Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Socially Expected Interactions

Once again, this is all philosophy, so don't feel obliged to read any of it.

I realized a serious problem that I have socially at the beginning of the quarter, and I have been thinking about this problem for the entire quarter. I think personal information is a very valuable thing. By telling a person personal information, you are showing that person a level of trust. The more you tell them, the more you trust them. If they tell you personal information, then you should realize that they are offering you their trust, and that trust should be respected by listening when they have something to say. In short, I have always considered the sharing of details of my life to be a gift, and have always sought to quietly listen to the details of the lives of others and not push them to reveal more information than they are comfortable disclosing.

I realized at the beginning of the quarter that most people do not think this way. Talking about yourself is a hallmark of selfishness, and most people will see it as such. Furthermore, it seems that no one but me thinks it is polite to refrain from requesting more information than is offered. Socially, the polite thing to do is to ask a person about themselves rather than offer information about yourself.

However, I still can't bring myself to ask for more than I give in a conversation, mostly because I would be asking questions that are socially accepted instead of the questions that I really want to ask. I want to ask "What are your dreams like?", "Do you believe in souls?", "What makes you love?" and "What do you want to be like when you are 80?" but if I ask these questions most people will be thrown off guard (and I will again be told "Trenton, you're so random!"; I'm not random, I always have wanted to know the deepest things about you I just never had the courage to ask before!). Instead I get stuck asking questions like "What is your major?", "Where are you from?" and "What are your plans?". Things that are still interesting, but not as deep as I want them to be.

Well, I have more to say, but I'm tired of saying it. Ta ta.

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