Constantly evaluating and re-evaluating motives, actions and thoughts of myself, those that I know and sometimes even strangers has been almost an incessant occupation for me. It's partly to do with being observant. But mostly it was because I enjoyed being able to predict what a person would do in a given situation.
(Mind you, I constantly managed to baffle myself with my own actions)
Frequently, this habit plunged me into despair. That's not why I am calling quits though. No, what has stopped me short - finally - is a simple realisation.
I don't think one can ever completely dissect the human mind. Even if I were to devote my entire life to it's study, why people behave the way they do can never ever be critically and scientifically broken into fragments that fit neatly like a jigsaw puzzle.
Perhaps the reason I became such a champion of amateur psychoanalysis, was simple self preservation instincts. If I could predict human reactions, perhaps I could also control them. And that would save me a lot of grief.
Needless to say, that has not happened.
Instead of growing wise, witty and wonderful, I have detected growing signs of hair loss and what seems like peptic ulcer.
Why A wrote a mail to B that was mildly flirtatious when both A and B were actually in serious relationships has been of greater concern to me than A, B and their respective partners put together.
Hence, I have now decided to practice the following with immediate effect:
1. To keep my nose firmly out of others' affairs, I shall rediscover other hobbies. When I am tempted to observe and deduce, I shall play Brickbreaker on my Blackberry instead.
2. I will no longer search for and believe in signs. So, if you interact with me on a day-to-day basis, please be direct. If you want me to attend to you, say so. Hit me on the head with a book. Tell me, loudly and clearly, what you want me to know. If in doubt, repeat.
3. I will no longer worry about why people I feel let down by, did what they did. I shall believe in a logical reason for it - while being otherwise nice people, they were ****heads at that point in time. I should know, I have been a ****head myself, plenty of times.
I can almost picture some of my friends regularly subjected to midnight meltdowns sagging with relief. Or holding their breath worried it's too good to be true.
The beauty of it is, other than a passing mention, I simply don't want to care about that anymore. So you see - it's working!