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QFT
Deinonychus
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21 Aug 2019, 7:46 pm

I am a ph.d. student but I am much older than most other students (I am 39) which is because I am doing a second ph.d. (my first was in physics and the second is in math) and I had few years break between the two ph.d.-s when I was doing some postdocs. However, despite being so old I am still single. Although the good thing is that -- at least in the past -- I used to look a lot younger than my age. I am not sure about now. I think people can see I am in my 30-s, although a couple of people told me I look 28.

In any case, this is going to be my 4-th year, and I had some 1-st year student come into my office. It just happened that before she came I stayed up all night doing some calculations for my professor, so I was falling asleep in the chair. The way my table is is that it faces the door and I vaguely remember some people passing by my door, me waking up being shocked that they pass, and then falling back asleep. Some of those times they were sort of slowing down and looking in, other times they just walked by. But I have no idea whether it was that girl or some other people, I was too asleep to really notice who that was.

However, once I was awake enough, that girl asked me whether she was assigned to my office. Quite frankly I was surprised by that question: I am not a secretary, so how was I supposed to know it? So I just said "I am not sure, if thats what you were told then I guess so" she then started to sort of look back and forth looking as if she was hesitating whether she should just leave, but then she asked me what table to use. So I told her "well that other table is clearly occupied so then there is this third table that I guess you can use" so then she said she will ask a secretary about it. Then she told me what her name is, and I told her what my name is, and then I asked her what area of math she wants to do, she said "pure math" so I asked what subfield of pure math, but she said she doesn't know yet. I told her I do mathematical physics but interestingly enough its also pure math. She said "ok" and after that she said that the reason she came was just to leave a book so that she doesn't have to carry it around, so she took out the book, left it and went.

So it seemed like she was trying to avoid me in the above conversation. Yet I saw afterwards how she talked to few other people (at least one of them was male and at least one of them was female) for quite some time. And I was wondering whether it was because I was falling asleep or whether it was because of my Asperger that she didn't want to talk to me that much. Then, next day, I was sitting in my office with an old officemate (who was male) and she walked into that office with a couple of other people, and then they brought some others to introduce them to her. So, stupidly enough, I asked her the above question in front of that old officemate and two other people -- although thankfully the other 5 or so people weren't there yet. But still, at least three people (other than me and her) were there. The first time I asked she said "I just came to put down the book" and I was like "but you were uncomfortable" and she evaded acknowledging it until I asked like three times. But, interestingly enough, even though I asked three times, apparently I didn't hear her answer once she finally DID answer me: I talked to old officemate on facebook and HE told me that her answer was that I was staring at her. So I asked him whether she talked to him about it when I was not around, and he said told me that she said the above in front of me -- namely she said it after I asked her the third time or so -- yet I didn't hear it other than from him.

In any case, he told me her answer like a two or three days after that happened. But going back to that day, here is what happened. After I asked those questions -- and I thought I wasn't given any answer -- I backed off and sat down. Then I felt really bad about the fact that I asked her those questions in front of everyone. So I sent him a facebook message saying how I probably made it much worse with those questions but I am not sure what to do. He told me that I was right in saying that my questions were inappropriate and that I should find a way when me and her are by ourselves and apologize. So then I felt even more awkward, and I was just sitting there quietly while there were like 10 different people having fun chit chat about all sorts of things. So I guess my other regret is that I missed an opportunity to get introduced to the other new people in the department, since I put myself in an awkward situation by asking her that question.

In any case, two hours later, it were, indeed, just me and her by ourselves, so I apologized. She still looked tense even then, although she "formally" told me its okay (I know it wasn't okay -- saying "its okay" is just a polite thing to do) and so I said that I feel bad I embarassed her in front of everyone and she said she doesn't know those people anyway (well, even though she didn't know them before, she knows them now, I mean that was the whole point of the introduction). But then, after I was done apologizing, I once again asked her that question about what is it I did the first time she went into the office that made her act that way. Well, like I said, that other officemate told me that she answered that it was my staring -- and I didn't hear the answer. So, IF she already answered like he said he did, then this would sound like I didn't accept her answer. But I genuinely didn't know that she already answered it, so my question was genuine. In any case, her answer this time was that she just feels uncomfortable around people in general -- which is hard to believe since like I mentioned she had long conversation with other people.

In any case, the next day -- when I still didn't know about the "staring" thing -- she said hello to me when I first came to the office and she said "see you tomorrow" when she left. Obviously, those things don't mean much, but if I grasp at the straws then I guess they do. But then the next day my other officemate told me about staring, and that was when I was upset. So then I got to the office, she said "hi", and I purposely avoided responding to her "hi". What happened was that I came right before I was supposed to go to class -- I was going to get a notebook. She was looking through some storage that is next to my desk (as opposed to her) and the notebook was on my desk. So she looked up and said "hey", I ignored her, took my notebook, and left as if she wasn't there. Then, after class, I came back to that office, and this time when I walked in she didn't say hello to me -- and when she left she didn't say bye either.

Then I called my mom and told her what happened. Even though I told her the entire thing, she was focused on that last thing about my not responding to her "hello". I guess my mom just has issue with my not saying hello in general so thats why she was focused on it. In any case, what she told me is that when I didn't reply to her hello it was like an insult and the only way to fix it is for me to start saying hello first or else she will never say hi to me again. Well, I don't want to say hello to her first, I want her to be the one to say it first. However, I decided that IF she says hello to me first, I will reply THIS TIME.

So, indeed, when I came to the office next day, she said hello to me first -- and I responded with hello. Then, after that, she was coming and leaving -- yet didn't say hello any more when she did. But then, when she came to the office right before I left, she ate a cookie and offered it to me -- and I refused. Then I left probably 3 minutes after that in order to attend a class. I DID say "see you" when I left, and she responded. So that was yesterday.

But, despite what happened yesterday, when I came today she didn't say hello to me. So I called my mom and said "you see, she said hello yesterday -- despite my ignoring her hello the day before yesterday -- yet she didn't say hello to me today -- despite the fact that I responded to her hello yesterday". My mom said that if she didn't say hello to me today I should have said it myself. So then I told her its a double standard: like if I don't say hello then she is justified in not saying hello, but if she doesn't say hello then I am not justified in not saying hello. My mom's only response to this was "I can't follow all your logical exercizes; all you have to know is you should say hello regardless" but I don't buy it.

The other thing my mom told me is that maybe my refusing of cookie yesterday is what made it worse. In particular she says that it would have been "better" if I were to take one -- but, more importantly, if I refuse (which is also fine) I should say "no thank you" as opposed to "no". But you see, I can't go back to yesterday and respond differently to her cookie. So I want her to offer me another cookie some other time, and if she does I will certainly take it. But is she likely to do it?

