1. People want to be loved. Whether it’s by their family, friends or a lover, we just want someone to make us feel safe and important. Otherwise, we’ll feel like we’re broken in some way. We’ll blame ourselves for being alone when everyone else seems to be with someone. We want human touch, we want “I love you”‘s, we want to come home after work to someone we can eat dinner with. We need to feel worth it, we need to feel special, we need a place to go to for Christmas.
2. People want to fuck. This is different than wanting to be loved. The desire to have sex with another person exists in an entirely different part of your brain and people will spend obscene amounts of money to ensure that they have sex with someone. No, I’m not talking about prostitutes (hey girl hey!), I’m talking about your gym membership, your expensive haircut, your new jeans that make your ass look really great. These are all things we do in order to be perceived as desirable. We then go on dates and spend so much money on someone to increase our chances of getting laid. “If I buy you the lobster, you’re letting me do things to you tonight.” These are exchanges that are universally understood. In a way, we’re all whores when it comes to sex. Some people just ask for the cash upfront.
3. People have their own shit to work through. This seems fairly obvious but when you really think about what it actually means, it should flood you with a sense of relief. Your asshole boss is a nightmare but maybe they hate themselves or their mom drinks too much or they haven’t been on a date in five years. Whenever someone comes across as truly difficult, I try to think about what kinds of stuff they’re dealing with. Chances are they’ve been up emotional shit creek without paddle. That makes their acid tongue more bearable.
4. People often hurt themselves the most. This is a difficult and sad concept to grasp. But whether it’s through addictions, dating the same jerk over and over or not realizing that we’re great, we are often the root of our problems. People like to play the blame game and scapegoat their issues on to something else like their childhood and parents. While that’s all very understandable, there must come a point in everyone’s life when we have to take ownership and realize we have the power to change things. It’s like we spend so much time avoiding ourselves and then when we finally acknowledge it, we’re like, “Oh, okay. Now, I know how to fix things!” We’re all fucking crazy. Don’t beat yourself up about it. I know everyone wants to appear well-adjusted but we’re all just silently losing our shit.
5. Secretly we all just want the simple things, which is health, happiness, and love. Tell that to a twenty-something hipster and they’ll be like, “Um, no. I want the new Phillip Lim collection and my own column in Nylon!” And maybe in that moment, they really do want that, but they also would just give it up to be loved and be happy. This might be embarrassing to admit but it seems to be overwhelmingly true. Would you give up all the static for a warm house in the country with your # 1 babe? Maybe not, but as you get older, you will become less fulfilled by the distractions and the noise and the power lunches and the boring conversations and the parties. There’ll be a point when you’re done being surrounded by everybody and just want to have a few somebodies.