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aaangyl
aaangyl
YES WE CAN HAS!
Wed, Apr. 30th, 2008 04:51 pm
// Boobies. /

Since everyone else in the known universe had had something to say about the Open Source Boob project, I'll add a comment.

If you, be you male or female, ever touch my naughties without my explicit permission, I will touch your naughties back... with my fingernails... and PULL HARD. I will MAKE YOU CRY. Don't even go there.

If you ask my permission, you'll probably get a no, but I won't damage your reproductive organs. In this case, rejection IS in fact clearly nicer than the consequences of not asking. I honestly think one of the reasons the skeeve goes on is because in most cases, getting rejected for explicitly asking has a higher "pain" toll than just grabbing for what you want.

I know violence isn't always the answer, but think about it. If a guy grabbed another guy's junk, he'd get slugged 99% of the time. Guys don't "accidentally" grab another guy's crotch, like, ever. If guys got a similar response from invading women, don't you think the learning curve would be much smaller?

I like the idea of the "women back each other up" thing, except for when it suggests you should start invading other people's interactions if you "get a skeevey vibe". If you see someone screaming "NO NO LET GO OF ME" yes, interject yourself, but it seems like a bad idea to walk up to the low-esteem girl getting her own twisted form of affirmation from a predator - that's not a cycle you can break by telling him to go away, and you might even piss off the chick and give her more reason to go home with him. Helping her find self-value in some other way is a long process, and you can't take them all on (unless you're a therapist by profession anyway). In other words, YES back up women (or men) that ask for it and clearly need it, but don't appoint yourself the great scourge of skeevishness for all women; that's a great way to be That Guy too. Just be responsible for you. If that seems insanely easy, you're probably doing it wrong.

Tags:

39CommentReplyShare


ashley_y
ashley_y
Ashley
Thu, May. 1st, 2008 01:31 am (UTC)

Sooo one week ago...

Green button idea: "ASK IF YOU WANT TO TOUCH MY MONKEY"


ReplyThread
aaangyl
aaangyl
YES WE CAN HAS!
Thu, May. 1st, 2008 01:58 am (UTC)

Bwahahahahaha!


ReplyThread Parent
agentsteel53
agentsteel53
Danger Moose
Thu, May. 1st, 2008 01:58 am (UTC)

Is there a positive side to all this?

Namely, the last N posts on the topic have all - in my perception, anyway - carried this undertone of "dear males: you are horrible human beings, failures at all forms of interaction. Here are a few basic edicts to prevent you from getting your ass kicked, your testicles clawed out, etc etc."

Now, I can obey those rules. In fact, they make perfectly good sense, but their presentation is terrifyingly dictatorial. I'm a big fan of providing balanced lists - a roughly equal quantity of "don't even think about doing this" and "here's what to do".

and by "what to do", I mean not just "stay out of trouble, as a zombie whose feelings of attraction are to be buried, a total zero" but rather some positive way in which attraction can be shown to be a Good Thing - Hell, even returned every so often.

I'm not That Guy. I'm That Zombie. I've had it beaten into me from the time I was in diapers that The Penis Is Evil, and now my only luck with women is if they essentially hand me a four-page contract, signed and dated, filed in triplicate, promising that if I were to express my attractions, they would not sue me for sexual harassment... and then throw themselves at me. (That does not happen often.)

And posts like this ... I just don't know how to gain much from them other than redoubling my fear, uncertainty, and doubt with regard to the human race.

Where's the other half of the equation?


ReplyThread
ashley_y
ashley_y
Ashley
Thu, May. 1st, 2008 02:16 am (UTC)

Don't worry about the last N posts: they're all by folks exercising their outrage muscles. For all the talk about "That Guy", the OSBP was something invented and largely perpetuated by women. Though it was of course a guy who wrote about it in such a creepy way...

Anyway, what worked for me is... I became more attractive by becoming more confident. I became more confident by feeling better about myself. I felt better about myself by becoming a better person per my own values, and finding out more about what I really wanted and what those values were.


