I didn't actually search to see if this topic exists already, so if it does, I apologize and ask that any mod merge this with the existing thread. If not, then I REGRET NOTHING!
I'm just curious how you all are with social interactions, and how they differ when online or offline.
When I am not online, I am actually a very quiet person. I don't like talking at all to people I don't know, and I even have difficulty with people I do know. I've never been great at talking to people. I constantly worry about saying the wrong thing and offending someone, or worry about starting to ramble or something. Well, it's just worrying about making the wrong impression on people. I realize that just being quiet also leaves a distinct impression as well, but there isn't as much certainty about it, so I prefer to just shut up instead of being seen as a complete fucking moron. I suppose it doesn't help that I hate the sound of my own voice, and am paranoid that other people hate it as well...
Online, though, I am almost the exact opposite. I'll say whatever, whenever. A big part of this is because I am behind the mask of relative anonymity. It is so much easier to deal with upsetting people, intentionally or not, when you can escape the situation by leaving the computer at any time. I tend to show only one side of my personality while online, though; the goofy/stupid side. I don't know why, though. Maybe it is so I can be noticed a little easier. I mean, on the internet, the quiet ones are the ignored ones.
These two different ways of acting are actually quite fitting, though. I can't stand social interactions in person because they are so awkward for me, so I tend to release that pent up bullshit online.
So, how about you guys?
Disclaimer: Personal opinions are not endorsed by Ryojin.
In "real life" I'm quite talkative. When I was working I got into a lot of nice chit-chats with strangers for example. That's with studying acquaintances too, but I'm far more reserved in a group, especially when I don't know all people well. It's different with a bunch of good friends.
As for online? I don't know. If I'm dealing with real friends, I'm interacting the same way I would offline. I don't "act" any particular way because I rarely participate in any community activity. I'm just writing posts here. Though I quite don't like to talk in TeamSpeak in English because I really haven't polished my pronounciation and the responses feel unnatural for such fast-paced communication.
I'm not the best conversationalist but I'm not the worst either. I live with a bunch of nerds at college so I can usually find something to talk about. If I'm interested I can hold a conversation and even be eloquent.
But I do run into problems and it has to do with what I think about during the day. I'm usually analyzing something technical, reading something about a tangential interest or playing guitar. I don't spend much time just hanging out with people or relaxing. So when I'm forced out of my mancave you'll see me disoriented and absent minded. During these times (most of the time) you don't want to have a conversation with me. I'm worn out. I'll politely listen to you and maybe put in a couple insightful questions, but for the most part you're talking to a brick wall.
edit: Oh right. I should mention I can't think of any striking differences between how I act offline and offline. In person I might be more easy going.
Last edited by The-Bleh-Bleh; February 3rd, 2013 at 10:44 PM.
In my real life, I am often far from the friendly person you see around here.
I like my quiet time, and I like to be left the alone. I do what I can to keep people at arm's length. Sure, I can be friendly if I have to, but trust and respect are earned. Pretty much the only real friends I have are all more than 40 years of age, because they have lived long enough to acquire true wisdom. Teens these days are idiots to say the least, and most people in their 20s-30s are somewhat close to being that same way. I only have one person my own age who I can truly call a friend.
Plus, people are often annoyed by what I say anyway. I have a tendency speak with a very authoritative tone, and I don't say it unless I mean what I say. I usually will not sugercoat things, or bullshit people, which often makes me the bad guy. But hey, at least I am being honest with them. I am going to say it like it is, and why I have such beliefs. Whether people choose to listen is another story. This is why you have to take everyone's word with a bit of salt, because few people are going to be upfront and honest, but I will.
Of course, I will not fight, or argue with imbeciles and fools, because violence does not further anyone's cause. Plus I cannot be inconvenienced to give idiots any power. This is mainly due to people trying to give you a piece of their little minds, when they really do not have much brain to spare anyway. They need to keep that piece of brain they have left, and use it for something important, like remembering how to breathe.
Needless to say, I do not get out much. Work, grocery shopping, alcohol shopping, musik store, airfield, those are really the only public places I ever go. And if (IF) I ever speak to anyone, I will keep it professional, and only tell what is required, and no more. I will not get into personal topics, subjects of my family, or smalltalk.
Of course, this is not going to change anytime soon. No matter where you are in the world, you do not have to look far to find or injustice or wrong doing that should just not be happening. People just annoy me to no end. But in the end, the ability to get angry is nature's way of telling you that you are still alive, and that you still give a shit. Only things that just madden the shit out of you can incite you to do better things, and improve what you can.
Yet regardless, without fail, my little daughter can always bring a smile to my countenance. The little dear just has that way with me; I have such a difficult time say no to her for much of anything. Even though I am in no condition to run, I will run all day wit her, with her on my back, or climb all over the playground, or whatever else. Reading bedtime stories to her, and eventually looking at her to realize she has fallen asleep on me, I realize that I do yet have a glimmer of hope inside me, and that she keeps me sane.
I talk less in real life, and it's rarer for me to talk about myself or anything important to me. You'll notice, even around here, the big things I talk about are things to do with problems or questions – and when I talk about myself I rarely give examples rather than making abstract statements. How much do you actually see about me? Not a lot. Sure I'll answer if asked, but I rarely go out of my way to say anything.
