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  1. #211
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    Quote Originally Posted by zago View Post
    I can't banter in a socially acceptable way. My sense of humor is dark and likes to go to places and topics that offend people. When I find those rare people who don't have those sensitivities, I can banter fine enough.
    Ahh I see :P

    Yes mine (humour) isn't too acceptable either

  2. #212
    Analytical Dreamer Coriolis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by valaki View Post
    Lol well that's good you're not actually missing out on something then Why didn't you enjoy it though?
    I found the topics of conversation banal and pointless - gossip, fashion, sports; movies, TV, and music I dislike, etc. Attempts to bring up subjects I do like, or even to talk about something like sports in a way that interests me were ridiculed or ignored. I didn't enjoy the things they did (e.g. play games or see movies not of interest - can't remember exactly what now). In the end I figured if that's what they want to do, fine, but it's not for me, so best just go my own way.

    Quote Originally Posted by valaki View Post
    Wonder if WhoCares does that? The bolded.
    I do those things. One manifestation of the context shift is to be listening to a conversation and have it trigger an idea or connection that is instant and obvious to me, but not at all to other people. For instance, people could be talking about one of those CSI/forensics shows on TV now and say something that reminds me of when, in the 60's or 70's or so, Russian scientists dug up Ivan the Terrible and studied his remains to figure out why he was so terrible. If I were to bring this up in many groups, I would get odd reactions, or have to spend so much time explaining myself that they would run out of patience.
    I've been called a criminal, a terrorist, and a threat to the known universe. But everything you were told is a lie. The truth is, they've taken our freedom, our home, and our future. The time has come for all humanity to take a stand...

  3. #213
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    @valaki, okay lets give your questions some thought...

    Distancing - I've analysed it to death, clearly unsuccessfully. . All's well while I listen to the other person blab on about their personal issues, TV watching or whatever. As soon as they ask me about my interests it all goes downhill from there. Who would have thought an interest in gardening makes you a leper? Lol! It seems my interests run counter to a lot of peoples even though they seem pretty reasonable on the surface. I have little interest in the mundane aspects of life like shopping, gossip and hanging out in bars and restaurants. I display an appaulling lack of knowledge about reality TV stars, facebook and twitter. I've commited the heinous sin or being unaware of what SnapChat is... My interests are music (as in playing an actual instrument), dance, yoga, healthy living, gardening, architecture using recycled objects, historical dressmaking, history in general, interior design, and running a business. It's true that at the moment my audience is a poor fit for these interests. I work in an extremely vapid and narcissistic industry.

    I honestly think its a case of my first impression being a betrayal of what lies beneath. I present as just like everyone else but then turn out to have these interests that are associated with a more specialist group, like theatre people, or university professors etc..

    Society - what will it give me? A sense of place and a sense of being a worthwhile input into the world. The big mantra in modern psychology is that no man is an island, we all need someone, we are social creatures etc. While I have in the past lived extended periods with extremely llimited contact with other people, I can't call it a fulfilling existence. And the big besides is that I plan to be independently employed. If you plan to do that then you must sell yourself, you need contacts and people to refer you to others.

    WHy? - I have tried asking others in private of course. And always end up with one of two answers.
    1. There's nothing wrong with you, I dont know what you are talking about.
    2. I personally think you're great but I can see why others don't like you. With no further elaboration on that.

    To ne honest I am less interested in the why now since I am tired of pleasing others at my own expense. I am now resolved to do as you have done and just live my life on the outside and find something else to fulfill me besides fidnign the holy grail of acceptance.

    My unacceptable expression is my neutral expression. Whenever I wear it I get all kinds of comments like 'whats wrong, why are you angry etc'. I've seen my neutral expression in the mirror, its not that hideous. I feel its unfair to expect me to wander the earth with a perpetual smile on my face and an ecstatic bon vivant attitude. Apparently anything less than absolute excitement constitutes a bad mood. I just want the freedom to be who I am, not some performing monkey for the sake of tiptoeing around other people's prejudices. What shitsme the most is that plenty of accepted people get around with outright terrible facial expressions but thats socmpletely fine for them. Hypocritical to say the least.

    But as you say why do I care so much. Sure its nice to be accepted but if it takes this much effort and feels this bad then why bother. Better to just get on with life in whatever capacity I can and be done with feeling bad about shit.

  4. #214
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    Quote Originally Posted by valaki View Post
    Wonder if WhoCares does that? The bolded.

