Defending the Insensitive

I’m tired, people. I’m tired of bending over backwards to keep “sensitive” people from feeling too much, maybe leaking the eye-water. No one appreciates the plight of the insensitive, just trying to get by in this hyper-sensitive world. We need love too. And understanding. And scotch. Mostly scotch.

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Scotch: It’s like a bandaid for feelings.

This is not a rant against “political correctness” or, as I like to call it, “having some goddam manners.” I’m very pro-manners. Wait your turn, say thank you, no stabbing, I’m all for all of that. Manners I can fake.

But it’s exhausting. 

And when we’ve reached the point where we know each other’s names and beverage preferences, inevitably, manners will fail me. My guards will come down. I will be myself. That self…she’s insensitive.

I know, it’s hard to hear. We think about insensitivity as being a male issue, another lucky notch on that Y chromosome. I come from a long line of insensitive people, and it’s true that most of them are male…but not all of them. My grandmother was a great woman, a strong woman…and she was insensitive. She would often let slip pieces of simple, unvarnished truth without so much as a trigger warning. In her internal wiring, the “feels assessment” switch had been flipped off and the bullshit detector was set to stun.

The woman wielded her rapier wit and powers of observation like, well like a sharp sword held by an inebriated Cossack. Some would say she had a level of verbal restraint on par with Yosemite Sam’s level of gun control. I used to think that was just the price of raising three boys, or menopause, but now I can see that she, like myself, suffered from an undiagnosed case of extreme female insensitivity.

Female insensitivity is often confused with raging bitch syndrome, but there are some important differences. As insensitive women, we’re *almost* never trying to be mean – when my sensitive friends stop speaking to me I honestly have no f*ing idea what happened. None. So if I’ve pissed you off somehow, unless I was yelling (and possibly waving a knife) when it happened, rest assured I haven’t the faintest clue where things went wrong. Some people can’t see colors, I can’t see the rainbow of emotions that’s making you act like a crazy person. No matter how hard I squint at you, I will not know what you are feeling unless you open your mouth and say words at me.

Honestly you’d probably just get a blank stare and awkward silence, so don’t even worry about it. I’m insensitive. It’s a condition. I want to understand all the feels, I just don’t know how. I’d liken it to some very mild form of autism but that would probably upset a lot of sensitive people. Whiskey calls it “mild sociopathy.”

Frankly, I think it’s a little insensitive of the “sensitives” to be so judgy about it.

I hope, with our changing attitudes towards various other lifestyle shifts, there’s a place in there somewhere for female insensitivity acceptance. A place where we can accidentally insult each other in peace. A place where we can wear colorful support ribbons…but we probably won’t, because all the best colors are taken…and you just know someone is going to point out how bad you look in puce.

Because you do. You look terrible in puce. No offense.

(I’m an INTP, in case you were wondering)

7 thoughts on “Defending the Insensitive

  1. I worked for thirty years with cops and I can attest to the fact that cops are extremely sensitive people. They are highly attuned to the feelings of others, it is just that they simply don’t give a shit about them. One guy I worked with was such a hard-ass that someone once described him as having a stranglehold on reality.

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