After my dinner with my friend last night, someone I’ve known for the last six years here in New York, I thought about the types of people I tend to attract. A number of my friends have a difficult time expressing their feelings about sensitive topics. On the surface, we touched a lot of difficult topics last night: parenthood, infertility, broken families, the political climate of our country right now, but whenever I tried to push it to the next level, my friend’s body language made it clear that he was uncomfortable and didn’t want to continue, so… the subject would change.
But he has no problem sending me articles that discuss difficult issues. It’s just that he doesn’t really want to delve into these topics in conversation. Why do you want to bring up topics and not discuss them? Is it because you are afraid we will disagree and there might be some discord? When do you get to a point in your friendship (if ever) where you can disagree, and it will be just fine and you can move on?
In the book I just finished reading called The Female Brain, the author, who is a psychiatrist, discusses how there are parts of the female brain that on average are larger than the male’s, the parts that have to do with empathy, care taking… and avoiding conflict and ultimately confrontation. Well, on average, I seem to attract both women and men who avoid conflict and confrontation at all costs, even if it means avoiding having interesting and stimulating academic debates.