Are you people fundamentally the same or are we all very different creatures?

Just when I think I able to relate to someone, they say or do something that makes me think we are members of two different planets. An unpleasant feeling comes over me…like I’m the “wrong” one. Even when there are no moral values in the equation.

But I’ve heard people say, “Everyone is just the same!”

I want this to be true. But my experience shows that it’s not. For one person, a dead kitten makes them weep all day at their desk. For another, it’s fodder for a joke. Another person is conscientious about every atom that enters their body, while another doesn’t give a fuck, please pass the peas. Someone else prays every night for someone to love them. Another person is repulsed by the idea of having attachments.

There are things we all have in common. But they are all so basic as to be kind of meaningless. And even then, there’s always someone around who is the exception. Everyone in the room can agree that they like to eat when they’re hungry…except for that person who has an eating disorder and becomes distressed.

What is your opinion? Are people really more alike than they are different, or am I just feeling especially alienated for some reason?
ETA: I didn’t mean to say “you people” in the title. That’s kind of funny. :slight_smile:

Who you callin’ “you people”?

It is the fact that we are all so similar that makes the small differences between us seem so vast.

I think most people are quite different. I feel there are semi-normal ( non-criminal and go to a job and actually work) and a plethora of delusional nimrods ok with the nanny-state many of us live in.

Most of you seem the same. I however, am the only one of my kind.

What do you mean “you people?”

I think people are alike in different ways. We all want to be liked. We all want to be right. We all want to be happy, or at least comfortable. It’s how we go about achieving those things that is different.

It can be disconcerting when somebody we’re getting to know and accept comes out with something that seems out of left field, to us. But if everybody we liked mirrored everything we find acceptable, they would be too boring to know. It’s the quirks that keep it interesting. Plus, their truths don’t have to be our truths; you can like to hang out with someone but not share their beliefs that the aliens do come back to check on the “marked” ones from time to time.

(That’s a little over the top, I know, but I hope you get what I mean.)

When this happens, do you lose your previous ability to relate to that person? IOW, do you suddenly think, “Ew, he puts ketchup on his eggs,” and from then on you don’t enjoy hearing his thoughts on model trains like you did before? If that’s the case, maybe you’re being too rigid in deciding what makes a person relatable, or what makes you eligible to “fit in” with a group of people.

Let’s postulate that there are 5000 areas of possible compatibility. If you can only relate to people where at least 4800 of those items match, you’re going to have trouble fitting in or finding people you can relate to. (Conversely, if you call everybody with 500+ matches “friend,” you’ll spend a lot of time on Facebook but might have few quality relationships.)

IOW, people are in theory very much alike but in practice very different, and only you can decide how much difference you can handle depending upon your circumstances. You could be feeling more alienated than usual for some reason. For instance, when I’m really depressed I’m not able to see any group in which I belong, including my family of origin, and I consider myself to be too “wrong” to take up space and resources needed for actual people. On my better days I can acknowledge that I am probably not doing any more harm than my peers and that I do belong among a certain segment of the population.

BTW, I liked the “you people” in the title. It made perfect sense to me. :smiley:

Me too!

I really think we’re much more the same than we are different. I think when someone comes along that really is different, like a coprophage or a serial killer, we can see how much the same most of us really are.

I don’t think it’s that…abrupt. It’s more like after one “difference” pops up, I start noticing more and more until that’s all I see.

I don’t care about other people’s food/music/clothing/car preferences, usually. Emotional reactions and views about the world are the kind of things that I use to establish degree of “relatedness”.

I think people have fundamentally the same urges, but in vastly different proportions.