in a situation where someone has just made a passing comment, and you know you should take the old kindergarten sticks and stones adage to heart, but its hard because you think there’s actually some truth to it. It’s all a matter of perception, but then you wonder if most people think that. And then bigger questions- should I care if most people feel this way anyway? All questions which, unfortunately, we can never really answer
So of course I thought about it for some time, and because even though I can’t for the life of me do anything civil engineering related, I’m still an engineer by training and I love me my data. So I looked at all my data points, and low and behold, I saw a trend arise.
The Observation: I can break the general population down into 2 categories: people who are somewhat secure with themselves and people that are not. I’ve observed that “secure” people never make malicious comments. Not that they’re better or worse than the “insecure” lot, but I think they’re just too busy thinking about other things, which really have nothing to do with the general population. So in some ways, I guess they’re a bit more narcissistic, because they could really care less what I’m doing. In other words, the only people that have made these somewhat mean comments are people I feel have problems coming to terms with who they are, and definitely derive some sort of affirmation or self worth from distinguishing themselves from other people. Which, again, I guess is nice because they think about other people. It just…may not be in the most positive way.
But don’t we want to get at is the “truth” of the matter? Find out who’s right? I think, it’s sort of like studying history. You never REALLY know what happened, because you weren’t there. You just have to look at all the information available to you, and most importantly, what the bias of each source was. What was in it for them? If you look at it that way, things make a lot more sense.
So, I guess at the end of the day, it really doesn’t matter what the answer to the question is. Because…I know that the negativity mostly came from a source that was definitely biased. It doesn’t matter the quantity of people that believe something, I think it’s the quality of people that believe it. If 99% of the world has something to gain by saying x, by historical standards, those opinions would be taken, but with a mountain of salt.
To put it in super nerd speak: If this were a Google Search (which optimizes for relevancy), the opinion of the 1% would be the first item on the search results.