Monday, July 10, 2006

Interacting with people

Last post I mentioned I have this conflict of being an introvert yet loving people. When I say that I'm an introvert, I mean that it takes a lot of energy for me to be around new people, and I have a definite need for time to myself to reflect. On the other hand, I really need social interaction, and I'll go crazy without that too, so I need to put out that energy to meet new people, especially since I'm in a new place, and it really does seem Seattle is a particularly difficult place to meet new people.

One thing I noticed about how I interact with people as I'm getting to know them is that there's sort of a threshold people have to cross for me not to be bothered at them contacting me without a good concrete reason. There are degrees of this, but for the most part, I'm bothered if most people message (or worse, call) just to say hi. (Good reasons to IM/call usually have to include some plan to physically meet and hopefully do something interesting; interacting online only has limited interest to me, and I hate phones.) But the people I know well have sort of 'earned' the right to call and just see how my life is going. What's the difference? Maybe it's a matter of trust - I don't want people chatting with me just because they're bored. But I don't mind people asking if I know they're doing it because they're genuinely interested in how my life is going, and I guess I have to know people reasonably well before I trust they're really interested in my state of being. It doesn't necessarily take very long, but there definitely needs to be some kind of connecting period.

I suspect there are people who genuinely welcome any reasonable sort of contact, as long as they're not terribly busy. These are the people I'd call true extroverts. Maybe I'm wrong. But there must be a lot of people out there who like going to big loud parties full of people they don't know, and that's just beyond my comprehension, so they must be pretty different from me. Maybe these are the same people who go online and chat with people they don't know, another thing I can't comprehend. But even without that, even chatting with people you know, there's a wide range of what people expect - there seem to be an awful lot of people who expect anybody on a chat program to respond immediately and give the chat their full attention, and get quite upset if you delay in writing back. I can't really communicate with these people. We never get off on the right foot. I just don't take chat that seriously. It's closer to email than phone, meaning asynchronous, respond as you have time. (The interruption factor is a big part of why I hate phones.) Maybe that's the problem - if you like phones and think of chat in the same model as a phone call, I guess it would be easy to be offended if you get 'silence' on the other end.

I'm too tired and unfocused to write anything nicely right now, but I seem to have this big backlog of things I need to get out, so I'm going to try to make time for writing regularly until I've gotten that out of my system. Or maybe I won't get it out of my system. Funny how when you start writing you keep having more left to say rather than less - like last night. I feel rather naked after all I wrote; I don't know if I intended to say so much so personal, but I have yet to actually have anything bad happen when I'm open about such things, so I guess it's okay.

July is almost half over. Soon I'll have been at this job 5 months. It's really nice here, nicer than I ever would have imagined. But I don't think I'll ever feel at home here, like this is really where I belong. Or maybe I would if I could get this love of Silicon Valley out of my system. I'll work on that soon. Just give me time.

Remember, this too shall pass.


Blogger Piaw Na said...

Bwahahahaha! You'll never get the love of Silicon Valley out of your system. Resistance is futile, you will find a way to move back. I led a ride yesterday for a bunch of google cyclists, and they all commented they had never ever climbed a hill like the one I'd just taken them up. Sure it was painful (at 22% grade), but it's another reason why Bay Area cyclists can visit any other country in the world and not be daunted by the hills.

By the way, riding in New Zealand isn't that good. Biking across Europe is much more pleasant. For a full explanation visit (They explain why they moved to New Zealand hoping to retire there and then ended up giving up on that and moving back to MA)

7/16/2006 9:19 PM  

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