Posts Tagged ‘social’

Mary Hartman & The Pink Panther – characters I like – and some correlations

2015-10-26 08:24:40 PST

So, … interesting bit that occurred to me relatively recently.

Two characters I quite like, each from their own rather different show, it happened to occur to me that there are some particularly strong correlations between the characters. The characters – Mary Hartman, in the TV series _Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman_, and The Pink Panther – specifically from _The Pink Panther_ animated cartoon series.

Now certainly, at least ostensibly, those shows and characters are quite a bit different. But struck me in some ways they’re surprisingly very similar.

So … key similarities. Both quite nice, likable characters, but also a quite naive innocence to them. And they very much try to do the right thing, and quite consistently try to do so. But the circumstances and situations are often rather to highly difficult and challenging, and often very much almost or effectively even “conspire” against them. Rather like put the very real possible and quite likable person in the relatively unreal yet highly plausible and often problematic situation, and, well, despite best intents and efforts, things often go quite badly – often to very comedic effect, but too, often poignant, sad, perplexing, and/or preposterous effect – and often also managing to point out absurdities very present in reality. It’s like you see these wonderful characters. And they have these quite unwonderful circumstances and situations and events happen to them and unfold before them. And – can quite identify and sympathize with the characters … imagining being in quite same or similar situation as them – and also not knowing that which they don’t know, every step along the way seems a highly plausible reaction to and handling of what comes along – and all with best intentions. Yet they often end up in situations much more like one couldn’t even imagine, even not knowing what they didn’t/don’t know, it seems impossibly absurd that they could end up in such situation or predicament … yet there they are, and every step along they way highly plausible and believable for the often unfortunate situations and series of events, complications, etc., that gets thrown at them. It’s like can’t at all (or hardly/rarely) fault them for what they did, how they tried, what they intended, etc., yet they get to predicaments and having done things, which when looking at where and how they end up, looks like they very much should not have gotten to those points – yet there they are – with no better nor more logical alternatives effectively available to them to choose along the way. Seems often they try, and it doesn’t go well, they try and do better or fix or correct that – and it goes yet worse, and often ends up with rather to quite the predicament or absurdity. Perhaps part of it is the seeming paradox – can’t conceive how they could’ve ended up as and how they did – knowing the characters and decisions they’d make – yet what was thrown at them, step by step, decision by decision – it’s as if they could not possibly have chosen differently anywhere along the way and ended up anywhere other than as and where they did.

I also find similarity in often the juxtaposition of who the “civilized”, “sane”, “right”, or “reasonable” one is – often quite contrary to general societal presumptions, biases, or misjudgements by peers and others that often really just don’t have the full picture of what happened, but rather quickly draw their conclusions from one, even significant, bit they see – which they often totally misinterpret for lack of the more complete context that explains the observations – the more limited observations often implying things very different than what has actually transpired or even the basic fundamental facts of what actually happened and didn’t happen.

A few slight partial examples that come to mind. Pink Panther – an animal. “Vs.” human. Often, the Pink Panther, as “animal”, is far more civil, civilized, and effectively “human” than the human(s). Mary Hartman, often perceived or judged as “wrong”, “crazy”, “nuts”, irrational, uncaring, hurtful, when that’s anything but the case, while at same time the more real “villains” – or at least those doing the more hurtful, harmful things, etc., are often viewed and judged by many as being the “good” folks, when the reality is more like anything but. In many cases they’re often revered. I also like and note similarities where both are seen and viewed as imperfect and “flawed” – despite all their best efforts, they’re, well, “human” – even for a Pink Panther – and they make mistakes – “oops” – not really all that unlike any of us may make – at least under similar circumstances, and also not knowing that which they don’t know. Also both, to large extent, relatively strong characters – when they’re really pushed and challenged hard, they generally quite hold it together and well and strongly do the right thing (though how “doing the right thing” plays out, well, often varies anyway, due to circumstances and happenings).

Anyway, … it had just happened to occur to me – two characters I very much like – on the surface, they, and the series they’re in, seem very different … yet analyzing a wee bit closer, some very strong striking similarities between the two characters.

I wonder too, if somehow, they quite remind me, at least in some ways, of myself? Quite naive in some ways (e.g. at least socially – whole helluva lot of stuff I just don’t get (and perhaps never will)), try very hard to “do the right thing”, and yet, too often, things seem to turn out rather preposterously flawed, failed, or “bad” (or certainly not as expected by me, and I’d intended). Perhaps even absurdly or comedicly so? Well, maybe if I was able to laugh at more or most of it.


heritable: social cognition

2014-07-12 22:12:18 PST

“Genes Drive Half of” …
“social skills” … “run in the family”
“tasks were significantly heritable” … “those that required social cognition”
I.e. (significantly) genetic.
Okay, chimps, but … just sayin’

roll with it(?), social?

2014-01-09 22:49:38 PST

“Roll with it” – thought/phrase, which for whatever reason(s), I seem be thinking more often recently, and sort’a kinda adopting that attitude, … well, maybe at least approximately, or some fair bit more, at least, … probably not “entirely”, anyway.

Roll with it? … and what of that? What is that, … or is that for me? Not sure exactly, but I kind of think “roll with the punches”, “go with it”, “go with the flow”. Sort of a mix of things, but notably try not to get phased by “it” – whatever “it” might happen to be. Just kind’a take it in, don’t worry about it too much, try to learn from it, if feasible, maybe even try and enjoy it – at least if that might also be appropriate. Maybe in some ways it’s kind’a less caring … bit more detached. Detached? From what/whom? From … everyone, everything, yes, even more detatched from myself. Sort’a kind’a “who the hell cares”, whatever kind’a attitude. So, yeah, not all good. Kind’a mixed. More present/engaged/involved, yet simultaneously more detached. I don’t know, maybe it’s a coping/defense/survival mechanism? Or at least so, in part? Be able to go through, do, engage in more – and be able to more/better survive it … by … being more detatched. Hmmmm… I don’t know, but do find myself feeling/thinking that way significantly more recently, and with, for better or worse, more of that attitude/approach. Sort of, at least in fair part, an “I just don’t care” attitude. Not that I don’t, … that’s not it, … more like I just can’t … or can’t that much or as much. And, does it make a difference, or make much or anything better or worse, or significantly so? I really don’t know. Too soon to say – a semi-recent change (roughly around the turn of the new year or so, give or take some moderate bit). Maybe it won’t make much difference. Or maybe it’ll make a lot of difference, but I won’t be able to tell. Sometimes I’m just not able to see, notice, or pick up on stuff I ought to, or that many/most people would. Whole lot of times I just don’t see it … really highly blind to it. So, … who knows. And, … who knows if this newer “attitude”/approach of mine (“roll with it”, etc.) will more-or-less stick, … or not. Maybe some weeks or even less, and I’ll have totally dropped that general attitude/thought. Who knows. Not even sure so much why it’s there … other than hypothesizing it’s bit more about coping/survival – trying to psychologically survive, notably my making more attempts to be social and socializing, more of just trying to be “okay” with social attempts quite utterly and repeatedly failing, more of just giving myself “permission” to just friggin’ not engage, and stay the heck out/away, isolate, whatever, if/when I need to – to “recover”, or whatever. All, just kind’a “roll with it”, and … try not to get too stressed or upset or drained or whatever by it, … no matter what it is, or how it goes, or fails to go, or whatever, … just roll with it.

Social. Maybe I’m just friggin’ socially retarded. Sure, quite, even plenty smart in many ways, and not an *ss about it, pretty modest and quiet about it ‘n all, but, nevertheless, social? Yeah, I highly suck at that, and, looks like I mostly very much have my entire life … only in more recent year(s) or so have I come to really quite realize and admit that to myself – I mean the objective reality makes it pretty darn clear and quite speaks for itself. Guess most of my life I’ve been in “denial”, or “pretending” that wasn’t the case, … or, probably mostly more so, rather wishing it was there and better, but not really paying enough attention, and not comparing enough objectively and critically, to really notice how markedly absent, and generally screwed up it was (and is). “Oops” – yeah, big oversight. Ugh.

Fixable? Uhm, well, first, “how bad is it”, or both more objectively and subjectively, impacted how and what do I most especially suck at socially, and, where/how does that most significantly and negatively impact me (sure, impacts others too, but I’m not really qualified to say exactly who and how much and when and where – at best maybe I could sometimes roughly hazard a guess here ‘n there). But I do know how it impacts me.

Bad how? Mostly want to engage, be connected, e.g. have good friend(s), heck, even a good relationship, but for the most part quite lack that, despite all my desire, interest, work and attempts at such. So, how (and why?) do I fail at it so, and so markedly? Yes, that’s the $64,000.00 question (okay, so having it well answered and “fixed” is probably worth a lot more than that to me). E.g. it would be really nice (friggin’ fantastic) to, say, have a really good friend, that was very much, “Sure, absolutely, you need anything, any time, day or night, just call me, don’t even think about it twice.”, and that would actually pick up the phone, or promptly return my call … I just don’t have that, not even particularly close – at least certainly not that I’m aware of and know it’s there or feel/believe it to be there. And, would want with that with someone that actually knows me and understands me rather well. Yeah, that’d be fantastic. Have had that at times, but, alas, the vast majority of my life, not, and not even close. Better yet would be friend(s) that in addition to that, I actually wanted to spend lots of time with, and they wanted to spend lots of time with me and were well able to do so, and that we quite enjoyed our time together, etc. Yeah, ain’t got that, ain’t had that the vast majority of my life. Or, better yet, really great relationship. All that plus, … yeah, uh huh, … not exactly zero luck there, but the, uh, “results” thus far, have fallen pretty darn short of that. In no particular order, closest to that? Uhm, well, had a relationship that was, or seemed, wonderful, that lasted all of six weeks. Then never was to be again like that. And no, that didn’t end due to something I did or didn’t do, but regardless, it ended, never to again be what it was. Or, … about 12 years or so – wow, even engaged! … uhm, … for over 8 years – yeah, … we never even lived in the same country, nor less than something over 1,000 miles apart. :-( Never then, nor in my life, ever made it up to cohabitating, where either moved in with the other to stay … sure, visit, stay a while, but actually move in? That never happened. And yes, long distance sucks, … majorly. Not like I “can’t” or ought not be able to meet someone quite wonderful for me much geographically closer (heck, probably approximately ten million people live within about 15 or so miles of me), but dang, finding and discovering that wonderful person and wonderful match, and them finding and discovering me … yeah, that’s been damn near impossible for me. Managed one helluva lot better with that by every and all means other than first meeting in person – yeah, I don’t do well with in-person first impressions. Get to know someone rather well, and they me, via online or phone first, and I tend to have a fighting chance. Start with in-person, and … yeah, that typically goes quite badly. So, yeah, a whole helluva lot of failure there, and not much success. It’s not like I’m looking to want to be or try to be some gregarious extrovert crowd pleaser with a few zillion friends, but geez, being able to generally have at least one really good friend, that I can actually really talk and converse with. Is that asking too much? <sigh>

So, yeah, socially retarded. Or something like that. I mean really, probably at least a good solid year now, probably a bit more, I’ve been workin’ like hell to try and do and be better on that, and, … though I’ve learned some things, for the most part I’ve made damn near zero progress – despite all my efforts, attentions, energies, studying, reading, time, $$, counseling, courses, practicing, etc. And a whole lot of it still is – or at least seems – incredibly daunting, if not outright impossible – or at least impossible for me.

