A few weeks ago some guy flipped me off at the grocery store. It made me get tears in my eyes. I had to go home and self-soothe by wrapping myself in a blanket and lying in bed. I blogged about it.
I was reassured by comments from people who had that same experience–you get yelled or honked at–and it makes you feel really bad whether or not you did anything wrong. My husband doesn’t care at all when these things happen to him. Some people are like that. (I can’t say whether or not those people have black souls–It’s none of my business.) Some of us are more sensitive.
I suspect I had a great need to be swaddled as a baby. In the book Quiet:The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking, Susan Cain talks about highly-reactive people. We are more bothered by noise and more disturbed by chaos. A lot of the people who commented on my post told me they also had to retire to their bed for comfort. We are like little babies! I think it’s cute.
When I wake up in the morning I never want to leave my bed. It feels awful to leave it. I promise myself I will return later–and I do. I consider lying in my bed an actual activity. My husband never needs to lie in bed. People are different. I’m sure the bad guys who flip us off are different too. I wonder if some of them feel a need to self-swaddle after they get into an altercation with some outrageous [in their mind] driver/parker/street crosser/cart pusher.
I never flip people off or yell swear words at them. I’m not trying to brag–it probably stems from cowardice more than virtue. Because I never do it I have a hard time relating to people who do. Maybe that’s why it upsets me so much. Have you ever been the “bad guy” in a grocery-store-parking-lot incident? I want to understand. Did you know you were being crazy and regret it later? Or does righteous indignation quell regret?