Time spent with Friends/Family

How to explain ERE, arranging family matters
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Ego
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Re: Time spent with Friends/Family

Post by Ego » Thu Sep 05, 2019 1:34 am

bigato wrote:
Wed Sep 04, 2019 8:11 pm
Well maybe this is a cultural difference but around here, saying that someone is deficient is a somewhat loaded word, not to be used when not literal.
I apologize if it came across as offensive. I knew there was that risk so I probably should have spelled out what I meant....

I was thinking of deficiency as in, "vegans are more prone to B12 deficiency." Since we don't get it in our diet we have to make an effort to supplement or we will suffer serious consequences.

While B12 supplementation is benign, if people must supplement with neuropharmaceuticals, alcohol or drugs to get through social events then perhaps it is worth looking into another path. There are options beyond the three most obvious, (drug it / avoid it / suffer through it).

We become what we practice. Slowly, with practice, the human brain can be rewired.

Also, to reiterate what I said above, even extroverts feel nervous at these events. I believe their success is largely due to the story they tell themselves about the nervousness. They see it as the nervous energy they need to be 'on'.

Today we head to our starting point on the Camino de Santiago de Compostela. We'll be living in large open hostels for the next 3-4 weeks. I suspect the experience will challenge my social skills. I am feeling quite a bit of nervous energy. That's a good thing.

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Re: Time spent with Friends/Family

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Thu Sep 05, 2019 6:53 am

classical_Liberal wrote: The best description I can use for the advantages of strong social skills; it's similar to the type of advantages very physically attractive people seem to hold on the opposite sex. An extremely physically attractive person tends to hold peoples attention by simply being present. Most people tend to want to please them. They can literally hold a room captive. They are given more opportunities because people like to be in their presence.
I am glad you brought this up, because I believe that it is more than an analogy. Humans are hugely influenced by appearance and behavior. Sometimes humans who experienced a formative phase in which they were less than physically attractive retain the negative effects of this early experience well into adulthood. For instance, one of my sisters was like Urkel until the summer after 8th grade when she suddenly became very attractive. Humans who are always "attractive enough" are less likely to become cynical about the benefits of social interaction.

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Re: Time spent with Friends/Family

Post by jacob » Thu Sep 05, 2019 8:23 am

@cL - I posit that social skills are somewhat situational and that the benefits described above are somewhat entangled with charisma. A few years ago, we played around with a D&D test and here's the scale:
Charisma
  • 1 (–5): Barely conscious, incredibly tactless and non-empathetic
  • 2-3 (–4): Minimal independent thought, relies heavily on others to think instead ($)
  • 4-5 (–3): Has trouble thinking of others as people
  • 6-7 (–2): Terribly reticent, uninteresting, or rude
  • 8-9 (–1): Something of a bore or makes people mildly uncomfortable
  • 10-11 (0): Capable of polite conversation
  • 12-13 (1): Mildly interesting, knows what to say to the right people
  • 14-15 (2): Interesting, knows what to say to most people
  • 16-17 (3): Popular, receives greetings and conversations on the street
  • 18-19 (4): Immediately likeable by many people, subject of favorable talk
  • 20-21 (5): Life of the party, able to keep people entertained for hours
  • 22-23 (6): Immediately likeable by almost everybody
  • 24-25 (7): Renowned for wit, personality, and/or looks
($) This descriptor seems off. I'd replace it with "Insensitive, disrespectful and churlish".

I scored 7.4 in the CHA department (remember to use the translation equation) but also 21.8 in WIS. I read social situations better than most people. This makes for a strange combination.

Effectively, charisma varies by the situation. 7 is my default mode and reticent is the right descriptor. I just don't seek to connect with random people which in turn makes me as uninteresting to them as they are to me. In a work situation, I'll do 10. At ERE meetups or similar, I turn into a 14 and could probably be mistaken for an extrovert. So I have some idea of what charisma feels like.

My best example for explaining why I think charisma is situational is a college friend from the coed dorm and proverbial ESFP party girl scoring around 21. In many ways my complete opposite. A few months after some of us had started the chess club (3 founding members) that quickly turned into the beer and trivial pursuit club (now with 1/4 of the dorm present), she finally showed up. What was interesting was that her otherwise brilliant social skills didn't work at all when seated around the TP table where the social interaction was more structured (and also required trivia knowledge she didn't have much of).

That's my argument for why situational subject-matter is a confounding variable. Another way of suggesting it is Eleanor Roosevelt's comment about "Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people." Well, I'd rather note that only a few minds are interested in ideas, whereas many minds are interested in events such as the weather, sports results, stuff they buy, things they eat, and vacations they've been on; and most people are interested in other people and their [own] children.