I’m a really nice guy, quite that, … but initial impression? Yeah, … tends to be quite off-putting, and damned if I have any idea how I can actually usefully fix that … especially when first meeting in person, which is generally so damn critical. Most of the folks that meet me and that do get to know me sort’a kind’a rather well (like they’re stuck working with me, and I with them, so they don’t have a huge choice about it … if they did, they likely would’a walked away and never looked back). Over some time they tend to develop a relatively positive opinion of me, e.g. roughly, “(quite) nice guy, capable, skilled, reliable, dependable, always willing to help, good at it, smart, caring, honorable, highly honest, high integrity, but …”. Yeah, there’s always a “but” in there. Usually along the lines of “(damn/quite/exceedingly) quiet, odd, …” probably some other stuff too, but not really sure the details. Seem to often leave the longer-term impression, “yeah he’s alright” – sort’a the not their initial impression at all, but over time gettin’ to more-or-less kind’a know me, more-or-less like me, or at least like having me around/available. But … engage with me socially or socially engaging? Generally not – some exceptions, but … I think most of the time they think I wouldn’t want to, or they don’t want to, or I in fact don’t want to – or some combination thereof. Often times, for “social” stuff, and non-work interests, we’ve got little to nothing in common, so that can kind’a get in the way. E.g. I’m not a party animal. For most, some loud party, booze, music, dancing, blah, blah, that’s their idea of a good time. Not mine. Sure, I’ll often hang out and tolerate that anyway, but most of the time it’s take it or leave it, and, I don’t really much care either way, just not that interested, … but I typically attend and try anyway – e.g. company work parties and company social events and the like. But does it go beyond that? Most of the time not. So, yeah, they’ll find me “nice”, “good guy”, “he’s alright” … but … “odd” / “different”, and probably some other bits too – though not sure what exactly.

So, what are some of the bits I have learned and/or am learning. Eye contact. Quite important. I highly suck at it. Most notably, if I’m looking at someone when I’m speaking or trying to speak, I repeatedly and totally lose my train of thought, even mid-sentence. I come off sounding like an idiot that can’t hold a thought. It’s like my brain, seeing the slightest reaction or movement jumps all over it and goes like, “What the hell was that? It moved! That’s interesting, what does it mean? Hmmm, damn, examined all the database entries on that, and … no friggin’ clue what that means, … or that they just did too, what was that?” And, yeah, fraction of a second to a second or two of that, and then I’m attempting to continue to say what I was saying, or say what I was about to say – and I’ve got absolutely no idea whatsoever what I was saying or about to say and I just stop dead, … over, and over, and over. Doesn’t go over well with folks, … at all. Or, … I just do not look at ’em at all when I’m talking or trying to talk. Then I can actually generally talk fairly coherently, and at least continue to think of and talk about most of what I was trying to say – might miss or forget some bits or whatever, but generally at least manage to say most of the key points I had in mind to say. But then I’m not looking at them at all when talking to them – or kind’a similar, looking through them, and not “at” them at all (like when talking in front of a fair sized to large group) – that also works about equally poorly. Notably the not looking at them (or staring through them) – well, good eye contact – right kind and nature of it, not too much, not too little, well, turns out that’s friggin’ important, and majorly impacts people’s impressions. So, the not looking, or especially not looking when talking or about to talk, that tends to generally leave an impression of shifty or dishonest. So, tends not to leave a good impression. And the forgetting what I was saying or trying to say all the time, tends to leave impression of an incoherent idiot. So, … at least I’ve learned that. How to surmount it, or even if I ever can, I’ve no idea. I don’t know, … practice lots more? Maybe try playing off those extremes, – somewhere between impression of idot that can’t coherently talk, or impression of shifty/dishonest, … maybe there’s an optimal (at least optimal for me and what I can do) middle ground, … the semi-idiot semi-shifty/semi-dishonest impression? I dunno. But probably at least ought to try lots more there, see what I can manage to do with it. And, another thing I’m learning – and probably very important with the eye contact when I’m talking or trying to talk, is being able to “read” their reactions, e.g. know what their various expressions and eye movements mean, so I can use that feedback to appropriately adjust what I’m saying, and how, and even if I ought be continuing talking or talking about some particular something, or say it differently or (de)emphasize particular point(s), or wrap it up, or not even talk further about it at all. So, … yeah, … that’s very important, according to what I gather from what I read, various feedback and expertise, and, … yeah, … will I ever be able to do that and do that well? Wish I very much could. No clue if I’ll ever get there. Much of what I’m reading and studying now indicates that’s best learned as a child growing up. Most learn it intuitively, and never have to be “taught” it – at least explicitly. But some need help on that. I pro’lly could’a used a lot of help on that, but never got it – maybe no one never noticed, or noticed “enough”, to pick up on it. E.g. I did “well enough” (and then some, lots of straight As, top of class, all that goop) academically, that maybe no one quite figured out I was (and am) severely socially retarded. Even to this day, can’t say that’s changed much. E.g. work/career-wise, dang near top of my field, do what I do for work very darn well (quite/very/exceedingly technical stuff, and I’m damn friggin’ good at it), but … socially, and office politics ‘n goop like that at work? Yeah, that significantly holds me back – in a lot of ways. One friend, some years back, well knowing both my technical capabilities and smarts, was (and as far as I know still is) of the opinion that I ought be earning about thrice what I do, because I’m “that good”. But, uhm, yeah, socially, climbing that career ladder, “networking” (as in people) … yeah, I quite suck at that … socially retarded.

So, what else have I learned? Speak up. Yeah, often I speak too quietly – (nearly) mumble. Should generally try and avoid that and speak up and more clearly. But too, that can sometimes be hard, in multiple ways. First of all, I speak so damn little, I don’t have all that much of a voice. Can’t talk that loud for very long. If I do, my voice goes horse quite easily, and then I’m that much more screwed. But, I should pay careful attention for the clues/feedback, that I need to speak up. E.g. that leaning in, sometimes tilting of head(s) or whatever, can often be an indicator that I need to talk louder. Or it could be an indicator they’re interested in what I’m saying, or maybe both. I really don’t know how to tell the difference. And, yeah, eye contact – harder to notice that when I’m not making eye contact or anything close to that.

What else have I learned? Seems a whole lot of the feedback in my communication attempts is generally fundamentally, and often very severely, broken. Often I say far far far too little – whole helluva damn lot of the time I say nothing at all. Really don’t know when folks want to hear from me. Conversely, I’m not good at knowing when to shut the f*ck up – when folks just aren’t interested, don’t want to hear it, or that much, or don’t want to hear further on it – when I’m “turning them off”. And, of course, to further complicate that and make it even harder, some folks “play nice” / “play polite” and act like they’re interested, even explicitly say so, when they really don’t want to hear another friggin’ word out of my mouth. In any case, I generally completely and totally miss that, or only pick up on it when it’s far far far too late. “Subtle” just tends to not work on me. And I tend to mostly believe what people say – unless I know of strongly contradicting reliable evidence – and yeah, I typically won’t pick that up from a facial expression or body language … certainly at least not consciously, though sometimes a bit of it seeps in subconsciously (sort’a the vague “something doesn’t seem to be fitting together consistently here” kind’a feeling … but almost always without knowing what it is that doesn’t fit or is inconsistent or contra-indicated – just vague feeling that there’s something there that doesn’t well fit what’s otherwise indicated or being said). So, yeah. I mean if someone jumps up excitedly and hugs and kisses me, I figure they rather like what I said. If they strike me in the face with a full force blow of their fist, or turn around, stomp out, and loudly slam the door behind them, I figure they didn’t like what I said. But for the most part, more subtle reactions between such extremes, I mostly just don’t pick up on that. Okay, maybe doesn’t have to be quite that damn extreme for me to pick up on it, but … nearly so. Subtle in words, tone, inflection, eye movements, expression, body language – for the most part I just won’t pick it up or know what it means – or certainly very highly miss out on that when I’m talking or trying to talk.

What else have I learned? More stuff in the communication feedback. Thus far I find it mostly just an exceedingly confounding and confusing mess. For the most part, really don’t know how to make heads or tails out of it. Talk/write less, talk/communicate more – I really don’t know how much of what to do when … at all, at least for the most part. Some of it’s (roughly) like, e.g. blog, don’t write nearly so much … ever. I really don’t know what to make of that. Some write blogs, and articles that are helluva lot longer than what I write, … and even immensely more popular. Some of the feedback I get is don’t write more than the other person writes you. Uhm, but geez, then why would anyone ever read a paper, an article – even a long article, a newspaper column, heaven forbid a book or ebook. Yet people read those things. I don’t see lots ‘o folks running around saying those things ought never be written, or written that long. So, yeah, I’m mostly still thoroughly confused on all that. Reciprocity. I sort’a kind’a get it, but at the same time absolutely highly do not. E.g. really really be there for the other person, as much and in any and all ways I possibly can, and, … they like and appreciate that, and … I think – know even – they’re quite nice person … might expect or hope for some fair bit of similar in return? Sure, I’d at least hope for that, but … why it doesn’t happen? Or maybe it’s there and I can’t see/feel/realize it’s there. I really don’t know – I could hazard lots and lots of guesses, but I don’t know enough to know why – all I can do is guess. I’m very interested in someone, want to hear all about them, highly interested in them. Reciprocity – does that mean they’re at all interested in hearing about me, or even all that much? … even if they actually quite like me? No, it doesn’t. Not necessarily anything of the sort. If only life as a human was so simple.

What else have I learned. Well, there’s golden rule “do unto others, as you would have others do unto you”. But I guess long long time ago, I learned that rule rather sucks. Much better one, is what I call platinum rule: “do unto others, as they wanna be done unto”. Uhm, well, but what I’ve learned more recently, a lot of my presumptions about what others more-or-less want, may be … uhm, well beyond significantly flawed. Like, totally jacked up, screwed up, messed up, and often just way friggin’ wrong and incorrect. Uhm, how so? Ah, silly (stupid, socially retarded) me, for not understanding others that well (heck, damn near hardly knowning anyone on the planet all that well besides myself), uhm, yeah, for lack of better model to be applied, I’d presume they were more-or-less roughly like me, and would more-or-less tend to want roughly similar to what I wanted, would want to be treated as I’d want to be treated, would generally like and dislike things, ideas, concepts, feelings, etc., etc., more-or-less roughly similar to me. Uh, yeah, totally bogus cr*p bollocks assumption/presumption/model/guestimation. For the most part, I’ve no friggin’ clue what anybody else wants, how anybody else thinks, feels, what is/isn’t of interest or important to them, etc., etc., etc. I’m socially retarded, remember? I ain’t figured that out. And, to thoroughly complicate matters, I’m a freak, a friggin’ oddball. I don’t fit in, never have, probably never will. So, yeah, me trying to use me as a model or approximation for other Homo sapiens on the planet – probably a bad idea and pretty damn friggin’ f*cked up inappropriate, inaccurate, and often dead wrong, attempt at modeling.

