"Entitlement, Nerds and Neanderthals"- today's Prime post etc.

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Post by eselle28 on Thu Jan 08, 2015 7:22 pm

Robjection wrote:
azazel wrote:
eselle28 wrote:
<mod hat>This is a thread started by someone else and about a topic of general interest. You are free to disagree with people's claims about how they experience various pressures and anxieties, to add your own to the list, or to tell others that you feel hurt by their statements. You are not free to direct all discussion of a problem that several men here have said affects them so that it focuses on your specific feelings and experiences. If you wish to limit discussion to that extent and cannot participate in good faith past that point, you may start an additional thread.</modhat>

So... generalizing about groups of women is bad, generalizing about groups of men is a-okay.
Glad we cleared that up. Or did you give GJ a warning too as Nolorn did that he shouldn't extrapolate personal experiences to global truth?
Can you please quote what GJ said that you feel merited this warning?

Presumably it's this:

I think that comes a lot from scarcity mentality. If this woman is you ONLY chance to avoid being Alone Forever, of course you can't have much in the way of boundaries. Its similar to the "women have all the power" argument in that guys who use it tend to lose track of the fact that they're allowed to walk away just as much as the woman in the situation is.
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Post by eselle28 on Thu Jan 08, 2015 7:25 pm

azazel wrote:
eselle28 wrote:
<mod hat>This is a thread started by someone else and about a topic of general interest. You are free to disagree with people's claims about how they experience various pressures and anxieties, to add your own to the list, or to tell others that you feel hurt by their statements. You are not free to direct all discussion of a problem that several men here have said affects them so that it focuses on your specific feelings and experiences. If you wish to limit discussion to that extent and cannot participate in good faith past that point, you may start an additional thread.</modhat>

So... generalizing about groups of women is bad, generalizing about groups of men is a-okay.
Glad we cleared that up. Or did you give GJ a warning too as Nolorn did that he shouldn't extrapolate personal experiences to global truth?

I really don't know why I let myself be lured into this thread again. Enjoy theorizing with each other and circlejerking how well your theory of mind is developed, while I go cool down with all the other False Scottsmen, who don't exist, really.

<mod hat>If you feel posters have violated the moderation guidelines, please use the reporting function. This does not excuse attempting to focus a general discussion on your very specific concerns.

Incidentally, arguing with the mods falls into the bad category rather than the a-okay one. Cooling down is a good idea. Take a couple of weeks off the site to do so.</modhat>


Last edited by eselle28 on Thu Jan 08, 2015 7:48 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Post by OneTrueGuest on Thu Jan 08, 2015 7:28 pm

Here's what I don't get azazel, no one, but no one dismissed your response to GJ. No one said that your reasons which are different from the ones postulated by GJ were wrong. Heck YOU posted your reasons AFTER he posted his, so he wasn't even responding to your particular reasons saying you were wrong. He was throwing out a theory like a bunch of other people have thrown out theories. And you know something? Just because it doesn't suit you doesn't mean it might not suit someone else (how's that for assuming generalisations).

I can see how much you are hurting. The frustrating thing though about your lashing out is you have now taken the conversation away from your very legit points about why you personally do what you do and feel what you feel. No one is saying you don't. No one is telling you you are wrong. Literally no one. I'm so sorry you hurt so much that you can't see that people here are actually on your side.

What you go through is hard and unfair. And I am sorry that you do. But I also think GJ has a point about other types of men. Other men who are just as deserving of your sympathy as you are of ours. Isn't it awful to think that there are some men out there that are conditioned to believe there are so few chances that they will end up forever alone and so put up with all manner of abuse because of it? To me it feels like you are reacting to GJ's post as if he's mocking such people. As if he's mocking others for feeling the Alone Forever thing. But he isn't. He's saying that that is wrong and unfortunate for those men. Don't you agree it is also wrong and unfortunate?


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Post by Gentleman Johnny on Thu Jan 08, 2015 7:34 pm

azazel wrote:
Gentleman Johnny wrote:I think that comes a lot from scarcity mentality. If this woman is you ONLY chance to avoid being Alone Forever, of course you can't have much in the way of boundaries. Its similar to the "women have all the power" argument in that guys who use it tend to lose track of the fact that they're allowed to walk away just as much as the woman in the situation is.