ReplyThread Parent
agentsteel53
agentsteel53
Danger Moose
Thu, May. 1st, 2008 02:22 am (UTC)

I think my problem is that I view my values to be pretty incompatible with what other people find attractive. I'm not a "creep" or any of that, I'm just a bit eccentric. I may be very, exceedingly, marvellously good at a lot of things, like work and my hobbies and whatnot, but none of those things are particularly interesting to other people.


ReplyThread Parent
aaangyl
aaangyl
YES WE CAN HAS!
Thu, May. 1st, 2008 03:03 am (UTC)

This is pretty rambling, but it's harder to edit in these little comment boxes than the big post boxes!

When I was a kid, we'd sing this song about "your rights stop at the end of my nose" and then we'd have discussions about what that meant. Essentially, it means that your skin, your physical personhood, is a boundary space. You are responsible for what goes on inside that boundary (emotions, thoughts, etc) - someone can't MAKE YOU feel happy or sad with their words unless you're giving them the power to make you feel that way. What you do OUTSIDE your skin is an ACTION, as opposed to thoughts and feelings, so if you say something, or touch someone, you've made a decision to turn something INSIDE into something OUTSIDE. You are and will be held responsible for your actions OUTSIDE. When you ask someone about their boobs and they feel threatened, it's not solely about either party. You may have asked poorly - it's helpful to have honest female friends you can bounce some of your approaches off of so they can point out things that you might not realize you could be expressing. They may be reacting poorly because of some past experience, trigger, bias, or issue you have no clue exists - in the end, that's for them to work out, someday, maybe.

- There's a lot of culture and society and psychology in the verbal exchange space, and seriously, the best way to get more comfortable in this realm is to find some "safe" friends, people with more social savvy than you but that also understand you might lack those skills and say things "badly" a lot, and they like you and understand you and forgive you anyway, and want to help you, you know the type? (But do them a favor and don't ask for their help in that unless you seriously want it, because it's a LOT of work and you're going to get told you're wrong a LOT and it is a SKILL, absolutely not some natural gut-based thing - it might seem like it is for a lot of people, but it's just that they learned it so early they've forgotten the process or even that there was one, but seriously I SWEAR to you, it is a skill and it can be learned by anyone willing to WORK HARD to learn it.) -

Now, the physical action realm is much more clear-cut, and is what I was intending to touch (ha) upon with my comments today. The skin is a boundary point. Touching without asking is an explicit no-no. (Now, don't get all letter-of-the-law stupid about it. Accidents are accidents, crowded spaces are crowded spaces, and certain social groups are more or less touch-friendly than others. It is YOUR responsibility to move yourself out of social groups that don't match your preferences and into ones that do, and if the groups you'd like to be in don't want you, you may or may not be able to figure out why. This is all pretty complicated, huh? It's usually a bad idea to be reductionist about social things, because they're just such diverse, complex systems.) Actions against someone's person would also involve throwing shit at them, stealing their shit, and, to some, deliberately telling lies about them so as to damage their image or reputation.

"That Guy" does not respect boundaries. He does not respect HIS OWN boundaries, he does not respect HIMSELF, so it's practically impossible for him to be capable of acknowledging and respecting the boundaries of others. "That Chick" has the exact same problem with respecting boundaries, incidentally, but TYPICALLY the male way of this disrespect is invading others' boundaries and the female version is failure to defend one's own boundaries, but that's a 20-page essay I'm not going in to now.

[cont'd]


ReplyThread Parent
aaangyl
aaangyl
YES WE CAN HAS!
Thu, May. 1st, 2008 03:03 am (UTC)

Now, for the topic of you. You've got a LOT of fear oozing out of your responses, both here and what I've seen from you elsewhere, on this topic. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little death. Err. Wait. ---
Fear. What are you so afraid of? Why? This calls for some mindfulness. (Actually, mindfulness is where the respect and the compassion and all that starts. Mindfulness is a lifelong process, a path, a way of life.) If you understand who you are and what you value and why, and you live honoring that AND ALSO respecting that others might be different (which brings us back to asking - the best way to find out if someone is different is to ask them about things. Might they lie? Sure, but that's NOT actually your responsibility, outside of a general caveat emptor.), you may some day discover some chick that thinks your fumbling, overly-blunt honesty is, in fact, charming and utterly refreshing.