So, mostly I’ve learned that I don’t know sh*t about sh*t. And I may never know. Okay, aside from some technical cr*p – whatever. So I can earn a living. But, connection, friend(s), relationship(s), relatively happy and fulfilling social life? Yeah, … I’m probably totally screwed on that (figuratively, not literally), and maybe that will always be the case. “Oh well.” I dunno. Try and learn, figure out what I can, try and learn/fix as feasible, and, well, … whatever, … “roll with it”.

And, yeah, probably a whole lot more I ought cover to better round out this general topic, and relevant background, and relevant significant pieces, etc., but this posting is probably far too long already (and yeah, I’ve gotten feedback on that – no shortage of it) … so, … I guess this is a compromise between an exceedingly short posting of only something like: “I’m socially retarded. Damn. Oh well, what the hell, (I’ll) ‘roll with it’.” – which wouldn’t really explain much of anything – let alone itself, and … a posting yet longer than this … likely 30 to 150% longer yet, so, … a compromise, … I cut this one off, … at least for now … well, almost ;-) …

Maybe I ought get a T-shirt printed up:
“Really nice guy, smart, capable, but socially retarded. And you?”

semi-random book bits, library, Link+, social, Temple Grandin

2013-10-20 11:09:29 PST

Ah, the book _The Unwritten Rules of Social Relationships_ – Temple Grandin. Yup, not at Berkeley Public or San Francisco Public, but Link+ … 12 locations show it listed, however of those, none show having more than one copy yet, only 5 show in the system as “AVAILABLE”, however :-) San Jose Public shows “5 copies ordered on 09-18-2013” – so I think that’s fair game, once they’re in (I kind’a hate to deprive a library or location of their only copy – at least if it’s easy enough to avoid doing that; oddly, though, I don’t exactly think/feel that way when I go into local library and grab something off the shelf and check it out).

Hmmm, one book I’ve checked out a lot lately (it is quite authoritative reference on the topic – though not exactly a reference book per se), from San Francisco Public – has two copies – I’ve mostly been checking ’em out alternately – I think thus far the other copy has always been on the shelf when I checked one of ’em out. Yep – one shows as available, and the other now shows as “SORTING” – I just dropped that one in the bookdrop yesterday after the library was closed. I ought just buy that book … likely can find it used for pretty cheap. And if I find that Temple Grandin book to be similarly useful to me, I probably likewise ought buy it – at least if it’s something I may tend to want to refer back to and reread, etc.

Temple Grandin also has a TedTalk that’s quite worth watching: Temple Grandin: The world needs all kinds of minds. Seems I likely mentioned it at least once before, … but not sure where or to whom, or if I got it on blog earlier.

And part of my logical brain looks at written book of unwritten whatever – and sees that as a paradoxical logical contradiction. How could one have a written anything of that which is unwritten – ’tis not possible, correct?

Yet more tests

2013-10-09 06:23:08 PST

Are you a social person?
You are a quiet person who wants to be left alone. A pure introvert, your best ( and perhaps only) friend is yourself. Try to break out of that shell of yours once in a while!

I’ll preface this one by sating: I generally don’t like IQ tests, they’re generally at best, a very rough approximation of reality, my score tends to vary a lot, mostly depending upon what they test/measure and how (and no, they don’t really measure IQ – if that’s even so much as possible). E.g., at least typically, if it’s mostly math/logic/analytic reasoning, and especially if also untimed, I tend to do quite to exceedingly well. If it’s timed and heavily vocabulary and general language dependent, I don’t score nearly as well. A lot of IQ test questions don’t really test intelligence at all, and typically are much more dependent upon other factors (e.g. cultural or particular educational exposures) … blah, blah, blah, so … tend to be inherently highly flawed in many ways. Oh, and these are absolutely not any official sanctioned tests.
Oh, also, this particular test – they also give the answers … the one I got incorrect, just a careless mistake (oops) … but also one I got correct was pretty much a wild guess. Except for the one I guessed on, I found ’em all quite straight-forward … but at least interesting/challenging “enough” it wasn’t totally boring, anyway.
Could say a bit more about some specific bits on the test, but probably best if I don’t say such – particularly if one may want to take the test.
Model IQ Test
You have answered 37 questions out of 38 correctly. Your IQ is ~ 147.

Okay, so I got bored the other night, did an online search of “online tests”, or something like that, and … well, poked at some that seemed like they might be “interesting” and/or “challenging” for me … or maybe even “entertaining” or (unlikely?) informative? Whatever.

Social challenges with memory/recollection

2013-09-29 13:43:52 PST

I probably mentioned it at least some bits before, but, quite comes to my attention again. So, yeah, my memory is mostly pretty good, even relatively excellent, … certainly not superb nor some genius or anything like that, but for the most part pretty darn good, if not excellent. But …

My memory is also relatively selective and also not good at remembering some things. And some of those things are or can be rather to quite challenging socially. E.g. …

Names, … I rather/quite suck at remembering names. As far as I’m aware, I think that’s always been the case with me. E.g. someone will introduce themselves or I’ll be introduced to someone, and … 2, 3 minutes later (if not some mere tens of seconds or less), I can’t remember their name – at all. I particularly suck at remembering common first names. I’m typically much better at remembering last names. I’m more likely to remember the person’s name, if I’m introduced with or get their first and last names. Often in recalling their name, if I’m able to, I recall their last name first then from there I will generally be able to recall their first name. (Yeah, remember serial numbers of locks from over 35 years ago, but forget a common first name within seconds, yet regularly memorize complex random strings or series of digits, without much difficulty). Ah well, forgetting names like that rather to quite sucks for social interaction. Ugh. I’ll remember what we talked about, typically in great detail, and typically even where, and approximately when. But remember their name? Yeah, typically not, and especially if it was just first name, and a common first name – almost always I won’t remember that – at all. I suppose I could put a whole lot ‘o effort on remembering their name, repeating it over and over to myself, etc., and otherwise working to remember it, as they’re talking to me, and, … might stand a fair chance of remembering it that way, … but, … that tends to go over quite poorly, as, if/when I’m doing that, I’m hardly paying attention to them, so I might remember their name, but the conversation/talk generally bombs out pretty quickly, as it becomes quite apparent I’m not paying attention. So, … either way, social fail. Ugh.

Remembering what “we” talked about. Another really hard part. I do quite well remember the conversations – what was said to me, or what I said. But I highly suck at the whom. I don’t remember who said it to me, or who I said it too. So, … that can have major downsides. E.g. awkwardly recalling – yes, sure, I recall the what was said to me and the conversation had, but I can’t, e.g. tell the person who it was that told me that – I mostly just won’t remember at all – though sometimes logically I can reduce it to one possible source – but not most of the time. Usually I just don’t remember who said it to me, and that can be quite awkward, as person might ask, or may be rather glaring omission as I can’t fill in at all the who told me that or who I heard it from. And, worse yet, sometimes it’s even the person I’m talking with or relating it to, that told me, and I don’t even remember that it was they who told me. Ugh. More social fail. Likewise, my telling someone else. I’ll remember that I told someone, what I related, etc. But, I won’t remember who I did (and didn’t) tell that particular whatever too. So, … that also creates lots of odd awkwardness. As in repeating myself. Deal with more than exactly one person, I don’t remember who I did and didn’t say something to, so, … I say that something again, and … oops, same person again – fail. Or, likewise, should say to someone, said to someone else, but erroneously guess that I already told the person, so I completely fail to mention that particular something – and can end up being rather to quite significant, or problematic, that I didn’t mention it to them, when I very much ought to have or that would’ve been highly appropriate, if not very much expected – but I don’t mention it because I already did talk about it … but to someone else, but I mistakenly presume/guess that it was that person in front of me that I told it to before. Ugh.

Damn near never more than one “friend” (or relationship) ever, at a time. Yeah, I think that’s one of the reasons, of perhaps many, that I’ve pretty much never had more than one friend (or relationship, where that essentially took place of any friendship) at any given time. With only and exactly one, I don’t have to remember who I told, or who told me – as there’s only one possibility. That seems to work quite well … except for the limitation of there being only and exactly one. Two or more – and even among casual friends, or fairly good friends that may not be all that close, heck, even acquaintances, … and, … buggers, I fail to remember who I did and didn’t say something to, and who told me whatever. Ugh. Don’t know that there’s any way I can “fix” that, or even more-or-less reasonably compensate for it. Seems my head has always worked like that. Pretty much just takes in and organizes the information itself – not so much source, nor target – and likewise puts out the information. Does negligible tracking of where the information came from or went to. Yes, does access and correlate credibility of sources, and likewise trustworthiness of person(s) told, but doesn’t cross-correlate that with particularly what was heard from a particular someone, or said to a particular someone.

So, … yeah, among other things, it’s socially problematic. E.g. quite recent conversation … I really can’t remember what I had and had not told that person. I can remember whether or not I’d related such … and maybe sometimes even remember if I might have related such relatively recently or not, but whether or not I’d ever told them before, or not – even if I’ve only known them a relatively short while … I really cannot recall if I’d told them before, or not. Ugh.

Lack of eye contact? Yeah, not sure how much mostly lacking in eye contact contributes to not associating what was said/heard with who to/from. But I’ve got major challenges with eye contact, especially as I’m talking or attempting to, but also quite significantly as I listen to someone – though not as severely so on the listening side. Yep, look at someone as I talk or attempt to, and I mostly completely and totally lose my train of thought … even mid-sentence. And it’s not like some kind of anxiety thing or anything like that. Not like I feel anxious about it – though do tend to feel increasingly awkward as that happens repeatedly in conversation or attempts thereof. But, no, much more like they react or move in the slightest, and some big chunk of my brain goes, “Huh?”, and attempts to determine what the hell that motion or reaction indicates (not that it necessarily gets it right, or even close, but it’s like it at least is interested, grabs the attention, and it attempts to figure/puzzle it out). And, well, it’s quite like, whatever chunk of my brain jumps to that task, is also highly responsible for me managing to talk or attempt to think and talk about what I’m attempting to say or relate, so, … yeah, train of though gets totally derailed, and my talking stops. Oops. I’m definitely not finding any easy solutions. Okay, not really any solutions I’ve found for all that … not even hard solutions, or effective work-arounds … other than the bit of only and exactly one friend or relationship at a time, … ever, … and forever. That kind’a sucks and is quite limiting. But seems it’s mostly been the “practical” consequence of much of all that. Really don’t seem to effectively navigate and handle/manage more than one. Really don’t think I ever have, … my entire life. Don’t see a “fix” for that. Oh well, … I more-or-less muddle my way through it, … or attempt to do so, and … well, … guess it goes how it goes.

above crud, and other bits

2013-09-09 03:31:52 PST

OMG!!! Yet another horribly long ramble? Maybe, … maybe not. Sure, some meandering topics … semi-related, … or not. Horribly long? We shall see. In not necessarily any particular order …

Food, eating, blah, blah, blah. I’ve been doing a bit better on that. Far from great, but … okayish? Mostly still, at least for the most part, no appetite (generally a symptom of mood being flat/down, but … whatever) and … likwise, eat, even stuffed to the gills, and … really never feel full, either. That still seems quite the case – and is generally atypical for me – but been the case oh … probably about a year and a half or so now. Anyway, doing a bit better on it … the eating part of it anyway. Mostly just trying to, and “forcing” myself, to eat a bit more regularly and better. That’s mostly it. Sometimes the appetite even puts in a slight appearance … but … mostly not. Whatever. So, … I deal with it, … and … try to eat more reasonably and consistently. Much more like a chore than a joy or a thing enjoyed at all, but, whatever, … needs be done, … and, … mostly doing it, … at least semi-/kind’a okayish, anyway. Sure, not great, but … at least a bit better. I dunno, mostly just don’t seem to care about or be interested in food, or hungry anymore – at least for the most part. Whatever, … just make it happen (the eating) anyway.

