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  1. #31
    this is my winter song EJCC's Avatar
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    In my experience, silences are only awkward when you're not sure why the other person is silent, what the other person is thinking, etc, and it bothers you. Which is why silences generally cease to be awkward once you really get to know someone.

    Quote Originally Posted by Qlip View Post
    I do this thing where sometimes I just stretch the awkwardness out as long as possible, I just stand and stare while people shift around uncomfortably. I think I find it compromising to react to social expectations when I don't feel like doing something. And I find the reactions interesting and occasionally enlightening.
    Maybe it's being social-first, maybe it's being an SJ, maybe it's generally having a hard time relating to people who feel the need to provoke/get reactions out of others for no reason -- but it pisses me off to no end when people do this. I can't relate to it, I don't understand it, it feels manipulative and inconsiderate.

    Not meaning any of the above to be personal -- you're still cool, Qlip! But please don't do that to me if we meet IRL

    Edit: Whew, just read the past few pages. Jeez. Maybe this is 1w2 related! Anyways, hopping on this bandwagon but doing so in a friendly way, and out of curiosity:
    Quote Originally Posted by Qlip View Post
    The importance of something is irrelevant?! Hard, to live is discomfort, learning is discomfort, change is discomfort and inevitable. Discomfort brings good tidings, it's the breaking down of form to allow for new. Social discomfort is a silly thing to spend too much time worrying about.

    The avoidance of discomfort without regards to the reason, the magnitude and importance is actually a big part of what is wrong with modern society.
    So what's the reasoning behind it when you create it? Trying to teach people a lesson?
    Quote Originally Posted by Qlip View Post
    social discomfort is not harm, at least not harm worth me recognizing.
    I'm confused by this. Discomfort is discomfort, right? And in general you want to avoid causing other people discomfort unless it's absolutely necessary, right? So why is this different? Unless you're saying that every time you intentionally cause social discomfort, it's for a worthy purpose.

    Edit: Throughout this thread, I've been interpreting "intentionally causing social discomfort" as "acting with full knowledge that you'll cause social discomfort, and having no desire to compromise that action even in part for the sake of others". I clarify this because there's been so much black-and-white talk in this thread. See the next few sentences in this post for middle ground between "never acting on your own needs" and "never acting on the needs of others":
    Quote Originally Posted by garbage View Post
    Same. It's just seen as virtuous to not fulfill one's own needs. It's bollocks.
    I agree -- but there's a balance here. Compromise is possible, between meeting your own needs and those of others. It's the nature of being a considerate person.
    ~ g e t f e s t i v e ! ~


    EJCC: "The Big Questions in my life right now: 1) What am I willing to live with? 2) What do I have to live with? 3) What can I change for the better?"
    Coriolis: "Is that the ESTJ Serenity Prayer?"



    ESTJ - LSE - ESTj (mbti/socionics)
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  2. #32
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    I used to belong to Mensa in Washington DC. That chapter was very active at the time; you could easily attend one or more events of one type or another most nights of the week.

    Anyway, lots of people there were socially awkward in one way or another. It was a sizable percentage, sometimes even the majority at a given event. Silent types; overly excitable, voluble types who spit all over everyone as they talked; people dressed in worn, torn clothing; people who looked like the Unabomber (wild eyes and big ratty beards with food in them); and so on.

    We would point out these things to each other and make fun of each other's looks and mannerisms, usually just having laughs at each other over a few drinks. Based on those conversations, I concluded that most of the time these kinds of social awkwardness were just the result of laziness; it was just the way they had always been, and they didn't see a reason to change. Then when enough people chided them about it, it turned into a personal statement: a passive-aggressive way to say, "In your face!" to society at large.

    Then something would happen: An old girlfriend would suddenly dump them in disgust, and they would have a mid-life crisis over the fact that they can't seem to get promoted at work despite having been in the same position for 15 years. Suddenly they would realize that at age 40 they are still dressing the same way they did in college, still have the same overgrown hair style, the same unkept beard, etc. And so finally they would grow up a little bit: Get some new clothes, get a haircut, maybe even think of getting a real job instead of working at a coffee shop and house-sitting for friends who are traveling abroad.

    It's not a hanging crime to be socially awkward. It just tends to be a little isolating, maybe leaves you stuck in a developmental rut when you could be growing instead.

