Choose Your Stance

St. Paul the Hermit — Jusepe de Ribera

St. Paul the Hermit — Jusepe de Ribera

Functioning in densely populated areas can be a challenge for any decent human. Survival, even on a purely psychological level, depends on your approach to each interaction. Remember, you must welcome the situation no matter how dismal and destructive it seems. First commit to an attitude so that you can then focus on specific situational responses. Choose from the following:

 1. “I hate people.”

When you look up from your inevitable gaze toward the ground and see another person, at least you have already prepared your opinion of them: hatred and disgust. You despise them all equally, thus your expression never need change according to the subject at hand. No extra time is needed to form feelings or thoughts about each individual lout who passes your way. They are all scum and you are secure in knowing that.


2. “I’d rather avoid people, but I recognize that occasional exposure to them keeps me from becoming a mumbling hermit who hoards soiled napkins and tiny bits of plastic wrap.”

That weekly trip to the market might be keeping some folks from turning into Unabombers in their hovels of solitude. Shut-ins may act awkward in social situations, especially while in retail shops and public transportation vehicles, but it’s a good thing for them to air themselves out once in a while.


3. “The landlord and credit companies insist that I maintain an income, and most jobs require being around other people.”

The “objective” section of your resume claims that you love to help people! Note: all positions require that you either work around other people or that your personality does not reveal antisocial tendencies. You’ve embraced the charade just enough for you to function around others and satisfy your basic needs: food, clothing, shelter, sufficient health, friendship, transportation, mobile plan, internet, and whatever supplies your addictions.


4. “I love people. “

No one believes you, but OK.


Now that you’ve chosen a stance, we can progress to specific situations you will face on your mortal odyssey.

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