What is your view on misanthropy
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19-10-2013, 11:25 AM
RE: What is your view on misanthropy
(19-10-2013 11:21 AM)Dom Wrote:  Well, looking at the goings on in this world, all gods are misanthropes.

Oh, don't say that. All the impotent gods love you very much!

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19-10-2013, 11:50 AM (This post was last modified: 19-10-2013 11:54 AM by amyb.)
RE: What is your view on misanthropy
(19-10-2013 10:45 AM)kim Wrote:  I moved this to the coffee house - someone can move it elsewhere if necessary.

**
I think misanthropy is kind of an overused or at least misused word. I don't know if someone can actually hate human beings completely. Humans kind of need each other so... hmm... I think being completely misanthropic would be pretty lonely.

I'm kind of a loner myself... I'm all about selective misanthropy. Wink

Hatred of humankind =/= hatred of each individual human.

That being said, I have SPD (and am pretty close to the "pure schizoid" end of the spectrum) and actively shun all real-life human contact and only talk to people on internet forums. I spent years of my life looking for a job where I can work from home and not even have to talk face to face with my superiors or my clients. Anyway, what I mean to say is that not everyone equates solitude and lack of human interaction (in real life) with loneliness, or feels the "need" for other humans. Hell, if I didn't have health problems,I think I could go live on a desert island and never see or speak to another human again, and not miss being around humans. (I'm also asexual and aromantic, so I don't feel the need to be around humans for those reasons, either).

Also, if you hate people/humankind, you don't want to be around them, which means you wouldn't feel lonely. Loneliness involves not being around people and wishing you were around people. Misanthropy, as I see it, involves being ecstatic when you can find a way to avoid being around people.

I would, however, agree that people overuse and misuse the word very much. As a person who strongly identifies with the word, this sort of offends me, people who say they hate people yet are very social, care very much about what their peers think of them, and get "lonely" when they aren't around people.

Disclaimer: I realize I am insane and probably most of you can't really relate to any of that, but I'm just giving my point of view.

I was on a site about SPD recently which said some things I thought were very interesting, can't find the link though. But I think that if anyone has the potential to be truly misanthropic, it would be people that really dislike humans and all they stand for. As someone with a limited range of emotions and a severe dislike of emotional displays, most things people say and do make me want to vomit. The only social interaction I enjoy tends to be debating about religion and politics, and/or talking about Star Trek. The minute people start talking about things like relationships and breakups and feelings and children, I start to pity them because they seem like slaves to their emotions, instincts and/or hormones. And that's the vast majority of humanity. I mean, just turn on the radio, it's all love songs. Most films have romance subplots. Most people spend a lot time worrying about relationships and invest a lot in them emotionally. This is a big part of what it is to be human, apparently, which is why I feel absolutely no kinship with other members of my species.
Quote:It probably just relates to the 'I'm ok; You're not OK' life position. Or fear.
I disagree with this, coming from an SPD point of view, anyway. I think it can also have to do with a difference of priorities and interests. I don't think other people are "not ok", though I do have a mild superiority complex (related to being self-sufficient) which I try to repress. "Fear" sounds like social anxiety, not a genuine dislike of humans.

A link I saw explained it like this
|--pure schizoid/spd-------introvert-------------extrovert---|
Extroverts like and want to be around people, lots of friends. Introverts like being around people a bit, but too much socializing wears them out, tend to have a few close friends, etc. Pure schizoids tend to go out of their way to avoid people, and also lack the desire to be around people, and lack the enjoyment derived from social interaction, value solitude and self-sufficiency. I think this relates to misanthropy, at least for me.
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19-10-2013, 12:25 PM
RE: What is your view on misanthropy
(19-10-2013 11:50 AM)amyb Wrote:  The only social interaction I enjoy tends to be debating about religion and politics, and/or talking about Star Trek.

Well, I don't equate being alone with loneliness. I'm alone most of the time. I only interact when I go to work and see people for all of 1 hour a day, at best.

However, there are times I feel the need to not be "the crazy lady who lives on the corner who never comes out of her house except when she goes to work, at night, alone."

It's not necessarily what another might think of me being alone... it's what I notice in myself after I've been alone quite a lot. There's a certain craziness that sets in... I feel like I need the stimulus of the unpredictable human nature that's out there. Consider Maybe it helps me realize my own unpredictability(craziness) is simply that I am human.

