Just a thought/insight... i've noticed that, for years, i've tended to surround myself/be drawn toward people that most would describe as "self-centered". The reason why is fairly straightforward; it's easier to "hide"- such people are always more than happy to talk about themselves, and any attention they might pay toward me is easily deflected, and redirected back toward them. The fear seems to have won out over the need for real communication in choosing who to spend time with, and of course this pattern reinforces negative warped lessons concerning human nature that were learned through abuse.
I remember once explaining to a friend that even a woman jumping in front of a speeding bus to push her child out of harm's way was a selfish act, in that she was choosing a strong likelihood of physical pain and/or death over the certainty of living the rest of her life with horrible anguish and guilt caused by the knowledge that she could have saved her child, but didn't. I don't frame things in such a way today, and i do believe that true kindness, generosity and altruism exist, but it is very difficult to remember sometimes.
I still enjoy the sort of cold, wry despair that can be found in works by authors such as Twain or Vonnegut, but it's also the warm, loving person that lies injured and outraged beneath all the cynicism that i believe caused them to write what and how they did; Brautigan is also like this, but more gentle and vulnerable in his observation of the human condition. I realize i'm sort of wandering here, but maybe it's just my way of sorting out this particular insight.
Human beings can provoke such wonder and such revulsion; as much as i can't help observing, i can't let fear stop me from participating as well, and that means taking the chance of letting people get to know me and care about me, rather than surrounding myself with people that strengthen feelings of silent disgust. I hope that at least some of you know what i'm talking about, maybe you've been there yourself...
Give sorrow words: the grief that does not speak
Whispers the o'er-fraught heart and bids it break.
-William Shakespeare, Macbeth, Act IV, Sc. III