Let’s pretend for a second:
You are walking down the side walk, on your way to class. Behind you, there are two girls, talking about something stressful from one of the girls personal lives. You can hear every single word they are saying, because you have good hearing. The girl who is talking is talking about her family member, and mocking something that from the tone of her voice, legitimately bothers her. She is trying to play it off as less important.
At what point do you pick something around you to day dream about, thus giving yourself the right to tune out? Do you do it when you hear her tone for the first time, when she’s walking behind you? Do you do it when her friend says something wrong, and completely unhelpful for that kind of hurt? Do you do it when you start empathizing with her family member? Keep in mind, this is long after you have empathy for her, at least 30 seconds.
When do you disconnect? Can you? How? Do you choose to focus on the texture of the snow as it crunches under your feet with tiny tire tracks, or the way it looks like it was painted on the sidewalk, when it’s very thin, or the burning white glare that makes you feel like an X-Men? The one with the univision laser? What do you do?
Well, I’ll tell you. You go with the snow, because it feels best. The crunch is more poetic through thin converse.
Good writers don’t write because they feel like it, they write to understand it better. And for the love of God, everyone can hear you when you mumble down the sidewalk. Sometimes the hidden things are the most obvious, and not all of us can beat not to talk about them.
Which is why it isnt cruel to disconnect, when necessary. Otherwise, you’d never be able to.