No one wants to be the person who is made fun of for caring too much about something, who treats in earnest a situation that everyone else considers absurd. Even in personal relationships, feeling too heavily invested while simultaneously understanding that the other person couldn’t be more detached is one of the most profound feelings of embarrassment we can experience. Because it isn’t simply the embarrassment of making a mistake or a poor choice, it’s a shame over the kind of human being you are and how you see the world around you. To be shamed for your sincerity is to be reminded that you are dependent on something which is not dependent on you — that you are, once again, vulnerable.
It is perhaps for this reason that I often feel so profoundly ostracized. I find myself constantly feeling my cheeks flush with the possibility of having entered a conversation where I wasn’t welcome, or expressing a sentiment that is not reciprocated, or putting too much stock in something that others find unimportant. There is a deep cultural premium put on the “cool” of indifference in my generation, and it’s a persona that I doubt I could ever even fake. Because I do care, I care so deeply, and I am fairly certain I’m not alone.