In Paul Graham's essay, it's recognized that focus takes energy. Popular people focus on popularity. Nerds focus on nerd stuff. If a nerd wants to be popular, they have to focus more on popularity and less on nerd stuff. They might not consider that trade off worthwhile. To spend less time thinking about, say, trivial pursuit factoids and more time learning the names of football players and developing opinions on restaurants or children's activities or how a coworker behaved so that when the random conversation inevitably falls on that and stays there, they have something to say about it.

This repository of "social information" is not something that can be learned once. It's something that needs to be maintained and something that those who are charismatic spend a lot more time and energy on than those who aren't.
IOW, charisma is a perishable skill.

In my case, after trying a few times, I've just not found it worthwhile to learn and maintain the "social information" needed to make a lot of random human connections. Instead I maintain the information relevant to connect to select humans... such as this forum. It would obviously be different if I was in the business of having to connect with a lot of different persons on a regular basis, like sales, or nursing, or traveling, but I'm not, so I don't. I think as long as one has the social skills to remain above 4 on the charisma scale in a given situation (we've seen some failures on the forum from time to time) and doesn't feel a need for more humans in one's life, then it's okay to be more interested in other things than how to be more social/friendly/popular.

TL;DR - Social skill is not the same as charisma. Charisma benefits from shared interests. Most people happen to share common interests (events, people) which makes socializing easier but some do not.

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Re: Time spent with Friends/Family

Post by daylen » Thu Sep 05, 2019 9:51 am

@jacob On that thread you said, "@jacob - Note to self. Look up charm-school on Coursera or Open MIT again".

Did you ever get around to it? :P

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Re: Time spent with Friends/Family

Post by jacob » Thu Sep 05, 2019 10:12 am

Well, I recently paid $40 for a more approachable sense of fashion, but otherwise no. Too busy cutting dovetails :lol:

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Re: Time spent with Friends/Family

Post by classical_Liberal » Fri Sep 06, 2019 5:15 am

Although I can certainly see how it could appear charisma based on my previous description. I tend to think of charisma is a sub-set of social skills. So it is part of the whole, but not the only thing involved.

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Re: Time spent with Friends/Family

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Fri Sep 06, 2019 6:57 am

I think I would be somewhat bi-polar on the Charisma scale, because I am socially experimental. So, it's kind of like I simultaneously have "trouble thinking of others as people" while being "subject of favorable talk." For instance, when I was the hiring manager for a large book and music store, it became a running joke that I hired new staff on the basis of being date-able for the current staff. Everybody was sleeping with somebody else at that store, which if you think about it is probably a good thing for business when you aren't able to pay very much.

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Re: Time spent with Friends/Family

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Fri Sep 06, 2019 7:03 am

Anyways, I think the proposed Social Wheaton Charts above are kind of Sunday School boring. All you really need to do to be popular with most people is help them get well fed or well f*cked. Small talk just serves as sort of "I bear no weapon" obligatory handshake.

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Re: Time spent with Friends/Family

Post by jennypenny » Fri Sep 06, 2019 7:08 am

I think maybe part of the disagreements in the thread are because of terminology. What it boils down to (for people like EREs) is how much social interaction is required to maintain a useful level of social capital and acceptance. Developing more social skill is a good approach, but that doesn't directly translate into a higher social standing and IMO is kind of a nebulous goal at best.

What I was trying to say in my previous post is that you should examine exactly what you're trying to accomplish with your social interactions so you have very specific goals ... like keeping close friends and family happy, feeling a part of your neighborhood, or being a social enough parent that you don't harm your child's social standing. Once you do that, you can try to find ways that accomplish the specific goal without having to magically overcome your 'I' or raise your charisma score.

I'm a total zero in the charisma category which is why I try to find other ways to be seen as useful (kitchen help/cooking) or interesting enough (wine angle/bringing latest books I've read to hand out) to warrant inclusion in the social circle I'm targeting. You can also buy your way into groups by being the neighbor/coworker who always buys lots of girl scout cookies or donates 20 turkeys to the annual thanksgiving food collection. Or you can grow extra tomato plant seedlings every spring to give away.

I don't think the problem is necessarily about becoming a different person. I think it's about specifically identifying your social goals and figuring out specific ways to maintain status in each group that don't drive you mad or require too much effort. Figure out a way to make your own talents (gardening, cooking, photography) valuable to the group and in a way that's not too taxing to your 'I' or your wallet.


edited to add: It took me a while, but I figured out that I was felt much less awkward/anxious at outdoor parties compared to indoor ones. I'm not sure why -- not so confined, easier to escape to the kitchen, more casual dress code, can usually get by playing horseshoes or bocce, whatever. Once I recognized that, I tried to attend more outdoor events and skip the indoor ones. Like I said, it's just a puzzle to figure out.
Last edited by jennypenny on Fri Sep 06, 2019 7:42 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Time spent with Friends/Family

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Fri Sep 06, 2019 7:29 am

jennypenny wrote:or being a social enough parent that you don't harm your child's social standing.
The worst. I am so happy my years of having to chat with the other ballet moms (AKA the affluent brittle) are over. Now that I think about it, this is probably because my simple rule of thumb didn't work with those who have no interest in food or sex.

