We all like to be recognized. No one wants to just slide out of the minds of the people they have interacted with. We have all these people on TV and youTube and over the radio instructing us to make some sort of impact on the world so it’s understandable why a certain kind of person with certain personality problems might feel very strongly about not being recognized.
What is unacceptable is the level of aggression with which they react when you fail to remember who they are.
This kind of person will approach you on the street or sit next to you in a taxi and greet you with a lot of enthusiasm. “Hello! How are you? I’m me and I demand that you recognize me right this instant!”
You are confused. Who is this stranger and on what grounds are they invading your space? Because you’re having a good day, you stop what you are doing and smilingly attend to them. “I’m sorry; I don’t remember…what’s your name?”
They are outraged. Their eyes begin to insult you. Their lips moisten with saliva. They look you up and down and up again. “What is my name? How can you ask such a stupid thing? I’m me. Not only did I, on one occasion, pass you by in the corridors of Nana Hostel three years ago, I also knocked on your door a couple of times! We were friends! You think you’re too good for me now? Huh?!”
You realize that this person might not have all their crayons in the same box and if they are in the same box, they’re definitely not facing the same way. Every instinct tells you to ignore them and resume minding your own business, but no. You’re supposed to be learning tolerance from the weekly yoga class you attend and so with straight face and calm voice, you say, “I really don’t remember who you are. It will be easier for me if you tell what your name is. Otherwise, please stop shouting at me.”
From the way they lean into your space and stand on the tips of their toes and thrust their chest into the air, you know that things are going to get worse. “No wonder! You fake chick! I knew! You’re proud. Why are you refusing to remember me? We used to spend a lot of time in your room together! Anyway, no wonder…”
Angry now, you say, “No wonder what? I’d really like to hear what you were going to say. Your opinion matters very much because you are a little fellow and according to the internet, little people sometimes suffer from inferiority complexes. So please tell me all these things that confirm the way I’m behaving towards you right now. Tell me why it’s no wonder that I’m exhibiting this terrible behavior.”
They’re intimidated now, probably because they realize that this conversation might not end well for them. They motion for you to lower your voice. “Shhhh. Banaye. Anyway I just wanted to say hi because we used to be very close. Bye.”
You’ve been very reasonable. You haven’t disgraced yourself or your upbringing in any way; but by God you want to aim a flying kick at this idiot’s flat face. You want to demand an apology! How dare they bring ugliness into your day? But you take a deep breath and summon the inner peace that you pay for every Tuesday at the Acacia Yoga center and eventually return to happiness.