Monday, February 29, 2016

The Theory of the "Only Sane Person" and What It Means for Politics, Relationships, and Opinions

One of my favorite articles on is Only Sane Man, more accurately described as Only Sane Person.

The concept is actually pretty simple. In a fictional setting, you may have a cast of characters who are all nuts or totally bonkers. Then you have Bob. There is nothing interesting or notable about Bob, save for the fact he's the only person aware of how INSANE everything is around him. He is the Only Sane Man.

The Only Sane Person exists in real life, too. The thing is, the Only Sane Person is more a state of mind than an actual identification. More often than not, YOU think you're the Only Sane Person. Remember that friend who always questions the intelligence of someone's zany stunt? Or the sibling who prefers to watch your family execute those wacky shenanigans than actually participate?

DISCLAIMER: This picture is a dramatic representation and not an accurate portrayal of my friend group.

Come on, friend, you may think. Yeah, this zany stunt may be somewhat dangerous, but think about how much FUN you're missing out on! 

Or maybe it's with your family. Come on, Sibling. These wacky shenanigans may embarrassing to you, but think of the memories we're making!

Because you have good reasons for acting and thinking the way you do, it only makes sense that your friends or family members who act and think differently are the insane ones. After all, you are who you are because of a series of very logical actions and conclusions.

And thus we see the problem with modern-day politics (and everything else, for that matter).

I genuinely believe that every presidential candidate thinks they're the Only Sane Person running for office. They have spent their lives building belief systems about American policies, and after much thought, conclude that their opinions are the most right. They go to debates thinking, How can anyone not agree with me? Everything I say makes perfect sense!

But everyone thinks their belief systems are the most correct. That's why people get so angry over politics and religion and the like. The way I view things makes the most sense! Why don't you agree with me? How can you not agree with me? YOU MUST BE CRAZY.

The Only Sane Person mentality is a major flaw in our collective thinking. If we are prone to assuming everyone else is insane, then we are unable to foster understanding and acceptance.

LISTEN to EVERYONE. Try to see both sides of every argument. Give everyone a chance to speak. Don't shut people down or undermine their opinions. If we can all stop thinking like we're the Only Sane Person, then maybe the contention and rancor so prevalent in this society can finally die the death for which I'm hoping.


  1. I can't say I agree with this post. I think as often as not people identify themselves as the crazy one. And as far as politics go I don't think all (or maybe even most?) think their opinions are most right- often politicians do or say what they think is most beneficial for them or their party, and not what they think is right. I think it's important to be able to recognize the difference and to be able to see that some people are just acting in their best interests and while it may still be important to listen to what they say, I don't think it's important to put stalk in their opinion.

  2. Also I don't like the fact that I can't edit my post. I should have reviewed it for spelling and grammatical errors before posting...

  3. We're all our own unique flavor of crazy. I happily believe that everyone experiences mortality as a unique and unrepeatable trip through an amusement park, and that the true crazies are the ones that think everyone should be on the same ride.