Due to the fact I don't talk a lot and tend to avoid those who do, many people consider me shy. They tend to get quite a surprise if they start talking about something that interests me. I've noticed that there's a property the people I'm 'shy' around all share though: They rarely talk about anything that isn't, effectively, a list of things they've done.
People who are fun to talk to might talk a bit about themselves, if they have to, and then it'll tie into some other subject. Because they've got interests, things they care about other than themselves. Some people even seem to think that all people want to talk about themselves. That seems unsupported by the data, since management books do break down different personality types and approaches to gathering or sharing information. Some day I may end up saying what I actually think on that point though:
"Why don't you ever talk about yourself? You're so shy...."
"No, I choose not to speak - there's a difference. You're just horribly self-centred; horrible, horrible personality."
There's also a pragmatic side to it as well as a fun side. I read in a book, a long time ago, that someone had been advised not to acquire bad/dirty habits in spreading their personality around, and that's more or less how I think about it. I expect if I give something away that it's going to get used against me, at some point or another, if it possibly can be – and that's generally been an expectation that's been supported. It's not even out of cruelty most of the time, carelessness and misplaced kindness have been more often an annoyance to me – and far more difficult to act against – than outright malice.
So all together, putting myself out to talk about myself doesn't feel good - and when I've gone to the effort it's often backfired on me. So... all costs, few if any benefits.
Generally when I do talk it's a very short burst – rare for me to talk continuously for more than a few seconds – just summarising my take on a situation, and people will go glassy-eyed and then go, 'Well, yes.' and move on to some other topic. Which rather leaves you feeling, Well, gee, what did I get out of that?
When I'm talking about something in depth I like a lot of time to think about my answers and prefer to communicate in text. Preferably via something with a low-tempo like email. If something can be answered quickly, then in my experience there's either not a lot of thought going on behind it or it relies upon exploiting information asymmetries or emotional tricks to get something out of someone that the speaker does not really deserve. If you've got a simple question you can bat back and forth, then you should often be summarising and sending me your work to peruse at leisure.
All of which should give you some idea of my attitude towards sales meetings
I also think that communicating in different mediums favours different aspects of thinking. If parliament had to do all their debates on a forum, I think we'd see very different decisions being made.
Let's see, what else?
I detest people who can't come to a simple point, or who start repeating elements of an explanation. "STOP TALKING. YOU'VE DONE YOUR BIT, NOW YOU'RE JUST ENJOYING THE SOUND OF YOUR VOICE AT MY EXPENSE."
I think how you treat other's time is strongly indicative of the respect you have for them. Again, see the preference for things like email. If someone's late for a meeting without a good excuse or wastes a lot of time, I take an immediate dislike to that person.
As for disagreements - I tend to be fairly good at solving those in person. I think it's the no bullshit attitude. What are you looking to get out of the conversation - what can I give you instead - can we work out a compromise? And, ultimately, are you going to fight or are you going to leave? Because if you made the decision to work yourself up to a fight I'm going to go there much faster than you. One of us is looking for reasons not to get into a fight, the other one is looking for reasons to fight - which of us do you think is going to fire first when reason starts breaking down? People seem to realise that and not go there in the first place. The bitching people involve in, swearing and posturing and so on, is just sort of background noise as far as I'm concerned - I don't really listen to it beyond noticing that they're upset or angry or whatever about a particular thing.
I used to have some problems getting by in social situations. I would stammer, I would struggle for words, I would be reduced to a quiet loner. Back in t'old days.
These days though, while I still greatly value my independence, I'm a drunken lout. I have more friends than I did, and those that I have tend to be carefully selected (that hasn't stopped two of them from betraying me, and thus I shall remove their throats when I next see them), and by and large I don't fear social situations anymore - even when I'm out on my own I have no qualms about chatting to random folks, birds or dudes. Going to the gym a lot in my early years helped my confidence a lot. Feeling capable of dealing with challenges both intellectual and physical is a great boon even if it isn't necessarily true, and it gives you greater pride over your physical appearance too - which may sound egotistical, and Past Matt would probably agree with you, but sometimes a little ego is a useful thing.
When you are regularly informed that the size of your arms is enviable, you immediately find yourself forgetting all of those little insecurities, no matter how illogical they may be. It's just a matter of receiving a confidence boost. And because we're all smart dudes, once those insecurities melt away it turns out that we're actually more than capable of outwitting our peers, to the benefit of our social standing.
I would seriously recommend it to everybody. I don't even go to the gym that much anymore, because I don't need to - the initial obstacles were exactly that: initial.
I would say I'm somewhat similar to OP but I'd definitely say I'm more outgoing offline. I used to be quiet and never talk to anyone much, but over the last few years I've matured and I can talk to anyone new whenever I like now.
Online however I am more brave, and will say things I maybe wouldn't have gotten away with in the offline world, but I think most people are like that online!
It's good to be in the company of other introverts! I enjoy my alone time, but I also enjoy socializing with friends. Typically I'm quiet unless I have something to add (mostly snarky comments), I like making people laugh and clicking when networking, it's just nice to enjoy other's company without the awkwardness of not knowing at least their name and possible interests
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