    What's the Ni context shift like? Have you got some examples?
    The eye contact and criticism are two things I've paid special attention to, particularly in my current role. I make a point to make eye contact with anyone who is speaking with me. The criticisms I keep in the internal dialogue now and instead find a gentler way to redirect someone's actions if I need to (I'm in a supervisory role, I have to do this sometimes). I'm actually very talkative at work. I have to be in order to put those working closely alongside me at ease. I've been told I am intimidating although I can't imagine why. I just get on and do what needs to be done without fuss or drama. If that's intimidtion then I clearly have no understanding of the word.

    I do work with a lot of big personalities, people accustomed to dominating whatever room they are in. The job just attracts these kinds of people. We have one particularly large and toxic individual who of course took an instant dislike to me. I found out later from one of her confidantes that she's intimidated by me. And I have to confess to having fun poking this person occassionally by making a point of saying hello whenever we pass.

    Ni context shift. Not sure if this happens recently although it did used to happen a lot. But now I keep all topics of converssation planted firmly in the workplace, either taking the piss or just engaging in the ritual bitching which is part of the job. So it happens a lot less often now.

  5. #215
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    I agree that it's not enough to give generic advice like "Just be yourself." I've seen plenty of awkward people who were trying their best to socialize but who were simply off-putting through no particular fault of their own. You want to help such people out, but it's just too difficult due to the attitude that they exhibit. For example:

    --Defeatist attitude: Act depressed; express lots of negativity and defeatism in their conversation.

    --Unreactive: You talk at them, but they don't pick up the conversational threads that are offered for one reason or another (too shy; too passive).

    --Manic: They talk too much and give out way too much info; boundaries are being transgressed inappropriately.

    --Too talkative: They command the floor and don't let others say anything; they're a colossal bore.

    --Too intense: They lean in too close, glare too unflinchingly, ask too many questions, act controlling.

    --And so on.

    Any one of these people would be good people to invite to a poker game (except maybe the talkative bore). They're fine to have along if you're engaged in some kind of group activity: Workplace, on a team in a sport, or as a participant in a game. But you're scared to get stuck one-on-one with them over dinner and drinks, because it looks like it's going to be a fight having a decent extended conversation with them.

    Anyway, for what it's worth, there are actually services that help people like these. For example: http://www.firstimpressionsconsulting.com/index.html

    That particular service breaks down every aspect of meeting, conversing, flirting, etc. into dozens of small details: How long you maintain eye contact, where you put your hands, the amount of time you spend talking vs. listening, etc. For example, the following page from the same website breaks down social interactions into 7 categories, and then give you two links in each category--Things to do and things not to do: http://www.firstimpressionsconsultin...ooktables.html

    Some "life coaches" will provide much the same service for you. They'll go with you on little excursions around town, watch your interactions, and critique and train you on how to interact better.

    So basically I'm just saying: Help is available, and some people actually do make use of these services, especially for work purposes: Sort of like "finishing school" for businesspeople, to give them more grace and ease in social settings. The people who use these services would also be the same people who go to a speech therapist to get rid of a non-native accent or a lisp; who get hair plugs; who get liposuction, etc.

    OTOH, probably most average folks will find this approach to be too much effort; or they'll say it will make them feel too fake. It just depends on how much effort and money you're willing to put into the effort to be more popular.

    Mainly I'm just pointing out: These days pretty much anything can be fixed. If you're determined enough, it's possible to buy coaches to walk you through these kinds of problems. But like I said, most people probably won't have the patience for this level of intervention and self-improvement. It's available; but it's probably not something the average Joe would use.

  6. #216
    Senior Member zago's Avatar
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    My best friend in college was equally weird as I was, we got along swimmingly as outcasts. However whenever he would attempt to relate to a "normal" person who wasn't like us, it was almost comical. He was one of those types who would start talking and never stop, usually about his family, and you would see the person's eyes glaze over within seconds.

    He, like me, could only talk to other outcasts and weirdos. There was simply no advice, no book he could have read that would have changed that. It would have been a shame if it had, too, because he was a great person, my favorite friend ever really. People judged him though because a lot of the time he would use shock value remarks and obscenity to get reactions from people. I was actually not nearly as bad off as he was, and sometimes it was hard to go out with him because he would piss everyone off so much and we would basically clear the room. I was never offended by a single thing he said, but sometimes I would yell at him for doing that. If I could go back I would say fuck it and help him clear the room, because fuck people who are too proper. There were some real douchebags. In the end though that is what I did, senior year I really said fuck it and just hung out with my favorite couple of friends at the expense of the more socially connected ones. I had way more fun.