Wait wuuut? Where does this comes from? O_o
I'd appreciate it if you didn't just conjure up motivations for why I feel like I can have no boundaries, thank you very much, if I gave no indication of anything even remotely resembling your theory.

It wasn't intended to refer to you specifically, more to the rhetorical devices it mentions. Sorry, if I came across as aiming it directly at you.

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Post by Enail on Thu Jan 08, 2015 7:35 pm

<mod>Since Azazel is taking some time off the site and can't respond, I'd ask everyone to please return to the general topic rather than continuing to respond to Azazel specifically. Thanks! </mod>
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Post by reboot on Thu Jan 08, 2015 8:33 pm

reboundstudent wrote:
Caffeinated wrote:
Wow, that Reddit thing, that is so messed up.

Yeah, those threads have always made me very uncomfortable. There was a particular thread where guys were telling stories about when they were oblivious to female attention; one poster talked about how he had no idea a girl liked him until she got in the shower with him. What the freaking hell? What was particularly sad to me was that so many of the stories had this strange mix of "Letters to Penthouse" alongside "I don't feel comfortable with this, but I don't think I'm allowed to say no or admit it."

The impression I got from a lot of these sorts of Reddit threads is similar to what GJ was saying; a lot of them believe they have few to no opportunities with women, and so have to "take" attention whenever it's given to them, even if it's potentially unwelcome, uncomfortable, or straight-up assault. I unfortunately find people (both women and men) who still endorse assault-like behaviors to ladies as a way to hit on men. For example, if a guy doesn't seem to be noticing your signals, "just grab him and kiss him!"

No. No no no no, you do not invade someone else's personal space without an invitation. You certainly don't use a stereotype of a gender's "obliviousness" (Oh guys just can't read body language, tra la!) as justification. Super gross. I sincerely hope we can soon advance to the point where we recognize that it is okay for guys to have and express boundaries.      

I've tried to push back on the occasions where I've seen it, but it's tough to drown out the chorus of "Well I'd love if a woman did that to me!"

To get us back on track, RBS, I think this ties in well to what was being talked about as a solution. The attitude that " no real man says no" leads to men getting into situations where, if their boundaries are crossed by women (and maybe other men if that is their gender of interest?) and they object, they are shamed, sometimes by the woman in question, sometimes by other men, oftentimes both. If a man openly states, "I would not love that if it happened to me" they are open to mockery. This is especially true if the woman is conventionally attractive. This is an attitude that needs to be fought by bystanders, especially those of the same gender exhibiting the toxic attitudes.

A related issue that you bring up is all the cultural messages women absorb that no man will say no to sex and physical interaction with a woman. This leads to serious badness, and it is on women to call other women on it if they see it.

Someone (Caffeinated? InkAndComb?) mentioned the bystander and their role in assisting in combatting these attitudes and I agree. This is critical.

NT and Dan and RBS mentioned the social cost of being considered creepy/crazy and I wonder if perhaps this has a bigger impact on socially isolated people and those with limited social networks? In my cases of being a creep, the loss of a social circle made me feel bad because I had done something bad, it was not the end of the world because I had many other social circles. It also made repairing the damage easier because word spread between them that I felt really bad and knew I had been an asshole. It was also noted how careful I was to avoid the creeped upon people because I did not want to reoffend (and I was mortified). If you have a lot of social capital you can afford to lose some on occasion, but if you do not, it seems like it could be devastating.

Or I am talking out my ass, which is always a possibility.
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Post by Guest on Thu Jan 08, 2015 8:56 pm

reboot wrote:To get us back on track, RBS, I think this ties in well to what was being talked about as a solution. The attitude that " no real man says no" leads to men getting into situations where, if their boundaries are crossed by women (and maybe other men if that is their gender of interest?) and they object, they are shamed, sometimes by the woman in question, sometimes by other men, oftentimes both. If a man openly states, "I would not love that if it happened to me" they are open to mockery. This is especially true if the woman is conventionally attractive. This is an attitude that needs to be fought by bystanders, especially those of the same gender exhibiting the toxic attitudes.

