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QFT
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12 Sep 2022, 12:08 pm

So I was sitting in the church last Saturday, and as I was still thinking about my math thesis, I wasn't particularly paying attention to a sermon. And as I was looking around the room, I casually noticed all men were wearing suits or something close to that, and I was the only one with jeans and T-shirt. And this made me wonder: could it be that the root of my social problems is simply the fact that I am not paying attention to the people I am interacting with? Because you see, I am going back and fourth between four different churches, and if I ask myself "how do people dress in the other three churches", I can't answer. I would have to wait till next Saturday to go to those other churches and see! So maybe that is what separates me from others: if someone else doesn't conform to a dress code, they still "know" the dress code of any given place, and they make a "choice" not to conform to it. But in my case I don't actually know what it is.

Now, here is something I "do" know. I have a very good memory in terms of various conflicts I got into with various people. And one of the things I resent is how people get mad at me for seemingly "opposite" things, yet they all agree to avoid me. For example, as most of you noticed, I am long winded. Being long winded is probably one of the main reasons women reject me on dating sites. But then there were those four very rare women who were even more long winded than I was. And then they rejected me for the fact that I wasn't nearly as long winded as they were. I was yelling at them "look, everyone else is rejecting me for being long winded, so how dare you say I am not long winded enough? Don't you see you are perfect match for me since you are one of the rare long winded ones?" But they weren't getting it.

But here is something that occurred to me. Could it be that the issue is "not" whether I am long winded or too brief, but "instead" the issue is whether I pay attention to the other person? If I were to pay attention, I would have known ahead of time "woman A likes to be long winded, woman B doesn't" and would have adjusted accordingly, making both of those women happy. But since I don't pay attention, I only learn after the fact which of them likes to be long winded, depending on who got mad at me for what. And then of course its too late.

So maybe the difference between me and other people is that other people first observe the other person, then choose how to act. In my case, I first act, and then observe who got mad at me for what.

And this brings me back to dress code. If I were to "observe" the situation then, apart from other things, I would have also known where people dress in what way. But since I don't observe, then I don't know. Hence I am completely clueless as to "why don't people talk to me" when it could be something as simple as how I dress.

The other thing I noticed is that in Berkeley people don't seem to avoid me as much. Could it be because dressing in pants and T-shirt is a Berkeley thing? Because you see, when I came from Russia to America, I came to Berkeley, and only after living there for few years, I came to other states. So I was assuming "in Russia they dress in suits, in America they dress in simple T-shirt and pants", but could it be that I was wrong in assumign that it was how they dress "in America" and instead that was how they dress "in Berkeley". Hence I am dressing in Berkely way, thinking it is really American way (when it isn't) and thats why in Berkeley they don't avoid me but elsewhere in America they do?

But then again, I haven't made friends in Berkeley either. I am just saying they are more willing to say hi to me or smile at me, which is clearly not enough. So who knows. I would have to actually live there to see. And back when I did live there I didn't want friends so I was the one avoiding them. They did seem more friendly though. But it could have also been because I was a teen and people give more leeway to whoever is younger, my mom was reminding me to take a shower, etc. So who knows.



klanka
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12 Sep 2022, 12:38 pm

Yeah I would definitely dress like everyone else in church,and other places, no point in sabotaging yourself.

Can't advise you on the other social skills you mentioned though!



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13 Sep 2022, 10:54 am

QFT wrote:
But here is something that occurred to me. Could it be that the issue is "not" whether I am long winded or too brief, but "instead" the issue is whether I pay attention to the other person? If I were to pay attention, I would have known ahead of time "woman A likes to be long winded, woman B doesn't" and would have adjusted accordingly, making both of those women happy. But since I don't pay attention, I only learn after the fact which of them likes to be long winded, depending on who got mad at me for what. And then of course its too late.


...Are you saying that you're consciously not paying attention to other people before and during interacting with them? 8O

Well, better start paying attention to people, then. It's a huge part of socializing, if not the most important part. If you talk to another person without paying attention to them, you're not having a conversation, you're having a lecture. In a conversation, you need to pay attention to the other person/people involved.

Quote:
So maybe the difference between me and other people is that other people first observe the other person, then choose how to act. In my case, I first act, and then observe who got mad at me for what.


I'd add to this that people also observe the other person during the talk, not just before it.

And yes, Berkeley (that sounds like a swear word lol) probably has a different dress code than some other places you've been to. If you want to fit in, then when in Rome...



QFT
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13 Sep 2022, 11:02 am

Fireblossom wrote:
...Are you saying that you're consciously not paying attention to other people before and during interacting with them?


1) As far as dress code, it wasn't conscious, since it didn't even occur to me to think of it, as evident by my posts not mentioning it.