Mood in general? Eh, more recently, … general trend/average … a hair better, anyway. I think mostly above “crud” anyway – though that might also occasionally sneak (back) in. Good? Yeah, if only. More like okay/okayish, or … well, something above crud anyway, and between there and okay/okayish, … and … sometimes even at/around okay. Better than okay? Eh, maybe some slight rare bits above that for very short durations – if at all. Anyway, mostly above crud, anyway, and perhaps at least flirting/brushing with okay/okayish. Improvement, anyway, compared to, oh, I dunno, a few months or so ago I guess.

Stress, connection, blah, blah, blah. Anyway, I’ll first mention interesting video: YouTube: TED: Kelly McGonigal: How to make stress your friend watch from the start of the video or jump straight to the 2nd point I touch upon. Interesting video, and for the most part I won’t cover what it says or touches upon … except for two bits. First of all – stress. Not all stress is bad. E.g. exercise is a form of stress. And, I more-or-less – at least approximately, know, at least some key differences between “good” stress, and “bad” stress – but I wouldn’t differentiate in same manner the video does, but suffice it to say I can typically tell ’em apart – at least for me, anyway. E.g. “instant” stress headache – yeah, that’d be from bad stress. Stressful, but challenging, interesting, exciting, the kind of thing one typically enjoys and throws oneself into – that would generally be good stress. But I digress. That’s one point the video touches upon (though with rather different take on it). Other key bit is between stress (and oxytocin) and social connection/interaction. Most notably (and my paraphrasing from the video), that stress increases production of oxytocin, which makes us more social – more inclined to reach out and connect for support. Though I can’t say I generally support that hypothesis, I can say, that, under exceedingly high stress, it is definitely true – highly more inclined to and much more capable of making those social connections. And I don’t even mean from, or just from existing relationships/connections, but pretty much making and forming ’em almost out of the blue – from almost nothing to meaningful supportive/reassuring connections, and damn fast and efficiently at it too! Yep, have seen that in myself. Pretty darn rare that I’m that intensely stressed, but when I am – “poof” – almost like magic – when I really pretty much have to make those connections, almost, if not, as matter of survival … boom – they happen … and fast – and without me even having to think about how to do it or that I did it. Maybe it’s oxytocin to credit? I’ve no idea, but in any case, it works! And, damn good that it does – ’cause it pretty much has to then … and … it does. Unfortunately, however, it mostly just doesn’t last. Acute stress gone, then just can’t make those connections anymore, and those made under the acute stress? – typically fade out pretty quickly. Buggers. Now, if only there were some way to just “turn on” that capability – without needing to be under massive/acute stress for it to become “active”. Drats. But it can happen. Biochemistry? And/or very atypical psychological state of mind? Whatever, … it works. Well, … at least for that brief duration anyway. Then we’re basically back to nothin’ again … well, ’tis pretty much the case for me anyway. Friends, meaningful connections – establishing/making that … yeah, still a friggin’ helluva time managing to get any of that to happen. Hmmmm, shouldn’t need major stresses like someone pointing a gun at my head or the like to induce enough stress to make some social bonding possible, and certainly shouldn’t have stresses like that multiple times per day to be able to keep up such social bonding capabilities. Dang, so, … how do I get it to work better, … much better. Is it so dang difficult for everyone else? Well, no, … the evidence clearly points that I’m quite the minority on that one. About one new good friend per dozen years? Even less frequent for anything approaching the possibility of a decent relationship? Yeah, I need to do a lot better at that. Already 50 years old, still alone, … way too damn painfully alone, and, … at that rate, I’ll be dead long before I’m anything close to married.

So, … connections, friendship (or more) and attempts thereof, how goes all that for me, and more recently? Bleh. I think I’d have to give that a rating of about crud – and “of course”, mostly put that upon myself. It’s not like I don’t try – certainly do, but results? About zilch, … still. And, sometimes too, I try less, or don’t try. The highly constant stream of nothing but disappointments, never any real connection, … not even a decent bit of “traction”, well, that just really friggin’ hurts a whole bloody hell of a lot. Damn painful. So, … sometimes I try a lot less. E.g. commuter train – BART – why the f*ck even try? Did the stats before, but really – add up all the time over the decades, commuting on BART, and all the trying, and, really quite zero results with … well, hundreds, if not thousands of contacts, whole helluva lot of attempts, I think it literally adds up to months or more of contiguous time if it was stretched out end to end, and … nothin’ … really quite absolutely nothing. So, … why even try there? So, … yeah, don’t think I’ve even tried there, in the slightest, … in months or more. Find someone I might be interested in talking to or approaching? I just don’t bother. Why try, just to be disappointed yet a friggin’ ‘gain. So I don’t. Ignore the possibility. Or try and turn it into a nice fantasy – “ah, yes, could be wondeful connection, … if I actually approached the person or said ‘hi’ or responded” – yep, can hang onto that fantasy if I don’t actually try, … if I actually try – end of fantasy, and it ain’t happenin’ anyway – no connection, no nothin’, no real possibility, … and … much less painful without the disappointment yet again. And, who the hell am I kidding. Pretty much anything anywhere else is about the same. Okay, so maybe I haven’t given up trying entirely, but geez, really, what’s the point? I mean there is supposed to be a point, right? F*ck.

And, as humans, we get to also be a set of walking inconsistent contradictions. A lot of the time I wish I didn’t need or want anyone at all – any people, any humans whatsoever, and that I felt absolutely nothing at all. Really, I do. Would be a lot less painful. Sometimes I even try and do that … but doesn’t work … at least not for long, anyway. Buggers. I’m a friggin’ human after all. Cr*p. So, yeah, I kind’a … well, not exactly “bounce”, but more like move and sway between those relative extremes … though not really all that much motion – not all that big a range. Going from not trying at all on the social connections and attempting to ignore and feel nothing – and sure as hell wishing I felt exactly and only nothing … to … well, at least trying somewhat here ‘n there – sometimes even trying a whole heck of a lot, and even being and trying to be quite positive and optimistic about it. And, … yeah, failing each and every time, over and over again. F*ck. Yeah it sucks. Ugh. So, yeah, on the “connection” stuff, that’s still around the crud range – maybe that’s all it’ll ever be … hell, … probably that’s what it’s generally been most all my life, with sometimes some exceptions here ‘n there, but mostly crud … and the exceptions only being after I somehow managed to make that connection, … don’t know that I’ve ever been better (or will ever be better?) at managing to make those connections – most notably getting them well started in the first place. Seem to do fairly well at it once they’re well established, … but alas, far far far too rare that I ever manage to make it to that point. <sigh>

Economics of scarcity? Things are more sought after and perceived as more valuable when they’re harder to get or there’s fewer of them. Uhm, yeah, weird, but that’s how it tends to work. It’s cr*p, but it’s also reality. Somehow, though, I don’t think (further) burying myself in my “cave” and being yet more of a hermit would cause a bunch of potential dates of interest to me to come beating a path to my door. And I refuse to be the jerk that one has to “win over” to gain the attentions of and/or respect of. Just not me, and I refuse to play that “game”. I’m a nice guy, I’m not a jerk – and not gonna play one or act like one, and certainly not gonna be one. I dunno. Maybe I try too hard? Things are often not appreciated/valued so much if they’re easy or readily available. For friends and those I care about – heck, even somewhat more generally than that – I’m willing to do a lot, I offer a lot, do a lot, etc. Maybe that comes off as “desperate” or “suspicious” or something like that. I don’t know. I’ve really about zero clue on most all this. I’m certainly not a mind reader. And, even, for the most part, not good at reading people, so, to large extent, no idea whatsoever what they’re thinking or feeling – so I’ve quite no idea, and really quite can’t tell what works, what doesn’t, what works, better or worse, or makes really much of any difference whatsoever. Maybe that’s huge chunk of why I’m so horribly lost on this social stuff. I’ve got no friggin’ clue, and can’t figure it out. Yeah, and nobody’s exactly telling me, either. Yep, I’m screwed … figuratively.

Another random bit. Venue. Large TV screens. Mostly sports stuff (and the inevitable commercials) on the screens, TVs blaring loud. Pizza, beer, stuff like that, crowd even louder than the blaring TVs. I really just don’t get it. Most – if not all – folks there, quite seemed to be having a good time. Absolutely definitely not my scene. Zilch interest in watching sports (with quite negligible exceptions), zero interest in hanging around with crowds and people cheering and whooping and hollering about stuff I just don’t care about at all, zero interest in beer, damn friggin’ loud environment, about impossible to have a conversation – almost have to holler just to be heard. Yet folks seem to be enjoying it. Egad. I don’t get it. Not for me, not enjoyable at all – mostly just a big nuisance. Yeck. How many more days ’till football season is over? Crud.

And, to attempt to end on slightly more positive note? Yeah, (mostly) above crud, maybe even approaching okay(ish). Been doing more of filling time. For the most part not a damn thing I enjoy nor anything to look forward to … at all really. Just been doing some more of keepin’ busy, doing “stuff” – mostly nothing I care about – really don’t have much of anything I care about. So, anyway, with more busy, the time passes a bit less painfully. So, … a step (or half-step … quarter step at least?) above crud.

Buggers, all that typing, and I’ve not said much new, huh? Rats. Oh well, hey, above crud – that’s somethin’, anyway.

“social”, and rerererererererere…rethinking things

2013-08-13 08:12:20 PST

NT? Aspie? ASD or not, whatever. It’s not like there’s a cure, or even really “treatment”, per se. It’s mostly adapting, dealing, learning, compensating. What most (NTs) are able to do intuitively, and don’t have to be (explicitly) “taught” how to do and understand, for ASD folks, that’s quite a different story. Most notably around and impacting social interaction. As I recently heard one person explain it – and paraphrasing from memory – tradeoffs in brain processing power – typically much more adept at other things (e.g. visual thinking, abstract reasoning, verbal processing & words), while sacrificing many of the skills/capabilities that NTs typically have – particularly social related skills – e.g. non-verbal, body language, etc., among many others.

