Word of the Week #185:

Associative

The human mind works in strange ways.

Whenever we don’t know something about someone, we use their actions to draw inferences, thus trying to get to know them better.

X missed the deadline by two days? He must be lazy.

X quit his high-paying, soul-crushing job without any particular plan? He must be reckless.

X got his hair dyed an alarming shade of purple? He must be wild.

X didn’t show up for karaoke night? He must be fatigued.

However, when we did know the person, we tend to use whatever we do know to explain everything they do.

Suppose X is suffering from depression.

X missed the deadline by two days? Must be the depression.

X quit his high-paying, soul-crushing job without any particular plan? Must be the depression.

X got his hair dyed an alarming shade of purple? Must be the depression.

X didn’t show up for karaoke night? Must be the depression.

And it can work with anything else. 

Maybe X has an addiction to drugs. Or has cancer. Or is going through a bitter divorce AND a mid-life crisis… which in turn leads him to drugs, which later causes cancer.

Could happen, you know…

Or, maybe, it is none of that.

Humans are complex.

We barely even understand ourselves. Believing we can understand others is hubris, plain and simple.

Humans are complex. Humans are… stupid.

Published by

Yashas Mahajan

Author of Arrkaya: Origins, now available online... Increasingly being referred to as The Writer Guy...

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