2) As far as long windedness, that was a bit more conscious since

a) I did think to myself that its nice that such and such girl is long winded since I like attention

b) I did ask myself "do I really want to postpone the response and possibly lose her interest" yet then said "I probably won't lose her interest since she clearly likes me, and I don't have 3 hours to put aside in the middle of the day will do it later"

But still my intention was to write equally long email at some point, I just kept postponing it.

3) As far as other things, some are conscious others aren't. One example of conscious things would be length of email, one example of unconscious things would be dress code. But there are a whole lot more examples of each.

Fireblossom wrote:
If you talk to another person without paying attention to them, you're not having a conversation, you're having a lecture.


I think I was exaggerating when I said I don't pay attention. What would be more accurate to say is that I pay attention to some aspects and not others.

For example, few months ago, I talked to a woman on a dating site. I complained about my life and she complained about hers. I thought to myself "its nice she likes to complain too: that means she would listen to my complaining". For few hours I was right. But then came a sudden surprise: she suddenly backed away because she decided "this is all I talk about" and that I talk "at her". And I was thinking "what does she mean I talk at her? I thought I was paying attention to her and noticed that she likes complaining". But perhaps what she meant is that I paid attention only to what was convenient and not to some other things. For example during the conversation she tried to tell me to be more positive, I didn't. She also tried to talk about some other parts of her life, I went right back to my topics.

So maybe with other people it is sort of that way too. Yes I pay attention, yet I only pay attention to some things and not others.



that1weirdgrrrl
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13 Sep 2022, 9:54 pm

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"what does she mean I talk at her?


She means you don't ask her questions about herself or about what she says. She wants to hear you comment on something she says and ask her further questions.

Tangent: I learned this when I was a little kid because another little kid told me I didn't "give them anything to respond to" in our conversations, and I was very confused because I said many things they could have responded to (in my mind). Then they finally blurted out: "I want you to ask me questions!"


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14 Sep 2022, 10:56 am

Quote:
I think I was exaggerating when I said I don't pay attention. What would be more accurate to say is that I pay attention to some aspects and not others.


...And I probably took it too literally.

Quote:
For example, few months ago, I talked to a woman on a dating site. I complained about my life and she complained about hers. I thought to myself "its nice she likes to complain too: that means she would listen to my complaining". For few hours I was right. But then came a sudden surprise: she suddenly backed away because she decided "this is all I talk about" and that I talk "at her". And I was thinking "what does she mean I talk at her? I thought I was paying attention to her and noticed that she likes complaining". But perhaps what she meant is that I paid attention only to what was convenient and not to some other things. For example during the conversation she tried to tell me to be more positive, I didn't. She also tried to talk about some other parts of her life, I went right back to my topics.


Oh yes, not answering any of her questions, not making any of your own and ignoring her attempt to change topic is definitely a sign of "talking at her" instead of "with her." If you want people to like you, you have to take in to consideration what they want to talk about, too. That includes understanding that even if they're fine with talking about some topic a little (in this case complaining about ones lives), it doesn't mean they'll be fine with talking about only that or talking about that past a certain point.

What's the most annoying thing that has happened to you on a face to face date? Personally, for me it was the guy going on and on about video games despite me having told him multiple times, first discreetly and then bluntly, that I had no interest in the topic. And then me trying to change the topic, only for him to bring it back. And that was after having listened about it politely for a while. Wasn't the reason why things didn't work out between us, but honestly, I should've just ditched him right after that and gone shopping like I was tempted to. :roll:



QFT
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14 Sep 2022, 11:54 am

Fireblossom wrote:
Quote:
I think I was exaggerating when I said I don't pay attention. What would be more accurate to say is that I pay attention to some aspects and not others.


...And I probably took it too literally.


I suspect I might be taking it too literally too when others say it. Thats why my typical response is "of course I heard/seen you: I am not deaf or blind; how could you ever say that I am".

And its true I pay attention to them: enough so to dissect various things they said months or years later. I guess maybe I don't pay attention to it at the right time?

But then again, back to the thread topic: you won't see me dissecting the way people dress months or years later. So the dress code is something I "truly" don't pay attention to.

So maybe it breaks down this way:

1) As far as dress code, I actually don't pay attention to it. Not then, not later.

4*) When it comes to what people say, then yes I hear them, I just respond at the completely wrong time:

a) I don't respond when they want me to, since I have to first finish saying whatever I was saying

b) I become obsessively bent on responding at the time when they are "done". And then I get frustrated why they are done since here I am ready to respond. And why they say I didn't hear them if here I am, hearing them.

*The reason I labeled it as "4" is not to confuse it with 2 and 3 I mentioned in the previous response. But "1" here is the same as "1" there so its fine.

