“Hell is other people”
-Jean Paul Sartre
To Sartre our bodies and consciousness are made concrete at the moment we enter into the subjective realms of other people through being observed. Many of you have probably picked your noses when you´re alone in your living rooms, but can you picture yourself eating them in front of a crowd with the pride and eagerness of a kindergardener? Sartre uses the example of the voyeur who is caught redhanded as he spies on his lover and another man.
What is your personal philosophy on other people? How do they feel to you and affect you? Do you consider yourself to be a part of a social hierarchy or are you completely neutral to this phenomenon? Are you scared of other people? Do they bore you? Intrigue you? How do you see yourself in relation to others?
My personal philosophy on other people is that having a philosophy on other people as a whole would not make sense. Each person is a complex combination of events, emotions, experiences, and thoughts, that I could never know fully even if I were to spend every waking second with them. For this reason, I see “other people” as unique individual phenomenons that I do not know about.
I consider myself part of the social hierarchy, but an unwilling participant, and mostly neutral to the phenomenon at the same time.
I’m not really scared of other people, but I don’t always feel like interacting with them. People intrigue me more than almost anything else. I am always curious about what it’s like to be someone else; what goes on in their head, how they feel in general on a day-to-day basis, the events in their lives that shaped their personality, etc. How I see myself in relation to others is something that always changes and that I haven’t quite figured out yet and might not.
This was a very thought provoking post. What are your answers to the questions you asked here?
Does this mean that you dismiss the qualities that we as a species seem to share? In other words, you don´t engage in human behavior on a macro scale? Or at least do not include this on your view of other people? One area of interest for me is the way we seem to be able to act when we identify with a whole group of people. We seem to be able to “forget” who we are as individuals and what our values are, in certain situations.
Does this involvement in a hierarchy have any consequence in your life that you´re aware of?
I truly wish I had the same level of interest as you do in regards to other people. Thats an awesome quality!
I have personally been in a very strained situation in regards to others and have been working to try and understand them (and myself in the process) for quite some time. Hence why i started the post :)
But for fun, let´s pretend you´re holding a gun to my head. “Speak, fool”.
People have the capacity to “flow into each other”, as if the idea of individuality is, to some extent, a myth. What I mean by this is of course not that we don´t have control over our own bodies in an individual way. I have control over my own body and nobody else can move it at will as I can. But, since consciousness is the home of the will, and other peoples and my own consciousness seem to (unless I am aware and actively will not to) “go with the flow”, I am always at risk of losing myself when in contact with other people. I bet many people felt very guilty after ww2 and the holocaust, for instance.
I´d like to continue this, but for now I´m still looking for calm waters. I guess you´ll just have to pull the trigger if the answer didn´t hit the proverbial target.
I think I can, in a sense, relate to this feeling of self dissolving. I’ve noticed how differently I act when around people; it’s like I’m reflecting what they project outwards and am seldom me. They all contribute to my being in subtle ways–some which are unidentifiable– but I prefer the me that I am when I’m alone, not the me that’s really them.
That is one of the most misunderstood and misinterpreted quotes by Sartre and thus not the best quote to start what you’re asking.
My suggestion would be to actually read No Exit in order to understand what the quote means (which is not what you think it is)
That being said, my personal view on other human beings change all the time all day long and everyday.
Some days I think that human beings are the ultimate expression of existence (or “being” as defined by Sartre) and some days I think they are nothing more than self-glorifying cattle with no inherent value who will not be missed once nature wipes them out from this planet.
It’s been a long time since I read No Exit but the gist of the quote is this:<div>
</div><div>In order to have a complete view of oneself, one must take into account what other people think of him/her. That is, what other people think of you becomes part of (sometimes the whole of) the idea you have of yourself. </div><div>
</div><div>According to Sartre, you cannot negate other people’s opinions of you because you need them to complete your own opinion of yourself and so you are at the mercy of other human beings to define you.</div><div>
</div><div>Does that make sense?</div><div>
</div><div>I take the good with the bad when it comes to people but yes, my mood and feelings at the moment will influence which way a swing. I do know that human beings are the ultimate expression of the universe, but I also never forget what atrocities they are capable of.
