Strange Thinking

Every once in a while I’ll make a joke about my pet peeve being “stupid people”. Let me qualify this by labelling “stupid” as “voluntarily stupid”. Not people with a learning disability or genuine mental health issues, but the person who gets in the “10 items” line at the grocery store with a full cart. The person who argues that “irregardless” is a word. The person who takes 14 tries to park their car.

Even more specifically, I hate inefficient people.

I suppose this is a side effect of my day job. I spend the vast majority of my time while awake looking for the most efficient way to accomplish my goal. This has carried over noticably in my day to day activites.

The other side of that is if I see someone doing something inefficient, but not necessarily wrong, I get frustrated with them. Typing one key at a time. Not using the “page up/down” button on the remote to select a channel.

This has completely or nearly ruined several relationships. Loading the dishwasher in an inefficient manner. Folding clothes in a way that is not the most compact.

It took me several years of claiming that I hated stupid people to realize that it wasn’t hate at all, it was an unrealistic expectation.

I consider myself moderately intelligent and converse with equally (and usually more) intelligent people all day. It becomes an echo chamber of smarts. I frequently forget that people I interact with that aren’t in that group aren’t less intelligent, but have different priorities. Also, they not have the same experience in clothes-folding that I do.

Not everyone in the world cares about making as few trips to the kitchen as possible, or the fastest way to open a soda can. These things aren’t that big of a deal. In fact, it’s pretty strange to even think about these things.

##It’s pretty strange to try and optimise every interaction.

This was the biggest revelation I had. I’m the weird one. I have the problem.

Since realizing this, I have become more conscious of becoming upset over minutiea. I’m not sure if it’s nature (genetic predisposition for OCD) or nurture (an engineering mindset) that got me to this point. I have several engineers in my family who are fastidious and detail-oriented, and I went to an engineering school majoring in computer science.

Either way, now that I’ve accepted that the world isn’t completely full of idiots I don’t have nearly as high a stress level on a daily basis.


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