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Re: Being nice to introverts/the highly sensitive (was Re: "Breaking Cliques at Events")

Hello Mark,

On Wed, Dec 13 2017, Marc Haber wrote:

> On Mon, Dec 11, 2017 at 11:03:23PM -0700, Sean Whitton wrote:
>> Further, in my day-to-day life I am in a culture -- a university --
>> where the norm is to assume that nobody is uncomfortable talking to
>> new people, and if they seem like they are uncomfortable, it's quite
>> acceptable to just pretend that they're not (I'm neither endorsing
>> nor criticising that culture here).
> Doesn't a University have its fair share of socially dysfunctional
> nerds as well (me partly being one of them because I am usually
> perceived as somebody very talkative and extroverted but I'm really
> not)?

Yes, but the norm (at least in this university) is to treat such people
as if they are up for a conversation at all times.

> You'll never know how the messages you send are received. The only way
> you'll notice is carefully watching your counterpart and reacting
> reasonably on signs of uneasiness. For example, I have difficulties to
> maintain eye contact when I'm uncomfortable (which is why I love
> having such conversations in the dark or in the car where I have an
> excuse to look on the street instead of the eyes).
>> 1) am I right that those of us who have no difficulty with new people
>>    need not worry about those introverts/etc. who make it clear that
>>    they know how to look after themselves viz-à-viz their
>>    introversion/etc.?  Or are there steps we can take?
>> 2) for those people who have difficulty with new people but are /not/
>>    like you -- do not have techniques to handle their energy levels;
>>    not fully aware of how they are -- what can those of us who have
>>    no difficulty with new people do to avoid imposing ourselves upon
>>    them?
> It is hard to give universal advice. Generally, I believe that
> self-care and self-protection is the job of each individual
> hirself. You can only look for signs of uneasiness and discomfort and
> ask your counterpart about this if you think that this might be the
> case. IMO, it's your counterpart's obligation to either retreat or to
> voice the uneasiness.

Thank you for this feedback.

Sean Whitton

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