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  1. #21
    Artisan Conquerer Halla74's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by substitute View Post
    Same as you Toonia, up to the point where you say to be socially active in the world you need to embrace some of the obligation to others. I mean I guess you do, but I am incredibly socially active and yet don't really feel like I'm hemmed in by obligations and seldom feel any obligation at all. I think it's because obligations placed on me by other people's expectations, I don't really acknowledge them. That doesn't mean I never feel obligated, but if I do then the sense of it has come from within me: I feel that I owe somebody, and so I make a point of fulfilling that.
    Bolded above, +1!

  2. #22
    Protocol Droid Athenian200's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    It could very much be related to that. I was shamed/guilted a lot in the course of my life with the "social etiquette" thing. (So I still feel guilty when I don't acknowledge someone who called/wrote me just to fill me in on something, and I feel bad for not writing a 'thank you' letter for stuff I don't think is necessary to issue a response on, etc.) And when I've slacked off and trusted that people understand, I still have been bitten by some people who apparently WERE judging me. So it's not all in my head, unfortunately.
    Oh, I know. I've often worried about what kind of lasting effect it might have had on you. Whether you'll ever be able to be happy in life because of it. There might be some of it out there, but you shouldn't have to be affected by it to this degree, or have as much respect for that kind of behavior as you've been taught to.

    I identify a lot with that statement, although I increasingly get better with just doing the "small talk" thing.
    I'm not really that bad at it if someone else initiates it, I guess. I even appreciate it if I'm really bored. The rest of the time it's annoying, though.

    I identify with the first half, up to the "uncomfortable" part -- when I run across them again, I actually like talking to them. (So drop me a line sometime! )
    Aww, thanks. I did kind of miss you, but it's always hard for me to get over that strange "exiled" feeling I get after I've forgotten to interact with a person for a while. It's like over the time I haven't bothered with them, I feel as if I slowly have less and less "right" to interact with a person. Like the connection decays, if you will. I may very well miss them, but I'll feel so unwelcome that I'll just endure it. It's probably got something to do with Si, and how once something is part of my past instead of the present, I'm way less comfortable confronting it again. It's almost like memories tend to make me less fond of something instead of more so... if that makes sense.

    What you did just now was enough to dissolve the vague sense of being unwelcome, though. Thanks.

    I remember doing that for awhile. I'd just avoid people who I knew would ask me to do something because then I'd have to disappoint them or potentially anger them by saying no... or else (more typically) just do it and feel resentful about being "controlled."

    Learning how to say "no" helped me alot with that.
    Oh my, I think I know what you mean. I can say no, but usually I end up rejecting the person as well as their request. Which makes me more reluctant to do so. Don't get me wrong, I usually enjoy doing stuff for people that they ask of me the first few times, and it can remain comfortable if they reciprocate. If they just take advantage though, it gets old fast.

  3. #23
    Senior Member Snow Turtle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Athenian200 View Post
    I would likely be willing to do something I don't want to do for someone, if I feel like they really need it and couldn't easily get it from someone else. But that's not really out of friendship so much as my own ideals about compassion. If they just want/expect it, though, forget about it.
    Friendship doesn't have it's own values. But I can understand doing something out of compassion too.

    Ah, well those would be the ones I dismiss. I don't consider unspoken obligations to be valid. If a person has one, I honestly consider that their problem to handle on their own, because I won't take any responsibility for it.

    I guess we wouldn't get along very well, huh?
    Hmm. Some examples [These seem to be fundamental]:
    Law of Reciprocity - Unspoken rule. [This one needn't be true, but it could be genetically programmed within us]
    General trust - Unspoken rule.

    There are all unspoken 'obligations' so to speak when it comes to friendship. People don't usually enter relationships or friendships listing all their expectations of other individuals, and unfortunately sometimes some values are taken for granted. That's when miscommunications happen or when values clash.

    Anyhow here's a real example of hidden expectations within friendships.
    http://www.typologycentral.com/forum...383-favor.html

  4. #24
    Protocol Droid Athenian200's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kai View Post

    Hmm. Some examples [These seem to be fundamental]:
    Law of Reciprocity - Unspoken rule. [This one needn't be true, but it could be genetically programmed within us]
    General trust - Unspoken rule.

    There are all unspoken 'obligations' so to speak when it comes to friendship. People don't usually enter relationships or friendships listing all their expectations of other individuals, and unfortunately sometimes some values are taken for granted. That's when miscommunications happen or when values clash.

    Anyhow here's a real example of hidden expectations within friendships.
    http://www.typologycentral.com/forum...383-favor.html
    Oh, yeah. I kind of have the reciprocity one. I really lack the general trust one, though. When I go out in public, I'm constantly looking around me as if I were afraid of being attacked. That's why I'm much more comfortable dealing with people through a computer or telephone... because they can't kill me that way.

