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

39CommentReply


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

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

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




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

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