A related issue that you bring up is all the cultural messages women absorb that no man will say no to sex and physical interaction with a woman. This leads to serious badness, and it is on women to call other women on it if they see it.

Someone (Caffeinated? InkAndComb?) mentioned the bystander and their role in assisting in combatting these attitudes and I agree. This is critical.

NT and Dan and RBS mentioned the social cost of being considered creepy/crazy and I wonder if perhaps this has a bigger impact on socially isolated people and those with limited social networks? In my cases of being a creep, the loss of a social circle made me feel bad because I had done something bad, it was not the end of the world because I had many other social circles. It also made repairing the damage easier because word spread between them that I felt really bad and knew I had been an asshole. It was also noted how careful I was to avoid the creeped upon people because I did not want to reoffend (and I was mortified). If you have a lot of social capital you can afford to lose some on occasion, but if you do not, it seems like it could be devastating.

Or I am talking out my ass, which is always a possibility.

The social cost factor is a big deal - it ties in with both the idea that do even the most minuscule creepy thing, something an apology could remedy, will get around to everyone (because reasons) and you'll be ousted from whatever small social circles you have.

For one, I only really hang around with people online (which is easy to avoid being creepy for me) and two groups IRL. One of those groups is just my two best friends, both male. The other groups is pretty big and with a roughly 50/50 split of men and women. If I did something really off in the latter group and was (rightfully or not) abandoned, I'd be back to social life square one. Not exactly a nice thought.

Also, those reddit threads are such a mixed bag. Some stories are really cute and some are really quite sad. The one RBS mentioned I remember for making think 'man, that wouldn't be too bad' but the next thought was 'actually, no, it would be pretty fucking bad'. I think I mentioned it in the comments of a DNL Prime article but the fact my first thought was, essentially, 'yeah, I'll take that sexual assault' is all kinds of fucked up.

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Post by BasedBuzzed on Thu Jan 08, 2015 9:18 pm

MapWater wrote:
reboot wrote:To get us back on track, RBS, I think this ties in well to what was being talked about as a solution. The attitude that " no real man says no" leads to men getting into situations where, if their boundaries are crossed by women (and maybe other men if that is their gender of interest?) and they object, they are shamed, sometimes by the woman in question, sometimes by other men, oftentimes both. If a man openly states, "I would not love that if it happened to me" they are open to mockery. This is especially true if the woman is conventionally attractive. This is an attitude that needs to be fought by bystanders, especially those of the same gender exhibiting the toxic attitudes.

A related issue that you bring up is all the cultural messages women absorb that no man will say no to sex and physical interaction with a woman. This leads to serious badness, and it is on women to call other women on it if they see it.

Someone (Caffeinated? InkAndComb?) mentioned the bystander and their role in assisting in combatting these attitudes and I agree. This is critical.

NT and Dan and RBS mentioned the social cost of being considered creepy/crazy and I wonder if perhaps this has a bigger impact on socially isolated people and those with limited social networks? In my cases of being a creep, the loss of a social circle made me feel bad because I had done something bad, it was not the end of the world because I had many other social circles. It also made repairing the damage easier because word spread between them that I felt really bad and knew I had been an asshole. It was also noted how careful I was to avoid the creeped upon people because I did not want to reoffend (and I was mortified). If you have a lot of social capital you can afford to lose some on occasion, but if you do not, it seems like it could be devastating.

Or I am talking out my ass, which is always a possibility.

The social cost factor is a big deal - it ties in with both the idea that do even the most minuscule creepy thing, something an apology could remedy, will get around to everyone (because reasons) and you'll be ousted from whatever small social circles you have.

For one, I only really hang around with people online (which is easy to avoid being creepy for me) and two groups IRL. One of those groups is just my two best friends, both male. The other groups is pretty big and with a roughly 50/50 split of men and women. If I did something really off in the latter group and was (rightfully or not) abandoned, I'd be back to social life square one. Not exactly a nice thought.

