Blog by Sumana Harihareswara, Changeset founder

21 Mar 2007, 12:05 p.m.

Tendencies, Or, The Lives Of Others

Hi, reader. I wrote this in 2007 and it's now more than five years old. So it may be very out of date; the world, and I, have changed a lot since I wrote it! I'm keeping this up for historical archive purposes, but the me of today may 100% disagree with what I said then. I rarely edit posts after publishing them, but if I do, I usually leave a note in italics to mark the edit and the reason. If this post is particularly offensive or breaches someone's privacy, please contact me.

I'd like to see that film, The Lives of Others. Maybe it would help remind me of this bit of wisdom, one that's been slipping off me no matter how many times I try to pour it on: "Never judge your inside by anyone else's outside." Garrison Keillor echoes: "We have a backstage view of ourselves and a third-row view of everybody else."

If someone seems together, I won't like them. Once they've showed vulnerability, I can enjoy their company. Preferred: someone who's subtly but bravely struggling with some issue -- personal, job, etc. -- and laughs at my jokes. And whose tastes coincide with my own. If they're more critical than me, I feel defensive, as though I'm trying desperately to manufacture taste on the spot. If they like things I don't, what a terrible snob I feel!

How much does it cost to be a hermit for a year?