I often wonder what people think of me. I really want to know how they see me. I probably never will, though. Still I wonder, if I peer into their minds, what will I find? It struck me recently (as it has struck me before) that I probably won’t find too many thoughts about me. I am the centre of my existence, so it is only natural that I should be thinking of myself all the time (I like to say I live for God, that I put Him first, but I must admit even my views of God are centred around me. I can’t really help it. I don’t think anyone can).
Extrapolate: other people think of themselves all the time. Unless you made some huge impression, or unless you’re constantly popping up (and if they don’t unsubscribe from your facebook posts) they won’t be thinking of you all that much.
Here is a hierarchy of how much I reckon people think about me
- Me (all the time)
- My parents (very close to all the time)
- My siblings (often, I hope)
- My friends (sometimes)
- My acquaintances (quite little)
- People I have met (very little)
- People who have heard of me (almost never)
- People I have never met and have never heard of me (never ever)
It’s obvious, but to my self-centred mind, admitting that category eight is not just the largest category, but is about as big as the universe is compared to Earth, isn’t fun.
I recently struck up an old acquaintance. (I am pretty good at losing touch with people – something I need to remedy. This seemed like a good place to start.) Our coffee meeting went well. But it was superfluous. My acquaintance had not given me much thought (if any) in the time since we last saw each other, and has probably not thought of me very much since, except to wonder why I would show up after such a long time, and even then, probably only very briefly.
People who are infatuated (I shall not say in love, because love requires two people) often experience my little existential revelation (at least they do on television). The guy can’t stop thinking about the girl, but at some point he realises (or chooses to stop ignoring) that she does not even know his name, that she does not have any opinion on him, really, because she has had not even thought about him.
Now I wonder (and this is a stretch for my mind) if there are any people that have experienced this, but where I was the one not giving a thought, where I was not paying attention. Because I experienced the opposite side of this particular one-sided interaction, I have to admit that probably it has happened. So if you are one of those people whom I did not think of, know that I am not really thinking of you now either, nor do I apologise. So if you want my thoughts, come, make me notice you, and make sure you’re interesting.