It turns out that some animals have changed their habits to survive competition with humans for space and resources humans. And it’s a relatively recent phenomenon.
This got me thinking about our lives and I reminded of the question I ask when lecturing. It will give my age away but it’s relevant. When you grew up, how many devices or appliances in the home were electric, hummed, whites, bleeped or transmitted a tiny blue or green or other flicking light. For those of us my age in South Africa where I grew up, TV didn’t arrive until I was already at school. I can count the appliances that created sounds and visual distraction and competed for my time and attention on just two hands – and I can’t even use up all my fingers!
Like the precious animals who are adapting to man’s machines, signs, mobile masts, planes, boats, trains and everything else we send into their work through avoiding us, many people might choose avoidance too – and do we judge this as an appropriate adaptive response?
No, because man is supposed to be a social creature who needs attachment and relationships to survive – but sometimes because of the way someone is wired and their sensory hyper-reactivity, perhaps these social relationships are worth sacrificing and loosing to ‘just survive’ – to just feel safe within one’s own skin without being constantly bombarded and overwhelmed.
If you were wired like this 100 years ago, you would have been able to still find a life or job role that matched your neurological diversity more closely. Nowadays this is becoming increasingly impossible unless one escapes to a desolate island – and these are few and far between.
Many of my clients shop in 24-hour stores at 2am to avoid others, while younger clients say they wake and eat at night when the “don’t have to hear others chew’ or have to “watch and hear them chew their food and then wipe their faces” [face grimace and full body visceral response of disgust] !