Also, those reddit threads are such a mixed bag. Some stories are really cute and some are really quite sad. The one RBS mentioned I remember for making think 'man, that wouldn't be too bad' but the next thought was 'actually, no, it would be pretty fucking bad'. I think I mentioned it in the comments of a DNL Prime article but the fact my first thought was, essentially, 'yeah, I'll take that sexual assault' is all kinds of fucked up.

Remember, you're entitled to your own story. Your boundaries are your own. If a dudette decided to do that to you and you'd be confused but ultimately okay with it, that is your utter right to feel so without shame about any societal lessons that this might learn her(you can always discuss how that sort of stuff might have gone horribly wrong with her afterwards anyway).

Not a completely comparable example, but I'm sometimes slapped in the face by dudettes for making a particularly terrible joke(terrible as in quality, not in offensive content). Not really that hard, but relatively disproportional, and sometimes they slap the glasses right off me(they've endured moshpits, so they will survive). At this point they get super-apologetic about it, and I'll tell them to stop making a scene about it. I still call them out if they'd use any of the boys-r-stronger/you deserved it/I couldn't control myself excuses. I also diss anyone into the ground who gives a patronizing pep talk about letting girls walk over me or how me not minding is a sign of low self-esteem. My life, my boundaries, my narrative.

This relates heavily to social circles: the rules of what is considered creepy are not universal. Sometimes making a faux-pas simply means you do not fit into the norms of that social circle, and that is something for yourself to deal with.

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Post by nearly_takuan on Thu Jan 08, 2015 10:56 pm

OneTrueGuest wrote:I think that could very well be a good equivalent RBS.  I'll also note that both you and NT have said similar things and that I think it really needs to be highlighted.  NT said he feared being creepy because he feared causing egregious harm to women.  Except that when he dove further into it in a follow up post it turned out he was less concerned about causing harm to women, but what harm socially it would be to HIM.  Ditto RBS's concern about "crazy".  It seems to me a big part of the concern is about us being labeled in a way that makes our lives miserable.  Which is a massive concern and one I share (trust me, the way I cry all the time, I'm terrified of the reputation that I've gotten for that).  But I think it's important to acknowledge it isn't all about being a good person and not harming others, it's about not harming ourselves.  Our reputations.  The end result of being creepy or crazy isn't that the other person is egregiously harmed beyond repair.  The end result is that our reputations could possibly be egregiously harmed beyond repair.  And that's a difference that matters.

ETA:  I need to make it very clear that I think NT and RBS also don't want to cause harm to others, I'm not saying that they don't, I'm just saying that there's also a big part of it that is about not doing harm to themselves.  And ditto with me too.  I'm not excluded from this exact situation.

I must respond to this, because I still think you are mischaracterizing my point of view (and I think probably Marty's, though I don't want to speak for her). I'll attempt to clarify again, but there's only so much one can do in the present context, so I apologize in advance in case I still fail to communicate what I intend.

Post-conventional morality draws heavily from ideas about how other people will feel in certain situations; the simplest form, which most use as their baseline default is, "how would I feel if that happened to me?".

Theory of Mind lets humans recognize that different people feel differently in the same situations, so that "treating others the way you want to be treated" is not necessarily going to affect others the way you want to be affected. I'd argue that the latter is actually closer to what we use in post-conventional morality: I have my own preferences for how I communicate and prefer to be communicated with, and my friends have others; if one friend happens to lean further toward the "be blunt and tell it like it is and use clear, concise vocabulary" than I do, we adjust and compromise a bit: I try to be slightly more direct in what I mean at the expense of my preferred form of etiquette, and he tries to rein things in a little more, and vice versa.

As humans, we understand that other humans also have understanding of post-conventional morality, but also that their specific concept of it may differ from our own.

Despite the above, we each have a very limited amount of information regarding how other people (especially strangers) differ from us in their preferences. We look for and use whatever information we get to make corrections in our behavior, and it's not necessarily just about avoiding punishment (pre-conventional) or following the rules (conventional). Obviously, we all do differ in the amount of information we have access to, as a result of multiple factors including but not limited to the attitudes, worldviews, and cognitive abilities and disabilities, not only of ourselves but also of those around us—and a person's attitude around me may be different from their attitude around someone else, because they generalize and stereotype without meaning to, and that information affects my attitude and outlook about people besides that one person, because I generalize and stereotype without meaning to, because that too is a facet of human nature that we can attempt to consciously mitigate but cannot actually delete entirely. So we can see that this is a complex system.

