Saturday, October 07, 2006

Braindump. Carry on.

Rediscovery of the day: I'm still withdrawn and quiet Mel when I'm in a situation outside my familiarity; the range of situations have just broadened since college started. Seems the places I still get stuck are the purely social ones; parties, clubs, (non-swing) dances, formal business occasions that are more etiquette than actual business, that kind of thing. I wonder if there are Practicalcoholics Anonymous groups that help people like me who need recreational activity to have a definite point.

Also: Bikes are much nicer when their chain doesn't keep slipping, and riding back from Wellesley in the dark without a bike light is a bad idea. (However, biking with Matt Ritter is an eminently enjoyable way to spend an afternoon outside.) I am fully aware that I am spending too much time with my computer in my suite; my lungs are withering, my legs are pasty-white, and the most common greeting I hear is "Mel! Where have you been? I haven't seen you in forever!"

Fixing this.

The next point will actually contain content.


Beth said...

You, my friend, need a spiral learning lesson on socializing.

1) Go to a place far, far from Olin. Make sure there are no geeks around for you to turn to by default. This includes internet connections. The longer the timeframe the better, but even a few hours at a time to get started works.

2) Pretend you're not a geek. This is really hard. Learn to look for beauty and fun and humor in things that aren't l33t and nerdy.

3) If you get really really lonesome for geeks, call a few up to take the edge off the pain of Olin-withdrawal.

4) Get yourself into a ton of situations that require l33t social skillz. This includes bars, parties and other social events.

5) Watch, learn, make mistakes, learn from mistakes, laugh at mistakes, rinse and repeat.

6) Realize that not only does socializing get easier because you discover things like formulaic conversations that make meeting people easier and ways to excuse yourself from boring conversations, you might start enjoying yourself. Then you'll find yourself in easier social situations acting like the belle of the ball.

Seriously, that's what I've done at Otago. Make yourself uncomfortable. Push your limits for interacting with people past what you think is possible or sane. If you can survive Gill and Brian doing that to you with modcon, then you can survive doing it to yourself with socializing. Think of it as mental exercize: it's painful at first, but once you get in the rhythm of doing it you begin to appreciate what it does for you.

<3 Ag

erin dowd said...

I can empathize with the lack of sociability thing. The only successful solution I've had is to act really friendly and cheeful to people I don't know. It works to make socialization easier, and be more likeable, but I don't enjoy myself as much and apparently people think I'm flirting with them. I also feel less connected to the people I meet while acting this way. Still some bugs to work out in the implementation, lol. ;)

If you need a bike lamp, I think mine might be on my bike in the WH bike room. Feel free to use it.