I'm going to drop in a paragraph about communication here. Communication isn't "I talk you listen or nod along". Proper communication involves pausing to parrot back to each other what you think the other person just said, in your own words. It involves asking clarifying questions. It shouldn't involve very much explaining to other people why they're "wrong" about anything non-factual - that is, the rules of conversation ask you to assume that if someone reports a FEELING, an OPINION, or an EXPERIENCE, that you accept that that is their experience, even if you don't think (or know) that it would be yours in a similar situation. The word "I" is to be favored over "you" - this is a concept called I-statements, and is meant to differentiate between "You hurt my feelings when you said X" and "When I heard you say X, I felt Y because of Z." One way, how the person feels is someone else's fault, an the other way the person is owning their feeling and exploring where it came from.

Notice words like "mindfulness" "communicate" "boundaries" and "responsibility" a lot? That's because that's really, at the core, what the triggers in this issue are. Nerd culture in particular has a lot of fail in these areas, as has been observed by approximately everyone on the internet ever. I'd say start by learning to communicate, and differentiate "your shit" from "other people's shit". The respect may very well flow naturally from the development of that mindfulness. It's a path, never a destination.

There's enough here that you'll probably have some more questions, so I'll just post now and see what if any of this you find interesting.


ReplyThread Parent
lemurling
lemurling
lemurling
Thu, May. 1st, 2008 03:17 am (UTC)

Things like this are why I kick myself every once in a while that I was in such a cave when I had a chance to actually know you.


ReplyThread Parent
hansandersen
hansandersen
Hans Christian Andersen
Thu, May. 1st, 2008 05:11 am (UTC)

You should come up and visit sometime!


ReplyThread Parent
aaangyl
aaangyl
YES WE CAN HAS!
Thu, May. 1st, 2008 08:08 am (UTC)

Yeah what he said! Every time you come up in conversation we have to pause for a moment of fondness.


ReplyThread Parent
agentsteel53
agentsteel53
Danger Moose
Thu, May. 1st, 2008 03:18 am (UTC)

to tell you the truth, now I feel like a total failure. A lot of these points raised seem to paint the picture of me being completely, reprehensibly, disastrously bad at communication. My first instinct is to say "wait, the Hell you say!" - but there's gotta be a reason for it.

I am really, really upset suddenly.


ReplyThread Parent
aaangyl
aaangyl
YES WE CAN HAS!
Thu, May. 1st, 2008 03:31 am (UTC)

Are you upset enough to work on getting better at it? Do you feel like enough of a failure that the next 999,999 times you have a communication failure in the process of learning, it can't be as bad as this feeling right now?

If so, then you've got a journey at your doorstep, Bilbo. ;)


ReplyThread Parent
agentsteel53
agentsteel53
Danger Moose
Thu, May. 1st, 2008 03:55 am (UTC)

I'm really sorry about the last two comments (which I excised gently because they fail pretty hard). I think we just got our wires crossed; you probably thought "he's mildly miffed", while I was really, truly, terribly upset - to a point where, alas, hobbit references and I didn't get along.

I'm still pretty unhappy, but hopefully I can verbalise it a bit better than through shrieking and wanting to jump out of the nearest window.

What really got me is that, while I'd like to think that I'm not a total social failure, deep down inside I worry that I am - and therefore, I panicked at a long list of paragraphs about how to improve without a single "hey, you're actually pretty good at subset X of social interaction, so Y and Z aren't all that hard" came off as a confirmation of my great fear of being totally hopeless (as opposed to the far more palatable "partially hopeless"). Upon re-reading, I do realise I took it for being far more harsh than it really is, and that led to a spate of non-constructive responses.

could you please give me a specific example of where I come off as being fail? I'd like to think that, in a slew of contexts, I'm pretty good at avoiding "fumbling, overly-blunt honesty" - but it may very well be the case that I'm really not picking up on something.


