I call them “disconnecters.”
They disconnect.. anything.. friends, family, consequences of life, personal choices, a daily schedule, promises to others, the golden rule. A disconnecter just can’t quite connect the dots between themselves and the world around them.
He’s the classmate who backs into your car and the next day spots you ten bucks and considers you in his debt. He will hang that ten dollars over your head no matter how many times you pay him back. And about his take on backing into your car.. it wasn’t that he has a problem noticing things around him.. it was somehow your fault!
He’s the guy who tells every woman he loves “only her”—but can’t even anticipate that women might not like the fact that he says it to all of them.
On the surface, he might be the cool person that everyone wants to befriend.. until you get to know him. Then, if you get too personal with him, you are “invading,” “probing,” and, “trying to get him to confess something.”
She’s the student who lied earlier today and genuinely believes you’re being manipulative if you distrust her tomorrow.
For some reason, disconnecters are remarkably sensitive to “unspoken implications.” If they are late when you pick them up and in the car you say, “We’ll get there ten minutes late,” they’ll snap, “What a mean thing to say!” You or I might say, “Sorry,” or, “I wasn’t that late.” But their objection isn’t being reminded of their tardiness.. it’s that you HINTED something “not nice” about them.. with no concern for whether it’s true.
It never dawns on their thinking that others might have an opinion about them.
Their worldview is that of Gorgias, “All statements are lies. What matters is a persuasive delivery.” They don’t understand the concept that actions might be more persuasive than their apologetic tone of voice.. again.
I’ve known disconnecters my entire life and have always wondered why they are the way they are. I found my answer in Asia. I suspect that becoming a disconnecter is a survival-solution to growing up under some form of oppression.
Tyrant-like authorities force people to spy on friends and feign loyalty. Work-earn, pay-own, cause-effect, choice-consequence learning is offset by a government that interrupts nature’s philosophy of “to each according to his work” with “to each according to his need.” Overly-domineering mothers keep their young children in constant chaos by interrupting their lives without warning or discretion and circumvent personal responsibility for scheduling. The kid may grow up to forget plans with his friends because his mother taught him that planning is an affront to her absolute rule.
If being a disconnecter is a negative result of upbringing, then it is something that can be healed through friendship—extremely loyal friendship. It’s very painful to stand your ground when it means watching an adult friend display adult-sized whining of a eight year old who doesn’t understand why mom said, “I’ll leave without you if your not ready in time.”