I talked on the phone to my mom about it for an hour and she just kept repeating to me that I have to express my own initiative if I want to talk to her. I kept pointing out to my mom that this advice makes no sense: if she doesn't want to talk to me for some OTHER reason -- such as staring -- then expressing an initiative will amount to forcing myself on her. Plus, on top of this, it would make me look like an idiot: the type that can't read between the lines that she simply doesn't want to talk to me. I mean, think of this analogy. Lets say someone doesn't want to open a gate for me. So would my mom say that I should be more athletic anyway so its a good opportunity for me to learn to be a better climber and climb over the gate?! I mean thats what it sounds like! If I am welcome, then my athletic abilities are irrelevant, since they would simply open the door for me. By the same token, if that girl wanted to talk to me, then my ability to express initiative would be irrelevant too -- since she would then express an initiative herself (just like she did the very first time she came into the office). So telling me I should learn to express an initiative is a deflection from the REAL issue: namely, the fact that she doesn't like me.

Anyway, what is YOUR advice on what to do in this situation?



red_doghubb
Deinonychus
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22 Aug 2019, 7:02 am

So, you took the tiniest mole hill and made it into a mountain, utterly embarrassed this poor girl in front of people, then ignored her, and now you expect she should take the initiative to be friendly to you?
oy vey.



SharonB
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22 Aug 2019, 8:19 am

If I were to read between the lines, you desire positive communication in general or specifically with this person. You are confused or frustrated that the exchanges have been unclear. What caught my attention is that you don't want to look the fool. It is necessary for a person and mandatory for a person in a position of power to be the fool sometimes (vulnerable, admit mistakes).

As I learn to assert myself in the workplace, I have been encouraged to clarify a situation even if it's weeks later. Yes, people notice I am still thinking about that "little thing" - but my strength (and weakness) is that I am a big Thinker and I try to convey it's in good faith (and important in its way). I studied communication in college and communicate quite well, but even so I can relate to the woman's response. For myself I am a mess on the inside during chit chat and can become mute when it matters. Her responses seem like she may be trying. I say for a new relationship in general, be the "fool" - be vulnerable - YOU make the effort b/c in this case it seems you want to have a positive relationship. Personal aside, you are the professional in this situation: It is for you to (learn and) model good communication. Good luck!

**warning triggered** FYI - I was triggered by the title "girl" and initially couldn't read past the first paragraph. I see you are working with young adults and I am currently in a subculture that uses that term so can understand. Since technically a "girl" is under 12, I suggest this is a social rule you put aside, and instead set a positive example in your workplace. I had to take a deep breath to read your full post. My father never called women girls and used "young lady". He is NT, but he knew enough to be respectful. I think finding another term might also adjust your attitude in a positive way. My apologies if you also have a new "boy" in the office. (~Sharon, from the East, struggling in the Midwest USA.)



Fireblossom
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22 Aug 2019, 11:13 am

What's the point of this topic exactly? You being upset with the girl? Your poor social skills? Both?

What you did was definitely wrong when it comes to social rules: first, topics like that aren't normally really discussed among people who've just met. Second, if you feel like you absolutely must know, you should've brought it up when it was just you and her. That way she wouldn't have to have been embarrased in front of other people and it's not usually recommended to bring up personal topics like that when there are people unrelated to the issue around. It can make those people uncomfortable as well, you know, and even if they don't get uncomfortable, it's highly likely that they aren't interested. When meeting new people, it's important to try to make everyone feel welcome. There's also the issue that if she avoided answering the first time, you should've taken the hint and dropped it, at least for the time being. You could've asked again when it was just the two of you if it was really that important.

I think that she thought you knew she mentioned the staring and just didn't accept the answer, so saying that she felt uncomfortable with people in general was an excuse she hoped you'd accept so that you'd leave her alone.

Your mom is right; not answering to a greeting is bad manners. Sure, not doing so once is often overlooked because one can think that the other person didn't hear because they were lost in their thoughts or, if there are more than two people around, didn't realize that it was them in particular who was being greeted. But if this happens more than once, then that's usually being rude on purpose.
The reason she did say hello the next day could be that she simply assumed that you had a bad day, so she tried again. As for the day after that, it's perfectly reasonable if she waited for you to say hello first, for she did it the day before. It makes sense if she wanted to test the waters, to see if you cared enough to be the one to say hello. Also, communication is often about taking turns. She said hello first the morning before, so it was your turn to say it now, like tossing back a ball in a game. It is not a double standard; you can't expect other people to do all the work. You have to do something too.

For the cookie thing, well, it really is extremely basic manners to know that if someone offers you something and you don't want it, you should say "no thank you" or something similiar instead of just "no." Did your parents ever talk to you about what good manners are like when you were a child?

Again, your mom is right: you can't keep pushing all the resbonsibility on other people, you need to do something as well.
When you know something you do makes another person uncomfortable, you know not to do that to them again, but you can still try other ways. Make a conversation, but do not stare. Put some effort in instead of expecting others to always start things for you and then get upset when no one does.



jimmy m
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22 Aug 2019, 1:55 pm

I think you are overthinking this. You are psychoanalyzing every one of your interactions and it will drive you crazy, quite literally. Anyone who spend an hour on the phone with their mom discussing this simple interaction is overthinking the situation.

So I put myself in the young woman shoes. I don't know how expensive college books are in Russia, but they are very expensive in the U.S. So if I walk into a half empty classroom and leave my precious books there and walk away I would want to feel good that the books would still be there when I got back. I might even try to make a personal connection with someone in the room, so that they might keep an eye on my book for me. I might not ask them to keep an eye on my book but the point of making a personal connection should suffice. You had a fairly cold conversation with her. "after that she said that the reason she came was just to leave a book so that she doesn't have to carry it around, so she took out the book, left it and went."

So a day or two later, she returns and you confront her. "So, stupidly enough, I asked her the above question in front of that old officemate and two other people -- although thankfully the other 5 or so people weren't there yet. But still, at least three people (other than me and her) were there. The first time I asked she said 'I just came to put down the book' and I was like 'but you were uncomfortable' and she evaded acknowledging it until I asked like three times." So perhaps she was being polite, not quite honest but polite. Perhaps she really could have said, I came to drop off my book and make some personal connections to make sure the book was safe and being watched for but when I approached the most senior member of the class, he was extremely hostile. So you put her in a position where she had to give you a half truth because she didn't want to offend you nor want to be embarrassed by the other members of the class who were present.

The reason why you might not have heard her answer was because of selective hearing. You're mind might have filtered out her answer. Generally this problem is amplified by stress.

[Is this an accurate interpretation of events? Who knows, but it is one interpretation.]

So you broke Jimmy's rule #2. ALWAYS BE COURTEOUS TO OTHER PEOPLE
Courtesy is not a contest like arm wrestling. It is an automatic function. If someone says Hi, you say Hi back. And if they don't say Hi then you beat them to the punch and say Hi first.



QFT
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22 Aug 2019, 2:46 pm

jimmy m wrote:
I think you are overthinking this. You are psychoanalyzing every one of your interactions and it will drive you crazy, quite literally. Anyone who spend an hour on the phone with their mom discussing this simple interaction is overthinking the situation.

So I put myself in the young woman shoes. I don't know how expensive college books are in Russia, but they are very expensive in the U.S. So if I walk into a half empty classroom and leave my precious books there and walk away I would want to feel good that the books would still be there when I got back. I might even try to make a personal connection with someone in the room, so that they might keep an eye on my book for me. I might not ask them to keep an eye on my book but the point of making a personal connection should suffice. You had a fairly cold conversation with her. "after that she said that the reason she came was just to leave a book so that she doesn't have to carry it around, so she took out the book, left it and went."

