Can you remember when you first met TP?

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Postby Perestroika » Tue Jun 28, 2011 2:10 pm

that actually very much depends.

1. if I were reading or listening to music, I probably wouldn't say anything to you, because generally I prefer reading/listening to music than talking to people. I am shy and self-conscious in rl hense I probably won't start a conversation with you, someone else has to start it. If i meet you online I can natter away to you like there's no tomorrow, but I can't do that offline. I am a totally different person.

2. if I were to start a conversation with anyone I would not ask personal questions of them until I had chatted to them about other random stuff first, like...the weather, current affairs, the speed of elevator repares etc. I would never start a conversation with 'Hi, how are you? are you gay or straight?' for example.

I kind of think that there's a certain amount of polite conversation one has to go through before one can start asking this sort of stuff simply to give both parties the chance to decide if this person is actually someone you want to interact with.


and honestly, when people start a conversation with something like, 'I've always wanted to know' it's like they aren't talking to you because they're interested in you at all, they just want to know some form of information that you can provide because you happen to be the right type of person.
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Postby Jan Van Quirm » Tue Jun 28, 2011 2:19 pm

:lol:

Everyone has their tender points, but when it's obvious what your 'uniqueness' is there's no hiding place from other people's stupidity or just downright ignorance and lack of respect which is almost made worse because they're not deliberately setting out to be rude half the time - it's like the brain just switches off and they simply blurt out what's on their (tiny :P ) minds. What you're saying about 'training' your friends to the point where they forget you're blind is marvellous really, but tough when you get your wish and they get the flak for apparently being neglectful in public :)

It's like people in wheelchairs or with facial spasms are often assumed to have some kind of learning disability when they're perfectly intelligent or people yelling at the deaf when they just need to talk normally and to make sure they keep facing them if they can lip read (which isn't always the case either, so that could be an annoying assumption too :oops: ). In some ways it's worse when a disability isn't discernible and when people 'find out' you can tell that they're revising their previous opinion of you and inevitably making a hash of it, even though they've been perfectly fine with you beforehand. If someone's making the effort then I suppose with patience and lot of forbearance you can take so much patronisation unless it's truly insulting and indiscriminate.

The 'I'd kill myself if I was like you' insinuation is beyond the pale for me because I'm a depressive so I see that from a very specific perspective because I'm not going to kill myself so why would you, so that's not something I'd ever say to anyone else because I really know how crass and insensitive that is. On the other hand when I tell people I have chronic depression and a whopping anxiety disorder I can see them thinking - ah, so that's why she's so fat. It's a factor yes but the reason I have a weight problem has far more to do with my chocolate addiction and complete aversion to (most) physical activity... :twisted: We all have our glories and pitfalls so if people would only remember that there's no such thing as 'normal' and exercise some discretion then you can be genuinely curious without being stupidly and/or unconsciously rude. In the meantime the anonymity and egality of t'interweb helps break down some of the barriers and open up some sensible discussion on being 'different' if people do want to be more informed. :D
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Postby poohcarrot » Tue Jun 28, 2011 2:29 pm

Perestroika wrote:I kind of think that there's a certain amount of polite conversation one has to go through before one can start asking this sort of stuff simply to give both parties the chance to decide if this person is actually someone you want to interact with.

I don't agree. Random small talk is boring. Life's too short for meaningless platitudes. :D

The thing is that in my job, I have to ask people lots of questions to get them talking in English. I don't just ask the boring, normal questions, but questions I want to know the answers to, regardless of how personal they are (to a certain extent obviously). :D

I'm sure Dotsie will fill you in more, but at last year's DWCon Gala dinner I was sitting next to a lovely couple - he was a Lord and his wife looked a lot younger. I asked them some personal questions and Dotsie said I shouldn't have. :P
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Postby Perestroika » Tue Jun 28, 2011 2:34 pm

yes but you can gain a lot of knowledge by the way a person reacts to small talk.

like. 'oh, this person doesn't really want to talk right now, I'll leave it at that and stop talking...'


