Tag Archive for Social Skills

When Optimism Becomes Dishonesty

InsideOutI just saw the new Pixar movie, Inside Out. As to be expected of any Pixar venture, the lesson of the movie was poignant. Joy, who spends most of the movie being an unintentional (yet enthusiastic) bully to Sadness, ultimately learns a mix of emotions are important for leading a balanced life.

That’s all well and good for the fictional world of Pixar, but out here in reality there is a different set of expectations. Our culture expects Joy to be in the driver’s seat. The other emotions are only allowed to drive under extreme circumstances, and to let them take over, especially when you’re a female in public, often leads to dire social consequences.

The movie aptly demonstrates the unfortunate results of this expectation. When Joy and Sadness are attempting to return to “Headquarters,” we see Joy steamroll Sadness multiple times. Any time Sadness recommended a solution or gave Joy a warning, Joy would ignore it in favor of optimism. Her denial delayed their return to headquarters to the point where a solvable problem ballooned into a dire crisis.

Much like Joy was fixated on keeping her charge, an 11-year-old named Riley, happy all of the time, American culture is fixated on relentless optimism. From the way we run our businesses to the way we run our government, we have effectively removed constructive anger, worry, and fear to the point where the only voices we’ll listen to are the ones who have positive things to say.

Yet we don’t live in a world where only good things happen. By embracing positivity to this degree, we are effectively lying to ourselves and each other.

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Spock: A Hero Without Emotion


Leonard Nimoy spent a good chunk of his acting career hating Spock. For an actor, I can see why being typecast as Spock would be frustrating. Why would any actor want to play a character with no emotions? From an actor’s point of view, Spock was a dry psychopath who had a few good quips. I can see how that would get boring.

Yet Spock broke boundaries. Here was this character who, despite his lack of emotional intelligence, wasn’t a mad scientist or a mass murderer or any of the other stereotypes Hollywood shoved introverts into back in the 1960s. He was a hero.

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A Few Thoughts on Twitter


One main thought actually: It’s distracting as shirtless Jeremy Renner arriving at my door with pizza, beer, and a box of chocolate-smothered cherries.

::Sigh:: Hmph? Sorry. Got lost in the fantasy for a bit.

Maybe Twitter doesn’t quite have that effect on me. Twitter is probably more like Ann Coulter on speed. Arguments on Twitter can be entertaining, yet they can also be overwhelming and the high drama quotient tends to drain my brain more than stimulate it. Mostly because there is a LOT of STUPID out there and no amount of arguing seems to put a dent in it.

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What Have You Done to Correct Bad Behavior Today?

I understand not everyone is comfortable with being direct or with calling out bad behavior when it happens. As a woman, I get it. We’ve been socialized not to make “waves” and we lose social capitol even when we politely request (and especially when we firmly request) that someone consider our feelings and stop whatever stupid thing it is that they are doing. Yet I am beyond tired of folks who employ indirect methods for correcting behavior. You have a problem with how someone is acting? Then you need to TALK to THEM.

Not their parents. Not their friends. Not their boss. Not their coworkers. Not their pets. THEM.

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Oh Hi! I’m Bi

BisexualMy primary motivation in writing this post is to dispel all rumors once and for all that I’m a lesbian. There’s nothing wrong with lesbians. I’m just a teensy bit tired of folks assuming I am one because my dating history is a mish-mash of assorted hookups and month-long flings. I’m turned on by men AND women people.

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To Reunion or Not To Reunion

This is the logo for my high school, a maroon AG in a maroon circle.I have three days to decide whether or not I want to bother with my ten year high school reunion.

Our organizer set it up at a country club. The food sounds good and it’s a spiffy set up. She deserves every ounce of credit for pulling this together. So three cheers for Meredith, a leader through and through.

I’m currently still undecided as to whether I’ll attend. For one thing, I’m not inclined to take any vacation days off, especially when I don’t know whether any folks from my friend groups are going to be there. So that would mean arriving at a hotel around midnight or one in the morning before the reunion.

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I Want A Cafeteria Back In My Life

There are fewer things our society attributes more sadness to than eating alone. Our media constantly delivers the message that a meal made for less than two people is social failure packaged in a microwave tray.

I have no problem eating alone. Outside of special occasions, I eat most of my meals in the company of a good book. I have no problem bringing a book instead of a friend to restaurants as well. There’s nothing wrong with solo meals.

But I still miss having a cafeteria.

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Partying–It Turns Out–Is A Valuable Career Skill

I was one of those kids who bought into the DARE program more than others. So when I got to college, I was leery of the Jive Turkeys–our ultimate frisbee team–and their party-hearty ways. By the end of the year, I was an enthusiastic member of the team, and I’m glad that they convinced me to stick around. Because, believe it or not, learning to party well gives you a leg up that no class ever will.

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A Simple Approach to Dating: Friends, Foes, or FBs

I’ve gotten plenty of dates through the Internet. But no boyfriends. Of the men I’ve had intimate relations with, I didn’t meet a single one through OkCupid or eHarmony.

Why could this be?

Because I think the Internet makes us believe that every connection should be instant, that intimacy should be obtained within a few clicks of the mouse and the first thirty seconds of a date. The Internet has sold us a story of love at first sight that people feel compelled to pursue and has made them believe that anything less would lead to a loveless existence.

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