Iain Simpson

Some stuff that probably isn't very important.


I hate attention. I can't think of anything worse than being the centre of focus in a room. Everyone looking at you, thinking about you, listening to what you say. I feel unwell just thinking about it.

I'm not generally an advocate of labelling people: this person is an X sort of person; they're a cat/dog/zebra person, they have a sweet tooth, they're a sporty person.

I'm pretty sure that schools are teaching it as a way of understanding and empathising with others, reinforcing the idea that it's okay to be different, but it drives me round the bend.

Labelling people focusses attention. It's probably well-intentioned, a statement that you "get" someone - "I understand that you like X, and I respect that".

I read somewhere that extroverts outnumber introverts 3 to 1, which might explain why this kind of approach would gain traction. 75% of people appreciate the positive attention, and the other 25% are too busy hoping that someone else is called on to object.

Team building, people skills, sensitivity training - all based on the assumption that everyone likes to be understood and spoken about positively. If you don't like that, then it must be a problem that needs to be overcome; you need to come out of your shell.

I doubt anyone likes to be spoken about unkindly, but some people just don't like to be spoken about at all. You can shower them with compliments, and they'll be wishing for something else to grab your attention.

My thoughts are my thoughts. I share what I choose to, and the rest is mine. Don't quiz me, demand to know what I'm thinking, tell me I'm meant to share. I have a right to privacy. Don't assume that because you want to share everything with me, that I should want to share everything with you. Don't present your view of the world as the only possible option, and that I must be somehow emotionally stunted, wrong, or hiding something.

If I haven't told you how I feel about something, it's probably because I haven't decided how I feel about it. I can't make decisions without all the information, and I don't offer solutions without understanding the problem.

Consider how you might feel if you had to uncover your most intimate body parts for inspection and critique, and you have some idea of how I feel when I'm asked: "what are you thinking?".

I just need space.

It's not personal, and it doesn't that mean I don't like you, but sometimes the best way to help is to leave me alone.

I'll tell you when I'm ready.

Comments, criticism? I'm on Twitter, but you can also email me.