    He was an ISTP, by the way. Smart as hell and just as loyal, but forever unable to connect to just about everyone. Badly misunderstood indeed, but like I said above, who needs friends that are that lame that they are always uptight about things?

    I just wish there were more IxxPs. No type is ever as open minded and dark, but also fun.

  7. #217
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    Quote Originally Posted by zago View Post
    My best friend in college was equally weird as I was, we got along swimmingly as outcasts. However whenever he would attempt to relate to a "normal" person who wasn't like us, it was almost comical. He was one of those types who would start talking and never stop, usually about his family, and you would see the person's eyes glaze over within seconds. […]
    Yes, that's entirely doable: Buddy up with another outcast.

    Another idea is to socialize while "doing stuff": Take dance lessons, join a choral group, join a gaming crowd, do church activities, join a bowling league, etc. (See Meetup.com) Of course, after the main activity is over, you may still get excluded when people buddy up to go out for drinks. But at least you get in some socialization time.

    For about 10 years I was a member of Mensa in Washington DC (which has one of the most active chapters in the world). Mensa basically promotes itself as kind of a high-IQ "odd fellows club," a place to socialize for people who don't fit in elsewhere because of their offbeat interests. And in fact there was a high tolerance for social weirdness there. Shorts, t-shirts, and flip-flops were pretty much universally worn, and it was fine if they were stained and rumpled. OTOH, even in Mensa one can find outliers--people who just didn't fit in even with that crowd. No matter how much you broaden the tolerance level, there will always be a few who are just too difficult to communicate with.

  8. #218
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coriolis View Post
    I found the topics of conversation banal and pointless - gossip, fashion, sports; movies, TV, and music I dislike, etc. Attempts to bring up subjects I do like, or even to talk about something like sports in a way that interests me were ridiculed or ignored. I didn't enjoy the things they did (e.g. play games or see movies not of interest - can't remember exactly what now). In the end I figured if that's what they want to do, fine, but it's not for me, so best just go my own way.
    Ahh I see. Well you're a very typical INTx I guess But I'm curious, what way were you talking about sports that was no good? Were you analysing theory behind sports or something?


    I do those things. One manifestation of the context shift is to be listening to a conversation and have it trigger an idea or connection that is instant and obvious to me, but not at all to other people. For instance, people could be talking about one of those CSI/forensics shows on TV now and say something that reminds me of when, in the 60's or 70's or so, Russian scientists dug up Ivan the Terrible and studied his remains to figure out why he was so terrible. If I were to bring this up in many groups, I would get odd reactions, or have to spend so much time explaining myself that they would run out of patience.
    Err and so why was he so terrible? :p I mean I don't even understand what is meant by studying that so I'm asking. Though the way you put it does sound funny :P

    Otherwise I don't really have any idea why that example would be a problem for people. Maybe just too far from present context? I don't really like jumping around topics that fast, I can do it to a degree but not to an extreme degree. Maybe the same for most people, though I'm not a typical person either.


    Quote Originally Posted by WhoCares View Post
    Distancing - I've analysed it to death, clearly unsuccessfully. . All's well while I listen to the other person blab on about their personal issues, TV watching or whatever. As soon as they ask me about my interests it all goes downhill from there. Who would have thought an interest in gardening makes you a leper?
    Isn't it more the way you were talking about gardening? Too analytical, too deep? Most people prefer to keep to the surface.


    Society - what will it give me? A sense of place and a sense of being a worthwhile input into the world. The big mantra in modern psychology is that no man is an island, we all need someone, we are social creatures etc. While I have in the past lived extended periods with extremely llimited contact with other people, I can't call it a fulfilling existence. And the big besides is that I plan to be independently employed. If you plan to do that then you must sell yourself, you need contacts and people to refer you to others.
    I don't like too limited contact either, but I'm fine if I spend time with others via activites without any deep socializing. For you that's not enough, right? Just trying to understand

    As for being independently employed, I don't think you need to go to bars and socialize to keep the business going. Sounds like you got no problem with superficial interaction so I wouldn't worry if I were you But I guess I still don't have the whole picture here.


    WHy? - I have tried asking others in private of course. And always end up with one of two answers.
    1. There's nothing wrong with you, I dont know what you are talking about.
    2. I personally think you're great but I can see why others don't like you. With no further elaboration on that.
    I'm sure you asked 2) why others don't like you then?

    And these are such terribly elusive answers :@

    Btw, I've seen some people who are willing to go into such details but they are rare. I think most people have an inhibition that makes them worried that they'll hurt you by telling you the details. This task is actually unpleasant for most people. But again, as I said, there are exceptions.


