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Socializing is a Choice

December 11th, 2011 Leave a comment Go to comments

I often joke that I’m pretty “nerdy”. I admit, I do a lot of “nerdy” things. What’s ironic is that most people use the term “nerd” to describe someone they hardly know anything about. It’s people like this that makes me proud to be the person that I am…”nerdy” or not.

When you were in school, you probably noticed that students often separated into groups based on their common interests. Back then, we called these groups “nerds”, “jocks”, “preps”, and so on. Today, there are still people who classify others using these generalizations, despite the fact that all of us are different in some way. “Nerds”, for example, supposedly spend their time in the pursuit of less popular activities and are generally loners. It has come to my attention that “nerds” are supposedly only capable of learning things by reading a book and that they have no idea how to treat a woman. It has also been suggested that “nerds” can only socialize on the internet.

It’s a known fact that every “nerd” on the planet looks like this.

I’ve used the generalization “nerd” to describe me at times, with the understanding that there are millions of different kinds of “nerds” out there, all with different personalities and characteristics. People who love sports and obsess over statistics could in fact be “nerdy”. People who like to read anything, be it romance or comic books, could also be classified as “nerdy”. People who love games, be it strategy or otherwise, could be “nerdy”. People who use a computer, despite what they are using it for, could be “nerdy.” My point is, a generalization only describes a group of people with general common interests. You won’t know a person, not really, until you spend a lot of time with them and get to know what they are really about.

Socializing is a choice, some just prefer not to do it. This is mainly due to the fact that some people don’t feel like dealing with the general public. Let’s face it, there are a lot of people out there that haven’t grown up. These people still operate under the mindset that being different is not OK. To compensate for their own failings, they often make fun of others in an attempt to make themselves look better. Growing up as someone who liked unpopular things and got good grades, I was subjected to bullying on a regular basis. Now that I am an adult, you’d be surprised just how little things have changed.

People often wonder why I don’t socialize…it’s mainly because I’m used to dealing with people who judge me before they even get to know me. Why would I subject myself to the same bully like behavior I dealt with as a kid? As an adult, I’ve learned to be the better person and walk away. In the end, I’m happy with who I am, what I’m capable of doing, and how I treat others. If acting like an adult, treating others with respect, being sensitive to the feelings of others, and being a generally overall enlightened person makes me “nerdy”, then so be it. Has it occurred to you that maybe I’m not social because I know the correct way to talk to someone and you don’t?

Kids will always be kids.

Example: A random guy named Johnny is invited to go clubbing with his friends. Johnny generally doesn’t do that kind of thing, he prefers to stay home and doesn’t like crowds. Johnny loves sports, is athletic, and keeps in shape. His friends insist that he go, promising him that he’d have a good time. Reluctantly, he agrees. It turns out the place is packed with people and it makes him nervous. His friends try to get him to dance by asking him repeatedly, then poke fun at him when he won’t say yes. Johnny’s friend Paul knows that Johnny secretly plays World of Warcraft and calls him on it, calling him a “nerd” for not dancing and being socially reserved. Johnny starts to get aggravated and eventually leaves.

Pop Quiz: How many things did Johnny’s friends do wrong?

Answer: They tried forcing him to do something he didn’t want to do. When he did reluctantly decide to go as a courtesy to his friends, they attacked him and pushed him into a corner, putting him on the defensive. Instead of respecting their friend’s preferences they criticized him. Instead of trying to make him fit in and have a good time, they segregate him and make him feel less appreciated. Is that what passes as acceptable social behavior?

Perspective: Is it the bad apple of the bunch or the only sweet apple among all of the sour ones?

These are supposedly “normal” people mind you, doing what “normal” people do. These “normal” people supposedly know more about socializing than “nerds” do. Sadly, I know a lot of people like this, whether they love science fiction, are athletic, or run a multi-million dollar business…whether they are family, friends, or strangers.

As I mentioned before, I often joke about my “nerdisms” knowing full well that my reference is, as an adult, outdated and just a generalization. If you want to know the real me then why don’t you try asking before you start judging? It’s often easier to judge a book by its cover than doing the work and reading the whole thing.

Socializing is a choice…make the right one.

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