Social Question

Dutchess_III's avatar

Have you ever wondered how people can be SO oblivious to how they act and how they appear to other people?

Asked by Dutchess_III (42856points) September 5th, 2010

Inspired by @Deja_vu who said, “....the ones that are so oblivious to what kind of people they are….” from this question.

How CAN some people be so blind to the fact that they stink, they’re foul mouthed, they’re gross, they’re violent, disgusting or whatever? How can they BE so blind?

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17 Answers

Seaofclouds's avatar

I don’t think it’s that they are blind to it, it’s just that they grow accustomed to it over time. If you are around a smell constantly, you get use to it and eventually get to the point where you really don’t notice it. If you were raised without manners, it’s what comes naturally to you, so you may not realize there is a problem with it.

OwlofHappiness's avatar

I have no idea. I know a couple people who are clueless about nearly everything. They don’t stink or anything, they just are socially awkward, and don’t seem to be aware of it.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

Yes and no. In the example I gave in that post then the working mom knew she couldn’t keep up the house but since she was the breadwinner then she let a few things go in order the more important things get attended to like paying the mortgage, the kids’ schooling, their extracurriculars, etc. Her husband knew their home was a dump but was too selfish and mired in self pity to do housework aside from heating up some canned soup and hot dogs for his kids. He felt letting his kids “run wild” was a good experience for them since they’d have to become polite little people soon enough.

As for people in neglect of their hygeine and appearance, gack… I dunno. I’ve known people who make good money who won’t go to the dentist, won’t replace badly worn shoes & clothes, won’t make nice homes for themselves but they’ll spend a assload of money on trips, drugs, alcohol, hookers, video games and restaurants.

Deja_vu's avatar

In some cases they get away with their behavior and rarely suffer the consequences of their actions, or they don’t accept that the consequences are related the their actions.

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

I wish I could say all the examples mentioned surprise me or are hard to understand.

Low self-esteem explains some.
High levels of hostility are characteristic of those with poor coping skills and unresolved conflicts in their life.

Too many people lack the determination to accept change and grow as individuals.

Coloma's avatar


Right on. Yes, I like to remember something I read once that lends some understanding and compassion for those we find obnoxious or alien.

“If you had the same background and level of consciousness you would be exactly the same.”

Helps to remember that when we want to judge others harshly.

Everyone evolves or doesn’t in their own time and way, this is usually why relationships of all kinds fall away, when one experiences a lot of growth, mentally, emotionally, spirirtually, etc. it makes sense that we end up leaving some behind.

YARNLADY's avatar

I’m pretty clueless about things like that because I don’t judge people on their appearance. I barely notice such, and I am rarely aware what others think of me, unless I choose to make a big deal about it.

ratboy's avatar

What other people?

Haleth's avatar

@Coloma That makes me think of this quote from Sandman: “Nobody’s creepy from the inside, Hazel. Some of them are sad, and some of them hurt, and some of them think they’re the only real thing in the world. But they’re not creepy.” Empathy isn’t easy, especially when someone is very different, but it’s something to strive for.

Frenchfry's avatar

You want to know something funny. I don’t have a great sense of smell.
If I smelled bad I would not even know it. I would have to be told. hahaha
I have to make sure I have good hygiene habits to make sure I don’t. One day I put on some new perfume. I came out said I am ready to go. My husband start waving his hand and plugging his nose and says” Geez, woman, you smell like a french whore.” There are probably others like me with a weak sense of smell.

cookieman's avatar

Setting aside things like mental illness or even poor sense of smell, I really believe it often boils down to how one was raised.

Some people naturally possess the common sense and character to recognize the flaws in how the were raised and work to rise above it.

Most do not – so these cycles continue. What’s more, some take pride in these actions.

When I taught Jr. College to mostly inner-city kids, this was an all too common discussion and debate as we attempted to teach them professionalism.

The ideas of editing oneself, having manners, timeliness, dressing for the job, etc. were often completely foreign concepts. Some students embraced these lessons, but most actively resisted them. Some took it personally as if we were trying to change who they were.

lazydaisy's avatar

Wait staff world wide have been asking this very thing for years

I work with a special ed. population. For some of them, those social graces just don’t register.
Barring some kind of special circumstance, I think some people are just that self important

Nicole8's avatar

I think that some people just don’t care or they like acting the way that they do.

NaturallyMe's avatar

Yes i have, and i thought it just today as well! Our neighbour across the road just got a new harley type bike or something, and now he’s making a hell of a noise with it riding up and down the street every now and again. The noise upsets his dogs, who go into a frenzied barking everytime he switches it on, and it upsets my dog and cat as well, not to mention me and my husband too!
How can he not know that he’s making such a huge annoying noise?! And it’s so obvious that his dogs can’t stand the noise either, yet he continues to fart around and rev it over and over again.
Some people…...sheesh….

Dutchess_III's avatar

@NaturallyMe He has a perception of himself as being super duper cool, and probably thinks that everyone watching/listening thinks he’s super cool too.

NaturallyMe's avatar

@Dutchess_III i KNOW! The rest of us think he’s a fart though.

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