It seems to be part of human nature that we all think we're smarter than somebody else at least once in our lives.
Some of us feel that way all the time. Some will argue ceaselessly even when they're wrong.
Some days I feel particularly stubborn and irritated by stupidity.
One of the things that drives me nuts, especially common among academic types, are people who take things too literally or will argue over mechanics when they're missing the larger point I was trying to make. And they're not patient or open-minded enough to try to see where I was going, they just start nit-picking in a way that doesn't get anybody anywhere nearer to enlightenment.
Sometimes I get really frustrated at my own inability to communicate what I think, or just not being in the right position to say what I think at any given moment.
For example: replying to comments on my blog, not being able to come up with the right way to illustrate a concept in a persuasive way and being told I'm doing it all wrong, when that really wasn't the point in the first place
Or, seeing people stretching the wrong way at the gym. It drives me crazy knowing they're getting nothing out of it and will probably injure themselves, and here I could totally prevent that but it's not my job, I shouldn't butt in
Dealing with stupid self-checkout at the grocery store that is designed really poorly and doesn't work very well or make any sense. Wondering if I'm taking it all too literally. But then seeing that not only am I frustrated, but also overhearing the guy next to me asking the supervising cashier perfectly reasonable questions about things we've seen real cashiers do at their stations but the machines won't let us do at the self-checkout station
Getting home and realizing I forgot something I needed at the grocery store
Isn't it funny how some of us are expected to remind everybody else of everything they're supposed to do, but nobody reminds us? And I'm probably only that way because my mother always reminded me of everything and it drove me nuts when I was growing up, but now I do it and people take it for granted that I'll be the reminder? The rememberer? So if I actually do forget something, they assume it's deliberate and I'm mad at them?
I don't really want to remember everything all the time. I really don't.
Some days I can't stand even witnessing personal conflict from afar, like watching friends ranting on Facebook and realizing that while they have a point, the person they're mad at might be crazy or uncomprehending and I just feel so bad for how hurt they are but there's nothing I can do. And knowing at the same time that ranting on Facebook isn't going to help their case at all, but I can't say that, I shouldn't butt in
One of the things I hated most about being a postdoc was watching people fuck things up on a daily basis, but knowing they didn't want my advice and wouldn't follow my protocols even when they asked me for them
And yet, it seems to be an inescapable feature of adult life. I put all this effort into learning how to do things, and I would dearly love to save other people the trouble of learning the hard way. But that knowledge and experience is essentially useless because nobody wants to hear it from me
Which is another reason I wouldn't want to have children. My parents thought they knew everything, and even though I frequently suspected they were wrong, what choice did I have as a minor? To run away? I had to live by their rules, their expectations, their advice and their control
Another thing I see on Facebook, and that I'm seeing more of lately, is my friends having children. And realizing that some of them are really great parents, and some are not. And it is hard to watch people I dearly love, as friends, fucking up their children's lives almost from day 1. And I don't know how to respect that, how to be accepting, or how to say to them gently "Um, you know, maybe it's not fair to be such a controlling perfectionist about your kid, even if that's how you do everything else in your life and that's okay because it's your life"? And knowing that it's not my place to butt in
But wishing there were something I could do to save those poor kids from growing up the way I did, just wishing somebody would please butt in
and stand up for me because we can't always stand up for ourselves
And how modern psychology would probably say this is what I kept hoping for in my career, for somebody to hear me say I needed help and butt in
But our culture seems to think that's somehow impolite, that you should keep to yourself, even when you see things that are unfair or unethical or inhumane, you should just remember it's not your place to butt in