So a day or two later, she returns and you confront her. "So, stupidly enough, I asked her the above question in front of that old officemate and two other people -- although thankfully the other 5 or so people weren't there yet. But still, at least three people (other than me and her) were there. The first time I asked she said 'I just came to put down the book' and I was like 'but you were uncomfortable' and she evaded acknowledging it until I asked like three times." So perhaps she was being polite, not quite honest but polite. Perhaps she really could have said, I came to drop off my book and make some personal connections to make sure the book was safe and being watched for but when I approached the most senior member of the class, he was extremely hostile. So you put her in a position where she had to give you a half truth because she didn't want to offend you nor want to be embarrassed by the other members of the class who were present.

The reason why you might not have heard her answer was because of selective hearing. You're mind might have filtered out her answer. Generally this problem is amplified by stress.

[Is this an accurate interpretation of events? Who knows, but it is one interpretation.]

So you broke Jimmy's rule #2. ALWAYS BE COURTEOUS TO OTHER PEOPLE
Courtesy is not a contest like arm wrestling. It is an automatic function. If someone says Hi, you say Hi back. And if they don't say Hi then you beat them to the punch and say Hi first.


It wasn't a classroom, it was an office. And everyone leaves the books in the office, thats what office is for. There are like hordes of books from everyone there.

Also its not Russia its the US. I came from Russia when I was 14 and from that point onward I am in US.



jimmy m
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22 Aug 2019, 3:01 pm

QFT wrote:
It wasn't a classroom, it was an office. And everyone leaves the books in the office, thats what office is for. There are like hordes of books from everyone there.

Also its not Russia its the US. I came from Russia when I was 14 and from that point onward I am in US.


I am glad you cleared up those points of confusion.



QFT
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22 Aug 2019, 5:22 pm

Fireblossom wrote:
What's the point of this topic exactly? You being upset with the girl? Your poor social skills? Both?


I guess what to do to recover from this. You see, I would have never thought I would ask that question in front of everyone. So I guess my reaction is quicker than my thinking: so I first asked and then was like "what have I just done". And you know what is so frustrating about it? I keep screwing things up in completely different ways each time. And then when I screw something up, I strike out, and I have to wait for months for another opportunity. So what am I supposed to do now? Wait for another year until I get new officemates in Fall 2020 -- and hope I don't screw things up then?!



QFT
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22 Aug 2019, 5:51 pm

SharonB wrote:
If I were to read between the lines, you desire positive communication in general or specifically with this person.


A combination of three things:

a) I would like to have friends in general
b) I would like to have a girlfriend
c) I don't like to be stuck in the office with someone who is unfriendly towards me

The general context is that I have zero friends and didn't have a girlfriend for the past 5 years. So I grasp at the straws in terms of some tiny chance that having new officemates might help me somehow with either "a" or "b" -- and then I get frustrated when I ruin those chances that I only get once a year.

And then there is "c" that makes it all worse. By being stuck in that office I will be reminded for the whole year as to how stupid I was that day.

SharonB wrote:
You are confused or frustrated that the exchanges have been unclear. What caught my attention is that you don't want to look the fool. It is necessary for a person and mandatory for a person in a position of power to be the fool sometimes (vulnerable, admit mistakes).


First of all, I am not "in a position of power" -- since we are both graduate students. Yes, I am probably a lot older than her since its my second Ph.D., but my academic status is the same as hers.

Speaking of that, yes there "are" people I am in a position of power over -- namely, the students I teach -- and no, I would never consider either being friends or dating them: such is against the university policies.

But you see, as a graduate student, I am normally teaching undergrads -- but she is not an undergrad, she is a graduate student just like me. Thats the reason I am not in a position of power over her.

SharonB wrote:
As I learn to assert myself in the workplace, I have been encouraged to clarify a situation even if it's weeks later.


I have nothing against "clarifying the situation". But my mom is telling me "not to" bring up that past interaction but, instead, simply initiate new interactions as if nothing happened. So thats what would make me look like a fool. So, just like I told my mom, I don't feel comfortable initiating new interactions UNTIL I get that old thing clarified. So I guess your advice is more appealing to me than my mom's.

But now the question is "how" can I bring it up. Even though she actually said about staring, I didn't hear her, until that other officemate told me that she said it (and he claimed she said it when I was there -- even though I didn't hear). So I don't want to tell her that I talked to the other officemate about it, since that would look even creepier. So the way I should bring it up is as if I heard it. But then there are two concerns:

(i) I better be 100% sure that that officemate told me the truth that I was present when she said it

(ii) What to do about the fact that when I brought it up subsequently I didn't acknowledge what she said about staring -- even though it was the day after she supposedly said it, the officemate haven't informed me about it yet.

SharonB wrote:
Yes, people notice I am still thinking about that "little thing" - but my strength (and weakness) is that I am a big Thinker and I try to convey it's in good faith (and important in its way). I studied communication in college and communicate quite well,


Thats good to know! Because you see, what most people (both my mom as well as everyone else) are telling me is that I push people away by overthinking/overanalyzing. But since you are able to do that same thing in a "positive" way, maybe the issue is "not" that I overthink but rather its "how" I go about it. Maybe those people simply don't have an example in front of them -- such as yourself -- when overthinking is done in the right way. So tell me what are your strategies? How do you bring things up without pushing people away?

SharonB wrote:
**warning triggered** FYI - I was triggered by the title "girl" and initially couldn't read past the first paragraph. I see you are working with young adults and I am currently in a subculture that uses that term so can understand. Since technically a "girl" is under 12, I suggest this is a social rule you put aside, and instead set a positive example in your workplace. I had to take a deep breath to read your full post. My father never called women girls and used "young lady". He is NT, but he knew enough to be respectful. I think finding another term might also adjust your attitude in a positive way. My apologies if you also have a new "boy" in the office. (~Sharon, from the East, struggling in the Midwest USA.)


But then how come I observed people using the term "girl" in reference to young adults? Are you saying that in some contexts its okay to use that term but in other contexts it isn't?



SharonB
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22 Aug 2019, 9:38 pm

QFT wrote:
-- and then I get frustrated when I ruin those chances that I only get once a year.

As you must know, time to increase those odds! Of course I'm not one to speak, it was my sister who played matchmaker for me. Sitting in a room 90% full of men (BSEE) wasn't the odds I needed --- I needed my sister to drag me along to a setting which included my special interest --- my future husband was impressed and the rest is history.

QFT wrote:
By being stuck in that office I will be reminded for the whole year as to how stupid I was that day.

Forgive yourself. Other folks catch on when we are at ease (or not) with ourselves. Easier said than done.

QFT wrote:
I am not "in a position of power" -- since we are both graduate students. Yes, I am probably a lot older than her since its my second Ph.D., but my academic status is the same as hers.


(chuckle) The term "girl" threw me for quite a loop and I lost sight of equality. Shame on me. (To my defense, I'm in a toxic work environment right now and running scared. Hopefully the woman in your office has less of a confidence gap. Studies of my generation said it was present for girls in elementary and increased significantly for women in college.)