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Re: Time spent with Friends/Family

Post by daylen » Fri Sep 06, 2019 8:59 am

@7W5 ENTP gives INTP food for thought. INTP writes dry academic/religious text. Some other type reduces the text into spoonfuls with color. Society teaches/worships the colorful spoonfuls. Meanwhile, another INTP expands onto the original text repeating the pattern. :)

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Re: Time spent with Friends/Family

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Fri Sep 06, 2019 9:46 am

@daylen:

Not very diplomatic of me, eh? :lol: I am chuckling at your use of embodied language.

I'm not a huge fan of Maslow, because too simplistic and rigid. But, one could describe Jacob as being very high functioning in social realm, because he attempts to directly help other people self-actualize. Whereas, those "Efficiency" guys make their people do like 10X more work just to get laid (although the subtext reveals core romantic motivation.)

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Re: Time spent with Friends/Family

Post by Jin+Guice » Sun Sep 08, 2019 10:04 pm

Social skill and extroversion are not the same thing. Have you ever had to talk to a non-socially-skilled extrovert? It's like being murdered, but worse, because it never fucking ends.

I think social skill corresponds to being able to get out of conversations as much as get into them. It also corresponds to directing them. Social skill does not mean being popular. Reading body language is an element. Reading "rooms" (social situations) and individuals is an element. Charisma is an element. Being able to "connect with anyone" is an element. Ideally, you should be able to connect with them quickly and then stop talking to them (if you want to get away) while leaving them feeling good. This requires empathy and listening skills.

Social skill is about getting what you want from other people. If you're slick, you will be able to do this in the short run easily. In the long run people will realize you're slick and try to avoid/ out-slick you. You don't really get what you want from other people without giving back.



In response to the OP, this would mean something like what @JP suggested. If it's a relationship you care about and/ or brings you value, it's important to maintain it. Knowing how to maintain the relationship requires knowing if and why the other person wanted you to come and what they would except as an excuse and appreciate in your absence. That's social skill.

I do think social anxiety is something you can overcome, though I don't think it's necessary to overcome it to improve social skills. Personally, I don't have social anxiety (though I have plenty of other forms), but I've seen friends who've claimed to have extreme social anxiety overcome it. It seems like it does take a certain level of placing yourself in uncomfortable situations, which is probably a good idea from a personal growth standpoint anyway. Not liking interactions with more than 2 other people and being stressed out by them are two different things.

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Re: Time spent with Friends/Family

Post by daylen » Mon Sep 09, 2019 12:51 am

Jin+Guice wrote:
Sun Sep 08, 2019 10:04 pm
Social skill and extroversion are not the same thing.
Agreed. The distinction that makes the most sense in my mind is that extroversion has to do with action (Se, Ne) or interfacing (Fe, Te)[+] and that social skill has to do with the utilization of various circuits in the minds of others during socialization.

In my chart above, I was thinking about how much control an agent could potentially have in a social situation given their awareness of the respective circuits in the minds of the participants. By this criteria, charisma may overlap to some extent but it is not equivilant.

For instance, level 6 would use their understanding of the serotonin circuits to influence the outcome of a particular social engagement. They would recognize how others view reputation and use that information to their advantage. Perhaps by honoring a veteran or something to gain their respect before asking a favor.

[+] As opposed to knowledge (Si, Ni) or deliberation (Ti, Fi).

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Re: Time spent with Friends/Family

Post by BookLoverL » Tue Sep 10, 2019 2:18 am

I agree, there's a big difference between introversion and poor social skills, IMO. An introvert with good social skills might only make it to a couple of social occasions a month, but when they're at those occasions, they'll kill it, and everybody will be glad they came. An extrovert with poor social skills will always be trying to be social, but all their social interactions would be falling short in a way they didn't really understand, and leaving them feeling unsatisfied/excluded somehow.

Even if you're a strong introvert, I think it's good to get to at least around 10-11 on that charisma skill chart above if you can, just so that when you DO need to interact with someone for whatever reason you're not in great difficulty. You don't have to go around USING the social skills you gained all the time unless you want to.

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Re: Time spent with Friends/Family

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Tue Sep 10, 2019 6:27 am

daylen wrote:In my chart above, I was thinking about how much control an agent could potentially have in a social situation given their awareness of the respective circuits in the minds of the participants. By this criteria, charisma may overlap to some extent but it is not equivilant.
Okay, gotcha now. I didn't pick up on this sort of thing until I was well into my 30s. Don't forget about vasopressin.

https://www.intechopen.com/books/neuroe ... asopressin

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