Punishment is a form of information, not merely a pre-conventional means of controlling behavior. If someone makes a strongly negative action against me, on at least some level I will be thinking about why a post-conventionally moral person would choose to do that. While there are many other explanations I will eventually run through, one of them is that I have done something that affected them badly, a.k.a. something that could possibly be morally wrong.

So when you ask why I fear being labeled "creepy", I still honestly believe it is because I am concerned about the moral implications of actually being creepy. And when you ask why I think there are such strong moral implications, I offer the explanation that there are strong societal consequences. Why don't I want to be called creepy? Because it implies I've done "egregious harm". Why does it seem to you like it's "egregious harm"? Because there is a lot of harm to me as a consequence, and mitigating it is a time-sensitive mission that requires delicate handling. (It also involves undoing some harm, which strengthens the notion that harm to me is a natural consequence of harm to others.)

I mean, yeah, harm to me is also a pretty big deal and I'd like to avoid it where I can. I just don't see it as an either/or kind of thing—I can be concerned about my reputation and be very concerned about morality. I like the way Marty put it: "sadness over the idea that I've harmed someone or acted so inexcusably to have earned that label." And while it's true that that sadness is also in a way a consequence to me, I think there is still a profound difference between a negative consequence you don't think you deserve and a negative consequence you think you deserve—and between the underlying motivations for wanting to avoid either one.




All that said, reboot's suggestion re: social capital also resonates, and sounds like something I was trying to say earlier: while I technically have multiple social support structures I could fall back on, I definitely have a primary/preferred friend-group and would probably feel even more isolated and very cornered if they collectively decided they weren't comfortable in my presence. "Secondary" friend-groups and extended family are insufficient substitutes and would not really prevent it from being "the end of the world". I also thought GJ's thought struck a nerve for me—I've previously owned up to having developed some "zero-itis" and feeling like if hypothetically a woman did express interest in me then the rarity of that event would imply it was my only chance and there would be no future opportunities. Luckily, when something approximately like that later came up it turned out that I did still have a couple of boundaries to enforce and was still capable of recognizing and responding to the biggest red flags. But that still did not really uproot the "zero-itis" mindset entirely.
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Post by reboot on Fri Jan 09, 2015 12:54 am

So it sounds like the lack of social capital is a player in this and also quite difficult to fix for people that are socially anxious, introverted, or both. On the surface, the solution is build social capital by becoming a part of many groups, preferably with some that are completely not overlapping, but even for an ambivert like me it can be draining, so for an introvert it would be exhausting and an introvert with social anxiety at least the fifth circle of hell. So anyone have any ideas of how to expand social connections that are good for introverts and the socially anxious?

On the zeroitis topic, I am pretty sure that is what led me to ignoring problematic behavior in my ex until after marriage (where latant Catholicism and upbringing led to not ending it sooner). It is some dangerous shit. Anyone have advice on how to avoid falling into this trap?
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Post by Guest on Fri Jan 09, 2015 1:51 am

BasedBuzzed wrote:Remember, you're entitled to your own story. Your boundaries are your own. If a dudette decided to do that to you and you'd be confused but ultimately okay with it, that is your utter right to feel so without shame about any societal lessons that this might learn her(you can always discuss how that sort of stuff might have gone horribly wrong with her afterwards anyway).

Not a completely comparable example, but I'm sometimes slapped in the face by dudettes for making a particularly terrible joke(terrible as in quality, not in offensive content). Not really that hard, but relatively disproportional, and sometimes they slap the glasses right off me(they've endured moshpits, so they will survive). At this point they get super-apologetic about it, and I'll tell them to stop making a scene about it. I still call them out if they'd use any of the boys-r-stronger/you deserved it/I couldn't control myself excuses. I also diss anyone into the ground who gives a patronizing pep talk about letting girls walk over me or how me not minding is a sign of low self-esteem. My life, my boundaries, my narrative.