Am I? ASD? Asperger? Whatever. Maybe, maybe not. Seems pretty probable. But when one takes hard critical objective look at DSM-IV-TR & DSM-5 diagnostic criteria (which, incidentally, is intended for properly trained mental health professionals, not laypersons – among other hazards, many words have quite different definitions in their clinical context, as opposed to their common definitions) … well, might be a close call. You’ve, of course, heard of mid-air collisions. Maybe something more like a near miss. Or perhaps a mid-air clip – which is technically a collision, but where either or both craft are damaged, but that damage is not catastrophic. Uhm, … that’s not to say that, whatever/wherever on the NT/ASD spectrum/continuum I may happen to be, it’s not like there aren’t significant impacts and consequences, even if (perhaps barely) not (quite) ASD. Whatever. Some others might have some different theories. Seems “close enough”, in any case, that a whole helluva lot of it quite accurately applies. And, … competing theories? Maybe one, if that, … with a lot of significant/major counter-indicators. May not have enough data to ever truly know. E.g. current DSM-5 includes in part, on ASD diagnostic criteria (paraphrasing from memory), some things to have evidenced in early childhood – and there may no longer exist the evidence or (sufficiently reliable) memories to rather to quite positively assert, or refute, existence of such traits in early childhood. Seems to be kind’a odd to define criteria on a condition which says it must’ve existed before some (young) age X, when, after the fact, it may be impossible to tell if, before age X, it was, or was not then present. Whatever, that’s how the criteria presently stands. Not that I’m horribly concerned about exactly what the criteria is or isn’t, so much as more general understanding, and practical aspects/implications – if/as relevant (if at all).

So, … social. Biggest issue for me is “I suck at social.” Aye, what a lovely “positive” attitude to have, eh? (Yeah, I’m positive I suck at it. ;-)). But really, not that horrible – but “bad” enough – or more so ineffective enough, that it has major impacts. Could go into more detail on that – have certainly at least touched upon it – and continue to learn more there. Fix? Work-around? Let me (maybe?) come back to that later.

After spending a whole lot of time and energy trying to “fix” that, adjust, work-around, etc., bringing into it the absolute best I’ve been able to do – all I’ve learned from professionally lead communication classes, various well recommended techniques, etc., etc., and applying it all as best I can, the results have been … damn nearly identical. Well, certainly at least in terms of any perceptible difference I can discern in results, anyway. So, to say that’s been disappointing would be a major understatement. More accurately, it hurts like hell and continues to hurt like hell. And also keeps feeling like I’m beating my head hard against a wall, quite highly repeatedly, and just hitting more and harder, and hoping for better results. Yeah, … quite sucks. Also, highly discouraging, when I really can’t see any differences! Maybe they’re there, but I completely fail to see them. But, dang hard to have any clue as to what is/isn’t working, or what works better, or worse, when one can’t see the difference at all. It’s like trying to fix something via a feedback loop … except the feedback loop is absolutely and completely absent. Yeah, … it ain’t workin’ too well.

So, rerererererererere…rethinking things. Yeah. Analyze to death. Well, sometimes it pays off. Or sometimes a rather to quite different perspective or take on it helps a whole helluva lot. Or some of both. Whatever. One way, or another, eventually come up with some – hopefully better – but at least different thoughts/ideas. Now, of course, too, the other thought that also often comes up, is friggin’ give up – don’t even f*ckin’ try – at all – just not worth it. So damn hard, and painful, and really exhausting and draining and … still doesn’t work worth sh*t – at least for me, so … why bother? Well, that’s a quite defeatist attitude (even if it might be a too damn accurate one?).

So, a couple bits. One I thought of about a week ago. Rather than try so damn hard (I do tend to push myself hard), and expecting so much of myself – particularly where those “goals”/”aims” might be exceedingly difficult or perhaps even “impossible” or “unattainable” for me, instead, go and stretch for things that are within, or nearly within reach, … with a bit of a stretch. Stuff I can do, or nearly do. I’ve noticed in reaching (and perhaps even in nearly reaching) such goals, … well, they tend to positively motivate me. Whereas trying to stretch/reach for stuff that I’m absolutely nowhere close to touching … well, that mostly ends up feeling highly defeating, draining, and not at all encouraging. Okay, so there’s that bit – sort’a the “baby steps” and “stretch goals” approach – but (nearly) reachable stretch goals. Certainly one thing to do/try/consider.

But another thing I just thought of … well, yesterday now – yesterday evening it was. I was thinking, what’s worked for me in the past. Notably socially. It’s not like absolutely everything has been complete and total failure … okay, sure, “wins”/successes damn rare and few and far between, but a count significantly above zero. So, there is/was something there! But what, what worked, how did it work? How can I learn/build from it? :-) Yeah, sure, exceedingly rare. But, … that’s still a whole helluva lot better than nothing/nada/zilch/zero/zip/bubkes. So, what happened, and how might I learn from that / leverage that? Well, the old adage/advice “be yourself”. Yeah, I didn’t have to do anything in particular at all – just be myself. Okay, … that’s easy enough for me to do. But, what else, what happened, how’d things get started? Typical scenario, they were interested in me – attracted to me. No, not some mere appearance thing – pro’lly slight ‘bit above average there, but nothin’ that’s gonna be winning me any contests. No, it was much more about who and how I am, than mere appearance. They found me interesting, intriguing, … generally “different” in a way they found positive/interesting/attractive. Got their attention, and drew them to me (and most of the time that was a good thing). Okay, yeah, sure, I’ve always been rather “different”. And, I guess some folks pick up on that (probably a lot of folks, really, to varying degrees), but, for at least some that works out as a positive for me, as it draws them to me. Sure, doesn’t guarantee things will go great from there, but it’s a helluva good start.

Anyway, thinking further on that. How can I leverage that? How can I have that work as more of a factor so folks can notice/perceive that I’m “different” – and, as feasible, well represents what/who/how I am, and works to attract them? I really don’t know yet … going to have to ponder that one some more, maybe do some experimenting, … who knows. The other thing I was thinking, might also be anywhere from somewhat, to perhaps even highly useful, as a useful “discriminating factor”. Okay, “different”, whatever. That’s gonna have some people backing off (or even running away), yet attracting (at least some) others. And, if that correlates rather well to those who’d want to back off from me anyway, and those that would be or continue to be interested and want to get closer, well, that could be a good thing, … a very good thing. Just think of it – sooner and earlier repel those that wouldn’t wanna be/stay/get close with me anyway (certainly a timesaver, if nothing else), and attract much more so, than not, those that are more likely going to want to be/stay/get close to me. :-) Maybe, among other bits, perhaps need to be more myself – further differentiate myself from the “crowd”. Stand out, as who/what/how I am, rather than trying to do a (probably piss poor) imitation of an “NT”. Well, seems like a fairly good theory anyway. Definitely warrants further investigation. Even if the number attracted is small, if the probability of “match” is quite significantly higher, that could be a major net gain. Still, too, got to think about when/where/how. E.g. where do I meet these folks, and around doing what? The few circumstances I can think of where this has happened in past, are not things I typically do these days (e.g. being in school in teens and 20s isn’t something so fitting for 50 … but perhaps there are other thing(s) that would be as, or even more fitting).

Who, me, analytical? You kind’a noticed, huh? Yeah, sure – among many other things also.

Social outings and all that – “putting” myself “out there”

2013-05-13 00:48:10 PST

[and about 21 hours, making some edits – mostly or entirely just additions, ’cause I screwed it up significantly the first time; edits mostly or entirely within “square brackets” ([])]

So, “social outings”.  Putting myself “out there”, and all that.  How goes all that, or much more specifically, how goes that for me?  Not sure why, but still keep trying, putting – and pushing – myself out there.  Not sure why, though, or if I ought to.  Maybe it’s mostly or entirely (or nearly so) a waste?  After all, the net results, despite whole lot of repeated efforts, are about nil.  Now, that might be fine and dandy – or at least relatively okay, if this was stuff I rather to quite liked going out and doing.  But for the most part, … eh, … could take it or leave it.  Can’t say I enjoy it – certainly not much, if at all.  Can’t say its exactly horrific either.  I guess the actual doing it / going through it feels … I dunno, relatively neutral anyway?  Or approximately so.  Not much at all of a plus – or minis – at least for the most part.  But the part that does feel like a major negative – and highly so – is the so oft repeating, and so often with so much effort, and zero, or damn near zero results of any use or benefit from it – well, certainly not to my benefit anyway – at least that I can tell, detect, or most notably feel.  So, yeah, that part of it not only highly sucks, but friggin’ hurts.  Sort’a feels like I’m slamming my head into a wall over and over and over again, … just to go out and repeat and do it yet again, and again, and again.  Sort’a a form of long, slow, drawn-out torture.  Bleh.

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.  Well, it’s obviously quite broken.  So, … needs fixin’.  But damned if I know why it doesn’t work or how the hell to fix it.  And, without knowing that, really does highly feel like just slamming my head into a wall over, and over, and over again.  Quite sucks that.

