2009.07.17 01:00 - People are mysteries

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    The Guardian for this meeting was Gaya Ethaniel, filling in for Wol who is having a great summer holidays :)

    Gaya Ethaniel: Hello Adele :)
    Adelene Dawner: hi :)
    Gaya Ethaniel: :)
    Gaya Ethaniel: Do you have something you want to discuss?
    Adelene Dawner: Well, Three and I were talking about something interesting earlier.
    Gaya Ethaniel listens.
    Adelene Dawner: Kind of the other side of being compassionate to others.
    Adelene Dawner: At what point, if any, should I be alarmed or concerned by people not 'being nice' to me?
    Gaya Ethaniel thinks.
    Gaya Ethaniel: When their not so nice behaviours are really directed at you I think.
    Adelene Dawner: (We got about to the point of wording that clearly, and then he went to bed, so I don't have much to add, heh.)
    Gaya Ethaniel: Mostly they are being themselves otherwise.
    Gaya Ethaniel: ah :)
    Adelene Dawner: I'm not so much talking about specific not-nice things as I am talking about things not happening that 'should'.
    Gaya Ethaniel: Can you explain more about "things not happening that should'?
    Gaya Ethaniel: Do you mean obligation/responsibilities of others towards you?
    Adelene Dawner: Yes, like that.
    Gaya Ethaniel: hm ... I kind of don't expect that much anymore.
    Adelene Dawner: (And not so much in an attachment sense as in a 'this is not a good person to spend time with' sense.)
    Gaya Ethaniel: You want a social clue to make a decision about people? I'm thinking about your original question "concern" "alarm".
    Adelene Dawner: Yep, that's pretty much where I was going.
    Gaya Ethaniel: I see :)
    Gaya Ethaniel thinks.
    Gaya Ethaniel: Shall we then talk about what kind of things do you expect to see happening?
    Gaya Ethaniel: To sustain a healthy relationship?
    Adelene Dawner: (Also, I'm pondering how this is different from judging people... it's very close, in some ways, but I think it's possible to conclude that it's not a good idea to spend energy on someone without concluding that they're bad.)
    Adelene Dawner: You'd probably be surprised by how much of a blank slate I am with this kind of thing. I don't expect much at all, and that's had some bad outcomes for me.
    Gaya Ethaniel: Yes I agree on that.
    Gaya Ethaniel: About "conclude that it's not a good idea to spend energy on someone without concluding that they're bad"
    Adelene Dawner: :)
    Gaya Ethaniel: Yes in a way the state you are in is what a lot of us would like to 'achieve' yet it of course causes problems inevitably.
    Gaya Ethaniel: The issue is it is different for each of us to express our care/concern for others ...
    Adelene Dawner: mmhmm. I talked a bit about that several months ago - we need both sides. I find this side easier, and you guys find the other side easier, so we can both learn from each other.
    Gaya Ethaniel: :)
    Gaya Ethaniel: ok let's break this down into 'mundane' practicalities ... :)
    Adelene Dawner: 'k
    Gaya Ethaniel: We often talk about making efforts in relationships. If you don't see any signs contributing to this effect ... then the relationship isn't 'good' for one.
    Adelene Dawner: That doesn't work well. I'm good at missing signs, especially the normal kinds of signs.
    Gaya Ethaniel: It can range from showing interests in another's life ie asking/listening. But some people just don't keep up such contacts but still maintain a good friendship ... frequency depends on people you see.
    Gaya Ethaniel: I judge by how their friendships are with others in general.
    Gaya Ethaniel: Can you get a sense about how they are with others easily?
    Adelene Dawner: Looking at other friendships can work, sometimes. It assumes that they'll treat me about as well as they treat others, which is not always the case.
    Adelene Dawner: (I'm 'weird', after all, and some people don't react well to that. :P)
    Gaya Ethaniel: Yes it's because some people would treat each slightly differently. They are skilled ones :)
    Gaya Ethaniel: Those probably are good ones to keep imo
    Gaya Ethaniel: You are not weird but wonderful Adele :)
    Adelene Dawner: ^.^
    Adelene Dawner: There are different kinds of 'treating each person differently', and not all of them are good.