ReplyThread Parent
aaangyl
aaangyl
YES WE CAN HAS!
Thu, May. 1st, 2008 04:02 am (UTC)

Woah baby.

Breathe. Slowly. In through your nose, out through your mouth. Deep breaths. K?


ReplyThread Parent
agentsteel53
agentsteel53
Danger Moose
Thu, May. 1st, 2008 04:05 am (UTC)

okay, how's ten deep breaths per one solid answer strike you? ;-)


ReplyThread Parent
aaangyl
aaangyl
YES WE CAN HAS!
Thu, May. 1st, 2008 04:55 am (UTC)

I type a lot more slowly than you, I think, and I'm doing stuff other than responding here, so please don't read the slowness of my responses as trying to avoid answering you, btw. I do want to communicate here and bring us both to a better understanding.


ReplyThread Parent
agentsteel53
agentsteel53
Danger Moose
Thu, May. 1st, 2008 05:01 am (UTC)

hooray!

I dunno how fast you type, so the comparison is difficult at best ;-)

Thank you for all the effort you're putting in!


ReplyThread Parent
aaangyl
aaangyl
YES WE CAN HAS!
Thu, May. 1st, 2008 05:58 am (UTC)

Thank YOU. I can tell you're really trying, and I appreciate that a lot.


ReplyThread Parent
agentsteel53
agentsteel53
Danger Moose
Thu, May. 1st, 2008 05:26 am (UTC)

alas, I must go to sleep, as the morning train schedule is a harsh mistress. May we continue this discussion tomorrow?


ReplyThread Parent
agentsteel53
agentsteel53
Danger Moose
Thu, May. 1st, 2008 04:41 am (UTC)

may I get your input on a thought process I'm having?

I'm actually a really nice, well-minded, easy-to-get-along-with person, except when I want something that I do not know how to get quickly and efficiently using algorithms I have in my repertoire.

If I want a banana, I know how to get a banana - I walk down to the grocery store and get my banana.

What I have trouble with is if I feel a disparity between how much I perceive someone to like me, find me interesting or memorable, want to talk to me, etc... and how much I would like them to do such things.

When there is no disparity, when I think I'm "in my element", so to say, things go well. I suppose that's one key indicator of confidence, is feeling like I'm in an environment where my natural behaviour is right.

So, in reality I'm not a Total Social Failure. Far from it. It's just that I find myself wanting more, with regard to the people with whom I interact, and not knowing how to get it. With some people, it's a romantic relationship. With others, it's wanting to be closer friends. Still others, I just kinda want them to think I'm "cool" in some way - maybe that I take exciting pictures, or that I do interesting things on weekends, or some other quality I happen to have in mind at the time.

I really do worry about these things. I spend hours upon end agonising over ways to fine-tune what is essentially a propaganda campaign. About 95% of my livejournal posts come across as me trying, desperately, to appear to be awesome and shiny and worth hanging on to every word of.

it doesn't work too well. But neither does the 'opposite', which I define to be "not doing anything that feels like it may result in improvement". The fact of the matter is, some people really do like me, and think I'm quite excellent, and I don't have any idea how I got there, and certainly I couldn't reliably replicate that feat. But, somehow, it happened, when I wasn't busy panicking and flipping out and being Hell-bent-and-high-watered about improving other peoples' perceptions of me.

It is very counterintuitive, especially with mind like mine, which finds elegantly traceable cause-and-effect pairs to be especially delicious. "I did X and person Y seems to like me more." I have far too few X, Y pairs of this nature. I have other data points that do not fit this framework, that I am not sure what to do with - but I feel like those are far more valuable, and my understanding of them far more critical, to me.