This relates heavily to social circles: the rules of what is considered creepy are not universal. Sometimes making a faux-pas simply means you do not fit into the norms of that social circle, and that is something for yourself to deal with.

Hm. This is true. It's worth noting that I usually default to the worst negative in this kind of situation (ie. 'this is sexual assault, halp') because, without having any experience of any kind, I really don't know how I would react. I can guess from traits about myself, but that's about it. It's safest to think that this is something I don't want from the off.

Of course, there's other factors to consider. An often brought up point on here and other sites is that, often, guys are only thinking of the most attractive woman possible to them in these situations, hence why they can be accepting of weird shit being done to them, they are oblivious to advances of other women etc. Unless there's something unconscious going on in my mind I don't realise, I don't think I immediately do this. 'Think' being key here. Using the shower example, it's not the who doing the action, but what the action is. Miss Mosh could try and walk in on my shower and, frankly, I think I'd be just a freaked out by her than someone I didn't feel any sort of attraction to.

But another thing that exacerbates the above is general social and intimacy issues - again, it's not a huge world of difference how attractive you are to me, I'm going to find something intimate incredibly unnerving and unsettling.

Anyway, agreed on the subjectivity of creepiness between social groups.

reboot wrote:So it sounds like the lack of social capital is a player in this and also quite difficult to fix for people that are socially anxious, introverted, or both. On the surface, the solution is build social capital by becoming a part of many groups, preferably with some that are completely not overlapping, but even for an ambivert like me it can be draining, so for an introvert it would be exhausting and an introvert with social anxiety at least the fifth circle of hell. So anyone have any ideas of how to expand social connections that are good for introverts and the socially anxious?

On the zeroitis topic, I am pretty sure that is what led me to ignoring problematic behavior in my ex until after marriage (where latant Catholicism and upbringing led to not ending it sooner). It is some dangerous shit. Anyone have advice on how to avoid falling into this trap?

I'm interested in an answer to reboot's first question. It was happenstance that led me into the second social group I'm a part of.

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Post by Mel on Fri Jan 09, 2015 2:29 pm

reboot wrote:So it sounds like the lack of social capital is a player in this and also quite difficult to fix for people that are socially anxious, introverted, or both. On the surface, the solution is build social capital by becoming a part of many groups, preferably with some that are completely not overlapping, but even for an ambivert like me it can be draining, so for an introvert it would be exhausting and an introvert with social anxiety at least the fifth circle of hell. So anyone have any ideas of how to expand social connections that are good for introverts and the socially anxious?

As an extreme introvert and pretty socially anxious person, what's worked for me is focusing on finding social circles that require as little expended social energy as possible, generally due to the group sharing major common interests and values (so I don't have to stress much about what to talk about or whether I'll offend people with my opinions) and having an inherent structure (so I don't have to stress about expectations for activities or plans or when I'll see people again since it's already set).

To illustrate: A couple years ago (pre-pregnancy and baby, which greatly reduced my socializing), I had three substantial social circles with pretty much no overlap. There's my critique group, 7 people plus former members I still have some contact with, which I run so I've been able to select people whose personalities mesh well with mine, we have meetings on a regular schedule following a regular format, and everyone's interested in writing, in a particular genre, and at a similar level of commitment; a writer social group of some 40+ rotating regulars, with a set schedule of meet-ups, made up of writers (obviously) in a different genre also of primary interest to me and at a similar level of commitment; and a martial arts class of 20 or so rotating regulars across the years, with a regular class schedule, where the instructors and other students are all some level of nerdy, and the atmosphere is relaxed enough that we can chat about SF movies or whatever during warm-up but everyone takes the art seriously enough to care about doing it right and improving.

I didn't find those groups immediately on looking. Even though I run the critique group, it took time for me to figure out get it organized for the best group dynamic; I went to numerous writer events before finding that particular social group; I checked out a couple of other martial arts classes before the one I ended up joining. Being able to do this is not completely within everyone's control--I have a lot of options because I live in a large city with large arts and nerd communities. But the factors that were within my control were a) I made myself get out to lots of different events and groups to try them out, b) if I wasn't feeling good about a particular activity/group of people, I let myself move on, and c) I was patient. I found the groups that worked for me over the course of several years of trial and error.

