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Living Sincerely in an Insincere World

One of the things that leaves me emotionally ragged by the end of the day is being surrounded by people for whom normal clever social interactions is always surfing along the surface. I am constantly asked questions that they don't really mean to hear the real answers to - it has become a joke to keep tripping me up I think. It is good-natured as far as I can tell - but it is exhausting. I just cannot remember to "be shallow", to remember they are not being sincere - if that makes any sense (I am ragged right now, so I'm not sure how clearly I can put all of this). I'm tired of sincerity not being appreciated or taken seriously. I just don't understand how these other people cannot be emotionally ragged at the end of a superficial/shallow day. Maybe if work in itself - or even just the work of socializing - weren't so much of an effort for me I could then to remember to switch into fake mode, but as it is I just react as I normally would - sincerely...and just serve as bait.

Comments

Don't consider it fake mode, but rather automatic polite mode. You may be able to train yourself into mostly-automatic responses in those sorts of situations. That being said, in my case attempts to act a bit more "human" led to runaway anxiety, which took some professional help to calm down.
 
To clarify... there are rules to social interactions. Start with traditional etiquette (as in read through Emily Post's Etiquette), and adapt it for the common informal situations.
 
To clarify... there are rules to social interactions. Start with traditional etiquette (as in read through Emily Post's Etiquette), and adapt it for the common informal situations.
I'm actually pretty good with etiquette (after studying it, that is). But what's happening at work is people keep wanting to banter - and I realize I am terrible at recognizing it. So I keep answering sincerely in order to be "polite" - and I only realize later when they laugh at me that they were just bantering - but with me, now, the joke is becoming that I always "fall" for it - that I am gullible - because I can't recognize humor/banter or sarcasm.
 
This is probably one of my biggest problems with social interactions in general, I tend to be pretty open with people about my experiences and my views cause I figure that's the whole point of interacting, we're all human after all, but I kinda get the idea that people perceive me as weak or foolish for doing so, for not putting up this front, for not playing 'the game'. People don't even tend to really think before they speak, they just deliver these kind of automaton responses to everything that is said to them. There are people out there who aren't necessarily like this, at least not to the same degree, but they tend to be more on the 'fringes' of society. The best conversations Ive had were with other outsiders, also I find group discussions tend to be more like you describe as apposed to one on one, maybe cause there's fewer parties involved so less potential to be judged? Or ganged up on? Excluded? I just avoid groups entirely.
 
This is probably one of my biggest problems with social interactions in general, I tend to be pretty open with people about my experiences and my views cause I figure that's the whole point of interacting, we're all human after all, but I kinda get the idea that people perceive me as weak or foolish for doing so, for not putting up this front, for not playing 'the game'. People don't even tend to really think before they speak, they just deliver these kind of automaton responses to everything that is said to them. There are people out there who aren't necessarily like this, at least not to the same degree, but they tend to be more on the 'fringes' of society. The best conversations Ive had were with other outsiders, also I find group discussions tend to be more like you describe as apposed to one on one, maybe cause there's fewer parties involved so less potential to be judged? Or ganged up on? Excluded? I just avoid groups entirely.
I couldn't have said this better. So true.
 

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Ambi
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