It’s a common psychological foible

It’s a common psychological foible to consider one’s feelings unique. Since I learned this, I often err in the other direction.

Way back in the dark ages, when I was in counseling (ACK! TMI! Don’t worry, I won’t share much more), I shared something puzzling with my counselor. I was sure she would tell me that it happened to everyone, reassuring me that I was still a part of the human race. Instead, she said: “Wow, really? I’ve never heard of that, and I’ve been practicing a long time.”

Suddenly, I felt weird.

Despite my contention that few feelings/stances/actions are unique, I’ve been in the weird spot a number of times.

Once upon a time when I got comfortable with a group of people, I would share a little of myself, should it be appropriate to the conversation. I don’t do that much any more. I have “designated revelations” for different groups that are intimate enough to convince people I’m sharing, and even weird enough to put me in the spot again–but once I’ve shared them I don’t have to share much more. “C’mon, I told you my mom was gay–what more do you want?”

What I do instead is let others talk. I’ll listen to them share and encourage them, while revealing little of myself. It’s a neat trick.

Someday I’m sure I’ll meet someone who doesn’t mind that I’m an atheist who hates coffee and doesn’t watch television, though truly, I only expect to meet someone who thinks it’s okay–not someone like me. That’s a little sad.

Don’t worry, I’m not sad today. Just ruminating.

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