I guess people aren't as receptive to tone and inflection as I am though and may not be able to do it the way I do.

and Jan, I totally agree with you about the killing yourself thing. it's like they are saying 'your life isn't really worth living is it?'. when they make a comment like that it totally dismisses everything a person has ever done as meaningless. I would never say that to anyone.
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Postby Dotsie » Tue Jun 28, 2011 3:00 pm

poohcarrot wrote:I'm sure Dotsie will fill you in more, but at last year's DWCon Gala dinner I was sitting next to a lovely couple - he was a Lord and his wife looked a lot younger. I asked them some personal questions and Dotsie said I shouldn't have. :P

Yes, I remember :lol:

I'm not much of a one for talking to strangers, and if I do it's just small talk, but if I've gotten to know someone to the level where we're going out for a beer I'll definitely ask them about themselves. Not rude I hope, but questions about work, family, that sort of thing. Then I always get the photos of the rabbits out :lol:
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Postby Jan Van Quirm » Tue Jun 28, 2011 4:34 pm

I think in structured socialising situations with complete strangers (such as on a training course or a conference) you can't go far wrong in being very 'English' and not get too personal too soon - in other words it's 'hello nice to meet you'; 'have you come a long way for this?'; 'what do you do for a living?' A 'pretend you're the Queen' type convo with questions you're not too likely to get into trouble over. Maybe you'd be chancing it with the what's your job? if you were in the ladyboy district in Bangkok, but the answer's hardly likely to cause you any bother if you're in London on an advanced accountancy awayday - gauge your small talk to where you are in other words. :P

As a veteran Network SouthEast commuter I hardly ever start up convos in public places, especially on public transport, even with people I knew or worked with, to the extent that I'd not talk to the housemate when we were on a train of a weekend unless there was good reason to (this was before he was the housemate and I went out with him socially quite a lot still :P ). I've never gone to the extent of wearing headphones to avoid conversation like some people do, but I'd never dream of talking to someone in a bus queue I'd didn't know from Adam unless it was to moan companionably about the No 6 being half an hour late - again... :P
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Postby Tonyblack » Tue Jun 28, 2011 5:29 pm

I DO wear earphones in an effort to avoid talking to people. :lol: Trouble is, they often strike up a conversation anyhow. :roll:

I never go out of my way to start a conversation with someone I don't know.
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Postby Chris » Tue Jun 28, 2011 5:43 pm

Oh dear. I think I am the nemisis of travellers, I do talk to people on buses trains etc, as I feel it is so bad mannered to ignore somebody.
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Postby Doughnut Jimmy » Tue Jun 28, 2011 7:06 pm

Absolutely Jan the only reason to speak to a stranger on public transport is to complain about the hopelessness of the service, exceptions can occasionally be made for the end of the world and when crowding is so bad co-ordinated action is required to let people on and off

(I really don't miss overcrowded public transport!)
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Postby Perestroika » Wed Jun 29, 2011 1:59 am

Trouble is, they often strike up a conversation anyhow.


ahhahah! they do! and then they seem all offended when you take out the earphones and make them repeat themselves...


Oh dear. I think I am the nemisis of travellers, I do talk to people on buses trains etc, as I feel it is so bad mannered to ignore somebody.


I don't, mainly because I've got something else I want to do like read or listen to new music or work on my computer.


all that said however I have met some lovely, intelligent and interesting people on trains and long-hall flights who have started up conversations with me, it's just that my experience tends to tell me that 9 times out of 10 the person will be someone who I really don't want to engage with.

I met an absolutely fascenating gentleman on the way over to Switzerland last time who was going back to the Czech republic. he had grown up there under communist rule. funnily enough after an hour I was asking him rather personal questions, but i did ask if it was ok to ask them, and it was he who brought up the subject of his childhood.


so I guess it's not what people ask, though if the question is so stupid then it is, but it's more the way in which people approach me which I have issues with.

it's just rude to ask someone a personal question first off.
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Postby Chris » Wed Jun 29, 2011 7:57 am

I get your point about askng personal question from the get-go. I wouldn't do that either. And if a person is reading or occupied I wouldn't interupt them. But I hav met some fascinating people while travelling. One was a high cast Indian guy who ran a specialist food importer into America. His insights into Indian society were wonderful. We chatted solidly for 8 hours from Chicago to Heathrow.

A mate of mine sat next to Teryl Rothery on a flight to the US. I am soooo jelous as, after my wife, Teryl is without a doubt the most attractive woman on earth.

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Postby Perestroika » Wed Jun 29, 2011 8:26 am

A mate of mine sat next to Teryl Rothery on a flight to the US. I am soooo jelous as, after my wife, Teryl is without a doubt the most attractive woman on earth.

I met her at a stargate convention a couple of years ago. I have a great picture of me with her and the 3 other stars from stargate who were there while David Hulett kept trying to make me laugh to mess up the picture....
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