Try harder at some stuff, less hard at others?  Perhaps.  Some stuff seems absurdly improbable to be useful.  E.g. “nice friendly conversation with random stranger on commute train”.  Seems highly pointless.  Given the decades I’ve had such commutes, all the hours on such trains, all the conversations and attempts thereof, and really about zilch in meaningful connections from it – seems highly like quite the utter waste.  So, yeah, probably last several months or so I haven’t even so much as attempted that – really haven’t so much as tried to even start a conversation.  Like actually have a conversation with a stranger on ‘commute’ train (even if it’s not commute hours or whatever).  Seems damn pointless.  What’s the point?  Get my hopes up maybe, just to get ’em smashed again and again and again – not worth it.  Has never really gone anywhere for me.  Let’s see, add up the years and time commuting on such trains … yeah, estimating and adding it up, about 4,300 hours, and about zilch results – not a “date”, not a phone number not a last name or an email address [not a physical address, I don’t think so much as even a business card – save possibly ‘work only’ contact information, and if I got any contact information, never a response; provided my contact information many many many a time, and how many contacted me? … zilch – absolutely zero] – not a friend … damn friggin’ close to absolutely nothing.  No real ‘connection’ there.  So why the hell bother?  Well, certainly not for me anyway, quite “obviously” does me no particular good or use at all.  4,300 hours – that’d be like half a year … of non-stop 24×7 continuous marathon trying to make some meaningful connection and … nothing – zilch to show for it.  Imagine, over a [half] year, up, solid, marathon, surrounded by people all that time, trying to make some meaningful connection – and absolutely nothing from all that time, work, energy, resource, attempts, etc.  Quite sucks.  [Similarly, imagine more than an entire half of a year, non-stop marathon, at some “party” type even where you’re hoping and trying to meet people, and, about every 20 to 60 minutes, most all the people get changed out, though some repeat with greater frequency than others, and some don’t repeat at all – never know exactly what’s next.  Well, maybe not exactly like a “party”, but sometimes the atmosphere is very social and friendly – like mid-evening heading out from San Francisco to East Bay – most have been out to, e.g. play, performance, dinner with friends or coworkers, or drinks with coworkers after work, or some such.  Other times not as social.  Like the very first commute train of the morning.  It’s rather like The Body Snatchers – “them” – looking rather zoned out, kind’a trance-like, going through the motions, obviously not thrilled to be gong to work – and barely awake – if that.  And, my gosh, were I to speak then?  Yeah, I could imagine ghastly eerie hissing squealchy breathy sounds coming from them as I dare make a sound and disturb the regularity of the noises of the commute train and its entranced zombie-like ridership, by breaking those sounds with something as distinct as a human voice.  And they’d rise up, arms outstretched, and start walking and stumbling towards me, while still making those terrifyingly inhuman sounds.  Fortunately most all hours on the train, though, aren’t that bad.  But definitely depends – upon time, day, where the train is, where it’s going, etc.  E.g. folks are generally a lot more unhappy and quiet in the morning heading to work, compared to returning from work in the evening.  And right around the end of the workday for many – like 4pm or 5pm – whole lot of folks rather grumpily/madly rushing to get home – though they seem in slightly better mood than going in – at least they’re looking forward to getting home.  And even some modest bit later, not nearly so bad – folks relatively happy to be heading home – and seemingly much more relaxed about it.  So, rather kind’a like a party, … but not.  Maybe more like some professional or semi-professional get together.  Where one hardly knows anyone there, but you all sort’a kind have at least some slight bit in common – though not necessarily much at all.  And, … it’s like the time between sessions – when you’re standing (or sometimes sitting) around … waiting for something to happen or what’s next – but in the meantime, there’s some time.  Anyway, 4,300 hours is whole lot of hours for essentially zero results despite a whole helluva lot of trying.  That would be like two years of full-time work.  So …] Perhaps long past time to give up on that one?  Then again, not like anything else has been whole helluva lot better.  But I digress.

So, yeah, “it” aint’ working – quite obviously so.  And don’t know how to fix it.  And the “experts” don’t seem to have particularly helped, either – at least thus far.  FML

So, yes, I keep finding myself yet again – “why  bother?” – seems to have mostly been a miserable failure.  Really, quite.  Most all social gatherings/outings.  Damn hard to think of any exception(s).  Where have I made meaningful connection?  Meet someone on-line first, get to know them at least moderately, if not quite well there, and them me, then meet in person.  That’s gone quite well … well, at least when that happens.  Unfortunately most of the time it burns a whole lot of time/resource/energy/attention on-line, and hardly ends up ever meeting anyone – and even then, vast majority of those meetings end up going nowhere fast – just doesn’t work … but … fortunately, there are the (far too) rare exceptions that do actually work.  Just so damn long and hard to get to there.  E.g. make like one good friend per decade that way … actually not even quite that high a rate.  And really, that’s I think essentially where all my good friends have come from … well, going back to at least 1990 anyway.  Damn I wish I knew the answers.  Why the hell does it it just not work for me?  What am I doing “wrong”?  [Bit spoken lyric from Pink Floyd’s “The Wall” quite comes to mind:”Wrong, Do it again!”] Why does no one even tell me at all or point it out or hint at it?  [What am I doing wrong?]  Crud.  I’ve really no idea.

Well, more than enough said for now.  Can’t think of anything to add that’s not quite redundant with what I’ve ‘said'(/blogged/etc.) before.

[1]And thus endeth another weekend. With some slight exception, really had nothing to look forward to at all – for the whole week past, weekend, upcoming week, etc., etc.  Man that sucks.  Such is my life presently.  I need stuff/person(s) to actually care about – stuff I want to do, stuff to look forward to.  Have precious little of that – way too little.  But I guess that’s a hair better than exactly none.  Would be nice to be cared for/about too – not entirely absent, but, definitely also majorly lacking there too.  And so it goes.

“And when someone asks you how you are, you say ‘Fine, thanks, how are you?'” – I hate that sh*t – why do parents ‘train’ their kids to do that?  How ’bout the truth.  Becomes quite the instinctual habit – far too often I catch myself doing that, stating or implying that I’m fine or ‘good’ or the like when … yeah, more like ‘hangin’ in there’ to ‘crud’ or so would be more accurate.  Ugh.  E.g. Monday, coworker asked how my weekend was, and I instinctively snapped something like, “Good, and yours?”  It was not good, it was not fine.  It was … more like marginally tolerable – at best – last weekend, anyway.  This past weekend, maybe a hair better than that, but not by much.

[[1] And in retrospect – like by about later that morning, after having written it much earlier that morning, and too late to have time to “fix” it, before running off to work, I quite realized that I majorly screwed up that – well, if not paragraph, at least major portions thereof – rather egregious error – or set of errors.  Needs some ‘splainin’ – but rather than rewrite that paragraph, or footnote it to death (my initial inclinations), rather I’ll leave it stand as written, but, sort of “footnote” that whole paragraph as a whole and explain and correct and clarify.  “Slight exception” – an unfair characterization.  At least one good, noteworthy exception, but perhaps I quite downplay it – and did so when I wrote that, for various reasons (with, and without, merit).  What I had in mind when I wrote that, was bit of visit with a good friend.  Nothing “slight” about that; exceptional, yes; though also very much limited/limiting too – and no, I ain’t gonna explain that.  So, very good to have that visit, and time, even if relatively short, and a whole lot of interaction and communication just can’t happen there (not gonna explain that) and wasn’t even much time/opportunity for it anyway.  So, unfair and inaccurate characterization, and potentially egregiously so, particularly as said friend does also read my blogs, and may have thought, guessed, or suspected that might’ve been what I was referring to.  So, yes, very sorry that I wrote it like that – at least as it first came out.  Look forward to?  Yes, quite looked forward to that.  But, also – I guess psychological survival – at least in my head, I also effectively “downplay” that a lot – try not too look forward to it too much – or really a whole heck of a lot at all – though I can’t help but significantly look forward to it.  Psychological survival?  Not anyone’s fault, but there’s a rather high element of unpredictability and notably effective and/or actual unavailability.  So, yeah, I don’t want to get my hopes up – especially way up, when there’s significant probability things might need to be changed or cancelled, and quite no idea how long it might be ’till we might possibly be able to meet again – and such could happen again.  So, … try to just “take it as it is” and not pin my hopes on something that just well may not occur and I’ve got about zero control over.  (Yes I’m being kind’a vague, no I ain’t gonna explain.)  And, persons/stuff to care about – yeah, do quite have that at least with said friend – do quite care about friend – very much so.  But – (lacking) stuff to look forward to, precious little – relatively accurate characterizations.  Precious?  Yes.  Little?  Think of flow.  Thinking of wanting – at least ideally – flow of communication … like … and unrestricted fire hose.  Then think instead of chilled molasses through a cocktail straw.  Yeah, analogies generally suck, but for lack of better one?  Anyway, something very roughly like that – very precious, and one frickin’ whole helluva lot better than precisely and absolutely nothing, but, at the same time, effectively verylimited/constrained.  And more than a “hair better” than exactly none.   Quite significant, let at the same time highly limited/constrained.  And, not (me) uncared for either, that’s there too, said friend certainly quite cares for/about me.  But again, too, if nothing else, in many practical ways, that’s rather to quite highly limited.  So, damn fine friend ‘n all that, but at the same time, major limitations between us.  And too, in my mood being rather/quite sucky and down, that tends to make everything feel/seem like less – so that probably also causes me to underemphasize where I ought emphasize more.  Hopefully I’ve not said “too much”, but hopefully that reasonably corrects – and better explains.]

Me and Communication

2013-05-04 03:39:49 PST

Me, and Communication.

First of all, minor aside – I don’t wanna and all that.  Much follow-up/follow-on blogging I wish to do on that – many relevant thoughts, etc., but, want to first cover what’s much more topically on my mind – communication – and, I’ve already drafted quite a bit regarding communication, whereas most all the stuff related to the I don’t wanna – is mostly just bumping around in my head, and hasn’t been typed out at all.  And, in case one was curious, my mood … slightly/moderately better than when I mostly wrote that I don’t wanna blog entry … but not all that substantially different.  And the mood is also relatively fickle and not nearly as “grounded” as it ought be … but I digress.  That’s for some subsequent blog posting to cover/update and follow-on to that.

So, a whole lot of thoughts – and also observations, even feelings, etc., regarding me and communication.  Been rather to quite thinking of that again (and typing up and writing/drafting stuff on it – most of which ought go on blog), and fair bit of it driven from some bits of specific feedback, but much, even most of it, from my own observations and thoughts on the matter.  And “the matter” is right.  Yes, something’s the matter with it.  At least generally.

What’s the matter with it?  I really wish I knew – quite similar to some other things I quite wish I knew, but am really highly in the dark about.

So, what does – and doesn’t – work with me and communication – most notably me attempting to communicate; let’s mostly ignore the bit about my reception of communication – at least for this blog posting, anyway (besides, as far as I know that’s somewhere between “okay” and quite good – certainly mostly seem to take things in quite well enough; perhaps fall rather to quite short on the “active listening” of the receiving side, but other than that, mostly seems to work between “okay” and quite well – at least in my guestimation).

First, what does work (hey, to knock it out of the way, ’cause it’s quite a bit “smaller” anyway).  I manage to be rather to quite the “good listener” – but alas, that’s reception bit – again, let’s skip that.

  • “Delivery” – on stuff I’m well versed in, e.g. fair number of technical topics, particularly in certain areas of interest/specialization/career to me, but others too, I can pontificate quite effectively.  Yeah, probably not ideally or highly optimally, but pretty darn well.  “Well enough” to be pretty darn good and efficient with the delivery information (often outperforming others by as much as around 4 to 1 (or more) on that – not to be braggin’ on that, but taking actually returned feedback forms, and quantifying to the extent feasible, that’s what it sometimes, and even fairly commonly, works out to).  So, yeah, I can quite well deliver such material, know such things dang well, can quite expertly field and answer questions (and do so), etc. A professional success (at least as and to the extent I do that … not that that’s mostly what I do, but not to uncommonly at part of what I at least occasionally do).
  • diarrhea of the mouth; the gift/curse of gab – most of the time I’m pretty darn quiet/silent, but … I can get going, and sometimes, and with some folks (but alas, definitely not the majority), that can and does actually work quite well.  Yes, some folks do very well with and can very effectively “suck up” and effectively use (and mostly “absorb” and/or process) a rather to quite heavy and steady flow of information/dialog – e.g. for hours or more on end (if/when my voice can actually handle that; do so damn little talking, can’t talk all that long at even a normal conversational volume – but at much quieter level I can go on much longer … or … well, … at least I think/hope I still can … don’t really know – haven’t had such occasion in … geez, … literally decades – at least for hours or more at a stretch, anyway).  Uhm, okay, so maybe that’s the quite rare exception?  But too, we’re talking small number statistics – not like I’ve done all that much conversing with all that many people.  So, percentage-wise, at least within my limited observations and experience, though most aren’t up to receiving that much at that kind of rate for that long, a non-trivial percentage are quite to highly up to and for it.  So, given someone that can take it in, I can pour it out – certainly at least if I’m sufficiently with what I’m communicating to whom.
  • “good” honest, forthright communication.  I’m a damn honest communicator.  Perhaps even to a fault.  I do that quite well, and care to.  I generally communicate what ought be communicated – certainly at least for stuff that particularly matters – and at least in circumstances of, say, existing relationship or quite good friend or better; also many other situations, e.g. relevant work contexts – I won’t be silent on what needs to be said or is particularly important to be said.  Sure, maybe I ought say more sooner, too, but for the most part I typically say approximately “enough”, and as relevant and appropriate (and important) in such contexts.  But not nearly so much (if even hardly at all) in more general social contexts.  So, … I do that rather to quite well in functional contexts, not social contexts … well, except in rather to quite well established “relationship” (rather to quite good friends or better) – communicate (at least generally and as feasible) rather to quite well there (but generally highly suck in other social contexts).

