sparr (sparr0) wrote,
sparr
sparr0

Reflections on my social trends

 This last weekend has brought a few long term trends into focus for me, and this post is my start to seeing if there are any useful conclusions or resolutions that I might reach.
 
Over time, as I find communities populated by people with whom I am more compatible (more rational, less fragile, more agency-exhibiting, less emotional, etc), I upset fewer people with my choices and patterns of behavior. Also over time, the people who have become upset with me in the past spread their influence farther, dissuading other people (with whom I have never interacted) from interacting with me. And that latter trend also reduces the frequency with which I come into contact with people who I would upset. This weekend the two groups seemed of approximately equal size from what I could see. On top of that, there must be people in the latter group who I still haven't met. Have those two lines crossed already? Are there more people out there who are avoiding interacting with me now who I haven't met than those that I have? This isn't something that I have put a lot of thought into in the past, and it hasn't come up in previous conversations about the more obvious half of this phenomenon, but seems like it could be important to my decision making in the future.
 
Relatedly, there are those people who only [or more actively] engage in campaigning against me when my existence is brought to their attention again. I find myself attempting to avoid notice while going about my business in order to reduce that effect, such as not putting my name on events I am organizing, using my position instead of name as a radio callsign, stepping back from various visible duties, having someone else represent my work, etc. My goal is to maximize the positive effect on and for myself and others, while avoiding triggering the substantial negative effects that come from being noticed by the wrong people. I find myself wondering if I might be aiming for what is just a local maximum, and there is some better position much farther along the curve if I greatly ramp up my level of visibility in an effort to spread positive impact farther faster than prior negative impact can spread.
 
Over the last couple of years, fewer people have been "making nice" with me while saying negative things about me behind my back. This is obviously a difficult trend to track, given the sparseness of information about the latter, but it seems relatively consistent over a long period. I am thankful for this, despite not knowing what all is causing it. I suspect part of it is me just being me, driving a deeper wedge between us over time. Another part is hopefully at least a few people getting the message that this is not something that I want, because it greatly increases the danger to me from their friends and people like them. I wonder if there are other factors?
 
I finally saw someone very explicitly ignoring and avoiding me when surrounded by their peer group who spread that effect, and then interacting with me in an at least moderately friendly way (approach, greeting, question, hug) when in isolation. The most charitable interpretation that I can come up with is that they actually do consider me a friend and are only avoiding me when around other people who avoid me to avoid upsetting those people. But to act on that interpretation would open me up to those dangers mentioned above. If they are actually just pretending to be friendly, while actually being unhappy with my presence, then I am "creepy" or "obtuse" or "violating conversational consent" by ignoring all the signs that they don't want to interact with me. This problem continues to grow for me over time, and this new observation might help me figure out how to deal with it, although I am not sure how yet.
 
I welcome insights on any or all of the above.
Tags: drama, outcast, social network
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