After lunch with Woodsy the other day, I responded to something she’d said with, “Hmm, you do seem to attracted eccentric people.” She was surprised by this observation and I, in turn, was surprised that she was surprised. Because I don’t think I’ve ever known anyone who has such a collection of eccentrics in her life.

To be clear, I mean “eccentric” in a good way.  The people in her orbit are clever, creative, talented, interesting, quirky, intelligent, marching-to-their-own-drummer, fun type of people.

So then I got to wondering what type of people I attract to my orbit and I think, it would be people who are slightly unbalanced.  That’s not to say everyone I know is this way – not at all. (So don’t get offended everybody who knows me). I know all sorts of different types of people, but if there is one particular type more often represented than any other type, it would be the slightly unbalanced.

That’s not even to say that they’re out-and-out crazy (though I’ve know a few of those, too). No, I’m talking about people (none of whom read this blog…as far as I know) who are just a bit out of kilter to lesser or greater degrees. They appear perfectly okay on the surface, but when you spend a little time with them you realize that there’s something not quite right about them; some synapses that aren’t firing correctly; something a bit off.

So then I start wondering what is there about me that attracts these type of people. And what is it about Woodsy that attracts marvellous eccentrics instead?

I reckon people are partly attracted to people they see something of themselves in – the selves they are and/or the selves they would like to be. And, at the same time, they are attracted to that which complements them; that which may be missing in them or in their lives.

So, while someone eccentric would probably not be attracted to anyone too mainstream, rigid, conservative; they would be attracted to someone more down-to-earth, more grounded than they perhaps are.

And, someone slightly unbalanced would perhaps be looking (consciously or unconsciously) for someone to figuratively smack them upside the head with a little reality check once in a while — so to speak. Right?

Anyway, it’s interesting to think about the types of people who predominantly seem to be drawn to you and what that says about you. Do you attract needy people? Or damaged people? Users and abusers? Fun, happy people? Nurturing people? Bossy people? Shy people? Generous people? Loving people? No people?

And why?


23 responses to “Satellites

  1. I used to attract creepy men (particularly older ones). I’m sure plenty of women complain about this problem, but I used to be too frickin’ nice to people and certain nasty individuals would try and take advantage of my friendly nature.

    Now I just scowl at them and they pretty much stay away! LOL

  2. I attract people named Brett.

    I used to attract insane women, but I found a sane woman who would tolerate me so I married her.

    I agree that people attract a certain kind of people into their orbit, your friends say a lot about you…figuratively and literaly.

    I will start this last sentence with “I”, just like the last 3 sentences.


  3. I attract strong personalities. I am now very wary when someone with a strong personality enters my life. Before it was easy to be friends with them because they would dictate the relationship. Now I kind of like to have a say in things, so I have to assert myself more.
    I also attract older, attached men. One fellow even tried his way with me the night before he got married. That was awkward the next day at the wedding.

  4. Hannah – Ewwww. Also, I think you’re getting too old and savvy for creepy older men. They like ’em really young and naive.

    Eyeteaguy – I’ve heard of Brett-attracters. I believe Dr. Phil did an entire show on them once. You should send him an email and see if you can get into the recovery program.

    Friar – Like I said to Eyeteaguy, get help from Dr. Phil for that Brett problem before it hijacks your entire life, not just your blog. The Eyeteaguy problem you’ll have to call India for.

    Bandobras – The original lyrics to that Barbra Streisand song went, “People who don’t need other people are the luckiest people in the world” True story. Then they thought that wasn’t romantic enough or something and changed it. (I just thought that might make you feel better)

    Meanie – I think every woman under 40 gets hit on regularly by attached older men. It’s what attached older men do. There was a time in my life when I firmly believed there wasn’t a married man alive who wasn’t screwing around or desperately trying to screw around on his woman.

  5. Hmm … this is an interesting idea! I think I attract people who are wise …

    Probably because I’m always questioning … I like to be around people who seem to have answers.

    Ah, how psychoanalytic. Lol! 🙂

  6. I used to be a magnet for mentally ill people. They’d cross the street just to talk to me. Everywhere I went, there they’d be. They were mostly, but not entirely, harmless. My friend Louise, who had a history of attracting them too, explained why it was happening and how to make it stop. “You make eye contact with them,” she said, “If you stop making eye contact, they’ll stop noticing you.” So I stopped making eye contact with them, and just like magic, they stopped noticing me. And the weird thing is, even if I do make eye contact now, they still don’t seem to notice me.

