I have been discussing with a friend the perils of new relationships; not just romantic ones but the problems that occur when you let someone new into your world. Both of us have been left mentally and emotionally battered by people who have got into our worlds and wreaked havoc with our lives as their nonsense slowly infected our otherwise calm and ordered existences.
Meeting new people is always a gamble and even more so for highly sensitive souls like myself. If you never meet anyone new , your world becomes stagnant and, as an artist, I end up with nothing fresh to draw inspiration from; but with strange people comes a chance of the bad getting in, it’s a chance you occasionally have to take.
When you meet someone new they can unfold like a flower, getting more and more fascinating over time; sadly, they can also unwrap like a parcel bomb, revealing more and more nastiness as their mechanisms become exposed and you are left with a mess that you are terrified to go near and fearful of getting rid off because of the potentially awful consequences.
Over the past few years I have dealt with quite a few of the bomb variety of people and, as I look back on the carnage and misery that they left in their path, a simple thought occurs to me. What if, when you are introduced to a new person, how nice it would be it we were handed a clipboard; and on it was a simple check sheet with all that person’s issues and the problems that they will cause you listed in easily readable text? It would save so much heartache if, before we became emotionally entangled with a person, we had to check and initial each toxic event that someone would inflict on us and sign to say we knew exactly what we were letting ourselves in for.
People aren’t like that though are they? They are barely ever honest with themselves, let alone anyone else, and the chances of anyone having the clarity of thought and the self awareness to be able to even see their mess, let alone know how badly it will spill out on another person. Self awareness is very much the key as to why things go wrong with anyone new (well in my world at least) as most of my long term friendships are with very wise people who have managed to straddle that fine line between calm and dull and keep on the interesting side. When people aren’t honest about who they are and what they do, things inevitable go wrong in their lives; it’s hardly a suprise that anyone who comes into contact with them will suffer too.
Perhaps it would do people good to be forced to write out their own list of issues? If not to hand out to others, then at least for their own self awareness. It would be like they risk assements I have to compile when I’m running workshops but instead of pointy scissors and fire hazards it would be more personal.
In the interests of fareness and honesty, here is a quick go at mine…
It is highly likely that I will not like your friends.
It is doubtful that I will turn up to your social event as I wouldn’t even bother to show up for my own.
If I do your portrait and you aren’t very nice, neither will the picture be.
If you take me somewhere crowded, I won’t hear a word you are saying but I will nod and smile like I do, I will then run out without warning and go home because I’ve had a panic attack.
If I don’t like you, you will know it.
If I don’t like what you are doing, you will know it.
I do not dance and if you try and make me, I will hate you forever.
In fact, if you try and make me do anything I don’t want to I shall hate you.
If there are books in the room, I will be distracted. If they are your books and I don’t like them, I will judge you.
If your house or car are overly tidy, I shall be deeply suspicious of you.
If you talk about sport or excercise I shall phase out and probably yawn.
That’s off the top of my head; looking at it , I could come across as either judgey or self righteous. Both fare points but I am listing the negatives here, the sort of things that could clash badly with someone else’s life or personality and cause friction. What I’m trying to say though is that if someone reads this list on their first meeting and it clearly sets off their own alarms, perhaps that would be the better option than having to feel all heartbroken later on when things are muddied by love, sex or friendship; things could swiftly end there, people could go their own way with no more awkwardness than if they realised that they had come out without any money, annoying but hardly the end of your world.
There is, sadly, a gaping hole it this theory; so many people are severely deluded about themelves and would write nothing because they are convinced that they are just perfect. Then there are others still who would get some twisted pleasure in writing a load of absolute garbage to sucker you into their toxic world, as if they are on some kind of kamikaze mission to take everyone else down with their mess too. In fact, the only way this would work is if it had a form of legal framework like a driving license. A test maybe? Or perhaps everyone should have a certain amount of sessions with a psychiatrist or a counsellor to assess how well they would interact with others? Unfortunately, there are all these annoying things like rights that tell us that we are free to do what we want and we are blindly stumbling into a totalitarian state for simply wanting a quiet life.
So I guess we are stuck with this situation; a never ending nightmare where everyone we meet has the chance to slowly poison our lives… Free will. It’s a pain in the arse.