    I suppose I develop the general trust a bit over time, though... to the point that I'm at least satisfied that they're all intimidated by the potential consequences of trying to harm me out in the open. My lack of this makes life VERY hard on me, though. That's one unspoken expectation I wish I DID have. Eventually, after I've figured out how a person operates on an unconscious level, I'll begin to think that perhaps they have reasons other than fear of consequences for not harming me, and only then will I start to trust them.

  5. #25
    darkened dreams labyrinthine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cascadeco View Post
    And, the reverse. Ultimately I want people to WANT to do something out of their natural inclination and free will. I want them to make the choice. I wouldn't want to slant a message in a way that implied I'd be offended if they didn't do it...because it would be meaningless in the end if they did it out of a sense of obligation/guilt/resentment - as others have said. Then I'd just feel bad as well, and then we'd both have had the wrong motiviations for doing things. Ok, I'm all about the motivation. :-P Whereas if they did it because they *wanted* to, well, that's a million times better. This isn't to say I wouldn't be inwardly disappointed or hurt if someone chose not to do something I would have liked them to have done - because I might be. But I would also have the added data to know exactly how they feel about things, prioritize things, etc etc. I'd know more about them, and I'd also know more about the nature of the relationship itself.
    I related to much of your entire post, but this paragraph in particular really resonated with me. The bolded portion can create difficulty in communication. People who are used to people obligating them, and who are insightful can pick up on the disappointment and then feel obligated to correct it. How to resolve that it's possible to feel disappointment, but still not expect anything. I don't see disappointment as something that must be avoided at all costs. It really is okay for me to feel it because it is just information that given enough time I can adapt to in some manner. When someone does feel obligated to explain or help me feel better, I view it as though I failed them by unintentionally pressuring them like everyone else. But I also don't think I can live up to the expectation of never feeling disappointments. It can be an interesting dilemma.
    Step into my metaphysical room of mirrors.
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  6. #26
    Senior Member Snow Turtle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Athenian200 View Post
    Oh, yeah. I kind of have the reciprocity one. I really lack the general trust one, though. When I go out in public, I'm constantly looking around me as if I were afraid of being attacked. That's why I'm much more comfortable dealing with people through a computer or telephone... because they can't kill me that way.
    Seriously?

    I suppose I develop the general trust a bit over time, though... to the point that I'm at least satisfied that they're all intimidated by the potential consequences of trying to harm me out in the open. My lack of this makes life VERY hard on me, though. That's one unspoken expectation I wish I DID have. Eventually, after I've figure out how a person operates on an unconscious level, I'll begin to think that perhaps they have reasons other than fear of consequences for not harming me, and only then will I start to trust them.
    Yeah... I wouldn't really define the bolded part as trust. You don't need to trust someone not to screw you over, if you have some kind of insurance. Granted it's possible that they may still screw you over despite the disadvantanges so in that sense I guess you could argue that one needs trust/faith that the other person won't be stupid/crazy enough to engage in such act. It's abit of a fuzzy terminology.

  7. #27
    Senior Member substitute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ptgatsby View Post
    See it way too much in the Asian side...
    That's actually very interesting to me - my last partner was an Arab and I sometimes used to feel a bit suffocated by perceived obligations from his family which consisted of very strict Muslims who had to be allowed to think we were just pals, and even then I still often felt the pinch of obligation so that I used to wonder what it'd be like if I was actually married into the family.

    However when we talked about it between us, it turned out he felt similarly regarding me and my friends, though I'd never realized there was any reason why he should. On reflection it became clear that nobody was being any more or less demanding than anyone else, it was just a cross-cultural thing.

    Think about it: with someone from your own culture, there are probably just as many obligations, but you don't realize half of them even are there, because it's just things you do naturally, the way you were brought up etc. But with someone from a different culture, there are expectations that are foreign to you and that you have to actually learn and adapt to, so it feels like there are more there. So you're having to fulfill these on top of the ones you do anyway from your own culture.

    I learned that in fact, there were lots of things I naturally thought obligatory towards them but actually they didn't - things from my culture that they didn't expect. So I came to recognize that there's a pay off there - there are some new things I have to remember that I didn't think about before, but also lots of things I would normally feel obligated by, these things didn't even cross their minds.

    I started to quite enjoy behaving in ways that would've been "rude" amongst Europeans, knowing they were perfectly acceptable with Arabs, and vice versa lol
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  8. #28
    Senior Member ptgatsby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by substitute View Post
    That's actually very interesting to me - my last partner was an Arab and I sometimes used to feel a bit suffocated by perceived obligations from his family which consisted of very strict Muslims who had to be allowed to think we were just pals, and even then I still often felt the pinch of obligation so that I used to wonder what it'd be like if I was actually married into the family.
    My wife is chinese and her family definitely did suffocate her somewhat. It comes with the trade-off of a good support mechanism, mind you, but the obligations are pretty intense.