I don't know if that'll be helpful to people, but hopefully at least a little!
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Post by kleenestar on Fri Jan 09, 2015 3:41 pm

An alternate approach would be to "vaccinate" yourself within your primary social group by giving people structured, constructive ways to respond if they have a problem with something you did. Because you're the one defining the interaction, you can design it in a way that minimizes your anxiety - and because you're the one taking the initiative to say, "Hey, I might screw up, I don't want to" you'll be earning a lot of goodwill from others in the group.

Example: a guy in my social circles knows he is socially awkward. We all feel safe around him though, even when he does things that are boundary-pushing or uncomfortable, and he's never gotten called creepy - because he has said, "If I am doing an uncool thing, please tell me that X is uncool and you'd like me to do Y instead," and when we actually do that with him, he cheerfully and non-defensively does so. The guy who got incredibly shitty about how he shouldn't have to change his behavior, on the other hand, is gone for good.

This requires some courage to do; I suggest beginning with one person in the group that you trust. Also the first two or three interactions around this will be critical. You have to show people that they can trust you.

Pardon my briefness, I am typing with a baby in one hand.
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Post by reboot on Fri Jan 09, 2015 3:48 pm

kleenestar wrote:....

Pardon my briefness, I am typing with a baby in one hand.

Totally off topic, but I live in awe of all the things parents manage to do with a baby in one hand
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Post by username_6916 on Fri Jan 09, 2015 5:50 pm

Because you're the one defining the interaction, you can design it in a way that minimizes your anxiety - and because you're the one taking the initiative to say, "Hey, I might screw up, I don't want to" you'll be earning a lot of goodwill from others in the group.

With all due respect, I think this is a terrible idea. You are giving the enemy ammunition, setting everyone's confirmation bias on high alert and singling yourself out for negative attention. It will have the opposite effect entirely.

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Post by kleenestar on Fri Jan 09, 2015 6:02 pm

username_6916 wrote:
Because you're the one defining the interaction, you can design it in a way that minimizes your anxiety - and because you're the one taking the initiative to say, "Hey, I might screw up, I don't want to" you'll be earning a lot of goodwill from others in the group.

With all due respect, I think this is a terrible idea. You are giving the enemy ammunition, setting everyone's confirmation bias on high alert and singling yourself out for negative attention. It will have the opposite effect entirely.

Have you tried this? Has it gone badly for you? Or are you just repeating what your jerkbrain tells you will happen?

I have done this successfully myself. I have seen multiple people in my social circles do this successfully. But then again, I don't see other human beings as "the enemy" by default, and neither do the people I spend my time with - even the very anxious ones. That might be the relevant difference.

(Please note that I am giving you the benefit of the doubt by assuming you mean "other people are the enemy," and not "women are the enemy.")
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Post by OneTrueGuest on Fri Jan 09, 2015 6:11 pm

I too have used this technique to great effect. In fact it actually makes others relax a bit and say things like, "I so do that too! Has this ever happened to you . . ." And you can actually bond over your shared neuroses.

I will also say that thinking of other people as the enemy might be something you want to analyse. Thinking the worst of everyone usually results in a self fulfilling prophecy. And once again I have to ask, why do you expect anyone to like you when you hate everyone? Why do you deserve better than what you offer others?

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Post by UristMcBunny on Fri Jan 09, 2015 6:30 pm

I can third the "this actually works" thing. It's been a huge boon in helping me anticipate and smooth over situations where I know my less well-developed social skills might cause problems. You'd be amazed at how simply relieved people get when they find out they can tell you that you fucked up without it causing drama. A lot of people feel really awkward about telling someone stuff like that, whether it's "you made this mistake on your work" or "you smell and need to put some deodorant on" or "you keep touching people and it makes some of us feel weird".

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Post by Caffeinated on Fri Jan 09, 2015 6:39 pm

kleenestar wrote:An alternate approach would be to "vaccinate" yourself within your primary social group by giving people structured, constructive ways to respond if they have a problem with something you did. Because you're the one defining the interaction, you can design it in a way that minimizes your anxiety - and because you're the one taking the initiative to say, "Hey, I might screw up, I don't want to" you'll be earning a lot of goodwill from others in the group.

