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Bad Habits
sword
tiger_spot
1. I believe people when they tell me things.

I don't believe advertisers or other people who have something obvious to gain from lying, and I don't necessarily believe people who are telling me verifiable facts about the world that don't seem to mesh well with what I already know, but I do believe people when they tell me things about themselves. Things like "I'll be there at noon."

It gets me in trouble sometimes.


2. Unspecified "we".

Once upon a time, when I said "We went hiking this weekend," that meant my parents and my sibling and me. These days, it could mean anybody at all (and me), and I'm terrible about remembering to say who was with me when. I'll say things like "We saw Kooza!" and "Then we went off to dinner at Marie Callender's" and never specify who "we" is (seven people in the first instance, five in the second). I'm actually much better about this on LiveJournal than in person or on instant messenger, because I can look back over the post and go "Oh, before I put the funny thing so-and-so said in the last paragraph, I should probably mention that he was there" and go add that helpful background information to the first paragraph.


3. I think everybody knows everything.

Not everybody everybody, but once I've told three or four people about something, some little switch in my brain flicks over to "everybody knows that" and I sort of assume I've told everyone I'd expect to have told. LiveJournal is particularly bad for this, although enough repetitions of "I told you that!" "No you didn't." "But I posted about it on LiveJournal! I must have told you!" have at least trained andres_s_p_b to read the darn thing occasionally. Also, if I have been meaning to tell someone something for long enough that I've planned specific bits of phrasing to use, sometimes I forget whether I actually said it or only thought it.

Recent examples: A friend from TAMS first realized I had a boyfriend more than two years after we started dating. (How many of you knew I went to TAMS?) Today I was amused by a long list of viola jokes, and andres_s_p_b was confused -- "But you've never played violin or viola or cello!" he said. "Yes I have," I said. And yet he complains that he's heard all my stories. Clearly not.

Relatedly, I often mention things in very casual, tangential ways without realizing quite how tangential and casual they actually are. I think I've given someone a brief outline or portion of a situation, with an opportunity to inquire further if they are interested, and the other person doesn't realize there was a situation to be inquired about. (This fed into the friend-didn't-know-about-boyfriend-for-two-years incident: I had mentioned him -- in a how-I-met-my-partners context, even -- but the friend didn't realize that was a current relationship. Then, when I mentioned the boyfriend more later [instead of using unspecified "we"s, go me], the friend didn't remember the name and therefore had no idea I was talking about a romantic relationship. Not that he should be expected to! I thought for sure I'd given him the background at some point.)


4. I expect people to ask questions when they are confused.

I don't know why; they hardly ever do. But for some reason, I still think that when people are confused about something, they'll ask me about it, either when it comes up in conversation or when presented with an opportunity like this one. (If it's important and it's bothering them, I even expect them to bring it up on their own, some time after it's been particularly confusing. This is why I don't usually realize when people are missing fairly basic information; they don't ask about it, so I never twig to the confusion.)

Personally, I don't ask a whole lot of questions. I very much like learning about people, but I'm happy to learn whatever they want to tell me rather than hunting specific pieces of information. Way back when I was in the Puzzle Pirates beta, my mom joined the crew I'd been sailing with for a month or so, and asked everyone all these very basic questions -- "What do you do for a living? How old are you? Where do you live? What's your name?" -- that it had just never occurred to me to ask. I'll ask questions about things as they come up, to keep a conversation going or if something intriguing is mentioned, but I don't tend to produce questions on my own.

I'm not sure if that makes expecting other people to do it weirder or not.

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We must have rubbed some things off on eachother in Vegas ;)
I had a healty laugh at number 1. I fall into that trap way too often.

But I have a tendency too to tell things tangentional, casual, that mean very much to me. In so that: if I mention it at all, it /is/ important. While I am very open, very extravert, I tend to keep important issues to myself, unless people ask deeper. And right: they don't.

I've learned to ask questions if I don't understand things. Or if I think it means one thing, I ask if I am correct in thinking that. But it's aquired and I'm still learning. As well as I'm learning to tell more straightforward about the things that are important.


Hey, Puzzle Pirates. I still play that occasionally. Never really saw the point in being in a crew -- I had one for a while but I liked pillaging with random pickup groups better.

A lot of the questions your mom asked strike me as questions I would be uncomfortable answering in an MMO context. In particular "What's your name?".

The advantage of a crew is that you have a pre-vetted selection of folks who are guaranteed to be more or less competent and not assholes. Nice if you want to win battles on the bigger boats, or if you enjoy chatting socially.

I think they may have changed things since the beta so that being in a crew is less necessary, but at the time it was much nicer than trying to round up unaffiliated jobbers.

There are a surprising number of pre-teens in the game, but it's fairly easy to filter them out by checking their character sheet.

No, people don't ask questions. I know this because I tend to. This is a bit different than what you're talking about, but I had a meltdown in dance class once because I was the only one asking to see bits more slowly, asking to have a particular move explained, etc. I felt stupid and slow and like I was holding up the class. And the teacher told me that no, actually, other people were having the same troubles as me, but I was the only one who had the guts to say something, and she relied on me to find out which were the difficult bits.

Also, if you remember, politicians tend to assume each letter they get on an issue represents 500 (?) people who agree with the letter but didn't write.

Oh yeah. I know that one from the teacher side and the question-asker side. Never bothered me too much as the one asking questions, but it drove me nuts thinking I'd successfully taught something when I would have been able to explain it much more clearly if they'd only said something back when they were starting to be confused, before a whole session's lecture was wasted because the conceptual structure to understand it wasn't there.

That's part of why I liked tutoring so much better than classroom teaching; students were substantially more willing to ask questions one-on-one.

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