“Shut the fuck up,” she said. “I’m going fucking deaf. You’re always too loud. Everything’s too loud.”
I’m pretty selfish. I like to listen to my music loud, and this has grated on several personal relationships in the past. Of course I try to mend my ways and be considerate, but a small part of me is still that resentful snot nosed punk that wants to throw up a middle finger and just say, “Fuck it.”
A consequence of growing up an only child is that I never really felt the need to consider others. It was my way or the highway. This (among a few other glaring shitty personality traits) led to a difficult childhood and a bit of a victim complex growing up, something that I simply explained away as being “different”. Now that I’m cognizant of the fact that the sun does not, in fact, orbit around me, I’ve squelched this negative trait as much as I can. With time, I’ve also realized that considering others is simply an emotional business transaction that’s necessary to cultivate and maintain relationships. In order to be treated well by others, the idea of quid pro quo always stands firm.
The issue of consideration has arisen in cases of roommates, as well. I’ve lived with 4 roommates in 4 years during pharmacy school. Each person was a normal, polite, reserved human being who never really took issue with me. That said, within the confines of my room, I’d listen to music at times that could probably be heard from the living room/kitchen area. Was this a dick move? I don’t know. Nobody ever really complained. I could only rely on my own moral compass, which tends to produce false positives a little too frequently.
Other times, I would be blatantly inconsiderate. I had a fantastic home theater setup whose subwoofer could actively be heard through the ceiling by my upstairs neighbors. I justified my actions by watching movies fairly rarely, and always during normal waking hours. Though I felt slightly bad at times, I think my fear of my neighbors complaining and the landlord giving me hell (usually in the form of a sternly worded email) outweighed any regret over inconveniencing them. To this day, I just don’t really care that much about people outside of immediate circle; if they don’t affect my life in any tangible way, then I won’t inconvenience myself for the sake of niceties.