Essentially, I tend to do very badly at being the "new kid" - wherein I am pretty convinced that, by definition, people do not like me: they do not even know me - and that is a pretty irrationality-inducing thought: "oh shit, gotta jump-start things and get people to like me, stat". Yet it's instances in which I haven't felt this way that have been the most successful for me.

do you have any ideas on how this works?


ReplyThread Parent
aaangyl
aaangyl
YES WE CAN HAS!
Thu, May. 1st, 2008 05:38 am (UTC)

Okay, so, let's see. You're saying you want people to like you. I'm down with that. I want people to like me too. It feels really good to be liked and wanted and appreciated.

You're also saying that in many aspects of your life, you're quite successful at getting that validation. There's a sense that in those cases you understand "the rules" that doing X will probably get you Y. But the areas where you don't understand this frustrate the hell out of you, and you spend a lot of time worrying about it. One of these areas is the social "new kid" arena.

In a "new kid" arena, there's an adage regarding "lurk first". You're the new kid, you want to make a good impression, but you don't know how the social rules work in this new place. It's very common to want a reductionist approach where there's a script you can run that'll make people like you, but it's way more complicated than that. When you "lurk", you have a chance to watch the group, to get an idea of their rules and dynamics. Then something important needs to happen, that's in the end a pretty advanced thing. You need to evaluate the value of that social system to you. How well does it line up with your values and the rules that "make sense" to you? Are these people who are going to add value to your life? The fact is, not all instances of "someone liking you" are equal, just like not all instances of "someone attracted to you" are equal. Part of respecting yourself is learning that sometimes the social network's game is destructive bullshit, and if you were the king of it you'd just be the king of bullshit, and what is that worth? If you take the path of personal responsibility, a couple milestones in you discover that the vast majority of people are playing an entirely different game. I've known (and, in fact, been) geeks and nerds that have approached the "big game" and learned how to each popularity in it. (There's a "Why Nerds Are Unpopular" essay you can google that covers this.) In almost every case, they've come out of it going, "uh, that was interesting, but it was waaaay more work and effort than I want to put in to something so shallow". I guess there's validity in the claim that nerds aren't popular because they have other things that are more important to them than winning the social "big game". So when you're being the "new kid," take that time to look at the situation and see if there's substance there. Go in gently, ask questions, and read responses multiple times, with lots of breathing and trying to get out of the cell of your own head. Try to get into their head and figure out what they're saying, then ask them questions about it. Don't tell them what they told you, because they'll say you're putting words in their mouth. Remember, the rule of communication is that reports of internal things are to be accepted. So if you respond with your internal experiences, and they proceed to disrespect, attack, invalidate them, if they try to take your power or give you theirs... they're not communicating properly, they might not even know how, and the conversation might be pretty worthless and/or frustrating. Then respect yourself and walk away from it. It's hard to even go into if someone is "right" or "wrong" if you can't get a basic communication going, and both people need to play for it to work. If a community, or person, or whatever, is playing a game that doesn't follow communication rules (and by the way, there really is a communication method with rules and there are like 500,000 books and essays on it out there and people charge $$$$$ to teach it to top executives who have nevertheless managed to make it so far without the skills, but are learning it because they can do SO MUCH MORE when they have those skills too. Ultimately it can only be taught if there's a real passion for learning it though.), then it's a community or person that's going to endlessly frustrate you.

Whatthecraplimit. [Snip.]


ReplyThread Parent
aaangyl
aaangyl
YES WE CAN HAS!
Thu, May. 1st, 2008 05:39 am (UTC)

Nerd culture is a fail because its rules and customs don't include communication, boundaries, personal responsibility. Instead you have trolls and flame wars and pointing out grammar errors, you have victim-blaming and buck-passing and passive aggression and DRAMA DRAMA DRAMA. Being a top dog in this system means you've mastered the art of some really psychologically fucked up = unhealthy modes of operation. Yet there are people that participate in the culture to some degree or another without being unhealthy - it's just that most of them learned to be healthy from somewhere outside the nerd culture, which would DRAMA DRAMA DRAMA at the very NOTION that there could be "healthy" and "unhealthy" social interactions, or that boundaries could be good or that their feelings belong to them.

