I was behaving in a peculiar manner for the last few days. Yes. Odd. I was actually demeaning myself by going after a friend of mine who suddenly said he hates me – quite uncharacteristic of him. His behaviour was bizarre and inscrutable. He started playing coy – why this sudden “kolaveri da”! I was foxed. I tried to unravel the mystery but to no avail. He remained incommunicado for the most part.
It was a veritable agony for me. It was all-consuming. I couldn’t concentrate on anything else. The brain rewired all synapses focused on this single nagging riddle. Why this fellow, who was such a cuddly buddy, suddenly walked out on me? Oh God, gimme the answer..!
All reason, Id, self-respect, ego, super-ego (Sigmund Freud turns in his Austrian grave!) – all vanished. Here I am begging him to wise me up as to why this stonewall, with advance apologies galore (just in case).
But on second thoughts, why had I reacted the way I did? Why didn’t I compose myself and just let sleeping dogs lie? Why didn’t I remain stoic and start analyzing things in a sober way which I do normally in all such situations? A chance mention in an article on eavesdropping of cellphone conversations provided the answer to this puzzle. Here it is (Source: Cracked.com):
The human brain likes things to be predictable, and it can’t really relax and “tune out” something that doesn’t make sense. You might notice yourself trying to fill in the other half of the phone conversations you overhear. It’s the same mechanism that makes it so hard to walk away after you’ve seen the first 15 minutes of an episode of CSI or Law & Order: The brain naturally hates leaving questions unanswered. Suddenly, you’re trying to solve a puzzle instead of concentrating on how little you give a shit about the exact drunken position he passed out in last night.
“Since halfalogues really are more distracting, and you can’t tune them out, people become irritated [and], even more importantly, their cognitive performance is impaired”, avers a Cornell University study.
Postscript: Solved the riddle ultimately but still no joy! Normalcy in the relationship is still elusive since the root cause of the friction seems to be a chance remark on my part that has hurt the other party so deeply that the boo-boo couldn’t be soothed even by profuse apologies of gargantuan proportions.
So here I am, terribly bruised