  3. #33
    likes this gromit's Avatar
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    UGH I don't like awkward silence...
    Your kisses, sweeter than honey. But guess what, so is my money.

  4. #34
    likes this gromit's Avatar
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    ...but I like when you are comfortable enough together that the silence is neutral or even pleasant.
    Your kisses, sweeter than honey. But guess what, so is my money.

  5. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by gromit View Post
    ...but I like when you are comfortable enough together that the silence is neutral or even pleasant.
    Yes..

  6. #36
    Post Human Post Qlip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EJCC View Post
    In my experience, silences are only awkward when you're not sure why the other person is silent, what the other person is thinking, etc, and it bothers you. Which is why silences generally cease to be awkward once you really get to know someone.

    Edit: Whew, just read the past few pages. Jeez. Maybe this is 1w2 related! Anyways, hopping on this bandwagon but doing so in a friendly way, and out of curiosity:

    So what's the reasoning behind it when you create it? Trying to teach people a lesson?
    There's not really a reason, just a process. The last time it happened was last week, I was out with my good friend, and we ran into some of her new friends. They're kind of their own in-crowd, most of what they talk about was what happened last weekend and who's dating who and stuff, they're also not really the most accepting of outsiders. We were all standing in a circle, and my friend was holding up the conversation, and she had to use the bathroom. At this moment everything got awkward, they were all acutely aware that I was there, and I didn't quiet belong, let's just say I visually stood out.

    There was silence, looking at shoes, etc. As an ENFP the standard impulse is to try to break the ice, or make an excuse to go. I chose the third option and just stand there, like a lead weight, like a piece of broccoli in their teeth. They decided to ignore me and continue on with their in-talk.

    The way I see it, there were a couple of things accomplished from doing this instead of following script. First is that it was confirmation that they were a stand-offish bunch and were not particularly interested in me. Second, it really sends a strong signal as to who I am, this action is me in essence. I'm actually a very friendly person, that's not something that I feel like I need to sell, what I do like to indicate is I don't feel like my friendliness is compulsory and I am comfortable with being that.

    I did have a nice exchange with one of their group later, and got a hug goodbye. They knew who they were hugging, that's invaluable.

    I'm confused by this. Discomfort is discomfort, right? And in general you want to avoid causing other people discomfort unless it's absolutely necessary, right? So why is this different? Unless you're saying that every time you intentionally cause social discomfort, it's for a worthy purpose.

    Maybe it's being social-first, maybe it's being an SJ, maybe it's generally having a hard time relating to people who feel the need to provoke/get reactions out of others for no reason -- but it pisses me off to no end when people do this. I can't relate to it, I don't understand it, it feels manipulative and inconsiderate.
    I guess I don't really believe this, and neither do I go out of my way to cause discomfort. Discomfort is a pretty neutral thing to me, it's not by nature bad. Sometimes it's a byproduct of things that are actually important, sometimes it can be a tool in itself. I do understand that people are made uncomfortable by things that I may do, but also other people are drawn in are are amused. Some of my best friends have actually started out from seemingly aggressive action. It's the classic 'you can't please everyone' situation.

    Not meaning any of the above to be personal -- you're still cool, Qlip! But please don't do that to me if we meet IRL
    Don't worry, I try to feel the crowd.

  7. #37
    philosopher wood nymph greenfairy's Avatar
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    If you eat awkward silence you should hang out with me. lol Interesting reaction. Although I might get paranoid in response. I'd think you were trying to play mind tricks on me. Which you would be. So maybe we shouldn't hang out.
    Quote Originally Posted by gromit View Post
    ...but I like when you are comfortable enough together that the silence is neutral or even pleasant.
    Yeah that's nice. But it takes awhile ime.

  8. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hard View Post
    That's irrelevant.

    What you are applying a negative feeling to others that could be avoidable and is not needed, for the sole reason that you experienced a negative feeling. Again, it's bring a large group of people down on purpose with intention. It's not fair, selfish, and should not be done.
    That's under the assumption that everyone within the group is experiencing the same level of discomfort. I certainly wouldn't concern myself with it, and I'd imagine neither would anyone else (assuming the 'offense' is nothing more than someone being awkward..) with the exception of a few people who consider it a priority to maintain conscious control over the emotional atmosphere of the group. I could understand if it was a particularly small group..like maybe 3-5 people.