Does this help with the how this works question? Do you have a specific example you'd like me to speculate on? Did I miss an important question?


ReplyThread Parent
aaangyl
aaangyl
YES WE CAN HAS!
Thu, May. 1st, 2008 04:33 am (UTC)

So, the statement "I am/am not a failure" - that's suggesting your personhood, your self, your inside, can be a failure. No, I think that is untrue. You can fail at the /action of/ trying to communicate. That does not make your /personhood/ a failure. This is very very important to grasp, deeply. You are not the same thing as your actions, but you are in control of and responsible for them.

Next, I don't really know you personally at all, and I think we both know that. Those paragraphs and paragraphs were just stabs in the dark at things relating to the issues the OSBP raised, because you asked for things to DO rather than NOT DO.

The only thing I was directing to you specifically was that the smell of fear was strong in your responses to this topic. I doubt I'm the only one that sensed that. Expressing fear IS NOT failing at communicating. Not noticing you were expressing (something that would be read as) fear at first IS NOT failing at communication. Wanting some affirmation to take off the sting of recognizing something unpleasant in oneself is ALSO okay - but you're not entitled to it from anyone but yourself. ;). I'm going to respond with some more clarification and questions, and we can practice communicating right here and now!

I think you shouldn't run from that fear. I think that you might benefit from sitting with it and checking it out more closely. Making it go away with affirmations is just as much not reconciling it as making it go away by denying it. Sit with it - the breathing is to keep you grounded while you sit with it. Emotions are there FOR A REASON. They serve a PURPOSE. They're pointers, they indicate things that need to be experienced, have attention paid to them, be resolved. They're yours, a part of you, something you get to experience. Respect them, love them if you can. In order to accept and respect other people's emotions, you must be able to do it with your own first.

And if I thought people could be "hopeless" at improving their communication skills, I definitely wouldn't spend the amount of time it took to type that all out trying to outline things one can do to improve. Neither of us is trolling here. Holding on to that "hopeless" notion is a great way to absolve yourself of responsibility, isn't it? "I'm just hopeless, it's not my fault." STOP THAT. You don't have to try to get better, but you at the least need to acknowledge that it is your choice to work on it or not. Most people don't, and still manage to have full lives and make babies, cuz nature is awesome like that. But I'm not going to let you shirk your power on my shift in my comments. :)

I said - this is important - that "nerd culture" was full of fail in communication. Are you nerd culture? (The "fumbling, overly-blunt honesty" line was actually me thinking about how very charming I found those qualities in MY boyfriend as he fumbled his way into my heart.) I made a big series of generalizations, and you recognized some aspects of them from yourself, and you probably projected yourself in as the source of what I was talking about. That's giving me waaaay too much credit. I'm utterly not ualified to make those sorts of statements about you as an individual. Mindfulness. What did you identify with? Why do you think you identified with it? What is scary about that? The fact that you had a strong reaction means there's something very important inside that wants your attention. Will you honor it?


ReplyThread Parent
agentsteel53
agentsteel53
Danger Moose
Thu, May. 1st, 2008 04:59 am (UTC)

first, while it's on my mind: what is OSBP?

I think you're quite right in that I projected myself into a bunch of those generalisations: some, in some way that may have only been partial, struck home, so I thought "who's to say that this other thing isn't true as well?" - well, other than the fact that, objectively, it isn't. Every once in a while, though, objective facts just utterly fail to have an impact on me.

so let me think back to what I identified with ... the "nerd culture" thing. I honestly hate that word. Ideally, I am a geek, not a nerd. A geek has non-mainstream interests (I'm a highway sign geek, for example) - a nerd, to me, just likes correcting people about obscure facts for the sake of correcting people. "Actually, the voltage here is positive, so there goes the validity of anything you could possibly have to say."