QFT wrote:
But now the question is "how" can I bring it up. …So tell me what are your strategies? How do you bring things up without pushing people away?

Forced normalcy: Of course it's something to clarify. After all it's those little things in Life. :) Be at ease, you want to clear up a concern, a possible offense - or just "start over". Look for an opportunity where she seems engaging, or at least neutral. It would be nice if you could have humor about yourself. Women are often self-effacing ("I'm not one to overthink something - well, actually I am one to do that - but in any case, I want to clear up/apologize..."), but I don't know when men can pull that off. Find your style! You could mention "I know you said it was fine, but it's still nagging at me and I want to..." maybe wrap up with "Please let me know if I something I say makes you uncomfortable --- I didn't complete Communication 315 --- and would appreciate the feedback." (Perhaps an NT would never take you up on an offer like that, but might appreciate it. If she's Aspie, then watch out - she just may!)

Teasing: You are an amateur overthinker. You're worried about feeling a fool for one year, try being upset for 20 years. I brought up an issue to my sister-in-law 20 years later --- told her how a situation had been very difficult for me and I wanted to clear it up --- she didn't remember and apologized for any offense (which took me by surprise - we're not pals) and ---by golly--- it was cleared up! (Now my lingering upset is more about the poor circumstances and less about her and I.) I'm happier around her now.

At work as I am trying to figure out how to assert myself I am regularly bringing things up days or weeks later. My previous Aspie-friendly boss understood, my NT boss is catching on. My NT boss said something like "you think a lot about these things". My new assertive self responded with pride "Yes, I do." Because you know what? I am making a positive impact there. It's a pain in the arse for me, for them, but I truly believe we'll all be better for it. Truth? Delusion? Both work for me.

QFT wrote:
But then how come I observed people using the term "girl" in reference to young adults? Are you saying that in some contexts its okay to use that term but in other contexts it isn't?

I would suggest it's regional, but haven't done extensive research. So you may be conforming to a regional social rule, but I'm going to suggest again that it's universally inappropriate. There is a fun diagram about it, but it's hard to find in a sufficient resolution. If you have a sense of humor (or our curious), check it out: https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CBvzHyTW0AA7Arj.png ---- BTW, I call a group of people "folks" when I can - as evidenced by my use of it in my 2nd paragraph.



QFT
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27 Aug 2019, 5:38 pm

SharonB wrote:
QFT wrote:
-- and then I get frustrated when I ruin those chances that I only get once a year.

As you must know, time to increase those odds! Of course I'm not one to speak, it was my sister who played matchmaker for me. Sitting in a room 90% full of men (BSEE) wasn't the odds I needed --- I needed my sister to drag me along to a setting which included my special interest --- my future husband was impressed and the rest is history.


Well, nobody seems to be playing matchmaker to me. For one thing I am the only child so I don't have brothers or sisters. My parents are the only children too; all my grandparents are gone, and my father is gone as well, so I just have my mother. My mother "tried" to set me up with someone twice -- and both times I didn't react positively due to the timing as well as her being forceful about it -- but she haven't been trying to set me up any other time. And those two times were both several years ago. I guess maybe its combination of the fact that I live far away from her as well as the fact that she is busy with things she regards as more pressing (job, organizing her new house, etc).

I guess *if I had friends* then the friends could set me up with someone. But the problem is that I don't have friends. Indeed, finding friends is hard for the same exact reason that finding a date is hard. So I have no place to start basically.

SharonB wrote:
QFT wrote:
By being stuck in that office I will be reminded for the whole year as to how stupid I was that day.

Forgive yourself. Other folks catch on when we are at ease (or not) with ourselves. Easier said than done.


And if I forgive myself, will *they* forgive me?

SharonB wrote:
QFT wrote:
I am not "in a position of power" -- since we are both graduate students. Yes, I am probably a lot older than her since its my second Ph.D., but my academic status is the same as hers.


(chuckle) The term "girl" threw me for quite a loop and I lost sight of equality.


But, looking the way you corrected me, you knew that I misused the word. But if you knew I misused the word, why would you draw any conclusions out of it? In other words its either

a) You think I used the word "girl" correctly -- and you were lead to the conclusion about power structure based off of this

b) You think I misused the word -- and then you correct me so that I don't misuse it again -- but in this case you can't really draw any conclusions from poor word usage

But it sounds like you did a combination of a and b, which seems a bit of a contradiction.

By the way when I am asking "was it a or b" I am referring to your first reply, not the subsequent one. In your subsequent one, I know it was "b" due to the fact that I clarified it. But in the first reply its really hard to tell whether it was "a" or "b" since it felt like a combination of both.

SharonB wrote:
To my defense, I'm in a toxic work environment right now and running scared.


So what kinds of things are going on at your work?

SharonB wrote:

QFT wrote:
But now the question is "how" can I bring it up. …So tell me what are your strategies? How do you bring things up without pushing people away?

Forced normalcy: Of course it's something to clarify. After all it's those little things in Life. :) Be at ease, you want to clear up a concern, a possible offense - or just "start over". Look for an opportunity where she seems engaging, or at least neutral. It would be nice if you could have humor about yourself. Women are often self-effacing ("I'm not one to overthink something - well, actually I am one to do that - but in any case, I want to clear up/apologize..."), but I don't know when men can pull that off.


So by saying you don't know when men can pull it off, do you mean that

a) Men won't have enough skills to do it

b) IF men are to do it, they would be seen as effeminine

c) IF men are to do it, it would be interpretted as some other kind of negative. Like for example if a woman stares at a man its interpretted as her being shy but if a man stares at a woman its interpretted as him being a stalker. So maybe something similar would be with that type of humor?

Incidentally, more than likely, I won't do that due to "a". But I am still curious as to what are your thoughts pertaining to "b" or "c" with regards to the things you just quoted.

SharonB wrote:
Find your style! You could mention "I know you said it was fine, but it's still nagging at me and I want to..." maybe wrap up with "Please let me know if I something I say makes you uncomfortable --- I didn't complete Communication 315 --- and would appreciate the feedback." (Perhaps an NT would never take you up on an offer like that, but might appreciate it. If she's Aspie, then watch out - she just may!)


Okay, here is what I actually did. I realized the day before yesterday that part of the reason why I was staring at her was that my desk was facing the door instead of facing the window. And I also realized that my desk used to face the window 3 years ago but then, 2 years ago, I had black officemate who turned it around to face the door. So yesterday I turned it back around so that it faces a window again -- and I did it early morning, before she came to the office.

When she came to the office she didn't even say hello or acknowledge me in any way. Then, 5 minutes later, I simply told her right out of the blue exactly what I just wrote regarding the table. She said "okay" or something to that effect. Then I asked her whether by staring she means I stare when we talk or she means I stare when she walks in, she said she is fine if I look at her when we talk she just meant I stared at her when she "first walked in" (she used the word first, so it seems to refer to that one incident). Then I said again how I turned the table around so that I won't stare and she said that its really up to me how I want my talbe to stand, so then I said again how when the table faces the door its hard not to stare so thats why I turn it around and she said its fine.