  9. #39
    this is my winter song EJCC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Qlip View Post
    There's not really a reason, just a process. The last time it happened was last week, I was out with my good friend, and we ran into some of her new friends. They're kind of their own in-crowd, most of what they talk about was what happened last weekend and who's dating who and stuff, they're also not really the most accepting of outsiders. We were all standing in a circle, and my friend was holding up the conversation, and she had to use the bathroom. At this moment everything got awkward, they were all acutely aware that I was there, and I didn't quiet belong, let's just say I visually stood out.

    There was silence, looking at shoes, etc. As an ENFP the standard impulse is to try to break the ice, or make an excuse to go. I chose the third option and just stand there, like a lead weight, like a piece of broccoli in their teeth. They decided to ignore me and continue on with their in-talk.

    The way I see it, there were a couple of things accomplished from doing this instead of following script. First is that it was confirmation that they were a stand-offish bunch and were not particularly interested in me.
    Thanks -- this makes sense to me. I can see how in that situation, remaining silent would make sense as a sort of test. If they had been friendly and accepting, they would have reached out to you. The fact that they didn't was an indicator that either they weren't interested, as you suggested, or they were too uncomfortable with straying from their comfort zone. Neither option is terribly accepting, interesting, or kind.

    If this is a representative example of the times when you intentionally make social situations uncomfortable, then I think both @Hard and I had a bit of a communication breakdown. Because when you get down to it, you weren't entering that situation going "I will make them uncomfortable and I'm fine with it" -- if I understand you correctly, your perspective was "I'm testing you to see if you're accepting of who I am as a person -- and I am not a socially inappropriate person, nor are my actions socially inappropriate, so if you are uncomfortable, then that's your problem". I've done almost exactly what you described, also as a social test, but didn't consider it socially inappropriate at all -- any social awkwardness would have been due to individuals and not the group as a whole.

    However...
    Quote Originally Posted by Qlip View Post
    Second, it really sends a strong signal as to who I am, this action is me in essence. I'm actually a very friendly person, that's not something that I feel like I need to sell, what I do like to indicate is I don't feel like my friendliness is compulsory and I am comfortable with being that.
    Clarification question: How are you showing that you're a very friendly person, by not being friendly? How would they know that, unless you showed that side of you earlier in your interactions with them? If you didn't, then you weren't actually showing them who you are.

    Quote Originally Posted by Qlip View Post
    I guess I don't really believe this, and neither do I go out of my way to cause discomfort. Discomfort is a pretty neutral thing to me, it's not by nature bad. Sometimes it's a byproduct of things that are actually important, sometimes it can be a tool in itself. I do understand that people are made uncomfortable by things that I may do, but also other people are drawn in are are amused. Some of my best friends have actually started out from seemingly aggressive action. It's the classic 'you can't please everyone' situation.
    Well if other people are cool with that, then more power to them. I personally don't relate, but I understand that a lot of people do. e.g. others in this thread who've posted about creating awkwardness for fun.

    Just to show how far I am on the opposite end of the spectrum: 99% of the time I'm very stoic when I watch movies and TV -- I've only cried in a handful of movies in my entire life -- but when scenes are extremely awkward, I usually leave the room until they're over. I don't do that with sad scenes, violent scenes, or anything else. It's like nails on a chalkboard for me.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stansmith View Post
    That's under the assumption that everyone within the group is experiencing the same level of discomfort. I certainly wouldn't concern myself with it, and I'd imagine neither would anyone else (assuming the 'offense' is nothing more than someone being awkward..) with the exception of a few people who consider it a priority to maintain conscious control over the emotional atmosphere of the group.
    Are you social-last?
    ~ g e t f e s t i v e ! ~


    EJCC: "The Big Questions in my life right now: 1) What am I willing to live with? 2) What do I have to live with? 3) What can I change for the better?"
    Coriolis: "Is that the ESTJ Serenity Prayer?"



    ESTJ - LSE - ESTj (mbti/socionics)
    1w2/7w6/3w4 so/sx (enneagram)
    want to ask me something? go for it!

  10. #40
    Stansmith
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    @EJCC

    Are you social-last?
    Probably not...but I'm sort of half-there mentally when it comes to social-situations, so I rarely experience myself as part of a cohesive unit larger than the self....At best, I'm a receptive, amicable participant.

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