Truths about socializing that no one tells you

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Whale_Tuune
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08 Aug 2020, 8:36 am

I have a few things I've realized over the years about social skills, that people tend not to tell you when speaking didactically.

1.) Being a good person has less to do with being well-liked than one would think. Charisma, conversational skills, and self-confidence go much further. Make no mistake, being selfish, petty, or cruel will only serve to make you a lot of enemies and has no benefit in and of itself. Don't sacrifice your moral compass because it "doesn't matter". But bear in mind that being half-decent some of the time coupled with good social skills and high charisma goes way, way further than keeping to a solid moral code but being socially awkward. Most people will deny that they like charismatic but slightly shitty people better than kind, socially awkward people. Most people, I think, are in denial.

2.) Gossip isn't necessarily malicious. It hurts like Hell to know that others are talking s**t about you. The fact of the matter is that even though it's shitty behavior, it's also near ubiquitous behavior. I don't approve of it, but people mocking something stupid you did the other day doesn't necessarily automatically mean that they hate you; it means that people like to gossip and they likely don't think that what they're saying will get back to you. It's thoughtless, petty behavior, but bear in mind that it's frequently behavior borne out of indifference and carelessness rather than intentional malice.

3.) Social inertia is a thing. First impressions matter because they frame the way we see people later on. Someone who has a reputation for being confident and charismatic can get away with much more outrageous behavior, and it will be seen as self-aware humor rather than a sign that they're weird. For example (this is graphic, so steer clear if you get grossed out easily) once in my Spanish class, a gregarious and outgoing girl gave a graphic recollection of getting her fingernail dislocated and having to have it re-embedded in her finger. Then she offered to show us pictures. This was taken as a hilarious joke. If I had done something like that, the response would have been different.

4.) Most people like to think that if they don't actively hate anyone else, that's fine. They're not being harmful. All I can say is that there's a reason why "the opposite of love is indifference" is an aphorism.

5.) No one is really good at understanding others. There is no "universal human code of behavior". Social boundaries and practices vary from person to person and group to group. Because of that, rote training in social skills can only go so far. Most people can generally tap into the boundaries and atmosphere of the group or situation they're in. We typically cannot, and very little "book reading" about socializing can necessarily solve that. Humans are also prone to misunderstandings. Don't let others judge you and take their word about you over yours, period.


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08 Aug 2020, 9:13 am

Sensible observations



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08 Aug 2020, 5:38 pm

Whale_Tuune wrote:
I have a few things I've realized over the years about social skills, that people tend not to tell you when speaking didactically.

1.) Being a good person has less to do with being well-liked than one would think. Charisma, conversational skills, and self-confidence go much further. Make no mistake, being selfish, petty, or cruel will only serve to make you a lot of enemies and has no benefit in and of itself. Don't sacrifice your moral compass because it "doesn't matter". But bear in mind that being half-decent some of the time coupled with good social skills and high charisma goes way, way further than keeping to a solid moral code but being socially awkward. Most people will deny that they like charismatic but slightly shitty people better than kind, socially awkward people. Most people, I think, are in denial.

2.) Gossip isn't necessarily malicious. It hurts like Hell to know that others are talking s**t about you. The fact of the matter is that even though it's shitty behavior, it's also near ubiquitous behavior. I don't approve of it, but people mocking something stupid you did the other day doesn't necessarily automatically mean that they hate you; it means that people like to gossip and they likely don't think that what they're saying will get back to you. It's thoughtless, petty behavior, but bear in mind that it's frequently behavior borne out of indifference and carelessness rather than intentional malice.

3.) Social inertia is a thing. First impressions matter because they frame the way we see people later on. Someone who has a reputation for being confident and charismatic can get away with much more outrageous behavior, and it will be seen as self-aware humor rather than a sign that they're weird. For example (this is graphic, so steer clear if you get grossed out easily) once in my Spanish class, a gregarious and outgoing girl gave a graphic recollection of getting her fingernail dislocated and having to have it re-embedded in her finger. Then she offered to show us pictures. This was taken as a hilarious joke. If I had done something like that, the response would have been different.

4.) Most people like to think that if they don't actively hate anyone else, that's fine. They're not being harmful. All I can say is that there's a reason why "the opposite of love is indifference" is an aphorism.

5.) No one is really good at understanding others. There is no "universal human code of behavior". Social boundaries and practices vary from person to person and group to group. Because of that, rote training in social skills can only go so far. Most people can generally tap into the boundaries and atmosphere of the group or situation they're in. We typically cannot, and very little "book reading" about socializing can necessarily solve that. Humans are also prone to misunderstandings. Don't let others judge you and take their word about you over yours, period.


Interesting. I don’t know if I agree, but I respect the fact you’re able to put these subtle social nuances into words. Gossip is one of my pet peeves. :evil: In my opinion, it mostly has to do with insecurity. I could be wrong though. :mrgreen:



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08 Aug 2020, 9:16 pm

Oh I don't like gossip either, but she's summed them up well.

