I am a Human Pathology Detector. I have found that if someone is psychologically normal, or healthy, I am automatically put on guard. I feel awkward, shy and inept around them. I don’t want to spend time with them, and I will go out of my way to avoid them.
If, however, some one is a mess, regardless of the type of mess or the degree of messiness, I immediately feel comfortable around them. I will seek them out, spend lots of comfortable time with them, and feel an automatic attraction.
This works for me in all areas of life. I can walk into a room and pick out those that are screwed up almost immediately. They are like beacons to me, and I, in turn, am a magnet for them. Regardless of their actual appearance, I find them attractive and vivacious, and exactly who I want to be around. They are like moths and I am a light; they are drawn to me in a way I can’t stop.
In some respects this is a great attribute. I can easily spot the people I shouldn’t be around. I know who to avoid. I don’t usually know why, but I know they are poison.
The flip side though, is that I am extremely uncomfortable around people who are basically healthy and good. It takes me weeks to warm up to them, and even once I have, I usually maintain some degree of awkwardness that I can’t shake. I will turn down social invitations or even basic interactions due to this discomfort. Even if I have known them a long time I will find myself tongue tied, losing words, losing entire sentences, basically paralyzed with self doubt and anxiety. I know; sounds fun, right?
This has obviously led to a lonely existence. I know to avoid those I feel comfortable around, but I want to avoid those I don’t feel comfortable around. What I am supposed to do with that?
Even though I know these things about my gut, I still question it every time. Why am I feeling what I’m feeling, I wonder. Were there signs? If so, what were they? What should I be looking for? How do I shake the one’s I know are no good for me and, more importantly, how do I force myself through the discomfort to make relationships with those who are good for me?
I always hope that I’m wrong, because I am comfortable with the narcissists, the borderlines, the addicts, and all other types of toxic people. I always hope I’m wrong, because they are so easy to be with, but I never am.
So, here I am with this finely tuned skill, and I’m available for hire if anyone needs me. I can follow you around for the day and tell you which people are no good for you and which ones are. I won’t be able to talk to the ones who are good for you, and I’ll become fast friends with the ones who aren’t, but at the end of the day I’ll walk away, and you will know for sure who should stay in your life.
Unfortunately, as is the case with so many of my skills, there is no market for a human divining rod for pathology. Darn.