This was an awesome read. I’ll need to read it over a few more times to really “get” everything in it, but a few things stuck out to me…
“ …I truly struggle to find balance between managing, supporting and cultivating interpersonal relationships while also trying to learn a new skill or doing complex work.”
You are SO not alone in this regard. As someone who struggles mightily with OCD, I can’t even begin to tell you how hard it is for me to maintain relationships with people who require large amounts of attention. This is because I spend a lot of time writing about my experiences, meditating on my thoughts and going through Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. I categorize those efforts as “complex work,” and one of the consequences of engaging in that work is that I’m often too focused on the task at hand to be able to put even more work into my relationships. Unfortunately, I’ve had friends cut me off over this. And if I’m being honest, I can’t totally blame them. The upside is that the few friends who have stuck with me all these years have become like family to me. Their patience and understanding has been a blessing, and I’d swim through an ocean of sharks for any one of them.
Also, I wonder if this maybe has something to do with why so many brilliant people are also considered antisocial and/or introverts. To be clear, I’m not suggesting that I am brilliant, lol. But a lot of brilliant people have been known to keep to themselves, and I’m just thinking that maybe it’s because they literally can’t maintain close relationships with more than one or two people at a time.
“ We are quite literally wired to dig our heels in, even when we are wrong.”
This doesn’t surprise me. Ironically, one of the things my OCD has helped me realize is how easy it can be to delude yourself into thinking that some irrational act you engaged in or inappropriate thing you said was actually completely justifiable. I suppose that’s one of the few benefits of OCD; I know that my obsessions and compulsions are unreasonable, and that knowledge has made me more open to the idea that some of my other thoughts, ideas and actions aren’t as sensible as I might have previously believed. But I’ve also observed that most people don’t have this awareness. This is particularly true in politics, and it’s a bipartisan problem that seems to cut across virtually every demographic in our society.
Last one: “A very good argument for more play and less sitting at a desk, if you ask me.”
This simply reaffirms my belief that instead of sending kids to school, we should go full Spartan and drop them off in the middle of the jungle in pairs or small groups for a year or two and then pick up the survivors when the clock runs out. They’ll be crazy good at working with others and have fantastic survival skills! =P
Anyways, great job! This was a really enlightening piece!