But the above exchange only took like half a minute or less, and after that she continued not to talk to me. As far as saying hello I noticed the pattern that she says hello when I first come in, and she doesn't say hello when she first comes in (which seems a bit opposite to what most people do). Maybe its because when I first come in, I know she is there (the door is slighly open) so I make sure not to stare; but when she first comes in, then I stare in the reaction to the sound. In fact, even yesterday, after I turned my table around, when I heard the sound from her moving the chair I turned my head in her direction and then turned it back.

But you see, now that I pay attention to this, I see that I have this instinct regardless of whether I obsess about that person. For example, yesterday I came to math class on time, but someone else came late, so when he moved a chair to sit down, I turned my head around to look at him, in reaction to that sound. Nobody else did it, just me. Now notice how it was male (so it had nothing to do with wanting a girlfriend) and also notice how class already started (so it had nothing to do with wanting to talk to him either) but when I hear the sound I just look, I can't help it. The same happens when she walks in. The other thing that also happened yesterday was that I went to the library to look for a certain book that was missing. So when the librarian went looking for the book I was just standing there, so I started to turn my head around to read various things on the wall; I don't even remember what they are, but I sort of looked around instinctively. So could it be that others simply know not to do it? Or is it that others do it just as much as me, they just accompany it with something else (a nod or a smile if they look at a person or a comment if they are reading something on a wall)?

SharonB wrote:
Teasing: You are an amateur overthinker. You're worried about feeling a fool for one year, try being upset for 20 years.


Funny you brought up 20 years. That is the amount of time I been upset -- not at one person but at my social situations in general. It all started from being banned from Clare Sainsbury's mailing list for Asperger back in 2001 and then I wanted to "replace" what I felt at that mailing list with people elsewhere, which lead me to "discover" I have no social skills (prior to that I thought I simply "chose" not to socialize) and then it snowballed from there. Sometimes I wonder just where would I be in life if it wasn't for that one stupid mailing list that doesn't exist any more. I am sure staring or other obsessive behavior has something to do with it.

SharonB wrote:
I brought up an issue to my sister-in-law 20 years later --- told her how a situation had been very difficult for me and I wanted to clear it up --- she didn't remember and apologized for any offense (which took me by surprise - we're not pals) and ---by golly--- it was cleared up! (Now my lingering upset is more about the poor circumstances and less about her and I.) I'm happier around her now.


Since you said she didn't remember, then by "cleared up" do you mean on your end?

By the way, a couple of weeks ago, I did something similar with my old roommate situation 5 years ago. So when I was in my room I heard that remark "I think he is gay since he doesn't drink" and I didn't know whether they were referring to me or to someone else (I was the only one who didn't drink yet there was that one guy whom they thought was gay). I was too afraid to ask, since I thought if I ask they "would" think I am gay (as in, obsession about being perceived as gay is a sign of being gay) so I didn't ask. But I kept obsessing about it for all those years. Then, two weeks ago, I gathered a courage and asked an ex-girlfriend of that roommate about it (I was still too afraid to ask that roommate himself, or any other male for that matter) so she told me that she didn't remember that remark yet she said two things: (i) people say stupid things when they are drunk and (ii) nobody thought I was gay. So that put me at ease about the whole thing, I wish I could ask her earlier.

But we aren't friends or anything. In fact, when I tried to start a conversation by asking her "how are you" she didn't respond, then when I said "I have some unresolved issue I need to clear up", she responded then and asked me what is it, so then I told her, and then she cleared it up, and after that she went back into hiding.

So if you became close to your sister due to this, then thats the level of success I have never accomplished. The best I could accomplish was that people would believe the "information" I want them to believe (or at least say they believe it: who knows what they believe -- I am not a mind reader), but they would still be just as distant (or even more distant). Like going back to my current officemate: so I delivered an "information" to her about turning the desk around, etc. yet this didn't trigger her to talk to me more. So what would you suggest that I do if I actually want the positive outcome in terms of them wanting to spend time with me and so forth?

SharonB wrote:
At work as I am trying to figure out how to assert myself I am regularly bringing things up days or weeks later. My previous Aspie-friendly boss understood, my NT boss is catching on. My NT boss said something like "you think a lot about these things".


But see, neither of them found it annoying. In my case they do. And yes, they get annoyed at me *for* the fact that I dissect things: I was even told that the fact that I dissect things is more annoying than the original issues. But your NT boss didn't find it annoying -- she thought of it as more of a funny quirk. So what can I do to get a reaction closer to the one you are getting?

SharonB wrote:

QFT wrote:
But then how come I observed people using the term "girl" in reference to young adults? Are you saying that in some contexts its okay to use that term but in other contexts it isn't?

I would suggest it's regional,


But then what about the fact that I see the word "girl" used on the internet -- and internet is global rather than regional. I mean even here on wrongplanet there is a user LeagueGirl, and she is middle aged. Also what about the use of the word "girlfriend", which also has "girl" in it?



SharonB
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28 Aug 2019, 7:03 pm

I would like to answer all of these in detail, but I can't (too many outside-WP priorities). I'll give it my best go.

QFT wrote:
Well, nobody seems to be playing matchmaker to me. ...So I have no place to start basically.


Basic ideas: Other special interest groups, online or in person. Anything that gets you "out"; increases your chance of "bumping" into someone. Of course you then have to remember to look up on occasion or else actually bump into someone, and take a moment to interact. Gentle teasing: Perhaps a list.

QFT wrote:
And if I forgive myself, will *they* forgive me?

The good ones will (or already did) and I think the likelihood increases even for the surly ones (or at least they won't pick).

QFT wrote:
But, looking the way you corrected me, you knew that I misused the word. But if you knew I misused the word, why would you draw any conclusions out of it? … But it sounds like you did a combination of a and b, which seems a bit of a contradiction.

I wish that were a misuse, but it's a viable use in many parts. Contradictory: Exactly. I may **know** it's an unsavory bias, and yet I've been schooled in it also and respond accordingly.

QFT wrote:
So what kinds of things are going on at your work?

A particular social clique strengthened the hierarchy (including gender bias). So in addition to being underpaid, I am now diminished also. I could write a couple chapters on this.

QFT wrote:
So by saying you don't know when men can pull [self-effacing] off, do you mean that

a) Men won't have enough skills to do it
b) IF men are to do it, they would be seen as effeminine
c) IF men are to do it, it would be interpretted as some other kind of negative. Like for example if a woman stares at a man its interpretted as her being shy but if a man stares at a woman its interpretted as him being a stalker. So maybe something similar would be with that type of humor?

Incidentally, more than likely, I won't do that due to "a". But I am still curious as to what are your thoughts pertaining to "b" or "c" with regards to the things you just quoted.


My answer is (b) = (c). I see in my current social environment that effeminate = negative. So I could make suggestions about how I respond given the social rules I have been taught, but they may not work for you... heck, they aren't working for me! I try to follow the "rules" and find that I can't win (too submissive, now to aggressive), so am looking at just being myself. Effeminate, or not = fabulous.

QFT wrote:
Okay, here is what I actually did. ...


