Friday, 12 December 2008


Something amazes me about society, how this invisible rulebook has to be followed in order to appear normal, get treated equally and avoid being shunned by the masses. We are always verbally encouraged to 'be ourselves' when infact the exact opposite is true. Whenever I be myself, I get called names, people snigger behind my back or even worse just go quiet when I enter the room. I always end up my own worst enemy, sabotaging my success with this self-loathing, being sensitive to criticism. I have the same right to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness as everyone else. I don't always seem to know what to do and say and what not to do in say in public, whether it's at work or school

The phrase 'cheer up it may never happen' may seem harmless enough, but if I want to sit down, stare into space with a blank face then that’s my choice. My mind is still happy, thoughts racing around about the cosmos and music, I don’t have time to form a happy face in order to conform! If I was to force a happy face my mind would go blank, just as it would if I was trying to work out someone else's facial expression.

There's a tangible peer pressure, a kind of nationalistic bullying to toe the line. In other words - get that new car on credit, get your large widescreen TV, dress correctly (that is, suitably edgy and with the right labels), have a suitable number of nights out with friends and then, and only then, are you a suitable mate, and the real life can hell with that.

Either that, or i'm just sick and tired of shallow British girls...I don't have it in me to plough most of my disposible income into 'looking the part'...a trait that sees you left behind in the UK of today, and get accused of being homosexual.

A colleague has reminded me time and time again that a man of my age should be going to night clubs, pulling birds and getting wasted. I get asked if I have a girlfriend yet, I have been asked when I’m going to finally get a driving license. Who the hell said there is a time schedule, let alone if it has to be done in the first place. Procrastination is one thing, shyness is another, but not wanting to conform is totally different. Sexual desires aside, if I actually knew how to socialise with women, do all the eye to eye gaze and small talk rituals, if I didn’t get overloaded by constant background noise, and if I didn’t feel as though my personal space is constantly invaded, and if I lacked morals, then sure id go out on the pull in nightclubs. A man cannot drive a car with his eyes closed, unless he is told exactly when to steer, apply the throttle, brake and indicate at every given moment that it is required. Even if he learnt when and where to do all these functions for a given journey, what if a deer ran out onto the road, what if he needed to use a different road one day?

I can talk about my interests like a never ending machine, got ridiculed for it many times. So what else is there for me to discuss with people? The weather? What I had for dinner the previous night? What benefit would that actually give my brain? Small talk is known as the oil that lubricates the wheels of social interaction. I am baffled, how can talking about your dinner enhance your social status? Surely the majority of mankind can see past the shallows? Why are people afraid of the deep end? I am an all or nothing kind of guy, my conversations tend to be non existent, or an in depth discussion about a worthwhile topic. It depresses me as to why people are afraid of this. Surely this is substance over style? But maybe that is exactly the point; do people prefer the easy option? It might be more difficult to break the threshold with people who are wired to be weird, but if only I could advertise the benefits without having to feel overwhelmed, cheap, exhausted and dirty.

My sister once reassured me that odd people are far more interesting, if that is the case then why do weird/eccentric/odd people remain on the outskirts of the social world? Why do they never get a shot? There is a rulebook that most people are given as a birthright. Some people such as me are denied it. This subconscious book has programmed people to be able to pick up body language, and facial expression as though it is a sixth sense. The eyes can be seen as a window to the soul, another mind and soul can be understood, probed, manipulated, loved and hated.

What rulebook was I given then? I look into someone's eyes or look at someone's face and it feels like I am looking at nuclear fusion. I try to understand another point of view and it feels like I am taking mental cyanide. I try to be like others, and I end up feeling exhausted, frustrated and need time to cool down. But then how come all I think about is the cosmos, music, motorbikes and ww1&ww2, mentally picturing scenarios, with a melody and/or rhythm in my head. This book must have a different author; it told me all those years ago to understand logic, systematic processes. It told me to automatically pick up music, have perfect pitch, and be aware of things that really matter. My brain has its own priorities. Are they superior? I am not one to answer.

At the end of the day does being a geek with intense interests who is prepared to live life his unique own way deserve the punishment it brings? There is no blame to be put on individuals, just frustration towards this invisible impenetrable wall that doesn’t allow the required two way mental passage. I would never throw away the book I have given, but I would love to borrow the other one for a day, just to see what it is all about.


Anonymous said...

I agree with this 100%!

I dont ever plan to go to nightclubs or anything and I dont care much if I never get a girlfriend, I dont even care if I die a virgin.

Society is stupid and I refuse to change myself for other people.

HumanProject said...

Like Josh G, I resonated with many of your comments in the post.

I especially agreed with your dislike of small talk. As you noted that you could talk about your interests for a long time, but this may not completely engage the other person.

In my teens and early 20s, I avoided hanging out at parties and clubs or even having dinner at big group tables in the college dining hall, because the conversations were so boring. I sat by myself reading a magazine or pouring over my computer printouts. But somewhere in my 20s (or later -- over time) I basically learned how to do something in one-on-one conversations that I call "making other people interesting."

I would put in a little time asking the person questions about themselves, but not for purposes of chit-chat (which is just too boring), but because I was playing a particular game: I wanted to learn how they were interesting. Specifically, did they have access to a database of knowledge that overlapped with one of my interests? Could I use their personal story as evidence for one of my theories? Etc.

I was wondering if you have ever tried this?

Beastinblack said...

Is it worth the bother? The eye contact thing freaks me out. The friend I do have accepts it and isnt bothered if I dont look at him all evening! But is everyone else like that? If I have to apply the non verbal, (either giving or recieving) it is as though the rest of my available IQ halves, ruining my ability to remember any questions I had pre rehearsed. I would have to see a physical object or a sign that showed a share interest, (motorbike, member of a band maybe) but the thing is it would only get me so far, I would get bored and make my excuses.

Becca said...

You know, going to nightclubs or whatever isn't going to get you a worthwhile person anyway. There is nothing wrong with wanting a more in depth conversation, and you're definately not going to find that at some pub getting drunk. The girls there aren't gonna listen to anything past superficial topics, so why bother. No, you don't have to talk about the weather, and yeah, people are going to think you're odd sometimes when you're talking about some subject that interests you and you probably won't notice that they aren't interested, (my husband has done this all the time and he doesn't see they've lost interest or if so he doesn't know why) but it's OK. You'll find a person eventually who you can talk to who shares your interests or at least who will listen and learn.

My husband finds it best to seek out the "odd" people and he seems to get along with others who are obsessed with certain weird things like him.

you don't have to conform, and you don't have to fit in. Do your own thing and be who you are.

Beastinblack said...

I do have a friend who can talk on that level, problem is I fancy women :)