Do you ever feel like a lab rat or zoo animal?

By Leca
@lecanis (16739)
Murfreesboro, Tennessee
April 6, 2007 8:36pm CST
These days I have a lot of contact with people, many of whom are very different from me. It's nice in a way because I love learning about them, and the things that make us different as well as the things that make us similar. But I try to do so in ways that are natural, through discussion, not by questioning them. They don't always return the favor. In fact, sometimes I feel like I am being interrogated, or "studied". Any day now a certain one of my coworkers might come out with a "Care and feeding of the common weirdo" manual based on her study of me, I swear. I'm not always like this, for the record. Most of the time I am happy that people care enough to learn about me, and that they bother to ask me questions rather than assuming they know the answers, or not wanting to know them at all. But once in a while I just feel like maybe I'm in a zoo or a lab, being studied. Ever feel that way?
5 people like this
7 responses
• United States
7 Apr 07
Unfortunately I do know what you are talking about. There have been many times in my life that I have been laid open under the microscope. A few times in my youth when my family was going through transformations and regrouping because of abuse it was I who was looked at, studied, and in my studiers eyes I could see one of 2 things pity, and misunderstanding. Another time I was in the lime light is when my second Son was struggling at being a teenager, we ended up having to involve the court system and DCS, Oh my gosh what an experience and from friends we were judged either as being incompetent parents(not the case we asked for the judges help) or just plain out right stupid. The questions that we were bombabared with got to a point that I could not even answer them because of their redundancy. No one seemed to understand we made that move with many long hours of tears and pain. that we loved our Son and wanted what was best for him and to keep him safe. My Point to all of this is that I squirmed, and felt naked as if I were in a fish bowl with the whole world looking in and I had not place to run for cover.
2 people like this
• Singapore
7 Apr 07
This is very strange... I have never been in your shoes before. I was never interrogated like a lab rat or zoo animal. :P Why would people treat you this way?
1 person likes this
@lecanis (16739)
• Murfreesboro, Tennessee
7 Apr 07
You know, I really think they mean well. My coworkers are very different from me, and they want to get to know me better, and learn about the things that interest me. I know that, but... Often it does come across as if they were interrogating me. Seriously some of the questions I get are just silly, and they'll just keep asking them! I do feel great that they want to learn about things that interest me, but I wish I could just say "Here's a book about it" or "I'll tell you some other time" when I'm not in the mood to play 20 questions.
• Singapore
7 Apr 07
So maybe it comes across as interrogating for you, but to them, they are just showing selfless concern? :P If they are asking those silly questions that can be explained in a book, they probably think you are quite knowledgeable. Might it not be so? :PP
1 person likes this
@lecanis (16739)
• Murfreesboro, Tennessee
7 Apr 07
Ah yes, lordwarwizard, I'm quite sure that you're right on this one. I must have probably just been feeling extra touchy that day or something. It's just hard sometimes because I feel that people expect a lot out of me, when they ask me so many questions like that. Thanks for the perspective check! You're so good at those!
@filmbuff (2909)
• United States
7 Apr 07
I have noticed that as well and experienced it quite often. Although I hate to admit that I "give" more than I "get" in this department. I've worked in sales for a while and pretty much have to examine a person and figure them out (sooner rather than later) if I want to eat, or do something worthwhile like see a movie. I've noticed in general it is usually the younger folks who ask me question after question trying to figure out who I am. Most older ones don't care, or have me figured out already..I guess. (cynical of me no) I think that age does play a factor however, as those just coming into adulthood are trying to understand the world and their place it in. Or it could just be all in my head...
1 person likes this
@lecanis (16739)
• Murfreesboro, Tennessee
7 Apr 07
Haha! I hadn't thought about the sales aspect. That's a good point. =P You know, it probably is at least partially a young thing. That makes a lot of sense. Thanks!
1 person likes this
@asteriskec (1074)
• Philippines
7 Apr 07
I have felt that way so many times over. People look at you for so many reasons but personally I feel that they look at me like a zoo animal because they want to compare their lives with mine. A friend of mine said that I lead a "colorful" life and many people can't seem understand why I get those opportunities and they don't. They have a lot of questions and most of the time I don't bother to answer for the very simple reason that I feel those opportunities opened up because I fought for them, I found them, I researched them and I was driven enough to follow them and make them my own.
@lecanis (16739)
• Murfreesboro, Tennessee
7 Apr 07
You make a very good point here. People will admire what you're been able to do when they're not willing to put the work in to do it themselves. And it's frustrating when people treat you as if you were lucky to have something fall in your lap, when you know darned well how hard you worked for it! I often have people comparing their lives with mine too, and they always tell me how interesting I am. That's great, really, but a lot of times they don't understand that a lot of the things they find interesting were in reality quite horrible for me, or were things that I worked very hard to achieve.
• Philippines
7 Apr 07
I only feel like a guinea pig whenever I felt pain and a sudden sadness. I feel like someone is testing me on how I deal with my everyday life and how I will let myself learn the value that I need to learn from that sudden sadness and pain. For me life is a big laboratory, we are the guinea pig and life itself is the scientist. oh this reminds me of my blog entitled "my laboratory of pain".
1 person likes this
@angelicEmu (1311)
7 Apr 07
When I was in my late teens, I used to find that some people would try to "suss me out" - ie analyse me as a person, in order to find out how to handle me. I learned pretty quickly that people who are manipulative like that aren't really worth sharing your innermost self with freely. I blame Sun Tzu's Art of War being popularised by the expanding Sales industry, and all of those self-help books on "Power Relationships" which are basically about how to manipulate people. Nowadays more than ever, it's best to be choosy about who you're good friends with, and to some extent keep your distance from those you're not. It's not rude to say "I don't feel comfortable about answering that" when people are prying, or over-familiar, or ask questions which are personal. Being assertive isn't the same as being rude, although there are people who will try and make you feel it is. Just remember that's their problem, and you've every right not to answer, especially if they're treating you like that. That's what I think, anyway - how you choose to handle people who treat you like that is up to you, and will depend on your personality. Just as long as you know it's not rude to refuse to go along with that sort of thing! All the best, and who cares what they think anyway :-)
1 person likes this
@rekkusu (603)
7 Apr 07
*Reads sign "DO NOT FEED THE ANIMALS"* I dont really understand what that feels like, because im one of those people who look too boring for others to want to know anything about me, not that id tell them if they asked (id rather keep myself to myself) But still if they did bring out the book, id would be a big hit =p
1 person likes this