Oooo, so she says hello to you when you walk in. Remind me: do you say hello to her when she walks in? If not, create a mini social rule for one (an exception to the general rule). You could even go way out there and clarify that all these considerations mean you want to ensure she's comfortable. I'm in a cubicle configuration so have had similar talks with my closest cubemates. They always say there are "fine". The staring thing befuddles me also. Sometimes I think I look away too soon (just as they look over) and sometimes I am looking to long? I hope someone else answers your question b/c it's the blind leading the blind here. :wink:

QFT wrote:
Sometimes I wonder just where would I be in life if it wasn't for that one stupid mailing list that doesn't exist any more.


I was kicked out of a support group by certified professionals, so I hear ya. I try to recognize that it was traumatic and also to be amused by it.

QFT wrote:
Since you said she didn't remember, then by "cleared up" do you mean on your end?

Yes, I was making a joke sort of. It was impacting my interactions with my sister-in-law, so my clearing it up, unknowingly clears it up for her.

QFT wrote:
So what would you suggest that I do if I actually want the positive outcome in terms of them wanting to spend time with me and so forth?

Time to ask open-ended questions! A question about something of hers, a question about her studies, a question about her preferences... If answers continued to be brief, like you I would see possibilities and not know. Can you tell at all if she's neutral, amused or annoyed by you?

QFT wrote:
But see, neither of them found it annoying.

Don't they? It's either friendly teasing or unfriendly mocking. I lean towards the latter interpretation b/c I ignore them and they keep doing it. I'll be talking about something and they'll say "you sure do [whatever] a lot". I'm not smiling or laughing when they say this (I want to keep my thought!) and they keep doing it.

QFT wrote:
But then what about the fact that I see the word "girl" used on the internet -- and internet is global rather than regional. I mean even here on wrongplanet there is a user LeagueGirl, and she is middle aged. Also what about the use of the word "girlfriend", which also has "girl" in it?


Did you read the chart I sent? It has a flow for women who refer to themselves as "Girls". Albeit, it's humorous and nothing is the Truth. I am trying to convince my son that if he is playing with his "Batman" figure, then he likewise is playing with his "Batwoman" figure (he has the "pair") and if he insists he is playing with "Batgirl" then I suggest he likewise is playing with "Batboy". But I am going against an entire CULTURE, nearly GLOBAL as you point out. As you know, just b/c most everyone does it, it doesn't make it right. Just today a male co-worker I have never met called me "kiddo" (phone call). I am a professional approaching 50. Should I be flattered or concerned?



QFT
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28 Aug 2019, 8:48 pm

SharonB wrote:
QFT wrote:
Well, nobody seems to be playing matchmaker to me. ...So I have no place to start basically.


Basic ideas: Other special interest groups, online or in person.


Well, I go to church and Bible studies, and it doesn't help

SharonB wrote:
Anything that gets you "out"; increases your chance of "bumping" into someone.


One thing I was longing to do for quite a while and FINALLY started doing is taking a train somewhere random and book a hotel. Can't do it too often -- hotel is too expensive -- but at least the train is cheap so I guess I can make one-day round trips by train to places nearby and, on more rare occasions, book hotels far away. The other thing I was thinking of -- which I haven't done yet -- is to buy myself a tent so that I can go to backpacking trips by myself.

But here is a question: do you think I can bump into people THAT way? I mean sometimes I hope I could just escape somewhere and all my problems will be solved. But, predictably, when I am trying to, nothing happens: I just go there, come back, and hope to find some other place that will solve all my problems. But do you have any specific examples of the scenarios that MIGHT occur (that are beyond wishful thinking) and the places to go where they would be more likely?

SharonB wrote:
Of course you then have to remember to look up on occasion or else actually bump into someone, and take a moment to interact. Gentle teasing: Perhaps a list.


The problem is not that I won't look up but rather that others don't approach me first -- which makes me feel unwelcome.

SharonB wrote:
QFT wrote:
And if I forgive myself, will *they* forgive me?

The good ones will (or already did) and I think the likelihood increases even for the surly ones (or at least they won't pick).


They don't pick on me, they just avoid me. But that is worse than them picking on me: when they pick on you, you can answer, but when they avoid me, what can I possibly do?!

SharonB wrote:
QFT wrote:
But, looking the way you corrected me, you knew that I misused the word. But if you knew I misused the word, why would you draw any conclusions out of it? … But it sounds like you did a combination of a and b, which seems a bit of a contradiction.

I wish that were a misuse, but it's a viable use in many parts. Contradictory: Exactly. I may **know** it's an unsavory bias, and yet I've been schooled in it also and respond accordingly.


But I wasn't schooled in it, so how can you expect me to operate from your framework if I wasn't even exposed to it.

SharonB wrote:
QFT wrote:
So what kinds of things are going on at your work?

A particular social clique strengthened the hierarchy (including gender bias). So in addition to being underpaid, I am now diminished also. I could write a couple chapters on this.


What is the title of that book?

But in any case, you seem to connect two separate things together:

a) Almost everywhere people use the word "girl"

b) At *some* places (including your job) they degrade women

So if "a" applies to "almost everywhere" and "b" applies only to some places, then why are you connecting the two?

As far as being paid less, don't they have a policy that declares the amount of payment they give to all employees? If so, why can't you point them to this written policy and complain about the fact that you aren't being paid the amount they said they would pay you?

SharonB wrote:
QFT wrote:
So by saying you don't know when men can pull [self-effacing] off, do you mean that

a) Men won't have enough skills to do it
b) IF men are to do it, they would be seen as effeminine
c) IF men are to do it, it would be interpretted as some other kind of negative. Like for example if a woman stares at a man its interpretted as her being shy but if a man stares at a woman its interpretted as him being a stalker. So maybe something similar would be with that type of humor?

Incidentally, more than likely, I won't do that due to "a". But I am still curious as to what are your thoughts pertaining to "b" or "c" with regards to the things you just quoted.


My answer is (b) = (c). I see in my current social environment that effeminate = negative. So I could make suggestions about how I respond given the social rules I have been taught, but they may not work for you... heck, they aren't working for me! I try to follow the "rules" and find that I can't win (too submissive, now to aggressive), so am looking at just being myself. Effeminate, or not = fabulous.


Actually I have an example where b and c aren't the same. When a woman is looking at a man its flattering, but when a man is looking at a woman he is being a stalker. Now, being a stalker is *not* an effeminite quality. So *despite* the fact that he does "female" behavior, he is *not* interpretted as "effeminite". Yet he "is" interpreted as "bad" just in a completely different way. So that is an example where c is true while b is false.

SharonB wrote:
QFT wrote:
Okay, here is what I actually did. ...


Oooo, so she says hello to you when you walk in. Remind me: do you say hello to her when she walks in?


I wait to see if she says hello first. If she does, then I say hello back, if she doesn't, then I sit quietly and pout.

SharonB wrote:
QFT wrote:
Sometimes I wonder just where would I be in life if it wasn't for that one stupid mailing list that doesn't exist any more.


I was kicked out of a support group by certified professionals, so I hear ya.


If it was support group, why were they professionals? The support groups I am used to are the ones started by people suffering from those same problems (as opposed to professionals).

