Pat Gunn (dachte) wrote,
Pat Gunn

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The Perils of Strength

Over the years, I have slowly become more careful with my time and my social interactions, and more frank in my (non-work) interactions with people. Before University, I made a serious effort to be incredibly easy to get along with, hanging out with almost anyone, regardless of whether I liked them or what they did. Starting in University, I started being more easily disgusted by people I consider to be of bad character, eventually breaking ties with people who I think were doing things that were sufficiently harmful to people. Since university, I've become even more careful with my time -- if people by and large irritate me, I have become very disinclined to hang out with them (or attend most social functions with them present). My thoughts are that if I'm going to be unhappy at a gathering because someone I can't stand is there, I am better off not going to the gathering, and hanging out with the people I wanted to see at other times. I've always had a bit of an "I'll take my ball and go home" attitude, and I suppose it's seeing its fullest expression in recent times. It seems like I have a significantly harder time with people who have mild mental disorders, like Asperger Syndrome, because, often through no fault of their own, they're unable to figure out when they're bothering me, and I previously had a tough time breaching social convention enough to tell them that I don't like them and they should not interact with me beyond what's needed to be civil (or to provide lesser steering of the conversation to prevent things from reaching that point). I have reached the point where I can and will do that (I think) when I need to, hopefully in ways that will be minimally destructive for what needs to be said. Oddly, on Wikipedia, I can get along with almost anyone, and even the people who can be the toughest to deal with who many of the other admins want to flat-out ban are people who I struggle like hell to make them fit in. I think this is because I am somewhat territorial in real life, while that isn't triggered for me in online spheres.

Things that would be interesting for people to think about -- do you run into similar situations often? How do you deal with people who rub you the wrong way? What if they're constantly in-your-face? Is it any different if you know that they are not trying in any fashion to be irritating? Is it better to keep one's dislike entirely internal, to let it be known, or something else? One of my closest friends, for example, claims to be entirely frank, prone to telling people what he thinks. I am unsure if this is an exaggeration, an amusement, or completely true, but it is an interesting perspective, and part of me craves that radical openness. Is it worth the social costs? Are there situations where one must learn to put this aside, such as public office or politics? What about the workplace?

Related: Five Geek Social Fallacies (which I linked from my proper BLOG, dachte_feed, some time back)

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