It's like the yin to my yang; being alone, I want to be around people just enough, so I can happily go back to being alone. Like I said... selective misanthropy. Wink

A new type of thinking is essential if mankind is to survive and move to higher levels. ~ Albert Einstein
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19-10-2013, 01:18 PM
RE: What is your view on misanthropy
(19-10-2013 11:50 AM)amyb Wrote:  A link I saw explained it like this
|--pure schizoid/spd-------introvert-------------extrovert---|
Extroverts like and want to be around people, lots of friends. Introverts like being around people a bit, but too much socializing wears them out, tend to have a few close friends, etc. Pure schizoids tend to go out of their way to avoid people, and also lack the desire to be around people, and lack the enjoyment derived from social interaction, value solitude and self-sufficiency. I think this relates to misanthropy, at least for me.

My seminary mentor (the professor I interned with) wrote in my evaluation that I had the potential to become "a recluse." That's the only part of his write-up that I remember all these years later. Parties and other such gatherings can be fun, but they wear me out and after awhile I just want to do my own thing. I enjoy small gatherings with people I know, or hanging out with a close friend, but I'm OK without either (especially since I've pretty much lost these outlets after deconverting, and haven't replaced them with an atheist equivalent). I can find any number of ways to amuse myself that don't involve others.

Currently I take Prozac for what my doctor calls"Social Anxiety Disorder" - which is probably a catch-all term for someone who isn't extroverted (he looked at me oddly when I initially told him about my lifelong celibacy). I started doing Prozac mainly to be able to better function at work, where I interact with many types of people as an IT Specialist.

Like Amy, I consider myself asexual and aromantic - I'm still a virgin at 47 and have no plans to marry or have kids. While I masturbate to pornographic images of women, actually having sex with a real person is something that has never been a big compulsion for me. Despite a number of opportunites (with both genders) when I was young, I found it pretty easy to avoid fornicating. Dating is stressful to me because I always feel I'm walking on eggshells and I don't know what I'm doing - the whole process seems alien to me, and I don't like that feeling.

That said, I enjoy the female form (at least an idealized format of it), and romcoms are cool. Indeed, I find sex kind of fascinating in a way, and am watching the cable series "Masters of Sex" to see how Masters and Johnson did their landmark study of the subject. I'm also watching "Hello, Ladies", but the singletons on that show seem to be stereotypes: not very attractive, needy, disabled, or socially stunted - I guess that's how extroverts see us.

I think it would be fun (or at least interesting) to try sex, but now that I'm older it's even less appealing than when I was in my prime (can't rely on youthful energy and endurance anymore, and I have no actual experience to fall back on). I recently began testosterone therapy after being diagnosed with "Low T", but that hasn't made me a raging sex maniac. Masturbation and exercise are better, but that's about it. I suppose I can't help but get clinical about the human body - even when seeing a nude female I think about anatomy and realize that the "naughty bits" are germ carriers and bodily waste portals.

I find myself generally suspicious of people, especially as I've aged. More and more, I'd rather go home after work and do my own thing or play with my dog. I got back into martial arts training a couple of months ago, which is enjoyable, although I'm less patient with egos or youthful wackiness (I'm probably the oldest guy there, most of the others are in their 20s). Strip clubs are expensive and boring, dating websites are an exercise in frustration, and singles groups are not my thing.

All that said, I can't say that I could ever be totally independent of people. Perhaps I simply like to be around them on my own terms (like when I used to go to a cigar bar every Saturday afternoon and have a stogie and port while reading), or in a structured environment (like martial arts classes) with a defined method of interaction and a time limit where I know I'll be leaving after a certain period and can go do my own thing.

I also find comfort around my immediate family (parents, brother), which makes me wonder if I'll be more open or desirous of relationships when my folks are gone. I worry about getting older myself and winding up in an old folks' home where I'll have to fend off lonely old women (I've heard there are a lot more women than men in those places, mainly due to a longer female life span). I have a feeling I'll die alone someday, and perhaps on my own terms after reaching a certain point of decrepitude.

All that said, I know that I can't get along without other people, and it's better for society as a whole if I "play well with others." But our culture has made it easy to be a loner (especially with the rise of the Internet), and I don't think that's necessarily a bad thing for those of us who fall towards the left side of the social scale Amy posted.
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19-10-2013, 08:31 PM
RE: What is your view on misanthropy
This thread has to include a scene from one of my favorite movies...