The group I was kicked out from was started by Clare Sainsbury -- she is a woman with Asperger who wrote a book about herself "Martian on a Playground" -- and she ran a mailing list for university students with Asperger Syndrome. That mailing list is no longer functioning, although the website is still there: http://www.users.dircon.co.uk/~cns/

SharonB wrote:
I try to recognize that it was traumatic and also to be amused by it.


You know, sometimes I wish that website was a time mashine, so that I could go through that website, right back to that fateful moment when I ran into that mailing list, and redo my whole life from that point onward. It doesn't even matter if I get banned from it or not: what matters is that I DON"T GET STUCK ON IT AND CONTINUE TO PROGRESS WITH MY STUDIES LIKE I USED TO. Too bad I didn't recognize it back then.

SharonB wrote:
QFT wrote:
Since you said she didn't remember, then by "cleared up" do you mean on your end?

Yes, I was making a joke sort of. It was impacting my interactions with my sister-in-law, so my clearing it up, unknowingly clears it up for her.


Are you talking about clearing up to her subconscious while her conscious mind doesn't remember it?

If you don't mind me asking, can you describe that misunderstanding that took place between the two of you?

SharonB wrote:
QFT wrote:
So what would you suggest that I do if I actually want the positive outcome in terms of them wanting to spend time with me and so forth?

Time to ask open-ended questions! A question about something of hers, a question about her studies, a question about her preferences... If answers continued to be brief, like you I would see possibilities and not know. Can you tell at all if she's neutral, amused or annoyed by you?


Either neutral or annoyed. When people are annoyed they put neutral mask, so I can't know for sure. Although I can suspect annoyed since she wasn't very "neutral" with other people during that orientation day. But then again, now that orientation day is over, I don't see her socializing with others either. But then again, how do I know she doesn't socialize with them when she is OUTSIDE the office? I mean, she only spends like a couple of hours a day in the office. So maybe she purposely keeps all her socialization outside and comes to office to study as a way of avoiding me. I mean thats what I suspect at times, although I don't have a hard evidence for it.

SharonB wrote:
QFT wrote:
But see, neither of them found it annoying.

Don't they? It's either friendly teasing or unfriendly mocking. I lean towards the latter interpretation b/c I ignore them and they keep doing it. I'll be talking about something and they'll say "you sure do [whatever] a lot". I'm not smiling or laughing when they say this (I want to keep my thought!) and they keep doing it.


In my experience, when people get annoyed at me, they don't mock me: they just avoid talking. The times when they said the things I quoted them saying are the times when I pushed them to the wall so that they talk. But more often than not they just avoid me.

SharonB wrote:
QFT wrote:
But then what about the fact that I see the word "girl" used on the internet -- and internet is global rather than regional. I mean even here on wrongplanet there is a user LeagueGirl, and she is middle aged. Also what about the use of the word "girlfriend", which also has "girl" in it?


Did you read the chart I sent? It has a flow for women who refer to themselves as "Girls".


What if a woman refers to another woman as a girl? In other words, are you saying its only wrong for a man to use that word, or is is also wrong for a woman to use that word, too?

SharonB wrote:
But I am going against an entire CULTURE, nearly GLOBAL as you point out.


But if you are "going against the culture", as you put it, then how can you expect me to use your language until you told me what it is? I mean you actually drew some conclusions -- such as my being in a position of power over that woman -- merely from the fact that I used the word "girl". But if all I did was to use the word that MOST PEOPLE use (whether you agree with it or not) then how can you draw all those conclusions based off of this?

SharonB wrote:
As you know, just b/c most everyone does it, it doesn't make it right.


Okay, let me give you an example. My mom took me to vacation to Hawaii this summer and one of our tour leaders kept referring to herself as "sooka" which is some kind of Hawaiian word and I don't even remember what it means. All I know is that in Russian that word means "b***h" so this gave me lots of laugh the entire tour. But in Hawaiian language it doesn't mean that at all (too bad I don't remember the actual meaning) so there is nothing inappropriate when one uses it in THAT language. So this brings me back to the use of the word "girl". So whether its bad or not depends on the meaning one attaches to it. Apparently, if it is used by you or someone in your family, it would be bad, since thats the meaning your family attaches to it. But if it is used by someone else far away from your family, then its good, since they don't attach this meaning to it. At least thats what it logically would seem to me.



SharonB
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29 Aug 2019, 2:14 pm

QFT wrote:
One thing I was longing to do for quite a while and FINALLY started doing is taking a train somewhere random and book a hotel. Can't do it too often -- hotel is too expensive -- but at least the train is cheap so I guess I can make one-day round trips by train to places nearby and, on more rare occasions, book hotels far away. The other thing I was thinking of -- which I haven't done yet -- is to buy myself a tent so that I can go to backpacking trips by myself.

But here is a question: do you think I can bump into people THAT way? I mean sometimes I hope I could just escape somewhere and all my problems will be solved. But, predictably, when I am trying to, nothing happens: I just go there, come back, and hope to find some other place that will solve all my problems. But do you have any specific examples of the scenarios that MIGHT occur (that are beyond wishful thinking) and the places to go where they would be more likely?

Kudos to you for getting out and about. Even backpacking I think you can meet folks. That's the first step to creating opportunity and it's along the lines of your interests!! !! For the second step, I hear preparing social stories work ("This woman is coming in the opposite direction, her head is down, I...") and also think about where you could mingle with more folks with the same interest - the Rangers station, a Visitor station, a local "Outdoors" group or "survival" class?

QFT wrote:
The problem is not that I won't look up but rather that others don't approach me first -- which makes me feel unwelcome.

Perhaps script this for yourself also, and follow the script. Little by little. Maybe just the first step of looking up briefly, add a smile, or add a hello. I'm told confidence comes from results, not feelings beforehand - so perhaps the same is true for welcome.

QFT wrote:
They don't pick on me, they just avoid me. But that is worse than them picking on me: when they pick on you, you can answer, but when they avoid me, what can I possibly do?!

I'm trying to figure this out myself. I suspect googling Asperger's, bullying, exclusion ---- or something similar would yield results. Books I am reading about ASD/Aspie mention this, but I haven't absorbed it yet.

QFT wrote:
But I wasn't schooled in it, so how can you expect me to operate from your framework if I wasn't even exposed to it.

Clarification: I've been schooled in the bias also. I myself am conditioned to the bias. I can *suggest* you operate from a different framework b/c I am trying to also - I know that we address bias in one place it applies generally.

QFT wrote:
What is the title of that book?

I have one other book to write first and then I could get to that book. I don't know that I ever will write either books, but I am an optimist and at least half the time I get there.

QFT wrote:
But in any case, you seem to connect two separate things together...
So if "a" applies to "almost everywhere" and "b" applies only to some places, then why are you connecting the two?
...
Actually I have an example where b and c aren't the same.

I am in a rush, e.g. the generalization of "=" is easier than describing a subset. What's the scientific term for more or less?

QFT wrote:
As far as being paid less, don't they have a policy that declares the amount of payment they give to all employees? If so, why can't you point them to this written policy and complain about the fact that you aren't being paid the amount they said they would pay you?