If someone gossips about someone else to me, I stop telling them anything about me or my family. Those who gossip to you gossip about you.

I don't hang around with gossips. You don't have to accept it. There are good people out there. Better people. Ditch the gossips OP. They are not real friends. You don't have to accept that in friendship.

But I like the attitude that you accept such pigs exist and it's better not to get riled up at them to the point where it disturbs your own peace.

I must say though. If someone does start talking badly or nastily about someone in front of me I shut them down by changing the subject and not engaging them in that subject or by saying directly that I don't want to talk about X person like that. People know not to gossip to me.



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09 Aug 2020, 3:23 am

I'm not that pragmatic, I wouldn't not be friends with someone just because they gossipped, and gossip isn't always a bad thing.

I have a good friend at work and we often gossip about others, but not in a bad way. Gossip is part of life. Even my own family gossips about each other, and we're all very close and loving to each other. We just do it without realising.


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09 Aug 2020, 3:40 am

Whale_Tuune wrote:
2.) Gossip isn't necessarily malicious. It hurts like Hell to know that others are talking s**t about you. The fact of the matter is that even though it's shitty behavior, it's also near ubiquitous behavior. I don't approve of it, but people mocking something stupid you did the other day doesn't necessarily automatically mean that they hate you; it means that people like to gossip and they likely don't think that what they're saying will get back to you. It's thoughtless, petty behavior, but bear in mind that it's frequently behavior borne out of indifference and carelessness rather than intentional malice..


You may have to give gossip a free pass. Almost all NTs engage in some level of gossip. Some more than others. For example I love my mother but she engages in gossip almost every time I speak to her on the phone. It comes naturally and I don't think it comes from a bad place but I agree its irritating and sometimes cringey.

A sensible approach is to ignore gossip when your friends engage in it. Maybe change the subject.



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09 Aug 2020, 8:30 am

hurtloam wrote:
Those who gossip to you gossip about you.


This I agree with 100%.

I also agree that gossip is one of those things that exist whether I like it or not. I also think it’s perfectly understandable to feel insecure. I don’t think I’m better than anybody else because gossip isn’t for me. I just express my insecurities differently. It’s okay to disagree. I’m no expert on the matter.



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09 Aug 2020, 2:29 pm

Joe90 wrote:
I'm not that pragmatic, I wouldn't not be friends with someone just because they gossipped, and gossip isn't always a bad thing.

I have a good friend at work and we often gossip about others, but not in a bad way. Gossip is part of life. Even my own family gossips about each other, and we're all very close and loving to each other. We just do it without realising.



I mean, malicious gossip, not telling each other news like, "did you hear so and so has a new job, or boyfriend, or car or whatever.

I mean people being nasty.



Whale_Tuune
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09 Aug 2020, 3:38 pm

I also agree with trying to curb gossip if it comes up.

I do think that most NTs do it mainly out of thoughtlessness, so my point is more to not take it too harshly.


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09 Aug 2020, 4:07 pm

I recall some quote from Nietzsche that the madness of the majority is readily accepted; the madness of one is not. Paraphrase that by substituting "insensitivity" for "madness", and you get the idea.
Basically, gossip is so ubiquitous that people (NTs) engage in it as a subconscious desire to be one of the bunch, it releases those feel-good endorphins and makes one think of oneself as superior in some perverse way to another.

As long as the nature of the gossip doesn't cross the boundary into malicious or downright diabolical. Like, if somebody gossiped about someone else being a pedo based on some absurd conjecture that they saw them hanging around a school or such. Or just insinuated it out of the blue. 8O

The other unfortunate thing about gossip is (thinking back to one's teens or young adult years), if you partook in it then you'd really have to watch who you gossiped about. If you made gossip about one of the more "high status" people in the circle or environment or what-have-you, it may find its way back to them and distorted at that 8O perhaps intentionally, if someone you gossiped to about John Doe twisted it around when telling John about it, just to curry favour with John, and John's a mean dude like the stereotypical "Chad" or cocky-jock alpha male, who might wanna kick your ass. So, yeah, the decision to gossip is all about status and hierarchy...and respect...which come to think of it is more like the Mafia definition of respect.



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09 Aug 2020, 4:13 pm

OK, w/ r.t. my last post just now, I just realized that all the contributors to this thread are female (save one), so clearly the threat of being beaten up based on gossip reaching its target very rarely applies to female-on-female malice.

And the "pedo" slander doesn't apply either, really. More like slut-calling, or accusing of being a shoplifter.

Probably would result in an escalation of cyber-bullying or screaming till tears.

All things considered, if I caught someone saying something really defamatory about me and I had evidence of it (more likely libel than slander), I wouldn't hesitate to file a lawsuit. Most malignant gossipers are cowards though, and it's unlikely that they'd be dumb enough to leave a provable trail.



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09 Aug 2020, 7:30 pm

Whale_Tuune wrote:
I have a few things I've realized over the years about social skills, that people tend not to tell you when speaking didactically.