    Gaya Ethaniel: mhm
    Adelene Dawner: If the person is judgemental in a way that's hard for me to notice, for example, they're fairly likely to treat me less well than they treat others - in RL anyway. Things are a bit different here :)
    Gaya Ethaniel: What I meant is someone being sensitive towards your needs, how you are over/balancing their wants.
    Adelene Dawner: mmhmm
    Gaya Ethaniel: I think it's a good indication if you can to see how they are with others. I tend to develop friendships in group settings more easily because of that.
    Gaya Ethaniel: I'm not very good at reading people either :)
    Adelene Dawner: I'm not so good in groups; I get overwhelmed too easily.
    Gaya Ethaniel: True ...
    Gaya Ethaniel: In fact ... I do wonder Adele ... if treating people differently is a good thing in principle.
    Gaya Ethaniel thinks.
    Adelene Dawner: It depends on how and why. Being sensitive to peoples' needs and limitations means giving different kinds and degrees of help to different people. Other than that, though, I tend to say no.
    Gaya Ethaniel: To treat people differently rather than being oneself inevitably brings up the judging mind which is tricky ...
    Gaya Ethaniel: Yes that's right.
    Adelene Dawner: And you have to respect your own limitations, too - which is where being aware of the results of being around specific other people gets relevant.
    Gaya Ethaniel nods.
    Adelene Dawner thinks.
    Gaya Ethaniel: To be more practical ... perhaps you can think of different levels of obligations from people? We tend to expect more from family than friends for example [of course it doesn't always work out in RL that way ^^;;;]
    Adelene Dawner: I very much tend to tailor that to the individual person... 'family' is NOT a useful category, for me, for example.
    Gaya Ethaniel: ok maybe we get what we get with the family we born into but with partners or families we form as adults, we can certainly expect to see more of such efforts than general friends?
    Adelene Dawner: For normal definitions of 'family' and 'friends', sure.
    Adelene Dawner: I tend not to draw a line between those categories, though :)
    Gaya Ethaniel: It could be a practical solution. Surely you see Three differently to general contacts. How did you come about that conclusion for example?
    Adelene Dawner: It's a quantitative difference more than a qualitative one, really. A very large quantitative difference, but a quantitative difference nonetheless.
    Gaya Ethaniel: I do think the quantitative clue is a good one to start with.
    Gaya Ethaniel: It works for people like us well in general. Only very a small minority of my friends don't fit if I just apply that rule only.
    Adelene Dawner: We're getting ahead of ourselves, here, though. To figure that out, I ask questions like 'how much can I trust this person'? But what happens when I don't know the answers to those questions yet?
    Gaya Ethaniel: Well what do you do when you trust someone? Can I ask that? What's in jeopardy if you make a mistake in that call?
    Adelene Dawner: Good question. It's been a long time since I've done anything that I consider risky in that regard, so I'm not actually sure.
    Gaya Ethaniel thinks.
    Gaya Ethaniel: Do give us an example that you consider a risky thing to do?
    Adelene Dawner: How about telling someone who has a history of getting upset easily something that they don't want to hear.
    Adelene Dawner: (I deal with that by not associating much with people who get upset easily.)
    Gaya Ethaniel: hm ... well that goes both ways. People would know that you're direct, how you speak.
    Adelene Dawner: mmhmm
    Gaya Ethaniel: So the responsibility of that happening is twofold, not just on you.
    Adelene Dawner: true.
    Gaya Ethaniel: So the quantitative clue applies here still. How much they seek your company.
    Gaya Ethaniel: More precisely how comfortable they are in talking about things with you.
    Adelene Dawner: That strategy sounds like 'be yourself, 100%, and see who sticks around' - which works in most cases, but isn't completely foolproof.
    Gaya Ethaniel: Sure but that is the case for others too :)
    Adelene Dawner: A more specific wording of what I'm trying to get at is 'how can I avoid being taken advantage of', if that helps.
    Gaya Ethaniel: Yes I know :)
    Adelene Dawner: ok :)
    Gaya Ethaniel: Unfortunately ... there are always people [consciously/unconsciously] who would do that. The only thing I can decide is how much I am able to offer.
    Gaya Ethaniel: How much I am willing to offer too.
