Monday 28 December 2009


Why is it, I wonder, that our attention is best held by morsels of information, snippets of a story, parts of a picture?
And those morsels have to be, it seems, distributed in a certain rhythm: wait too long, and people lose interest; give them too many installments in a given space of time, and after a short and intense hype, things will peter out.

Our minds are able to process a lot of input amazingly fast, but for some reason, we do not always want to know the whole story or see the full picture at once. Instead, we prefer being fed morsels.
Or how else is the success of seemingly eternal sitcoms and soap operas explainable, of series of books that go on for volumes and volumes about the same characters?

Whether this has to do with the biochemical structure of our brains or with the way the average human psyche works (one to a certain extend conditioning the other), I do not know.
But it is a topic I find intriguing, and it concerns me in quite a personal way.

Every now and then, I make the acquaintance of someone new; be it at work, in one of the online communities I am part of, in the neighbourhood or anywhere else.
Sometimes, I take an instant liking to the new person, and I have a tendency to flood the poor recipient of my attention with a lot of information about myself, to the point of probably overwhelming them with my (rather naive) openness.

Having made this experience several times in the past, I thought I'd learnt my lesson and have become more cautious in my approach, parsimoniously talking about my own background, my job, my interests and opinions.
And yet, I still seem to be too outgoing and too generous towards some of my acquaintances, not getting much (if any) response anymore after a while.

It would be a lie to say it does not hurt when that happens, because it does.
But I only have myself to blame.


  1. I know exactly how you feel. And I hope that it's not me that you were waiting on! ;) I try to respond as you do. Also like you, I find myself giving out much more information than I probably should. But, I've learned to accept that's just who I am. It doesn't make the hurt any less when I don't get a response, but like you said, I have only myself to blame. There are "people" persons, and there are "introverts". I'd say that it's important for the world to go round to have both. It takes a special person to be either, and those that are the extroverts tend to have a strength in accepting others as they are, and have a weakness in being by themselves, or without communication for long extended periods of time. Obviously, I'm the extrovert! I don't require much alone time. Infact, if I have too much of it, I find myself being rather melancholy and down. Even talking to someone online is much better than having no one to talk to at all. My husband is the introvert. He misses his "quiet" time now that we have a child. Don't get me wrong, he loves Isaac, but he always needed that hour or so of "downtime" that he doesn't get anymore after work. If someone doesn't respond to him immediately, it's no big deal to him. He's been known to have forgotten that he's sent a message or called and left a message for someone, so that when they respond back, he has to think about what he said!

    Anyway, sorry for the novel!! I can relate to this post so well!!!

  2. Thank you, Mel, and don't worry - I really was not on about you, not even about anyone specific, just a general observation.
    As regarding alone time and people time, I need both; if I do not get enough alone time (which of course I get plenty of now that I live alone!), I become edgy and irritable. If I do not get enough response from people, I get sad and restless and start focusing on my faults and think they are the reason for people not getting in touch with me and forgetting me.

    Balance seems to be the secret but it is not always easy to achieve.