Identifying by What You Hate

I hate talking on the phone.

Or at least, that’s what I always say to people and to myself. For years, “Just text. I hate talking on the phone.” But then, I talk on the phone with someone I love. My mom, one of my minions, my friends, my aunt, my mentor. It’s so good to hear their voices, their laughter, their sighs, their inflections.

I still say repeatedly that I hate talking on the phone. Even though it’s obvious that I don’t but I’ve said it long enough to myself and others that it’s part of who I am. I am a person who hates talking on the phone.

I’m not the only person who does this.

“I hate people.” But they have friends and family who they love. And they are people.

“I hate going out.” But every time they go out they have a great time.

“I hate women.” But they are a woman and they have woman friends and family members.

“I hate Disneyland.” But they’ve never even been to Disneyland.

“I hate writing.” But I’m a writer. I mean, sometimes people who say this are writers or so I’ve heard GET OFF MY BACK.

And oh, the defensiveness when you try to call people out on these things! The verbal acrobatics and the reasoning and the #notallpeople and every situation you bring up is a “Well that time was different.” or “That time was special.” or “That person is the exception.”

We tend to cling to our dislikes. They become part of how we identify. And if we let it, it becomes all that we identify as. A person who hates things, like we’re too cool for this planet. Even though all signs point to otherwise. Are we scared of identifying by what we like? What we love?

I’m not saying don’t hate things. By all means, some things you simply do not like at all. Like traffic.

What I am saying is that you have permission to like things you used to dislike. It’s okay to change your mind. It’s scary, especially if that hatred was part of your identity and part of your shield. I’ve certainly hid behind the “I hate people” shield in order to not go out and be social. It’s not that I hate people. It’s that I have social anxiety in big groups and it’s intimidating to go to places where I don’t know people. But to admit that is terrifying in itself. So I would say my safe words, “I hate people.”

Let’s be clear: there are certainly some people I hate. But it’s unrealistic to say “I hate people” when 1) there are clearly people I adore and 2) I don’t know most people.

Am I going to say I hate things less? Probably not. Does this make me a liar? Eh. But I’m not going to let these things I tell myself to get in the way of a potential good time anymore. Even if it’s just talking on the phone.

Published in: on 01/06/2017 at 10:34 PM  Leave a Comment  

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