    My unacceptable expression is my neutral expression. Whenever I wear it I get all kinds of comments like 'whats wrong, why are you angry etc'. I've seen my neutral expression in the mirror, its not that hideous. I feel its unfair to expect me to wander the earth with a perpetual smile on my face and an ecstatic bon vivant attitude. Apparently anything less than absolute excitement constitutes a bad mood. I just want the freedom to be who I am, not some performing monkey for the sake of tiptoeing around other people's prejudices. What shitsme the most is that plenty of accepted people get around with outright terrible facial expressions but thats socmpletely fine for them. Hypocritical to say the least.
    I have never heard about such expectations myself, maybe this is an American thing? If you live there, that is

    I sometimes think that my own default expression is "terrible", though a smile really does soften it a lot. Anyway, I told this to someone once, and he said nope he really likes it. My default expression I mean. :o These things do seem a bit subjective... So it's hard to imagine that everyone without exception would have a problem with your face :/


    But as you say why do I care so much. Sure its nice to be accepted but if it takes this much effort and feels this bad then why bother. Better to just get on with life in whatever capacity I can and be done with feeling bad about shit.
    Just a strange question, were you ever feeling truly accepted and are you trying to recreate that experience or do you just have an awareness that you're missing something good (i.e. acceptance)?


    Quote Originally Posted by FLD View Post
    I agree that it's not enough to give generic advice like "Just be yourself." I've seen plenty of awkward people who were trying their best to socialize but who were simply off-putting through no particular fault of their own. You want to help such people out, but it's just too difficult due to the attitude that they exhibit. For example
    This is a very interesting list/summary, thanks!


    Quote Originally Posted by zago View Post
    My best friend in college was equally weird as I was, we got along swimmingly as outcasts. However whenever he would attempt to relate to a "normal" person who wasn't like us, it was almost comical. He was one of those types who would start talking and never stop, usually about his family, and you would see the person's eyes glaze over within seconds.
    Sounds pretty much autistic to be honest, I mean, this quality of not being capable to pay any attention to the partner and just keep talking about whatever. And about such a boring topic as family? I will be honest, I would not have bothered to talk again to your friend after a bit of such interaction. I really think this is the minimum, pay attention to your talking partner! :p

    Guess he was able to pay attention when he was talking to you though?

    Otherwise he sounds funny with all those obscene remarks :P

  9. #219
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    Quote Originally Posted by WhoCares View Post
    I've been told I am intimidating although I can't imagine why. I just get on and do what needs to be done without fuss or drama. If that's intimidtion then I clearly have no understanding of the word.
    I find these things are very subjective too. I don't really see stuff as intimidating and then others do. What you said here I wouldn't feel is intimidating. Maybe - really really speculating - those people have an inferiority complex? Because it seems to be related to you being knowledgeable about things.


    I do work with a lot of big personalities, people accustomed to dominating whatever room they are in. The job just attracts these kinds of people. We have one particularly large and toxic individual who of course took an instant dislike to me. I found out later from one of her confidantes that she's intimidated by me. And I have to confess to having fun poking this person occassionally by making a point of saying hello whenever we pass.
    Lol I say keep having fun What kind of job is this btw if I may ask?

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    Quote Originally Posted by FLD View Post
    That particular service breaks down every aspect of meeting, conversing, flirting, etc. into dozens of small details: How long you maintain eye contact, where you put your hands, the amount of time you spend talking vs. listening, etc. For example, the following page from the same website breaks down social interactions into 7 categories, and then give you two links in each category--Things to do and things not to do: http://www.firstimpressionsconsultin...ooktables.html
    God this shit, by the time I read through all of them, I was feeling like hitting something or someone. This is just about building this fucking stupid social mask. And there's so many rules in there, you can't keep to all of them at the same time, because some of the shit in it is mutually exclusive.

    That's not to say I don't agree with some of the points listed because I do agree with a lot of it. Just the overall picture that comes out is so... fake? shallow? well I have no more words for this.

    Oh and my favourite was where it talks about trying to appear "low maintenance". Yeah so if I'm presenting myself as low maintenance, it's okay for the partner to be the high maintenance one?? Just because if you are trying to be flexible and give in all the time to seem low maintenance, you're not going to be equal to the partner anymore.

    Or when it talks about being positive and avoiding the negative then mentions don't be overly positive either. That sort of thing - the positiveness was just an example of many - points to some nonexistent fine balance, because this is subjective as well, that is, it also depends on the partner's way of seeing things.

    Finally, another favourite: what's wrong with unique features? Do we all really need to be uniform social animals with the same boring shallow mask?

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