Fireblossom wrote:
Quote:
For example, few months ago, I talked to a woman on a dating site. I complained about my life and she complained about hers. I thought to myself "its nice she likes to complain too: that means she would listen to my complaining". For few hours I was right. But then came a sudden surprise: she suddenly backed away because she decided "this is all I talk about" and that I talk "at her". And I was thinking "what does she mean I talk at her? I thought I was paying attention to her and noticed that she likes complaining". But perhaps what she meant is that I paid attention only to what was convenient and not to some other things. For example during the conversation she tried to tell me to be more positive, I didn't. She also tried to talk about some other parts of her life, I went right back to my topics.


Oh yes, not answering any of her questions, not making any of your own and ignoring her attempt to change topic is definitely a sign of "talking at her" instead of "with her." If you want people to like you, you have to take in to consideration what they want to talk about, too. That includes understanding that even if they're fine with talking about some topic a little (in this case complaining about ones lives), it doesn't mean they'll be fine with talking about only that or talking about that past a certain point.

What's the most annoying thing that has happened to you on a face to face date? Personally, for me it was the guy going on and on about video games despite me having told him multiple times, first discreetly and then bluntly, that I had no interest in the topic. And then me trying to change the topic, only for him to bring it back. And that was after having listened about it politely for a while. Wasn't the reason why things didn't work out between us, but honestly, I should've just ditched him right after that and gone shopping like I was tempted to. :roll:


Okay, few months ago when this happened I wanted to make WP thread on it, but I kept postponning as I kept planning to dissect every sentence which would take time. But since now we are talking about it anyway, better to post the chatlog without the dissection than not post at all. So I made a compromise: I simply summarized the key comments I wanted to make, and then posted a chatlog. So here it goes: viewtopic.php?t=408677

As you can see, she was fully engaging in negative topics, so I don't see how I was supposed to know she wasn't interested?

I do see, though that there was one point where she talked about a guy that broke her heart and I responded by talking about the mailing list. She gave me cold shoulder immediately after that.

However, when I brought this up, she said no it wasn't the reason. Rather, the reason was the fact that I talk about negative topics a lot. But didn't she do the same?

Fireblossom wrote:
What's the most annoying thing that has happened to you on a face to face date?


Good question. Its hard to remember since I don't get that many first dates.

After trying to remember for five minutes, I remembered one time, over a decade ago, when my first date brought her friend along and paid more attention to her friend than to me. I was wondering if it was a tool of rejecting me. Although I am not sure: if that was her intention, why would she meet on the first place?

But I do see the parallel between this and what you talk about. Bringing a friend or getting stuck on a topic would both send a message that something else is more important than the date.



QFT
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14 Sep 2022, 12:03 pm

that1weirdgrrrl wrote:
Quote:
"what does she mean I talk at her?


She means you don't ask her questions about herself or about what she says. She wants to hear you comment on something she says and ask her further questions.

Tangent: I learned this when I was a little kid because another little kid told me I didn't "give them anything to respond to" in our conversations, and I was very confused because I said many things they could have responded to (in my mind). Then they finally blurted out: "I want you to ask me questions!"


Do they assume that just because I don't engage in the way they expect, it means I am death, blind, and incapable of engaging at all? Thats what it feels like?



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15 Sep 2022, 9:50 am

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I Was The Only One Without A Suit

Reminds me of my senior prom in high school. Then again, I was not really there. I was manning a table selling glowsticks for a club. I had no suit, just a plaid shirt. I had no date for the prom either... Eventually I went to check out the dance floor, saw some acquaintances there, then left after a few minutes, feeling out of place.

At least I got in free, volunteering at the table means free entry.


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15 Sep 2022, 10:31 am

QFT wrote:
4*) When it comes to what people say, then yes I hear them, I just respond at the completely wrong time:

a) I don't respond when they want me to, since I have to first finish saying whatever I was saying

b) I become obsessively bent on responding at the time when they are "done". And then I get frustrated why they are done since here I am ready to respond. And why they say I didn't hear them if here I am, hearing them.


We might have found one of the cores of your social problems right here!

You see, when you talk with others (note: with others, not at others), you can't expect to be the only one to decide when and what to talk about (excluding a situation where you're the boss and have to talk to a subordinate about a specific work thing or something), that's selfish and rude.

For a), if you really feel that it's absolutely necessary to finish your topic first, the least you should do is to say "I'm sorry, but I'd really like to finish this topic first. Can we talk about your topic after?" Make them know that you've noticed the other person wants to talk about something else too and that you're ready to do so later. Note that if you do this all the time, want things done your way all the time and are never willing to compromise or do things the other person's way, you'll give a very self centered impression and that's the kind of person people don't usually want to deal with.

For b), you've already lost your chance in those situations. You can't just do your own thing as long as you want and expect others to be ready to do other things only when you're ready. Again, that's selfish.

I don't have the time to check a separate topic and focus on it right now, so I'll get back to the other thing later if I remember.



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25 Sep 2022, 5:30 am

QFT wrote:
and if I ask myself "how do people dress in the other three churches", I can't answer. I would have to wait till next Saturday to go to those other churches and see!