...a moment in the life of Charles Bukowski.

A new type of thinking is essential if mankind is to survive and move to higher levels. ~ Albert Einstein
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19-10-2013, 08:35 PM
RE: What is your view on misanthropy
(19-10-2013 08:31 PM)kim Wrote:  This thread has to include a scene from one of my favorite movies...



...a moment in the life of Charles Bukowski.

Funny.
Have never seen the movie though, but i see the message here Big Grin

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mnXQdMRi63E
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19-10-2013, 08:37 PM
RE: What is your view on misanthropy
(19-10-2013 12:25 PM)kim Wrote:  
(19-10-2013 11:50 AM)amyb Wrote:  The only social interaction I enjoy tends to be debating about religion and politics, and/or talking about Star Trek.

Well, I don't equate being alone with loneliness. I'm alone most of the time. I only interact when I go to work and see people for all of 1 hour a day, at best.

However, there are times I feel the need to not be "the crazy lady who lives on the corner who never comes out of her house except when she goes to work, at night, alone."

It's not necessarily what another might think of me being alone... it's what I notice in myself after I've been alone quite a lot. There's a certain craziness that sets in... I feel like I need the stimulus of the unpredictable human nature that's out there. Consider Maybe it helps me realize my own unpredictability(craziness) is simply that I am human.

It's like the yin to my yang; being alone, I want to be around people just enough, so I can happily go back to being alone. Like I said... selective misanthropy. Wink

If I were as eloquent as Kim, I would describe myself the same way.

I get my people fix from the girl I work with, she is much the same. We work in a small office and are together 40 hours a week, usually just the two of us. We can be quiet and we can laugh and talk and be equally comfortable. She has become about all I need as far as people go.

I'm not anti-social. I'm pro-solitude. Sleepy
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19-10-2013, 10:24 PM
RE: What is your view on misanthropy
(19-10-2013 11:03 AM)Dark Light Wrote:  Do you mean Greek gods? They weren't to fond of us humans.

Nope. I mean God bots. God bot is a derogatory word for theists. God robots or gods robots. The irony is intended since they believe in free will yet they have to act according to devine mandate or burn in hell forever.

8000 years before Jesus, the Egyptian god Horus said, "I am the way, the truth, the life."
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19-10-2013, 11:00 PM
RE: What is your view on misanthropy
(19-10-2013 10:42 AM)DLJ Wrote:  Yeuch! Humans. Nasty, sweaty, sticky things.

isn't that a good thing...being all nasty, sweaty and sticky?


God is a concept by which we measure our pain -- John Lennon

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19-10-2013, 11:47 PM (This post was last modified: 20-10-2013 12:00 AM by amyb.)
RE: What is your view on misanthropy
Quote:It's not necessarily what another might think of me being alone... it's what I notice in myself after I've been alone quite a lot. There's a certain craziness that sets in... I feel like I need the stimulus of the unpredictable human nature that's out there. Consider Maybe it helps me realize my own unpredictability(craziness) is simply that I am human.
Yes, but I was referring to this quote:
Quote:Humans kind of need each other so... hmm... I think being completely misanthropic would be pretty lonely.
Just pointing out that I don't think so, necessarily. In many cases, sure. Just not necessarily for everybody. Sometimes I like to bounce ideas off people, but I don't need a "people fix," no matter how long it's been since I spoke to one. I can recall going for months sometimes without talking on the phone or doing anything socially.

To me the craziness of others is a sort of chaos to be avoided. Not out of fear, more out of a dislike of other people's priorities.

Quote:I think it would be fun (or at least interesting) to try sex, but now that I'm older it's even less appealing than when I was in my prime (can't rely on youthful energy and endurance anymore, and I have no actual experience to fall back on).
Speaking as a person with SPD, sex is no more fun to me than masturbation. In fact, masturbation is preferable for me, and I've been celibate for 13 years. Only reasons I tried sex and relationships back then was curiousity. Since th emotional aspects do not apply (due to SPD), I don't get butterflies in my stomach around guys I find attractive, there is no emotional component to sex, and I don't "fall in love." I'm also mildly squicked by bodily fluids, especially other's people's, and I have a pregnancy phobia.

