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The presence of another person becomes an invasion of one's own being and creates a nervous situation between us. This is intensified when, usually at the very beginning of the encounter but sometimes during the course of it, he betrays himself as a neurotic by showing compulsive habits. I then have to deal not only with the matter he has come for but also with the other's troubled self-consciousness--a generator of negative feelings and thoughts which impinge themselves on my peace and disturb it. Is it any wonder that I find solitude more enjoyable than its contrary state?

-- Notebooks Category 12: Reflections > Chapter 5: The Literary Work > # 385

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