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Showing posts from February, 2014

How to survive being social

I've been trying to find a good way to explain how we can 'learn' to be more social. Notice I don't say sociable. Being sociable assumes a predisposition to not only live with and get along with people but also a need for their company and a willingness to want them near. I'm not going totally crazy here, so I'm sticking with social.

Being social means not poking people in the eye when they say damn fool things to you. It means smiling and trying not to look like your gall bladder is puckering just looking at them. It is staying in the same room as your brother's obnoxious wife and swattable children. It is enduring other people while trying to make it look like you don't mind. Or hate them all.

The assumption that we all need to be social seems ingrained in humanity's collective consciousness. I guess it's a throwback to working as a team (sorry! I used the T word!) or at least having expendable tribe members to throw to the oncoming tiger.


What noise?

It's a small problem, right? It's not life-threatening: stars will not die nor oceans dry up. The moon will not change in its trajectory across our skies and the world health organisation will not start filling bunkers with nubile examples of the human genome.

It is, after all, only a noise.

It's a repetitive, annoying, unstoppable all-assailing noise which has decided to happen near me and cannot be locked out of my head without industrial-grade ear defenders. It is so regular and irritating that I feel as if my head will explode if it doesn't stop.

Anything else I have to do will stop. It will grind to a sudden halt as I stand, head on one side, listening to see where the noise is coming from. Once I realise the noise isn't under my control, I am doomed to listen, over and over and over again to this noise which will never end and stretches on forever into what used to be my future.

My teeth ache, caused by the noise. (Okay, possibly caused by setting my jaw in …

Don't Sweat the Small Stuff!

'You take it too much to heart.'

'Don't be so sensitive!'

'You need to forget about other people.'

'You're too thin-skinned!'

Does any of his sound familiar? Have you been bothered or upset by something and then been 'advised' to not take so much notice?

One of the issues I've found it hardest to put across is my apparently obsessive attitude to other people being snappy with me. I don't mean big arguments or even properly spiteful rebukes. I'm talking about the small stuff, the everyday sniping, the cat-calling, the tiny comments lodged in the heart of a conversation which jump out and become full-sized.

An hour's conversation can be ruined by one or two of these snide little comments or snarling asides. How does a conversation count as pleasant when the person you are talking to feels it's acceptable to slip in a shoddy reminder of what you did wrong? Why is it still seen as good social interaction when your confid…