    However when we talked about it between us, it turned out he felt similarly regarding me and my friends,
    <...>

    Think about it: with someone from your own culture, there are probably just as many obligations, but you don't realize half of them even are there, because it's just things you do naturally, the way you were brought up etc. But with someone from a different culture, there are expectations that are foreign to you and that you have to actually learn and adapt to, so it feels like there are more there.
    That's a good point, and I can see that even with my wife. A lot of this is perspective too. For instance:

    - We live farther away from my family, so the "visiting" has a higher cost... so she feels more of a burden visiting my family. Yet, we intentionally stayed closer to her family, since that's what she wanted (of course, it was also because it is closer to work... o_O So many layers)

    - My family is a lot less flexible in times - for example, she can visit her family in the evening, but to my family, we need to visit for the better part of the day, on a certain day. It's kind of expected that we'll come over and have dinner/etc.

    And then you have the differences - my family, if they think we haven't seen them, tell us that we haven't visited and should. Not terribly subtle, most of the time. Her family is more passive-aggressive and is very asian-guilt. Yet, for her, the direct approach makes her feel very obligated, while the guilt method makes me feel like I haven't been 'fair' (and fairness ranks ultra-high for me).

    It's pretty messy, isn't it? The culture differences has a lot of levels that make it difficult. Social 'styles', additional dates, different expectations... Interesting.

  9. #29
    ish red no longer *sad* nightning's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    I know I feel a push/pull when I fall in love; I want the closeness and revel in it, but at the same time I get scared and want my space to avoid being absorbed.

    I feel this obligation to talk to them even if it will drain me, so they'll still be my friend, and if I blow them off too much, I could lose a potential deeper friendship; yet I don't like the pressure.

    Social interaction to me has always had obligation built into it.
    I identified with what you've said, especially what's quoted. The feeling that you must follow social niceties because they're expected in the friendship really drains me.

    I guess people sense that from me. Like the time I went to a church event one of my christian friends invited me to... I was there with another girl, we're all very close to each other. When we were leaving. My christian friend hugged my friend goodbye but not me. Because she knows I don't really do hugs... when actually I wouldn't have minded at all.

    Hmmmm you know how they say about 3 types of attachment styles in babies? Well this kind of reminds me of that... Avoidant attachment style. Wanting attention but rejecting it when it's there. That's exactly what this feels like.

    Quote Originally Posted by substitute View Post
    I keep to my word and stick to my arrangements and I expect the same of others. Whether they choose to redefine their part or my part in their heads later on, I'll still stick to the original understanding. I find this is pretty effective - most people will avoid being called out or denounced as "score keepers". People who do that tend to know deep down that it's immature and doesn't win them any friends, so even if they're doing it, you can call their bluff.
    *nods* This is usually what I try to do. Except in cases where they (mostly my parents) insist I should do something I didn't truly agree to. And they hold me for their assumption that I agreed. Family obligations give me a headache. I wish I can be free to just do what I wanted to do for others instead of this expectation.

    Quote Originally Posted by ptgatsby View Post
    My wife is chinese and her family definitely did suffocate her somewhat. It comes with the trade-off of a good support mechanism, mind you, but the obligations are pretty intense.
    Culture... Seems like obligations to the family is what supports the system. I guess most Asians have been taught social obligations are expected to the point that it's ingrained into us. At times it makes me feel uneasy when I'm asking for a favor... because I feel as if I'll have to return it... settle the score as soon as possible.
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  10. #30
    Senior Member substitute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ptgatsby View Post
    It's pretty messy, isn't it? The culture differences has a lot of levels that make it difficult. Social 'styles', additional dates, different expectations... Interesting.
    Dude, all I can say is that I feel for ya dude. But I also feel for her. Asian families in general tend to be more dutiful than us Western schmucks. I dunno - my ex only became ex by death, so I dunno what would've evolved if he'd stayed alive.

    But either way, I think you've got to make a point of clearly communicating the differences between what YOU feel as obligation and what they do. Make it clear that you are a person who cares very much about things being FAIR, so that if they in future quibble with this or that, they'll understand it's a cultural thing and not just blame you for not trying.

    With my Arab former partner, it took some time explaining that it wasn't just a simple thing... the cross-cultural thing... they got to know me enough to know I wasn't a bad person, just oblivious to Middle Eastern culture. So I persuaded them to make a point of being more explicit with me, and after a while it became natural.

    Now, my experience with Asians is that they're more open to foreign cultures being right than Middle Easterns, so if you made an effort with this (not suggesting you're not already, but in their view...) they might make allowances for you...
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