Example: a guy in my social circles knows he is socially awkward. We all feel safe around him though, even when he does things that are boundary-pushing or uncomfortable, and he's never gotten called creepy - because he has said, "If I am doing an uncool thing, please tell me that X is uncool and you'd like me to do Y instead," and when we actually do that with him, he cheerfully and non-defensively does so. The guy who got incredibly shitty about how he shouldn't have to change his behavior, on the other hand, is gone for good.

This requires some courage to do; I suggest beginning with one person in the group that you trust. Also the first two or three interactions around this will be critical. You have to show people that they can trust you.

Pardon my briefness, I am typing with a baby in one hand.

I also think this is a good technique. And I'd point out that the sentence I bolded is in my opinion one of those key things to know in social interaction. Sort of like the saying about how it's not the crime, it's the coverup. It's not the doing of an awkward thing, it's the getting incredibly shitty about it and refusing to change the behavior.
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Post by username_6916 on Fri Jan 09, 2015 8:12 pm

Most of my troubles in life stem from a system making that decision for me. I've found that the only way to have even a chance at fair treatment is to start from a clean slate.

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Post by Robjection on Fri Jan 09, 2015 8:15 pm

When you say "fair treatment", what exactly do you mean by that, and why would a clean slate be the only way to get it?

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Post by username_6916 on Fri Jan 09, 2015 8:39 pm

Fair treatment is being treated like those around you. Making a declaration like this is asking for special consideration on some level. It also brings with special scrutiny. It puts people on edge, looking for things that are not 'normal'. It is inviting insult, mockery and judgment. It is an invitation to bullying.

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Post by nearly_takuan on Fri Jan 09, 2015 8:57 pm

Whenever you begin an interaction, you have to say something. That exerts an influence. You don't get to not influence another person's opinion of you. Nobody gets to be treated exactly the same as everyone else, because nobody is exactly the same as everyone else.

Exhibit A is this thread itself. It's a tense, heated, painful, scary, confusing, unpleasant topic, and each of us brings our own skewed experiences and quibbles into it. But observe that posts beginning with "I think" or "it seems like" or "please let me know if what I'm saying offends" have generally been received fairly well, even when others disagreed with the point being made. Observe that backpedaling and apologizing and appeasing have generally served to ease tensions where they came up. And observe how people (including me) felt when other people (including me) doubled down on their opinions, used "you are so right" language instead of "you might be on to something" language while discussing an out-group, and so forth. I would like to know what you think this thread would look like if we were all treating each other fairly throughout.
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Post by Dan_Brodribb on Fri Jan 09, 2015 9:19 pm

reboot wrote:

Totally off topic, but I live in awe of all the things parents manage to do with a baby in one hand

I am awe of the things *I* have learned to do with a baby in one hand...such as being devoured by a 3-year old Tyrannosaurus Rex and then acting out his instructions of "now you have to turn into a fossil" followed by having him explain to me again how to tell which of his My Little Ponies is Applejack and which one is Twilight Sparkle.

Being an uncle is the best.

Glad to hear from you Kleenestar. Hope parenthood is going well.

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Post by Wondering on Fri Jan 09, 2015 10:17 pm

username_6916 wrote:Fair treatment is being treated like those around you. Making a declaration like this is asking for special consideration on some level. It also brings with special scrutiny. It puts people on edge, looking for things that are not 'normal'. It is inviting insult, mockery and judgment. It is an invitation to bullying.  

Only if the people you're interacting with are bullies. I'd venture to say most people are not.


Dan_Brodribb wrote:I am awe of the things *I* have learned to do with a baby in one hand...such as being devoured by a 3-year old Tyrannosaurus Rex and then acting out his instructions of "now you have to turn into a fossil" followed by having him explain to me again how to tell which of his My Little Ponies is Applejack and which one is Twilight Sparkle.

Applejack is orange and had apples on her rear. Twilight Sparkle is purple and a unicorn. Wink

I keep being terrified I'm going to drop my baby, so I've not tried a lot one-handed. Thus, I am also in awe of parents who can do things with a baby in one hand. Smile

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