1.) Being a good person has less to do with being well-liked than one would think. Charisma, conversational skills, and self-confidence go much further. Make no mistake, being selfish, petty, or cruel will only serve to make you a lot of enemies and has no benefit in and of itself. Don't sacrifice your moral compass because it "doesn't matter". But bear in mind that being half-decent some of the time coupled with good social skills and high charisma goes way, way further than keeping to a solid moral code but being socially awkward. Most people will deny that they like charismatic but slightly shitty people better than kind, socially awkward people. Most people, I think, are in denial.

2.) Gossip isn't necessarily malicious. It hurts like Hell to know that others are talking s**t about you. The fact of the matter is that even though it's shitty behavior, it's also near ubiquitous behavior. I don't approve of it, but people mocking something stupid you did the other day doesn't necessarily automatically mean that they hate you; it means that people like to gossip and they likely don't think that what they're saying will get back to you. It's thoughtless, petty behavior, but bear in mind that it's frequently behavior borne out of indifference and carelessness rather than intentional malice.

3.) Social inertia is a thing. First impressions matter because they frame the way we see people later on. Someone who has a reputation for being confident and charismatic can get away with much more outrageous behavior, and it will be seen as self-aware humor rather than a sign that they're weird. For example (this is graphic, so steer clear if you get grossed out easily) once in my Spanish class, a gregarious and outgoing girl gave a graphic recollection of getting her fingernail dislocated and having to have it re-embedded in her finger. Then she offered to show us pictures. This was taken as a hilarious joke. If I had done something like that, the response would have been different.

4.) Most people like to think that if they don't actively hate anyone else, that's fine. They're not being harmful. All I can say is that there's a reason why "the opposite of love is indifference" is an aphorism.

5.) No one is really good at understanding others. There is no "universal human code of behavior". Social boundaries and practices vary from person to person and group to group. Because of that, rote training in social skills can only go so far. Most people can generally tap into the boundaries and atmosphere of the group or situation they're in. We typically cannot, and very little "book reading" about socializing can necessarily solve that. Humans are also prone to misunderstandings. Don't let others judge you and take their word about you over yours, period.
I would like to add...

6.) Just Being Nice Is Never Enough. If all you have to offer is being 'Nice', then The World will see you as weak, and will take advantage of you at every opportunity. The World will also suspect you of being a manipulative butt-kisser with selfish goals and ulterior motives. Nice people are also taken for granted, but only when they're not being exploited for whatever they can provide, whether it is talent, labor, money, or for being a convenient scapegoat to take all of the blame. Sure, good manners and civil behavior are important; just don't let them get in the way of providing what people want.

7.) The World Cares Only For What You Can Provide. The World needs food, clothing, housing, clean water, clean air, medical care, education, and entertainment. Either you will learn a skillset that allows you to to provide at least one of those things, or The World will not only reject you, it will walk right past you to the next person in line who can and will provide those things. Worse yet, if all you can do is take without giving, then you will be "kicked to the curb", left out in the cold, and soon forgotten. Learn something useful -- something that you can do to provide what The World wants, and that The World will pay you to provide -- or mark out a spot in the alley and get used to sleeping there alone.

Harsh, but true.


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09 Aug 2020, 9:07 pm

@fnord v true but ur mind has to be mature enough to understand or handle it without being toppled or giving up..of course some (probably most people in the whole world) do not have anything but an abrupt introduction to these facts before they were developed enough - and maybe with extra things thrown in that i am lucky enough not to know myself, or that nobody should have to know ...but u can hear or read about it and absorb it intellectually...


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09 Aug 2020, 9:10 pm

#’s 6 and 7 only sometimes apply.



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09 Aug 2020, 9:13 pm

cyberdad wrote:
Whale_Tuune wrote:
2.) Gossip isn't necessarily malicious. It hurts like Hell to know that others are talking s**t about you. The fact of the matter is that even though it's shitty behavior, it's also near ubiquitous behavior. I don't approve of it, but people mocking something stupid you did the other day doesn't necessarily automatically mean that they hate you; it means that people like to gossip and they likely don't think that what they're saying will get back to you. It's thoughtless, petty behavior, but bear in mind that it's frequently behavior borne out of indifference and carelessness rather than intentional malice..


You may have to give gossip a free pass. Almost all NTs engage in some level of gossip. Some more than others. For example I love my mother but she engages in gossip almost every time I speak to her on the phone. It comes naturally and I don't think it comes from a bad place but I agree its irritating and sometimes cringey.

A sensible approach is to ignore gossip when your friends engage in it. Maybe change the subject.



i think all i ever do on WP is gossip to be honest :oops: :skull: 8O


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09 Aug 2020, 9:19 pm

blooiejagwa wrote:
i think all i ever do on WP is gossip to be honest :oops: :skull: 8O


But you're never mean-spirited and with some of the people and stresses in your life I can't imagine not needing to share.

Gossip is probably the very first sort of conversation archaic hominids ever had. It's as 'normal' as using physical affection to form and reinforce social bonds. :nerdy:


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