    Adelene Dawner: The second one sounds more useful :)
    Gaya Ethaniel: :)
    Adelene Dawner: Kind of annoying to implement, but I can work on that. :)
    Gaya Ethaniel: Once there was a discussion about giving how it can be also a burden to the receiver.
    Adelene Dawner: I missed that one
    Gaya Ethaniel: But this kind of thinking can be problematic because it can easily prevent someone from being oneself.
    Adelene Dawner: mmhmm
    Adelene Dawner: My rule of thumb with that, if I'm understanding the situation you mean, is that if someone feels obligated to do something for me for some reason, and I haven't asked or encouraged them to do it, it's really not my problem.
    Gaya Ethaniel: But I took it as one should try to be more aware of one's limitations in general, which should seep into the way one offers/gives when interacting with others.
    Gaya Ethaniel: Yes if someone gives freely, that's great. There is nothing one needs to do.
    Adelene Dawner nods. "Being aware of my limitations seems to be the key, here."
    Gaya Ethaniel: I think so.
    Adelene Dawner: ^.^
    Gaya Ethaniel: And it goes both ways. It's a relationship after all. Responsibilities lie on both, not just on yours.
    Adelene Dawner: Yep.
    Gaya Ethaniel: :)
    Gaya Ethaniel: It's difficult ... must be harder for you at times.
    Adelene Dawner: Sometimes. It's easier here. RL can be very hard at times, but I'm used to that.
    Gaya Ethaniel nods.
    Gaya Ethaniel: I wonder how well I'd have gotten to know you if we met in RL only :)
    Adelene Dawner: Probably not at all, actually. I don't really socialize. At all.
    Gaya Ethaniel: :)
    Gaya Ethaniel: Just going back ... read your original question again.
    Gaya Ethaniel: Doing something risky ... was more about others yet being taken advantage of is something about you.
    Adelene Dawner: hmm
    Gaya Ethaniel: We started off with "At what point, if any, should I be alarmed or concerned by people not 'being nice' to me?"
    Adelene Dawner: Well, part of that is that I really don't recognize 'being taken advantage of'. That's what I was asking in my original question: What actions, or lack of actions, are in that category? 'Cause I honestly don't have a clue.
    Gaya Ethaniel thinks.
    Adelene Dawner: There've been a few cases where someone's said 'how could you let that person take advantage of you like that' or 'why do you let people take advantage of you', so I know it happens by at least some definition, but I don't know what exactly was being referred to.
    Gaya Ethaniel: That probably refers to the difference largely in material exchanges ie time.
    Adelene Dawner: o.O?
    Gaya Ethaniel thinks.
    Gaya Ethaniel: If you are spending more of your time for another than in return?
    Gaya Ethaniel: Whether it's thinking about it or doing something for the other I mean.
    Gaya Ethaniel: Difference in emotional and material investment in the relationship.
    Adelene Dawner: So basically if they're 'costing' me significantly more than I'm 'earning' by being around them. That explains why I don't notice; I don't pay attention to that at all.
    Gaya Ethaniel: That is one of the quantitative clues I mentioned.
    Adelene Dawner: I'm not sure, but I suspect it'd cost me more to pay attention to that than I'd get back by being able to avoid people who would take advantage of me :)
    Gaya Ethaniel: mhm :)
    Gaya Ethaniel: So I don't think in terms of those clues anymore.
    Adelene Dawner: Okay, that works :)
    Gaya Ethaniel: If I'm not 'hurt' by those incidents, that's ok with me.
    Adelene Dawner: The implication when it'd come up was that being taken advantage of was harmful, with significant risk of major harm... but really, I've never seen that happen, so I guess not worrying about it makes sense. :)
    Gaya Ethaniel: If I enjoyed spending time with them or doing something for them is more of a concern really ... as long as it's accepted/agreed by others :)
    Gaya Ethaniel: I don't think it's harmful Adele :) Such way of thinking cause a lot of problems between humans.
    Adelene Dawner chuckles. "I agree, except the part about needing others' approval."
    Adelene Dawner: Anyway, want to come see my new build?
    Gaya Ethaniel: Yes :) [not approval - just about knowing one's limitation - an internal process not external]
    Adelene Dawner: [ah]
    Gaya Ethaniel: :) Let's go!
    Adelene Dawner: ok, I'll send you a teleport :)
    Gaya Ethaniel: ty :)

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