Recently I was pondering something. Let me start with an anecdote that may better explain what I’d like to get at with this post. We’ve all had things like this happen to us. You order something in a restaurant, and enjoy it so much that you offer some to the friend you are dining with. “Have a bite of this, it’s so tasty!” If your friend is not interested, often you feel disappointed. If your friend tells you he or she doesn’t like what you are offering, you may even feel disappointed that they are ‘missing out’ on the wonderful flavours that you are experiencing. Similarly, when we smell something bad – we instinctively say “Smell this, it’s awful!” and offer it to the nearest person to confirm. Who wants to smell something bad? And why do we need confirmation? 😉
So I was pondering these behaviours and wondering why we do this. It’s a social thing! I think what it boils down to is that we very much want to express to others what we are experiencing, whether it be good or bad. We’re constantly trying to put into words how things feel – whether they are enjoyable or painful. When we taste a new fruit that makes our senses tingle, we want others to be able to experience the same bliss that we are experiencing. When we stub our toe, we explain the throbbing pain to those around us so that they will better understand what we are feeling.
Something else I noticed? It’s all well and good to want others to experience the interesting, wonderful, and fantastic things you are experiencing, but being upset when their feelings don’t align with yours is not necessary. Example: Your brother doesn’t like mangoes. You *LOVE* them and can’t understand why he does not, and get disappointed when he refuses to try the mango you just cut up. Your boyfriend or girlfriend tries a new restaurant with you and hates it, and you are disappointed that they had a bad experience and didn’t like the dishes either of you ordered.
It’s ok for others to like or dislike things that are different from your likes and dislikes. It’s difficult, though, not to personalize these experiences and be upset by them. Just because important people in your life don’t enjoy everything that you do, doesn’t mean that you are not meant to be acquainted (in whatever way). It doesn’t mean that you can’t hang out any more.
Sure, you’d prefer it if you could share the amazing experience or taste or sight or smell or sound with people that are important to you – and have it affect them in the same way (awesome or not) but the fact that the people in our lives are different from us is what enriches our lives. Plus – I think that deep down we would like to fit in… by seeing if others like or dislike things the same way we do!
Don’t give up on sharing your experiences with those around you – whether it’s a terrible smell, or tasting some wonderfully ripe strawberries. Just try not to take it personally if the person you offer it to doesn’t react exactly the same way you do 🙂 Relish our differences! Like what you like, dislike what you dislike… and it’s all good if not everyone agrees with you.