    Sometimes I miss them.

  7. I think Emily Dickinson addressed this general issue well:

    Much madness is divinest sense
    To a discerning eye;
    Much sense the starkest madness.
    ’T is the majority
    In this, as all, prevail.
    Assent, and you are sane;
    Demur,—you ’re straightway dangerous,
    And handled with a chain.

  8. I attract trappers and city councillors named Doug. Especially when municipal elections season draws near.

    Fortunately, these evils are offset by my ability to attract chocolate, too. Chocolate is the great leveller…

  9. As usual you brought up something that I had been thinking about. So after I read this I had to finally go and make my illustration to explain my version of this. And also as usual, I will link back to this post. People are going to start thinking I’m just copying you or something. I don’t care.

  10. Chris – What are you saying? That you’re eccentric or that you’re interesting?

    Quack – Lucky you! I’d love to have more wise people in my life.

    Zoom – Interesting. When did you stop being able to attract them? Do you remember? What is different about you now?

    Milan – That’s meant for Zoom, right? I reckon we can believe Emily Dickinson on the subject of madness.

    Coyote – Yes, I’ve heard about your troubles. I’m happy there’s some yin as well as some yang in your life though.

    Geewits – I guess you attract people who spew out all your ideas before you get a chance to!

    Violetsky – So does that mean you were wrong about the people you used to think were losers or that you no longer attract losers or that you never attracted losers?

  11. Wow. You sure left me thinking with this one… There was a time in which I seemed to attract those who were normally rejected or overlooked by others (let’s say at school or the university). Shy people, or people with little social skills, not used to having friends…

    Now I’m not -nor I was- Mr. Popular, but I also wasn’t that kind of kid. There was this one thing, though: unlike most, I was unable to tell somebody that he/she was getting too… boring, and I was unable to give them a bad look or make a bad comment and then walk away. I just couldn’t ignore people, especially when all they were doing was trying to be nice.

    So whenever there was a guy the rest of the class was making fun of, he/she would end befriending me. In the vast majority of the cases, I found shy, hurt but otherwise great kids in them.

  12. I know I am more than slightly off and I have embraced it…I advise everyone to embrace their insanity and just move on.

  13. Violetsky cracks me up. Seems lately I lean towards attracting animals and artists and writers and people who want to be animals and artists and writers.

  14. I attract people who need to tell me things: people I meet in the least intimate settings (say laundromats or the number 2 bus or the 14 bus or the foyer at a funeral home). They seem beholden to share with me the most intimate details of their lives. They just talk and talk and talk and talk. And I’m reallly okay with it. But my family finds it strange.

    So . . . if you have just decided to have a divorce or a sex-change operation or take up martial arts (huh?) or have just bought a new kind of thermal lunch bag that you aren’t quite sure about . . . share with me.

  15. Grace, I attract more than my share of those people too!

    As for the mentally ill people, I was okay with it too. I’m talking about untreated, obviously ill people, not the ones who blend into the crowd (because, obviously, how would I know in that case that they were mentally ill?). They just seemed to hone in on me and want to talk to me. I mostly just listened and asked the occasional question.

  16. Gabriel – Don’t worry, you made perfect sense. They obviously sensed the fact that you were unable to be cruel or unkind and gravitated toward that.

    Cedar – And what sort of people are attracted to someone like you?

    LoLa – That’s excellent company to find yourself in! And yes, Violetsky is a hoot and a half!

    Grace – I know what you mean. I’ve had people tell me the most amazing things that I didn’t think they should be sharing with strangers. Maybe we just look like the perfect sort to unload a burden on because we look strong enough to take it and maybe we might even know what to do with it?

    Zoom – I don’t believe these people have stopped gravitating to you. If I were an untreated mentally ill person (IF) I’d approach you and tell you stuff.

  17. I am behind in my blog reading.

    Maybe it is all about perception… my idea of eccentric, interesting, etc. is someone else’s idea of creepy, weird, scary, mentally ill… what do you think XUP?

  18. i definitely attract people that are bat shit crazy, and i’ve always wondered why. i like your idea that they are looking for a voice of reason. my friends know that if they ask me something i will tell them the truth.

    before i added al-anon to my recovery diet i seemed to collect needy people (although i attract all of the types you listed towards the end of your post).

    i am the person that will talk to anyone anywhere no matter how they look or how bad they smell. i consider other’s as a window into a different universe/world and i’m interested in them.

    sometimes i have to disappear for a bit to recollect myself after all that “peopling”.