Well, yesterday I found out that in one of the other churches I go to, people are NOT dressed up. I still don't know about the other two churches.

Interestingly enough, at the church where people ARE dressed up, they do talk to me a little bit (although less than I wish); at the one where they are NOT dressed up, they don't talk to me at all. Which makes me think that the clothes is not the main reason after all.

Although it could be a contributting factor. For example, even if they are not dressed up, at least they don't have food spilled over their clothes the way I do sometimes.

But still: why would a food spilled over my clothes be a bigger problem at a church where people aren't dressed up? I would have expected the opposite!

Could it be that being dressed up is coupled with having manners in general, and part of the manners is that they have to "talk out of politeness", which is what they do towards me?

However, I can think of a behavioral issue, totally separate from dress. In particular, in a church where people don't dress up, I tend to ask pastor questions after the service. It came across to him as if I argue with him, and two weeks ago he actually told me that I am welcome to keep coming but I shouldn't argue. And then to soften the blow he joked about the way I "always disagree" with him.

But you see, when I argue, I *only* argue with a pastor and thats it: with everyone else, I simply don't approach them. But could it be that others overhear my arguing with a pastor and thats why they don't want to talk to me? So I am assuming that "I didn't approach them so nothing happened between us" while on their end I don't have to approach me: they can just watch the way I interact with the pastor and decide not to talk to me?



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25 Sep 2022, 6:19 am

Clothes do not matter. People judge by appearances but God judges by ones heart, so whatever one wears one is still you! So do not let clothes matter. Just be who you are and don't worry.

You are not judged by God on how other people react to you. What matters is you and God. Not peoples oppinions of what you should wear and how you should live your life etc. It is none of anyone elses business. Is Gods business and He is happy with you as you are!



QFT
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25 Sep 2022, 6:33 am

Mountain Goat wrote:
Years ago I went to church and due to traditional learned upbringing it was thought to wear ones best for God.
I had then thought while in the bath one day, that "God is everywhere" and then thought "Oh no! I am naked!" and then thought "But God sees me naked or clothed what does it matter what I wear anyway?"


I have exact same thoughts but pertaining to people, not God. What I was wondering about is why do people judge me by clothes? Are they assuming that clothes somehow grows out of my body, kind of like a skin color does? Well, if they are smart enough to know that clothes is something I put on, rather than something my body grows, they should have known that it should have no reflection on who I am.

And the other thing I was wondering about, which again is very similar to what you described, is this. If people assume that not being dressed up implies I am a bad person, then does it mean that they are assuming that all of their friends are dressed up 24/7 when they are at home? And, if so, does it mean that they are all lying to each other, since they actually are not dressed up at home yet they are telling each other that they are?

Mountain Goat wrote:
and what others think of you does not matter. It is what God thinks of you that matters


That is precisely what a lot of Christians are telling me when I complain. No, not in either of the churches I just talked about (actually I don't remember complaining in either one of those), but elsewhere.

And when Christians are telling me this, it pisses me off because I know that this is just an excuse to refuse to help me. After all they do care about what people think of them and their friends. They just don't care as to what people think of me, because, in their mind, I don't deserve a good reputation to begin with. But why don't I deserve good reputation? Because people think badly of me so they believe them. In other words, they LISTEN to people's opinion and thats why they are telling me NOT TO listen to people's opinion. Do you see how ridiculous it is, if you put it this way?

Similarly, it also pisses me off when Christians are telling me not to worry about a girlfriend or a wife, because all that matters is to "serve the Lord". But wait a second: they have girlfriends and wifes. So why is it, in their case, it matters but in my case it doesn't? Again, because they have low opinion of me, but won't say it.

Here is the point. Yes, what others think of me matters, A LOT. But I don't want them to judge me based on either clothes or opinion of others, since those are the exact two things that stop me from improving their opinion of me. I wish to be given a fair chance, as opposed to being told "it doesn't matter".



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25 Sep 2022, 6:46 am

Just ask God to send the right lady your way at the right time in a way that you won't miss her and let God do the rest.



QFT
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25 Sep 2022, 6:57 am

Mountain Goat wrote:
Just ask God to send the right lady your way at the right time in a way that you won't miss her and let God do the rest.


But thats not what most Christians are telling me. Well, some do. But more often they, instead, say just focus on God and not worry about the lady altogether. And the latter is what pisses me off.



klanka
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25 Sep 2022, 8:47 am

Quote:
Similarly, it also pisses me off when Christians are telling me not to worry about a girlfriend or a wife, because all that matters is to "serve the Lord". But wait a second: they have girlfriends and wifes. So why is it, in their case, it matters but in my case it doesn't? Again, because they have low opinion of me, but won't say it.


lol that does piss me off as well. Thankfully most of them are not like that.