There is a range. It doesn't work because the current management does not reward productivity as I see it, they reward popularity and productivity as they see it. I am well respected, but I am not "popular" - and even when I do what they say is productive, they move the "carrot" further away. If I were to "read between the lines" I am in a no-win situation in this workgroup.

QFT wrote:
If it was support group, why were they professionals?

A business sponsored the support group and hired folks to run it.

QFT wrote:
I DON"T GET STUCK ON IT AND CONTINUE TO PROGRESS WITH MY STUDIES LIKE I USED TO. Too bad I didn't recognize it back then.

Wishing you figure out what would unstick you on that. It really helped me earlier this month when an ASD acquaintance said he had just been kicked out of a meetup group. I'm not alone. You're not alone. Otherwise I would suggest writing the old group name and an appropriate remark with permanent marker on a rock and throwing it off a high bridge. Be DONE with that.

QFT wrote:
If you don't mind me asking, can you describe that misunderstanding that took place between the two of you?

I needed to take care of a personal issue and was taking "too long", so my future sister-in-law (who had a fussy child in the car) drove off without me. She left my soon-to-be husband (her brother) behind to be with me, but I was pissed at him also for "enabling" that behavior. I did not know how to address it with her (or my soon-to-be husband). She was walking over me in other ways also, so it was indicative of the relationship at that time (and another 20 years). It's changed now. I've changed.

QFT wrote:
But if you are "going against the culture", as you put it, then how can you expect me to use your language until you told me what it is?

I am fairly sure I made a suggestion, not that it was an expectation for you. If that's not how it is written then I was in a tizzy indeed - I did preface with "triggered". I do not have the time to go back and re-read it. What's funny to me, is that you are writing exactly as I did in college - analyzing all parts, clarifying all parts... I did that at one time - and learned from it, but I can't do that now (although I am a lifelong learner).

When my ex-boyfriend moved south he tried to convince me that he was using the term b*tch in a flattering way. I wasn't having it. If I am a girl and you are a man. I'm not having it. Loretta King wrote that in the south black men were boys and white men were men. Word choice matters. One needs to look beyond intent at impact.

As before, wishing you well in your exploration.

Say "hi" - be the Fool. :heart:



QFT
Deinonychus
Deinonychus

Joined: 27 Jun 2019
Age: 40
Gender: Male
Posts: 369

29 Aug 2019, 2:52 pm

SharonB wrote:
Time to ask open-ended questions! A question about something of hers, a question about her studies, a question about her preferences...


This one is from your previous reply that I forgot to respond to. I guess I don't feel like asking her those questions since she doesn't ask ME those questions. Its not like she can't think of them: like I said, at least on orientation section I saw her having half an hour conversation with someone. Also in my office she asked about the Bible (which happened to be mine -- but I didn't say anything cause I wasn't included in conversation -- and the other guy said "well there are lots of Bibles around) so since she knows how to ask questions to other people, why doesn't she ask them to me?! So apparently she doesn't want to talk to me -- so why impose myself on someone who doesn't want to talk?

Now, what I DO want to do is this. Get to the bottom of the REASON why she doesn't want to talk, address THAT, so that she DOES talk. But I already tried: like I turned the table around and pointed it out to her. Yet she still doesn't talk. So what else can I do?

SharonB wrote:
QFT wrote:
But in any case, you seem to connect two separate things together...
So if "a" applies to "almost everywhere" and "b" applies only to some places, then why are you connecting the two?
...
Actually I have an example where b and c aren't the same.

I am in a rush, e.g. the generalization of "=" is easier than describing a subset. What's the scientific term for more or less?


More or less won't fit either. If you say "crime is more or less stealing" its not true since stealing is only one of the versions of crime, and there are other versions. In the same way, being affeminite is one of the ways of putting people off and there are other ways. If a man stares at a woman then -- despite the fact that he does what is permissible for women to do -- he is not considered "more or less effeminite"; he is considered a stalker.

SharonB wrote:
QFT wrote:
As far as being paid less, don't they have a policy that declares the amount of payment they give to all employees? If so, why can't you point them to this written policy and complain about the fact that you aren't being paid the amount they said they would pay you?

There is a range. It doesn't work because the current management does not reward productivity as I see it, they reward popularity and productivity as they see it. I am well respected, but I am not "popular" - and even when I do what they say is productive, they move the "carrot" further away. If I were to "read between the lines" I am in a no-win situation in this workgroup.


So you are basically saying that you didn't get promoted, and the choice of who gets promoted is subjective rather than objective? Is this what you were getting at?

SharonB wrote:
QFT wrote:
If it was support group, why were they professionals?

A business sponsored the support group and hired folks to run it.


Is there a way to look up that group? What is its name?

SharonB wrote:
QFT wrote:
I DON"T GET STUCK ON IT AND CONTINUE TO PROGRESS WITH MY STUDIES LIKE I USED TO. Too bad I didn't recognize it back then.

Wishing you figure out what would unstick you on that. It really helped me earlier this month when an ASD acquaintance said he had just been kicked out of a meetup group. I'm not alone. You're not alone. Otherwise I would suggest writing the old group name and an appropriate remark with permanent marker on a rock and throwing it off a high bridge. Be DONE with that.


As far as my obsession about that mailing list as such, it lasted only for two years or so (from 2001 till 2003). However, while it lasted, it triggered other obsessions indirectly. For example, in order to "replace" that mailing list, I wanted to socialize with people elsewhere, this in turn led me to experience ostracism, and then I got obsessed why am I getting ostracized. So its no longer about that list, now its about people in general. But if it wasn't FOR that list, I would have never known I have bad people's skills. So maybe I would have continued in my merry way studying physics having no idea that I suck socially. And how knows how my life would have turned around. The point though is that, most of the time I DON"T think about that list. Most of the time I think about the fact that I threw away 20 years of my life. But when I get occasionally reminded about the list I just wish I could get those 20 years back by walking right back to where it all got started.

SharonB wrote:
QFT wrote:
If you don't mind me asking, can you describe that misunderstanding that took place between the two of you?

I needed to take care of a personal issue and was taking "too long", so my future sister-in-law (who had a fussy child in the car) drove off without me. She left my soon-to-be husband (her brother) behind to be with me, but I was pissed at him also for "enabling" that behavior. I did not know how to address it with her (or my soon-to-be husband). She was walking over me in other ways also, so it was indicative of the relationship at that time (and another 20 years). It's changed now. I've changed.


So it wasn't your sister, it was sister-in-law? And I guess its not that surprising that she doesn't remember it 20 years later, most people wouldn't. But then again, I can't blame you since I did exact same thing with obsessing over the mailing list.

SharonB wrote:
If I am a girl and you are a man. I'm not having it.


Actually I don't like being referred to as a man. For one thing I used to be a lot younger than my age. And for the other thing, the past 20 years flew by that fast. As far as other male students, I don't refer to them as men either. I usually refer to professors as men and to the students as guys.

In any case, I didn't see anyone using man/girl combination. Most people use either guy/girl OR man/woman. Now you could ask "why do they use guy/girl instead of boy/girl". So I guess the answer is that the word "girl" changed its meaning to "gal" -- so guy/gal became guy/girl. The fact that they won't say man/girl is a proof that they aren't trying to deminish females.