Pick a person, any person, real or fiction. Picture them in your mind. What do they look like? What do they sound like? How would they react if you imagined them in a swimming pool, an office, an airplane? You can probably create a fairly detailed version of this person in your mind and your expected reactions are probably accurate to how they would react. You are currently accessing a neural cluster pertaining to that person, we’ll call this specific cluster a character.
Let’s say you are walking with a friend and a woman walks up to you and greets your friend with familiarity. You immediately start to record information about this new person. You first record sensory information (what she looks, sounds, and smells like). You’ll then synapse the new character to your friend with a relationship, maybe they’re friends.
Maybe this person has a similar voice to your mom, so she gets synapsed to this new person. Your friend introduces you and you can gain more information, like a name. With every passing moment you spend with this woman, you are able to add more detail to the character that is forming in your mental plane.
We are curious creatures so it’s only natural that we want to learn as much as possible about new people. We ask questions to gain more information and add more synapses to our forming character. When you meet someone new, you might focus on specific aspects of their character to solidify to better remember them. (“Oh yea, you’re the person who…”)
Let’s say this woman reminds you of an instructor you once had, maybe her shirt reminds you of your childhood dog. These synapses from the character to more solidified memories are ways that you can remember her. The next time someone forgets your name, remember that it doesn’t mean they don’t care, they just didn’t solidify your name to their character of you.
Every person that you have ever met, or read about, or seen on television, or even made up, has a specific neural cluster in your brain to describe them. You created that character based on the information you gathered about them. If your first experience with a person is that they are rude, the character will be rude when you create it. We start out by making “shallow” characters of people because our selfishness makes us see other people as just role players in our own story.
As you gain more information about a person, you will add more synapses to the character. Your character is now a little closer to the real person, though it can never be exactly the same because you cannot know everything about another person.
Have you ever heard or used one of those classic breakup lines? “I feel like I don’t even know who you are anymore!” or “You aren’t the person I fell in love with.” These are examples of when a constructed character does not reflect the real person it represents, usually caused by a lack of information.
You are pretty deep. You have a lot of stuff going on and you really are a very complex individual. Understandably, other people probably don’t know about all of your complexity and you don’t know the specific complexities of everybody else. The people that you know are represented by characters in your mental plane and you have the ability to synapse huge amounts of information to each character.
Your perspective is based mostly on your experiences which can be learned as information. The more information you can gather about a character, the better you can see the world from their perspective. Take the time to construct deep characters of people you meet. A friend once told me, “treat each other like scholars, lovers, and poets because you all are scholars, lovers, and poets.”