</div><div>To answer your question more directly, instead of deciding whether mankind is good or bad. I simply decide that it is both and I’ll take both when interacting with people.</div>
No opinion on people I haven’t psychoanalysed, I have psychoanalysed a number of famous people and a number of people I know personally, there’s not much difference across the board. People have different skills, different attitudes, different vulnerability, as a general rule people desperately need each other to survive but don’t know it, that’s fairly comedic to me. I don’t have expectations and that way I’m pleasantly surprised when people exceed it. I don’t trust anyone without knowing exactly what they want, and when I know I operate within that context, but my talent for psychoanalysis means that level of Cynicism isn’t as bad as it sounds.
Society is part of a hierarchy, and that’s the primary problem, power is the ability to get everything for nothing, vulnerability is doing anything to survive, no balance because having power is the highest state of anxiety on the planet, and Narcissism is an anxiety disorder, a neurological causality loop that feeds on itself. That isn’t going away without diagnosis and intervention.
People dehumanize each other by labeling them as one dimensional characters. Then they are concrete enough to dismiss as without personal substance.
My personal philosophy on other people is that no meeting is a coincidence. Even the people on the other side of the grocery store that you don’t see are a piece of a carefully attracted situation. Most of the time people make me feel both alienated and ecstatic with compassion in some way. I’m part of a social hierarchy but I don’t seek status for status sake, or at all really. I’m scared of the reflections that people mirror to me sometimes, and sometimes I’m rightfully scared of what other people can do if I don’t honor my own personhood. People are boring on the surface but the boredom is more of a straight jacket to lie about their emotional inflammation. Everyone is intriguing and extremely resilient, worthy of adoration.I see myself in relation to others as a composite of archetypes that grow in proportion to the amount I unravel the dissonance that arises through intimacy.
I find human beings to be amazing, intriguing, & very complex. We both static & fluid. Base & highly “evolved”. I think we can develop some understanding of ourselves but we will continue to to be challenged by our immense inclination to change.
I deem humans both complicated and interesting. I find them to be extraordinary subjects for observation– how they build up layers of deception to cater to other people’s egos. Human tendencies can be fascinating in this way, but realizing that they all experience suffering at on time or another invokes a feeling of closeness. Still, having said this, I sometimes walk through crowds of people and regard them as floating nothings. That they build up these deceptive layers can repulse me at times. I do understand why they do this, but I like to see people vulnerable. It helps to form emotional connections and understand them to a greater depth.
How do they feel to you and affect you?
-In general I’d say not much. Most people don’t affect me and don’t feel any particular way.
Do you consider yourself to
be a part of a social hierarchy or are you completely neutral to this
-Everyone is a part of it. I’m neutral to it, and I’m good and comfortable with assuming different roles/levels of this system as I see fit in the moment.
Striving for a certain position in the hierarchy is like trying to be captain on a sinking ship full of fools.
Are you scared of other people?
-There are individuals that scare me, but people in general are harmless even when they have bad intentions. They inspire about as much fear as a lamb. The one thing I fear about people is if I had to rely on them, that’s when they’re the most dangerous.
Do they bore you? Intrigue
-Most people bore me. It’s like being surrounded by stereotypes and nuts.
How do you see yourself in relation to others?
-I typically don’t.
My personal philosophy on other people is to not judge anyone,as I realized long ago that judging and imposing my standards on other is preventing me from understanding how human operates.
I feel like 95% at least are way too boring when they are in public,just way too conformist.When one on one percentage is lower.Percentage is even lower if you chat online with someone unknown.But in general I find human most fascinating thing on this planet.I love to learn so people and myself are ultimate source of knowledge to me.
A new quantum physics experiment has confirmed the idea that reality doesn’t exist until it is measured.That is basically my attitude to social hierarchy.I hate when people apply standards to me.
I rarely notice anything about other people beyond sensory data and a general “vibe”. When someone catches my attention, it is usually a brief and intense affair, with me pouring over a made-up life story of the person filled with pseudo-questions and superficial interest. I rarely initiate conversation.
For a long time I had a social anxiety that was very particular to a certain type of person. Namely, casual acquaintances that I had forgotten what they knew as “me”. It was debilitating to the extent that I would avoid many social situations.