Okay, so much for what (more-or-less mostly) “works” – on me communicating well.  What doesn’t work – with me doing the communicating.  Oye, I fear this will be a long list – even if I forget to cover bunches of it, and/or coalesce a lot of overlapping or semi-overlapping areas:

  • social – I generally suck at social communication/interaction.  I quite wish I knew why/how that is, but I’m really quite without clue on that.  Sure, know some bits, but whole helluva lot I don’t know that goes wrong there – obviously very wrong, and far too repeatedly.  I can more-or-less do the idle chit-chat / banter – at least one-on-one (much worse at it in group settings), but as far as making more meaningful connections, all the evidence would indicate I mostly highly suck at that, and I’ve no clue as to why.  It’s not like there aren’t exceptions – sure, sometimes well connect with someone.  But those exceptions are so exceedingly rare, something’s got to be going significantly wrong in the other 99.97253% of the cases/interactions.  (okay, maybe that’s not the actual percentage, but it’s got to be in at least the high 90-something percentage range, almost certainly over 98%, and probably over 99%).  Stats/data?  Yeah, e.g. despite whole lot of effort and trying, how many good friends do I make how often?  Less than one a decade – really more like average of about one every 15 years or so.  Quite the sucky rate.  About similar for relationships.  Yeah, been trying to “date” again.  How’s that going?  <cough, cough>  Well, last about 2 years of that, met a grand total of 5 people, and how many of those have I gone out with – or even met more than 3 times?  Yeah, only 2, one of which – far as I can tell, seems unlikely anything’s gonna happen there (I rarely hear back, if at all), and the other – okay, so I got lucky, great friendship, but … relationship?  Not goin’ there – at all.  So, yep, generally quite sucks and have quite sucked at that – communication/interaction, in social context.  Even all the way back into school … college, made almost zero friends (pretty close, almost none particularly good/close, and not many more “casual” friends or whatever), and pretty much lost contact with those few I cared to stay in contact with beyond college.  12th through 6th grade?  Had  grand total of 2 friends … one at a time, over that span of time.  5th grade and earlier?  I think never really more than 2 friends concurrently – mostly just one at a time, and didn’t change all that frequently.  Not really sure before about 1st grade or kindergarten or so – my memory just doesn’t go back that far.  So, for all my efforts, and wanting to be much more connected, what goes wrong, why doesn’t it happen?  For the most part, I really don’t know, and quite wish I did.  
  • eye contact – important, and I’m fairly sucky about that.  With a lot of conscious effort and attention, I can do fair bit better on that – but I mostly only find that works okayish for me, if it’s one-on-one and the person is talking to me.  If I’m doing the talking, most of the time, and especially in group settings, looking at, watching, even glancing at other folks, as I’m talking, I find highly distracting.  I tend to totally lose my train of thought – pretty much any movement or reaction or action, even the slightest, as I’m looking at someone – or even looking fairly close towards them, tends to distract the hell out’a me, and I quite forget what I’m talking about – end to drop and stall mid-sentence, and forget what I was talking about, and can’t quickly remember and jump back into it – or even skip ahead to what’s next, or review what was before – all drops from my attention with the distraction, and I quite forget most anything and everything I was saying, said, or was about to say.  E.g. even in work meetings such as highly regular status meetings, where I’m giving verbal reports on status on various things – I’d very much not look at the other folks as I’d give my report.  If I did look, even glanced, as I was talking, I’d totally forget what I was attempting to cover.  So, yeah, I generally quite suck at eye contact – at least where I’m talking, and especially in group settings.  I dunno, maybe if I gave it a whole helluva lot of practice I’d to better with it, for figure out how to compensate?  Or maybe not – maybe I’m just “wired that way”, and there’s little to nothing I can do about it.
  • (social) group settings – I quite highly suck at that – most especially group social interactive, but even more generally than just social – certainly at least for what would typically be multi-way interaction situation.  I mostly end up saying almost nothing.  Not sure precisely how/why that’s the case, but, as I think what to say, usually by the time I’ve organized the thought and words enough that it’s otherwise appropriate, relevant, and timely to say, well … the conversation has quite moved on, and it’s become quite untimely to bring it up or add it that much later – so I typically don’t, and this repeats, over and over and over and over.  I’m also not particularly assertive, or comfortable with being so, so I’m generally not gonna interrupt other folks while they’re talking; which, in many group situations, if one doesn’t interrupt to talk, one ain’t gonna talk – and that happens with me a lot.  Typical group social events, e.g. I go to an event of about 50 folks, where I more-or-less no none of them, and most there also don’t know anyone else, or hardly anyone else … yeah, I end up spending the vast majority of the time, by myself, talking to no one, and no one talking to me … not that I wouldn’t want to be conversing, but mostly just doesn’t happen.  And when I look around in such a situation, I’m quite the minority.  There may occasionally be a very few others similar in that regard, but it’s typically an exceedingly small number/percentage – figure well under 5%.  Well, for better or worse, I’m typically well within that much less than 5%  Other typical scenario, modest group (say 6 total) of folks I know semi-well – e.g. some coworkers.  Hanging out, talking/conversing and … typically, I’m generally silent most or all the time.  Again, not that I don’t want to say anything; usually just a matter of poor timing and not being sufficiently assertive (and/or impolite) to interrupt.  So, by the time I’m set to say something, it’s no longer timely or sufficiently appropriate – so I don’t talk.  Or I never get opportunity, without interrupting – so I don’t.  I know, e.g., some coworker(s) have quite remarked on the rather rare occasion when I did speak – perhaps to call attention to its relative rarity – but to also encourage the other coworkers to shut up and listen for a change, rather than flap their jaws with never a moment’s silence among them.
  • communication style – perhaps more so now, but I’m getting some (presumably) good feedback on that.  And, much like my writing, my verbal communication also quite similarly sucks, … actually, probably – almost assuredly – sucks even much worse than my writing.  See, with my writing, you’re spared the most raw direct stream-of-consciousness form.  You get the generally edited after-the-fact version – often reedited many times and substantially revised, reorganized, shuffled around, cleaned up, etc., and … it still qutie sucks.  Well, the verbal … uhm, … yeah, … lots more sucky than the writing.  Generally exception would be my pontification upon some subject area I’m well versed in – that I can do, and comes out quite “organized” … pro’lly cause my head’s already been over the material hundreds or thousands of times or more (often ’cause I use it “all the time”, or at least quite commonly/frequently).  But, try to talk about, oh, what I’m thinking or feeling, generally, of the top-of-my-head, or likewise reaction or thoughts on something I’d not been exposed to before.  Uhm, yeah.  The form it comes out in … though it works well for some (a small but non-trivial minority), for most, it rather to quite sucks.  They find it (and can’t say I blame them) distracting, relatively unorganized, too many qualifications, exceptions, conditionals, much etc. – I dunno exactly how to best describe it, but hopefully you get the general idea of what I’m attempting to describe.  So, yeah, that tends to work rather to quite ineffectively with most people – though there are significant exceptions.  And I don’t know if it’s feasible for me to change that – or at least significantly/usefully so.  In writing I can do it – fix it, clean it up.  I know (more-or-less) how to do that.  But even with the writing, at least for me, it’s an exceedingly burdensome task to do or attempt to do that.  E.g. it’ll take me about 5 to 10 or more times the effort/time/resources to do such reediting/rewriting/clean-up of my writing – so often it’s just not worth doing or attempting to do – or at least not very much, anyway.  Okay, so maybe this time around you’re not getting a significantly re(rererere)edited version – not that that would improve it a whole helluva lot anyway.  Especially if it’s just gonna be read/skimmed once by one person, and then discarded or never reread – even if it was written highly well the first time they read my writing.  So, yeah, my style quite sucks on that.  “Fixable” in written form (with inordinately large amounts of time/energy/effort).  Another thing that, in written form, make it highly taxing for me to correct/edit, well, a couple of things.  First of all, since it’s rather to quite poorly written to start with, it’s hard for even me to read it, when I wrote it!  That makes it very difficult, and despite that I typically know quite what the author had in mind.  So, yeah, how it’s written/drafted, is hard and distracting for even me too, to read it.  And other things that make it especially hard for dealing with written form, and revising it – my head tends to know exactly what I wanted to communicate – so it tends to quite follow that train of thought – which may be rather to quite different than what actually got written.  My head also tends to go off on tangents, again, quite ignoring what’s actually written.  My head tends to not pay attention to what I have written, as it already quite presumes it knows what the intended communication was, and finds reading some written attempt at it to be an inferior source of information, and redundant to what’s already know.  And also making it very hard – sometimes exceedingly so, given those circumstances, my reading, and rereading it, especially when I try and focus my attention on what I actually wrote – tends to bore my head to death – so much so it’ll often tend to have me drift off to sleep … and not for lack of sleep – no matter how much sleep I got prior to such.  I could get 10 or more hours sleep the two nights before, then read some of my own writing in the middle of the morning, and my head will be nodding off highly repeatedly, over, and over, and over again (yeah, redundant … empahsis).  In verbal form?  I don’t know that I can “fix” that, or even come close.  Perhaps because it runs close to how I think, and stuff first comes out (and even how it mostly subsequently comes out).  I really don’t think I could so radically change how I think, such that the verbal communication would come out much better – or even significantly different – the first time around.  So, yeah, can be quite “taxing” for others to listen to.  Also, at least in part … not only honesty and the like, but precision.  Career, etc., I tend to be precise in how I say things – it is often important, if not critical.  So that tends to go to my more general writing, and also speaking.  My statements tend to be highly factually accurate.  And in most/many cases, that “needs” a lot of qualification, caveats, exceptions, etc.  So, while perhaps useful, even important, in many cases in, e.g. my professional work (and similar contexts), can be … uh, a significant encumbrance in more general (e.g. social/casual) circumstances/constructs.  But, … it’s not like some switch I can just turn on and off – certain at least not something I’ve figured our or learned how to do, anyway.  In many regards, mybe I’m just “hard wired” that way – quite the general way I “think” and stuff comes out, and it’s not feasible to change?  Or, maybe it’s changeable with practice.  Lots of practice.  But I’ve highly no audience (not even an audience of one) to have a conversation with.  Where the hell would I get sufficient regular and quite repeated feedback to have even a fighting chance of improving that?  So, perhaps far too late to significantly change that … even if it were otherwise possible.
  • Hmmm, maybe there aren’t “all that many” ways/areas where my communication highly sucks (list seems of few items, but long items.)  But they are major areas with highly broad scope, and quite critical in their impacts and failures (certainly critical to me).  May also be lots of additional ways/areas in which and how it’s failing, but I’m just not aware – most notably of why.  As I did say, I’m relatively clueless on much of this.  I guess the Reader’s Digest version on the failures would read something more like: sucks at social, style, eye contact; and significantly more so with those failings in group situations; limited exception areas of relative “success”.