I tend to be afraid because I feel like I get very little feedback about things, and thus the ratio of things I understand to things I do not seems awfully small. Furthermore, I have trouble rectifying that there are some things I'm not really good at, but that doesn't mean I'm actually a bad person - namely, I can be imperfect but still worthy of peoples' love and respect.

Thus, when someone tells me that I am not perfect, I tend to get pretty upset - not at the innate fact, but rather because I'm feeling like I'm being actively disliked, and the things that are being pointed out about me are fatal, irreconcilable flaws.

that is, very likely, not true, and realising that is something I gotta work on, as is my more general problem of wanting more attention and affirmation than is healthy - or, at the very least, the problem of attempting to acquire it in manners that aren't healthy.


ReplyThread Parent
aaangyl
aaangyl
YES WE CAN HAS!
Thu, May. 1st, 2008 07:38 am (UTC)

OSBP: Open Source Boob Project, the thing that's spawned the n+1 entries like this lately.

I am not my actions/feelings: This derives from a meditative practice that often involves long sitting meditation. "I can observe my actions. I can control my actions. I am not my actions. I observe the air flowing through my respiratory system. This body has breath. I can observe this body having breath, so I am not this body. I experience thoughts and urges. They arise, I acknowledge them, and they pass. I am not my thoughts and urges. I feel emotions. Pleasant and unpleasant, I experience them, I honor them. But I am not them." with the far distant shore being "joyfully participating in the suffering of life". Studies suggest you can actually learn to control your brainwaves and re-structure neural pathways through such exercises, though you can still get a lot of benefits from less intense work than it takes to be able to gain such things.

Here's a super secret, you ready? You can get feedback by asking for it. BUT there's some tricks. If you ask someone for feedback, you absolutely need to turn on the "communication" skill as best you can when you get your answer. If you feel yourself waiting for them to finish taking so you can refute them, they're probably going to think, "great, here I've spent time trying to give honest feedback, and he's not even listening to me. He thinks what he thinks and he doesn't care what I think, he just wants to tell me I'm wrong as a representative of "everyone else"." So if they WERE trying to give you honest feedback, they're never going to try again, and if they were tailoring their feedback to please or not offend you, because they want to be liked, dismissing their feedback isn't going to make either of you feel liked is it? I'm really hammering on this because it's really important. When people give feedback that's really worth something, chances are VERY GOOD that it's going to hit a nerve in some way. That's how this stuff WORKS. Feel the feeling, breathe, ponder it, whatever, but don't re-ACT out of that place, don't give your power to the emotion that is not you. Take a step back and look at the larger picture. If this person is being usefully honest with you, they're taking some big risks. You might /not like them/ if their feedback hits a nerve. They've already gone out on a limb and decided to trust that when you asked for solid feedback, you meant even if you don't see or agree with it, and you will value receiving it, and you will put in the effort to understand what they're taking the risk to tell you. You also need to keep in mind that this person might not be a great communicator either, and might phrase things badly, or that you communicate differently (a fair assumption) - you can pick up at that point and try to dig out something more specific that you can understand with followup questions if that seems to help, or you can forget about the feedback and just work on understanding how they're trying to communicate. People who are lying for whatever reason will often crumble when asked to move from vague to specific. (It's a savvy move to not actually confront them about it if you've asked for feedback several times and gotten vague answers or suspect they're lying to you. If they are, they might not be consciously lying, they might just plain be wrong, or projecting themselves in, or other unconscious shenannigannery. Just mentally mark them as an unreliable source, and don't go to them for feedback anymore. Simple.)


