I personally hate arguing with others, listening to arguments, and even reading an online forum argument. I hate these as much as I have ever hated anything in my entire life. I never could understand people who feel a need to yell, curse, and scream at others. It is one of those things that simply overwhelms my already massively overstimulated and sometimes way too anxious and paranoid mind. There are times it is so bad, for me anyway, that it literally triggers the ages old ‘fight or flight’ instincts. There were times early in the course of my illness, I would just either walk out on someone trying to argue with me or tell them off so bad and so personally it ruined any chance I ever had with being friends with those people. And it wasn’t because I was trying to prove a point or win the argument, it was because I was so mentally overwhelmed (not only with the argument itself but also with my paranoias and the auditory hallucinations that were arguing with me as well) that walking out and telling off this person was what stopped me from physically assaulting these individuals.
Some, especially among the chronically normal, may think this is a terrible way to live, having to avoid arguments or overly strong emotions for your own mental health’s sake. For me it isn’t as bad as it sounds. It has kept me out of a lot of trouble even though some accuse me of being weak, stupid, and refusing to stand up for what I believe in. Yet I believe, I’ve always believed, that there are far more types of strength than the getting in someone’s face or looking for fights routine. The quiet strength and confidence that refuses to boast, the kind that people like Ghandi, Jesus, Buddha, Einstein,Newton, along with many of history’s greatest heroes doesn’t seem to be valued in the modern world. And I guess I don’t understand people well enough to know why.
To listen to any kind of debate, whether it’s politics or religion or science or anything else is far from my idea of having a good time. It is actually torture for me to listen to most news programs where there are two people trying to be heard as well as fight it out with each other. And I certainly cannot stand to read any kind of online arguments, especially if it’s a hot button topic like politics, religion, economics, or even college football fan forums. I definitely have my beliefs about all these things and think I can contribute to a rational discussion, but I flat out refuse to be in any kind of arguments about them. With my schizophrenic mind, which desperately craves reason, order, and mutual respect, being part of any of this will quickly upset the stability of mind I’ve worked a long time to attain.
As far as interpersonal conflict goes with friends and family, I attempt to avoid this as much as possible too. I have had friends that I have known for over thirteen years that I have literally never had a shouting match with. I know that sounds like a crock to most people but it’s true. We have our disagreements, to be sure, but we also know when not to press the issues. I’d much rather thought to be wrong then to kill a friendship. Because I get so overwhelmed during an argument, I haven’t dated in almost eight years. I will never date again or even consider the possibility of marriage. It’s not that I’m not interested in love or romance, it’s just that it’s not worth all the arguments, up and down emotions, and questioning where I stand with a significant other (due to my natural paranoia). At least for myself it isn’t worth it.
I simply cannot stand to be in an argument, especially a heated or emotionally charged one. This is due to the sensory overload, anxiousness, paranoia, and even auditory hallucinations that come with schizophrenia. It isn’t that I’m devoid of beliefs, convictions, and emotions. Far from it. I feel strongly about my convictions. I have my beliefs. I definitely have my emotions, especially when I don’t show them or I keep silent.