Quote:Currently I take Prozac for what my doctor calls"Social Anxiety Disorder" - which is probably a catch-all term for someone who isn't extroverted (he looked at me oddly when I initially told him about my lifelong celibacy).
Yeah, you'll have that. I'm seeing 2 different therapists right now, and I was lucky enough to find one that doesn't make weird judgments about me. Therapist #2 pisses me off sometimes, and I also had to explain to her why agnostic atheism is not a "belief system.

As for social anxiety, I agree that they tend to diagnose that whether the person feels any anxiety socially or not. It's an assumption that socializing is desirable to all people, and if you aren't socializing, it's because you're afraid or get anxiety about it. Not necessarily so. Related: my entire life, people have been calling me "shy." I am not shy. Seriously. They also say this because I'm single, they assume I'm "too shy" to talk to guys. I am not. But even when talking to an eligible single guy, I'm unlikely to pursue him romantically because I am simply not interested in romance. (On the other hand, I am very likely to chat him up about horror movies or something, if he has an interest in these things.) Likewise, in college I had roommates who convinced me to go to parties and bars with them. I was also not shy there, and able to enjoy myself and socialize as much as any other person. The difference here is that if I am NOT socializing, I don't miss it. I can without social contact without any ill effect. In fact, I've lost friends because I simply forgot to ever call them and they figured I must hate them or something.

I was in a psych hospital at age 16, and I still have the papers. They wrote that my socialization skills were comparable to a child of 7 years old. What they don't seem to get (then or now) is that I have no problems socializing, I just have no burning desire to do it. I'm just as happy sitting in the corner not talking to anyone. I don't get much out of most social interaction, so I can take it or leave. It's not anxiety. It's kind of how, if you don't like golf, you'll avoid going to golf courses and find something else to do. That's how I am with being social. There's just nothing in it for me most of the time.

People tend to make horrid assumptions about anyone who does not have sex though. I've had people assume I was sexually molested as a kid, for example. People assume I have a hormonal imbalance (I do not). That I have some irrational fear of sex (I don't, I just don't feel any real need to do it). That I'm so socially awkward that I can't get laid. In my teens, my "best friend" was a bit of a slut, and when she'd get mad at me, she'd try to insult me by saying I was too ugly to get a guy (I feel I'm quite average looking, it's just that I tend to turn every guy down because I'm not interested). My dad assumed I was a closet lesbian. Many people assume I'm quite miserable, because they'd be miserable without sex/romance in their lives. Anyway, people tend to have difficulty understanding how the wants and needs of others could differ from their own.

I agree about being around people on one's own terms though, I can definitely relate to this. And I go to family get-togethers and things sometimes and enjoy myself, as long as I'm not stuck there too long. I think my problem is more in the areas of small talk and the things many people's lives revolve around: relationships and children. I do feel like an alien when people start whining about their broken hearts or how "in love" they are, or even feelings about their children. I prefer to talk about things I want to talk about, because I don't know how to react to conversations about love. Again, I'd be happy to talk about religion, Star Trek, Silent Hill, books and movies, whatever; but I am missing an emotional component that allows me to empathize with people about human relationships and interaction.

But as for the topic at hand, I do identify with the idea of misanthropy. However, I don't so much define it as a burning hatred of anything human, but more like an other-ness and inability to understand people or to feel kinship with most other members of the species. While I do feel disgust at people/humankind sometimes, what I feel is more of a separateness from them. I don't think I'm a social creature, and humans are social creatures.

This caused me problems with my mom as a kid. She is the textbook definition of extrovert. Her entire self-worth has to do with what others think of her, how many friends she had, how many hours a day she spends hanging out with friends or gossiping on the phone. Naturally, she thought something was horribly wrong with me as a kid, since I didn't value any of these things and was content to sit in my room with a pile of books (this was before the internet). She actually called me "sick in the head" many times for preferring books to humans, and made me see all kinds of therapists and I was on many psych drugs as a teenager. Her misconception was that something was "wrong," rather than just different, and that this "wrong" thing was fixable through drugs or talk therapy. Her whole family is like that. I have a young cousin who is known for his bookishness and has skipped grades in school, and rather than commend him for these things, most of the family think of him as a freak, because he values learning stuff over sports and getting drunk with his friends.
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