Now, I have made great strides to present myself as authentically as possible and the above phobia has pretty much died away.
There also exists a personal version of agape…I detachedly love everyone I have met. Sometimes retroactively, :-)
I’m not afraid of other people. I often do not enjoy other people. I love everybody until they do or say something that changes my mind, and then it would have to be something that I personally think is a bad thing. Speaking ill of others who have done nothing to deserve it, lying, cheating, things that intentionally hurt others. People who do these things are not people I like to be around, I avoid them when I can.
Then there are people who have done some things that are often considered terrible who I love anyway. These people are the ones who cause pain unintentionally and take steps to avoid doing it again. People who show respect for others.
And me? I do my best to be the kind of person I enjoy being around. I am also a type who needs a lot of time away from people to be able to be myself and not shower or put on makeup, to sit around the house naked and take long baths. People are exhausting, they either want/expect something from you or judge you. One might say “who cares what others think about you?”, but as hard as we try, I beleieve just about everybody does. Pleasing people is draining.
I would love to see a world where every person could behave and speak naturally without worrying about how their words or actions would effect others. “Am I offending someone?” “Will they think I’m mentally unstable?” “Will I lose my job if I say/do this?” “What will people say/think of me if I say/do that?” etc. Because we cannot just say “fuck it” and say or do anything we feel. We would not fit into the social world, would not get the jobs we want, could be cast out from the herd and left on our own to fight tooth and nail for everything. That’s the reality of our society. Fitting in/pleasing others gets us friendships, security, community, help from those whose respect we’ve gained by being the good people others see us as.
Through my eyes, I see it like this. No one, not one single thing that has ever existed on this planet, asked to be born. We were all awakened for an inkling of time without warning, stolen from the slumber we rested in before we were born. No one asked to be born human, or a dog, or a tree, no one asked to be born on this side of the planet or that one, into this family or that one. We were just randomized (for all we know) and now have to deal with the circumstances we were born into.
Nothing that exists on the planet at this current moment is any one persons doing, systems and ideas were put in place centuries before anyone of us existed and now we have to deal with them, all of us. No one asked to have an abusive parent, and that abusive parent didn’t ask for their abusive parents and so on. There are just certain things that are completely out of our control, because of our anthropology. Yes we can make small changes and head in better directions, but even those directions will come with their own set of repercussions for generations to come.
My point is is that when you come to a place of understanding that there really is no one person to blame for the way things are in your life, or throughout the world, you gain a sense of peace. You let go of blame and resentment. You gain an understanding that you just can’t understand, and that’s okay. We are all trying our best and we are all scared. Every single person is making the best out of what they got, whether it be millions of dollars, a wonderful family, a broken family, no home, or whatever it is, no one put a check mark inside a box saying “this is what I want!”. We are all just here. I think what is important is making the most out of what your journey is, what your challenges and opportunities are. I feel like too often we concern ourselves with others, when really they are just as scared and confused as we are.
It’s not hard to understand people in a spiritual sense when you come to this place, at least for me. Treat every person with your own unique ideas of kindness of love, even the people that seem as though they don’t deserve it. Because if they seem that way, it’s probably just because they have an internal idea of not feeling as though they deserve love. When someone shoots me a dirty look, instead of feeling offended like I used to, I now instead choose to wonder what it is they are hiding from, what they are scared of, who could have said or done something harsh to them when they were a child. And then I smile at them and move on. People crave love, need love, but when they feel as though they are not adequate, they’ll reject it.
I honestly mostly hate people . All the bad in the world isn’t happening from the aliens, humans are the ones doing it. All these wars that get millions and millions of people killed, all the rapes, stealing, killing and many many other terrible things they get done by PEOPLE. Of course that there are good ones here and there but greed overcomes the good in many occasions. Humans are weak, most of us would do anything just for money. I do not think myself as a good human being, cause I believe that there is no such thing. But having good intentions, that’s what can make us better that the others, and quite frankly that’s all that we can do most of the time.
I love being around other people. But I think that’s because a huge part of our species and brains relies on others. We have networks within our brains. And all our brains make up a bigger network. It’s the way of life.