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20 February 2015 @ 09:04 am
Confessional 2015  
Tell me a secret! Tell me a not-secret! Whisper sweet somethings in my comment box. Express your maddest crush or deepest curiosity! Expound upon the fabulousness of your friends or lovers or would-be friends or lovers! Or people you know or want to know. Do it anonymously or with your name attached; anonymous commenting is on and IP logging is off.

You know you want to!

[Please note ground rules here.]

[Link to flat version of comments is here.]

A note on user experience: If you're starting a new thread, if you give it a subject, it'll be easier to pick out comments in response to it down the road.

ETA: IP logging is back on!
I'm feeling: curiouscurious
(Anonymous) on February 23rd, 2015 04:29 pm (UTC)
Re: Okcupid date report
"some variation of socialization that's about shared stories building connection rather than inquiry"

(OP) I get this. I actually much prefer conversations centered around shared stories. The "social bids" I tend to make are all around shared stories...what I want, really, isn't for someone to ask "So, what do you do for a living?" (although that's fine) but to show active interest in hearing my story. Which is why I make bids like "Yeah, I had a boss like that once, too." What I'm saying is "We have something in commons, I want to talk about it, and I want you to confirm that you want to hear what I have to say." When it goes well, we have shared stories and both feel like our stories were interesting to our partner, and theirs were interesting to us. It's hard to feel like someone is interested in MY story if they don't respond positively to my bids. I think questions are the primary way to do that, but other cues will do too: regular old body language like nodding, meeting my eye, cocking your head...and of course, waiting for me to finish my story, and then bid with a story of your own.

I said that I hadn't noticed the non-question-asking pattern others here have mentioned, but I *have* noticed what I think is a similar/related pattern which is interrupting my stories, which indicates a lack of interest. (Of course, that lack of interest might be a result of my having exceeded my socially allotted story time...which is why conversational skills are required on both sides: the speaker needs to sense when it is time to stop, the listener needs to give cues about their interest.)

Ironically that's something I know I'm guilty of myself. It stems from being excited by a shared connection I've discovered and wanting to immediately identify it and turn conversation towards it. I have learned I need to actively quell that response and listen respectfully, and *then* say "Wow, me too! There was this time when..."

(Anonymous) on February 23rd, 2015 05:32 pm (UTC)
Re: Okcupid date report
I come from a culture where interrupting is the expected way to move conversation back and forth, and if someone *doesn't* interrupt, that indicates a lack of interest in what you're saying. We moved to New England, whose culture is the opposite, when I was young enough to grow up with some of both, and get used to handling either. I think a lot of people who grew up with one or the other of these have a hard time noticing that their assumption isn't universal when they encounter someone who grew up with the other one.

Something that can work for both styles: You interrupt their stories sometimes, but make a mental note of what they were saying and prompt them a question about that soon after, so they can continue.

You can also say something to the effect of "I want to hear more about that! I've got this related thing I want to tell you before I forget it, but don't forget what you were about to say."
(Anonymous) on February 23rd, 2015 06:07 pm (UTC)
Re: Okcupid date report
(OP) Oh my, this is interesting. I too grew up in a different area and moved to New England during my youth. I wonder if my struggles on this are similarly cultural. Can you share where you came from and how it works there?

I do the "bookmarking" you describe a lot as a workaround.
(Anonymous) on February 24th, 2015 09:02 pm (UTC)
Re: Okcupid date report
(Commenter you're replying to)

In my case, it was Israel.
(Anonymous) on February 23rd, 2015 07:22 pm (UTC)
Re: Okcupid date report
(not any previous commenter)
... and the "before I forget" part is my Achilles heel. Taking notes while still paying attention is also a challenge, so I can't even use tools to mark my place.

I know the interrupting behavior is a common geek communication style. I'm interested in what other (regional? interest-based?) sub-cultures run that way.
(Anonymous) on February 23rd, 2015 11:00 pm (UTC)
Re: Okcupid date report
Yes! I grew up with this cultural expectation too. If you didn't start talking while someone else was still talking they would assume you had nothing to say (and eventually maybe wonder why you never said anything). I finally learned there is actually a term for it called negative pause time. I also finally learned to try very hard to slow down a lot and insert little gaps in what I was saying to leave openings for other people to speak. It's still really hard to remember though, and when I get very excited and enthusiastic about what I am saying I tend to forget.

(The most useful professional training I ever had actually was on pause time. Different cultures have different pause times, and the differences can be really subtle and easily leave one person feeling silenced and the other wishing they would say more. *Knowing* this has made it so much easier to communicate both professionally and in my personal life.)
(Anonymous) on February 23rd, 2015 11:09 pm (UTC)
Re: Okcupid date report
Do you have a pointer to any good info about this?
(Anonymous) on February 24th, 2015 07:28 pm (UTC)
Re: Okcupid date report
I highly recommend Deborah Tannen's books.