And, may I ask again, how did this come to be?

Of late, I have been wondering about human interaction. Honestly, most of the time, I just don’t understand it.

I’m not that strange or different from anyone else. I don’t have any disorders that would affect my capacity to understand social cues or anything of that sort. But, social interaction truly baffles me.

When it comes to the people I know well or have known for many years I do not worry about this kind of thing. They know me, they know I can be a little kooky or strange or outspoken or inappropriate. They don’t take offence, “that’s just Michele”, they’ll say.

But, when I meet new people I’m never sure what to do exactly. I’m always in fear that I’ll offend someone and a lot of the time people take what I say the wrong way. For example:

In my animal folklore class we were watching a French cartoon featuring anthropomorphized animals. The cab driver was a camel. I found this very clever and cute because he is a labour animal, specifically he carries people places. Now, my whole class stared at me in awkward silence when I said “I thought it was very clever making the camel the cab driver.” I even said “Why am I the only one who’s so excited by this? I would have been equally excited if it were a horse.” Then they understood that I wasn’t being a racist asshole. I felt very stupid. I felt that I had to make the point very clear that I was not being racist, because I’m not a racist person. I will point out cultural differences, but not with malicious intent. I focus on what people are like, not where they’re from.

Anyways, you see how people tend to misinterpret me. That’s actually the second time that class thought I was being racist, when I wasn’t. This is why I don’t understand social interaction.

Also, I do not understand how to approach someone I’m interested in romantically. I tend to over due it because I’m nervous. Attractive people, especially those that I find attractive make me nervous. This, I’m well aware, is a human response. I try to be smooth and suave and witty, but I come off as none of these things. I’m a weird person, I treat most people like I’ve known them for a long time, some people really don’t like this about me.

But how do I go from being friendly to expressing that I’m attracted to this person? To what end, may be the question on your mind. I really just want to get to know them better. If we end up having a dating-type relationship that’s fantastic! If we don’t, I’m more than happy just to call them friend and spend time with them. What some people don’t understand about me is that if you tell me we’re just friends I take you at your word. I say “okay,” and actually mean it. I do not pine, I do not harbour secret loves, I do not waste my time.

What a lot of people don’t understand is that I mean what I say. You mean a female that’s not trying to play head games? Yes, that’s what I am. I hate head games, social ones anyways. I’m always down for some witty banter, but just for fun no real feelings involved. Guys especially don’t get this about me, this is why I don’t generally date. Sorry guys, but you don’t seem to understand that when I say, “I just want to be friends,” or “I’m interested in your personality,” or “Want to grab coffee?” I really mean those exact words! No hidden agenda, no secondary or tertiary meanings, I swear to you.

It’s the same when I talk to girls I don’t know well. When I give you a compliment it’s because I think you deserve it, I’m not trying to make you feel bad or question what’s going on or whatever it is girls do with back handed compliments.

I also realize that I am not an anomaly, I know there are people out there who think this way too. They usually become my friends when we meet. But it’s not a large percentage of this population. I have this silly idea that humanity should just get along and not lie, cheat, or be horrible to one another. Alas, this is not the way the world works. I like to pretend though.

If someone would like to comment on my lovely little rant about human interaction please do! I’d love a discussion. I know that all of these things come from centuries of strange and backwards social customs, but I like to think that human beings evolve.

This rant/musing was inspired by a conversation I recently had with a new friend of mine (who will be from here known as Callisthenics ).


3 thoughts on “And, may I ask again, how did this come to be?

  1. A lot of this is related to privilege. And let me preface that by saying it does for my own as well. With the camel comment, for example, it may have been wrong to assume you were being racist, but you have to be sensitive to how the words you say could reinforce social stereotypes about cab drivers being of Middle Eastern backgrounds. But on the other hand, your anxiety at acting on your various attractions to other people is a reflection of a social experience in which it’s not as legitimate for women to approach men. Personally, I’ve been approached by women a couple times at bars and social events, but I have to be much more open and unimposing than comes second-nature for most guys most of the time. Those who are casual and authentic and mean what they say benefit and enjoy social interactions, based on where they are positioned; people who are less favourably positioned in an area dislike or shy away from that social interaction.My two cents.

  2. Dude, I’m with ya. I’m weird too. I think it’s because people like us – writers, artists – are so deep in their heads all the time. To be able to write you gotta know where’s its heading – like, think three steps ahead. Then, when you’re face to face with someone, and they ask you a question, you have already said your originally planned response in your head, answered it, and end up replying out loud with a reply to the reply of the reply. Does that make sense?

    …and then you say something self-deprecating internally…

    • You make perfect sense to me Adam. It’s frightening how accurately you just described the majority of my interactions. I live 80% of my life in my head, imagining how my life will go. Then, when something unexpected shows up it’s difficult because I’ve already gone so far ahead in one direction that I haven’t even considered another.

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