So, something(s) goe(s) very wrong.  Something’s the matter – but what?  And can it be “fixed”?  So, yes, me, communicating, highly sucks/fails on several major fronts, and I really don’t particularly know why, other than those modest bits of information I point out.  Whole lot of motivation/interest/desire to “connect”, and mostly, highly, does not happen – mostly doesn’t even come close.  And that’s far far far too often – nearly always the case with me.

Tools, techniques, training, practice.  Ah, but there are methods, techniques, tools, training – lots of stuff to improve one’s communication!  Uhm, yeah, … “been there, done that”.  And not some random fad stuff either, good, well founded, more-or-less mainstream recommended best practices/techniques/training/etc.  And, … results?  A lot of time, effort, resource, practice, etc.  And much of it quite hard for me (much of it not easy for me to do – not my “natural” way of doing things, so takes lots of hard continuing focus/attention to do what should be much more optimal communication).  So, yes, been there, done that.  But results?  For all that?  Other than being a whole helluva lot harder for me to do, and boosting my mood/confidence some modest bit, the results, at least as far as I can perceive, or any net result I actually care about … the difference has been somewhere between negligible and zero.  So, it’s “obviously” not working for me – or certainly at least not very well at all – at least not any noteworthy or significant difference (other than making it a bit less painful – while at the same time a whole lot more hard).  I dunno, maybe the “wrong” approach or training or “practice”, or maybe it’s aimed at the “wrong thing”?  Maybe it could be “fixed” if it were known much more accurately what goes wrong and is not working.  Perhaps not so useful to try and fix, e.g. group social interaction, by having a one-on-one conversation (which I do relatively well at) telling me how to fix my group social interaction (especially with absolutely zero observation of my group social interaction – perhaps a highly flawed approach – trying to fix what’s not at all observed, but trying to extrapolate from fairly unrelated observations).  I dunno, I’d sure as heck very much like something that actually worked, and worked dang well.  But perhaps before that’s even feasible, it needs to be known/understood why things aren’t and haven’t been working.  Otherwise, isn’t one trying to “fix” what might not even be the problem to start with?  If I can’t see what the problem is, how am I gonna tell you what the problem is and you tell me to fix it – especially when you aren’t even there to witness it?  Seems like a hazardously poorly targeted approach.

Perhaps a significant – maybe even quite substantial – part of it, is, for the most part, I don’t like group social situations or interactions.  They generally tend to make me feel rather to quite uncomfortable.  Maybe sometimes I can more-or-less tolerate them or feel “okay” with them.  But like them?  Generally not the situations I want to be in – though I often put/push myself to be in them, or am more-or-less stuck in needing to deal with them regardless.  And, if I were a great social communicator, would I like group social situations?  Interesting question, but my guestimate, is I probably still wouldn’t like ’em.  I highly prefer one-on-one.  My inclination in group – no mater how comfortable I am or may be in group situation, is to be able to separate out and be one-on-one, and not stay within the group.  Why is that, why do I feel that way?  I don’t know – nature of who/how I am, and/or life experience and such?  I’m guestimating more of the former than the latter.  But don’t really know enough of early developmental history to know if that was ever different, or if something(s) may have significantly changed that at some point along the way.  And, unfortunately, most of the more common routes to one-on-one, are via group.  It’s almost/rather (if not quite effectively so), as if one typically needs “group approval” (consensus, or at least plurality), before one-on-one – as in peeled off from the group, becomes a possibility – or at least reasonable probability.

Not all that long ago, someone close to me, remarked on my blogging, terming it, if not literally, at least effectively, a “hobby”. I thought that quite the misnomer. I later replied, privately to that person, including:

At the same time, it’s hard.  Hard for me to blog.  Not that I don’t have the “gift”(/curse?) of ramble, but not especially easy for me to do.  Most notably the relatively little interaction/feedback.  Not that I’m complaining, or certainly not faulting, or anything like that.  Not at all.  Just sayin’, … that’s all.  Definitely not a hobby, or even “interest” – the writing/blogging.  Perhaps in rather to quite different context it could or might be?  But, “this” – my three sets of blogs here … it’s more like … “necessary outlet” – notably for lack of anything better available to me.  Just is how it is.  That’s all.  Just sayin’.

So, yeah, whole helluva lot I’d much prefer to blogging.  Most notably having good – even just reasonable – conversation with someone I actually liked and more-or-less reasonably trusted and felt reasonably comfortable with, and hopefully even at least semi-reasonably actually cared for me – or could at least fake it enough that I thought or felt that was the case.  Well, I ain’t got that, nor anything even particularly close to that.  So, for lack of better – really, as it’s got nowhere else to go, it goes to blog – maybe as something of bit of (psychological) survival – an outlet, expression/expressing, “venting”, hoping, dreaming, fearing – at least some place for some slight bits of that to go … as opposed to quite precisely nowhere, and totally unheard – not that it’s exactly heard a whole helluva lot or much or by many here.  And “conversation” or dialog – from blog?  Well, not to be blaming, nor even expecting such from here, but, yeah, that “feedback” is mostly pretty minimal to non-existent.  I do appreciate what bits are there, but, there’s not much there, and I’ve quite realized that, at least for the most part, I really shouldn’t be looking for or expecting that from here.  If I happen to get it, great.  But most of the time I should expect it just ain’t gonna happen.

And, I can not only think of a whole helluva lot I’d prefer to do over blogging, but a whole helluva lot of difficult, arduous – even painful tasks – that I’d prefer to do over blogging.  So, to say or imply this is “easy” – no, not at all.  Just less painful than being absolutely completely silent and unheard; or speaking and being completely and totally ignored and unheard – either feels about as damn isolating/isolated disconnected, and unwanted, uncared for, and ignored.  (What it is, and what it feels like, may not be exactly or particularly the same, but, regardless, that’s what it feels like – at least to me).  So, yeah, sometimes I put off blogging stuff ’cause it friggin’ hurts.  And then I blog it anyway – and it doesn’t exactly feel better.

Not that it’s all doom and gloom and always feels like sh*t and is “always” that hard to blog, but much/most of the time it is.  Whole lot of the time I’d really like to just be able to actually have a f*cking conversation with someone – but ain’t nobody there, continues to be nobody there, so said hypothetical conversation continues to not be an option, or even particularly close to one.  So to the blog it goes … or it goes nowhere (which is often the case … really can only blog so much; not only hard, but too, quite the resource burn for me – takes a lot of time and energy for me to do it).

Blogging is hard for me.  Yes, much of this material, and quite a bit that I’ve blogged, it’s hard for me to put out there – especially (even pseudo-anonymously) “to the world”, or even to some quite trusted few, or even one.  Hard in several ways – and, trying not to be too horribly redundant.  Hard in the (mostly) lack of feedback.  Hard in the effectively total lack of conversation and immediacy.  How the hell am I gonna improve in my social conversations if I never (or hardly ever) have any?  Dang hard in the writing and editing and rerereediging and revising, etc.  Burns a lot of time/resource for me.  It’s not like I’m some well practiced prolific writer that easily just cranks the stuff out in quite good form to start with.  In the last … well, let’s say about week (precise span doesn’t matter) – cranked out fair bit of blogging within that span (this, plus two other blogs, and multiple items).  Let’s just look at word efficiency and time.  I spend a lot of time and attention on this (in some major chunks, a few times, over about a week).  So, a fair (marginal) typist types 40 words-per-minute (WPM).  I type up to about a sustained 60 WPM.  I forget what people typically talk at, but it’s much higher, I think … let’s say 140 WPM.  If it’s balanced and bidirectional, say cut that in half, for a fairly “flowing” bidirectional conversation – 70 WPM.  How many hours have I put into this stuff in the last approximately week?  About 20 hours total (probably quite the underestimate, but, whatever).  How many “words” (using the rather standard WPM count of 5 characters per “word”) … let me add them up … 55,896 characters, 11,179 “words”.  So, in a relatively balanced bidirectional conversation, that’d be about … less than 3 hours conversation – with each contributing that much, or less than 90 minutes were it a “monologue” of a “conversation”.  “Instead”, it’s around 20 or more hours of my life, a lot of time and energy and resources, mostly just “gone”.  And, at that rate of 11,179 words per 20 hours, that’d be a typing rate of … 9.3 WPM, or … not even one character per second … about 1 character every 1.3 seconds.  Close to 10 times as slow as twice as much (a bidirectional) conversation.  And of course lacks most all that interaction/feedback, and of course immediacy.  Yeah, definitely not a “hobby”, or anything close.  Really quite and almost only for lack of anything better to fill that void, quite hard, often damn hard, and … sometimes rather to quite painful too.  And very horribly inefficient use of my time, but, egad, for friggin’ lack of anything better.

And so it goes.  For all the time/work/energy/resource into it, and so little from it, I oft find myself quite thinking, maybe I ought best just give up and not try – so much into it, so little out, why bother?  Maybe just “quit”.  Not really even bother attempting to communicate, “connect”, have or make friends, relationship(s), etc. – so dang little to show for it anyway.  Maybe just give up on all that, and learn to be “okay” with it – live alone, be alone, don’t connect, don’t much communicate, die alone – whatever.  So, yeah, sure, that alone – no touch, no connection, no communication, stats aren’t so good – die sooner. Whatever.  Life, sh*t happens.  We all die sooner or later anyway.  Why keep fighting a battle I seem both unable to “win”, and unable to make any significant useful forward progress?  Just do work ‘n sh*t like that, and give up trying to “connect” … ever.  Fine person I am, but really, who the hell wants me anyway?  Who the heck even knows – hardly anybody.  Such a waste – could be highly useful and advantageous to someone(s), but guess maybe “they” will never know, if they can’t friggin’ figure it out and I can’t friggin’ figure out how to get ’em to actually know me either.  “Oh well”.

And here I sit, contemplating the “Publish” button.  Do I click it?  do I really want to post this?  Hard, painful, exposing, vulnerable, blah, blah.  And will it make a damn bit of difference?  Probably none, or close to it.  What the hell … <click>