Friday, July 18, 2008

The importance of being socially inept

I will be speaking briefly at an interactive forum on August 2, 2008, 3pm, at 72-13 in Mohd Sultan. The event addresses the gender and sexuality-oriented discomfort as verbally expressed by different people. Crudely put, it has something to do with homophobia. Do attend the event if you want to see what I look like and sound like. *End of shameless plug.

It will be the first time in a very long I will be doing "public-speaking" and facilitating a forum. Butterflies, yes.

For someone who is growingly introverted and anti-social, it feels like growing up all over again and trying to learn how to be social or sociable.

I have noticed a steady decrease in the number of words spoken a day over the years in me. Sometimes there is nothing really much to talk about, because it has become so rational to me not to talk for the sake of talking.

Like an interest, I find writing (or typing for that matter) so much easier. There is also not that great a motivation to seek a reaction from such an expression.

In acting on a belief, engaging people on a face-to-face level becomes part of the package.

Another possible reason why I am reluctant to make (new) friends and maintain contacts is the fact that I hate the idea that we will always be judging one another in our minds. "Nice guy", "mean guy", "type A", "type B", etc. Prevention is better than cure, so I forget about socialising in the first place.

Besides having common and fundamental differences, other persons/people have different stakes in different areas and domains. The decisions they make are in part influenced by the nature of which they hold these stakes.

Every person has an ideology, and along with it a set of expectations. With ideology and expectations, one has defined for oneself the boundaries of satisfaction and dissatisfaction, of love and hate, and so on.

There is thus the strain to achieve consensus. And again, to me, if there is no person, there would not be any need to reach consensus.

The bad thing about being "socially inept" is when one is socially inept in an environment that is negative towards socially inept'-ness'. What is at the same time interesting to note that "socially inept" is a labelled created by the "more sociable" folk. There would not have been any name for it if people did not really bother about it.

To disassociate with people is to divorce oneself from the dominant mode of economic production, and distance oneself from social power dynamics. Unfortunately, there can never be a full disassocation, as society is such that we have to be dependent and dependable (interdependable) to survive.

Here, even the notion of "survival" is laced with ideology of the dominant group. Why the need to "survive"? Who else will benefit from such "survival"?

Although I will be speaking for a short while in front of a small group of people, I still feel that may not be the best way for me to reach out to others. Nevertheless, it is for a cause I believe in and this is the medium (at the moment) to be used to spread the awareness.

Persons evolve, like from the worm to the social butterfly, and the other way around. Maybe I might see a point in being a little more sociable. But being sociable involves being able to perform and reproduce socially acceptable norms (of the group), and it does not help that since everyone has an ideology of their own, they will still be susceptible to being offended in some way or another.

It would be a paradox if I formed a group advocating non-discriminatory treatment for introverted and socially inept persons, as being part of a group and believing in a common idea defeats the whole purpose of one's individual identity.

It is more of a paradox from my point of view, that in order to be deemed normal, you have to be different (from who you comfortably are); while being different (as deemed by others) would be considered abnormal by others.

Yes, the takeaway point may be that Sam Ho is actually capable of writing 'emo' teenage blog entries, but this is to show that there are introverted and/or antisocial persons out there who should be understood. There are also happy introverts out there, those who have found their inner peace. Not all "socially inept" individuals are sad and miserable.

For the moment, I'm going to make sure this is a moderately successful event. So please attend it, whether you're straight, queer, questioning, or however you comfortably identify yourself.

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