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Confrontation, Misconceptions and Geek Culture
Posted Mar 11, 2008 - 10:42:19

Same picture, Same storyI have very little patience for some things, and it's lessened even moreso over the years. I don't coddle people, and I make it a policy not to suffer fools. In fact, the only time I ever act in a purposefully polite manner is when it's work related -- people are paying me to be polite to other people in that instance.

In my personal life though, I don't much care if I'm considered to be the most likable person. I realize that I have an abrasive personality sometimes, and that I have a dry sense of humor. But I think I'm likable enough where the people worth having around will still like me, and those who don't... well, then we can just stay out of each other's ways. We're all adults and we can act maturely about all of this.

That said, on the occasions where I do go out of the way to make space for other people and play nice (usually for the sake of someone other than myself), it frustrates me to no end when they escalate things. You may think I'm talking about recent events, and while it does apply to some degree -- this is not the first time this has happened to me, and to me this is a much more general issue than some people realize.

In truth, this just seems to happen about once a year or so.

If you go back into my site's archives, I wrote something very lengthy on the subject back in 2004. In fact, I'm now requiring that people read that article. Read it and commit it to memory. Read it fifty times if you have to -- just remember I warned you ahead of time.

The fact that this comes up so often in my life has led me, over the years, to figure out that geek culture is full of passive aggressive people who are afraid to actually confront their lives or their problems. The frustrating part of all of this is how drama prone this makes geekdom. Because people aren't talked to or dealt with when there is a problem, the passive aggressive individual will build an artificial image around their perceived persecutors. I attribute this to paranoia developed from early social interaction - but some of us got over being picked on and beat up as a kid.

As they never confront the "persecutor" (who often has no idea that anything is going on in the first place), their image grows stronger, and they begin the cycle of victimhood. Often then the passive aggressive person will then build their anger to a boiling point - finally coalescing into a break. It doesn't need to be anything big -- just a small trigger, some perceived slight. That trigger will set off all of the unexpressed, bottled up anger at that moment.

Of course, as this will be directed inappropriately as the actual problems causing this anger will be twenty feet to the left of whatever the passive aggressive person is actually talking about.

I've also noticed that passive aggressive people will choose a single target for this unleashing. I've witnessed it first hand, where three people are in the room - person A makes a comment about person B, and person B goes off at person C about it... even though person C may have totally disagreed with person A. This bizarre projection and transfer of blame is something that boggles my mind.

This is my advice to everyone: Confront your problems calmly and right away. Talk to the people who you have problem with -- but don't do it angry. Lastly -- don't ever expect someone to coddle you. Especially not me.

Again, I'm not trying to be specific with this post, because I see it around several corners. If you think I'm talking about you... I'm probably not doing it specifically, but you should look at your actions and consider who you're looking at falsely; who you are blaming for things and it may not be their fault. Because I'm not special -- and I've seen a heck of a lot of people targeted over the years who aren't me. People who let things affect them more will get hurt by that sort of thing and not just annoyed like I do.

Identify your problem, understand your situation, and confront the issue in a calm and timely manner with a solution in mind. It isn't hard.
- Traegorn

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If that '04 incident is the one I'm thinking about, it was a pretty stupid thing to do you, and I wasn't proud to be apart of it in all honesty. I'd like to think I've become a bit better about confronting issues since then.
You have, and lord knows I'm not mad at you for something that happened four years ago. :P

Although, there is a box of ferrets in your closet prepped for cold-served revenge. ;)
geek culture is full of passive aggressive people

Try librarian culture sometime. Librarians are a whole other story when it comes to passive aggressiveness...

So, since I'm both a geek and a librarian, does that mean I double my passive aggressive bonus? Or is one bonus larger than the other?

It could be said that being a woman gives you some bonus as well. ;cP




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