Sunday, July 27, 2003

Mike's Insight of the Week™: The opposite of lonely is annoyed.

Explanation: When the house feels too quiet and empty, TV's boring, and books don't do the trick, I know I need some human companionship. If none of my friends are available, I'll go downtown and hang out in a coffee shop. It's a simple, easily recognized emotion: loneliness.

But its opposite is harder to identify because of how it manifests: as annoyance with the people we're around. The laugh that was charming this afternoon suddenly seems a bit too loud, or even forced. But the problem isn't them, it's me. And it's not a problem, it's just a situational thing. I've been around people too much and need some alone time. It's also very easily solved, by going off for a walk (or whatever), while if I make the mistake of thinking that my annoyance is somehow a product of this other person, then I'm going to be eternally frustrated, because they can't change their laugh even if they wanted to, and they shouldn't want to just because I'm in a pissy mood.

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