ReplyThread Parent
aaangyl
aaangyl
YES WE CAN HAS!
Thu, May. 1st, 2008 07:38 am (UTC)


Doing this again and again, and you'll eventually wind up with some "safe people", who are, as far as you can tell, honest and accurate about reporting their internal experiences of their encounters with and observations of you, whom you've nurtured a relationship with by listening to what they have to say, appreciating it even if you don't agree with it, and conversing with them to understand them. You might have to go through the attempts a WHOLE LOT of times to find these people, and I'm afraid I can't think of a way to describe how to know you've found them. Maybe someone else has found a way to articulate it somewhere out there. I like to call this "a friend" or "a good friend", but those terms come loaded with such different ideas that instead I'm describing the role. It is a person that you can both be imperfect with each other, and that's ok, because you've developed a history of being imperfect in front of each other and you're both still there and trying to help each other grow. You'll often find that these people have that sort of relationship with their OTHER friends too, because THAT'S HOW THEY RELATE to people. That's really important in verifying a real safe person. They're not just safe for you, they're safe for all the people they care about, they carry a consistency in their communication. They're "authentic". And you don't find them by performing, you find them by being authentic yourself, and then what they're drawn to isn't some facade that you need to constantly remember the rules of, it's something that's naturally coming out of you. Refer to what you mentioned having more success when you weren't obsessing over trying to make people like you, but felt more "in your element". Right there in your own language I think we can both see that you get a lot more value out of such encounters. Maybe they're worth favoring, and even worth a series of fails to come by?

I think this comment is too big now, and I need to quit for the night too. I sincerely hope there's been something helpful in all this for you, 'cuz I'm exhausted! ^_^


ReplyThread Parent
agentsteel53
agentsteel53
Danger Moose
Thu, May. 1st, 2008 04:36 pm (UTC)

I just want to say 'thank you!' for all these responses... I likely won't be able to think very deeply about these things until tonight, because right now I have to think deeply about work - but I will get back to you, I promise!


ReplyThread Parent
agentsteel53
agentsteel53
Danger Moose
Fri, May. 2nd, 2008 12:07 am (UTC)

What is an email address at which I can write you? I would like to respond, but not quite to the whole world.


ReplyThread Parent
aaangyl
aaangyl
YES WE CAN HAS!
Fri, May. 2nd, 2008 12:43 am (UTC)

You can email my LJ address (on my profile)! I appear to be going out to sushi tonight, but I can prolly respond tomorrow!


ReplyThread Parent
agentsteel53
agentsteel53
Danger Moose
Fri, May. 2nd, 2008 01:04 am (UTC)

Sounds good. Mmm... sushi. I may very well be going to get some tonight as well!


ReplyThread Parent
adameros
adameros
A Quark of A Different Spin.
Thu, May. 1st, 2008 02:28 am (UTC)

What is this "Open Source Boob Project" you speak of?


ReplyThread
aaangyl
aaangyl
YES WE CAN HAS!
Thu, May. 1st, 2008 03:13 am (UTC)

ICGATM!


ReplyThread Parent
ashley_y
ashley_y
Ashley
Thu, May. 1st, 2008 04:51 am (UTC)

According to Urban Dictionary, that acronym is "seen almost exclusively in the Seattle LiveJournal Community".


ReplyThread Parent
karlean7
karlean7
Mike
Thu, May. 1st, 2008 06:41 am (UTC)

Yeah, I thought that was pretty fucking hilarious, too, like "Oh of COURSE Angyl would know and use something that obscure".


ReplyThread Parent
aaangyl
aaangyl
YES WE CAN HAS!
Thu, May. 1st, 2008 06:55 am (UTC)

I always read it as "I Can't Google At The Moment" and wonder what kind of fucked-up business would let them post to LJ but not google.


ReplyThread Parent
ashley_y
ashley_y
Ashley
Thu, May. 1st, 2008 07:04 am (UTC)

That was why you posted "ICGATM" instead of the more logical request to "CGATM".


ReplyThread Parent
aaangyl
aaangyl
YES WE CAN HAS!
Thu, May. 1st, 2008 08:05 am (UTC)

I must confess that I put significantly less thought into that response than I did other threads here.


ReplyThread Parent
aaangyl
aaangyl
YES WE CAN HAS!
Thu, May. 1st, 2008 06:54 am (UTC)

So the sark!


ReplyThread Parent