Yesterday I got what I thought was good advice about the social-skills project: be aware of what I have to offer.
When I sat down to write this, I thought I'd come up with something quickly about how I'm witty and insightful and well read, but I have difficulty seeing my social value. I know it exists, because I've had friends--to me it seems like a lot of friends--on an almost-consistent basis for the past ten or eleven years. Probably I should ask them, but many of them aren't talking to me these days.
My perception of myself is this: I am generally loveable, but not especially likeable. I am well read and insightful; on some topics I am excellent conversation, and on some a good source of information. I'm pretty good at analysis, breaking problems down into their constituent parts, and I'm getting better at backing off of that when someone needs to think on through it in their own way. I'm passionate about ethical reasoning, which makes me interesting and sometimes helpful, but sometimes very annoying. I'm very good in a crisis--in fact, that may be what I'm best at.*
One difficulty is, I don't how to work around my social drawbacks. For most people, most of the time, I am not particularly pleasant to be around. I am a little bit high maintenance, sort of self-absorbed. Sometimes I can tell when I'm bothering someone, when I'm crossing a boundary that really matters to them, and sometimes I can't. Sometimes it seems that others are uncomfortable because I am honest and provocative and make people think, and I don't know what to do about that, because while those are social detriments, I see them as some of my key selling points as a human being. It seems like there's got to be a way, though; making people uncomfortable is a strategy that should be used sparingly. And it should be a strategy, not a state of being.
I don't mean to go around hurting people, but some part of me secretly wants to. . . I'm pretty sure.
hmn. More later.
I have miles to go before I sleep.
*Now that I think about it, this could explain 85% of my social life. We can see why it would need some remodeling.