fumon: Photo of me with green and gold hair without a previously present goatee (Default)
[personal profile] fumon
     So in the past six months I've done a complete THREE SIXTY in terms of my life's goals. From wanting to innovate and invent my brains out, to a deep sullen depression over my lack of any real progress towards those inventions thinking that I might as well just go back to school to find myself a real job, to recently finding the wonderful world of Hacklab.to which has reinvigorated my mind and soul as well as opened up a new world of possibilities.
     Hacklab has singlehandedly become the center of my existence and filled me with a warm feeling of hope for the world in general over the past few months.
     I've met people like me.
     Let me say that again because it feels good, I've met people like me.
     People who I can touch. People who come back to the same place to have a good time. People who want to talk about the latest in tech and laugh at the jokes I laugh at. People who have the desire to stir the pot. People who want to innovate not just work a 9 to 5. People who understand the importance in keeping technology in the hands of the people. People who make the effort to make people feel welcome in a hostile and brown world of corporate pandering to the lowest common denominator.
     Most importantly, people who hack and explore technology, not just use it; the kind of curiosity that lets you know someone is still alive in there, behind their eyes.
     It's a wonderful thing to finally be around people on a day-to-day basis that understand things that I understand; even better, they frequently surprise me in understanding many concepts better than I.
     The flip-side of all this good is that I've had to think a lot about how I interact with people. I've felt like an outsider for so long that being an insider is an entirely new experience for me and I fear I'm making all the most basic mistakes in new and exciting ways which is to say I'm finding myself be a bit of a jerk at times and I'm not so satisfied with it.
     I've spent so much time trying to interact with people who don't like to do the things I do and who don't understand anything that I do with my life that I have developed a set of assumptions built on horrible experiences, most of which do not apply at all but with which I have developed my outward persona over the years:

  1. I probably don't want to go out and party or try and meet people because no one will be willing to put up with my ignorance of social norms or teach me them.

  2. Whatever plans I might propose, people probably won't be interested or won't like my idea.
    • Those plans that people do accept are accepted begrudgingly and every attempt should be made to apologize for trespassing on their time lest they become enraged.

    • A corollary is that no one wants to talk about what I want to really talk about because it's awkward in some way I understand but don't agree with; so always talk about what everyone else wants to talk about and only make subtle suggestions at the right times.

  3. Conversations with me are often too intense or purposeful for the occasion and kill the mood.

  4. I get it in more or different ways than they seem to get it and voicing my opinion will kill the conversation.
    • I can't possibly understand exactly the way in which someone else understands an issue, particularly if it involves a social issue shared between other people.

  5. No one finds me attractive and talk of intimacy in my presence is purely academic.

  6. I will not find someone with which I will want to form a lasting intimate relationship even on a purely physical level. Ever.
    • Any seeming exception to this rule must be because I am being emotionally childish or submitting to a overly simplistic reason for liking said person which will not be appreciated by the other party.
      • Any exceptions to this rule will be spoken for already or unsuitable due to sexual orientation, age, absence of reciprocation, etc.
        • In the unlikely event that all previous rules have been bypassed, said person will not stay for long after realizing my lack of relationship experience seeing as anyone else with experience would be preferable to teaching someone so old the ropes like an immature teenager.

     These probably aren't all of the bullshit rules I've come up with in my head. Most of them are just obviously wrong but are difficult to convince myself of their falseness. All of these rules create a huge barrier in my mental processes when trying to socialize in the real world and make it hard to make connections.
     I had a point I was going to make here but I am tired and I must be up in three and a half hours to attend a University lab and I fear I have lost all humor in this post, watch out for its sequel.
To end on a more insane note: Flibble, Oxwig, Troz. That is all.

on 2010-09-20 07:56 am (UTC)
hypatia: (Default)
Posted by [personal profile] hypatia
fwiw, I think you come off as far less socially awkward than the image you've internalized of yourself. You're friendly, approachable, and helpful, and that makes up for a lot of awkward in this social circle (and many others!) - and you don't have much awkward to make up for, seriously.

Being willing to have a conversation with people, and to figure out what level folks are operating at and tune the level of discourse to that level without either coming off as either technobabble or patronizing - these are hard things to do, and I've seen you do it well.

I really identified with #3... for me a lot of conversations lately have ended up in me rambling about feminism. And feminist science fiction, which is a bit more esoteric, heh.

One revelation that really helped me feel more confident in social situations, that I arrived at somewhere around 2nd year uni... It happened for me around appearance, but I think it applies equally well to social skills. I used to be mega uber self-conscious of my appearance. I thought that everyone would notice that my pants were hemmed funny, or my shirt was faded, or that I had bedhead, or whatever.

And then it hit me one day... everyone thinks their pants are ugly / that they have bedhead / that they need to pluck their eyebrows just right / whatever. Folks are too wrapped up in their own self-consciousness to notice what's up with yours. I think a similar thing happens with social spaces, especially geeky ones - most folks are too wrapped up with their own demons (or daemons) to notice eachother's faux pas. Call it social impostor syndrome? It feels kinda like that, and I think the vast majority of folks have it.

Wow, that was way ramblier than I intended. The teal deer is that I think you're great people, fumon; this shit gets easier with practice; and knowing your strengths is part of it. You've got plenty :)
Edited (blah blah i am rambly.) on 2010-09-20 07:58 am (UTC)

on 2010-09-20 08:27 am (UTC)
hypatia: (Default)
Posted by [personal profile] hypatia
ooh nice theme :D

give yourself time, too. don't stress too hard about fixing all of those ways of being and thinking all at the same time - pick your battles. ask for help, too. yay processing.

also your weaving metaphor made me think of this big back and forth within academic feminism a few years back about the use of weaving as a metaphor within feminist studies of religion... MAKE IT STOP.


fumon: Photo of me with green and gold hair without a previously present goatee (Default)

December 2010


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