Friday, June 22, 2007

Weekend: The Nature of Connections


6/23/07 - There is a new post. Technorati will not be updating content here apparently. Please check another way.

~*

This post is a spawn of one I read elsewhere, one that got me thinking about the nature of the connections we form. Each day we read about each other's lives, each other's thoughts and feelings, what we might be reading, where we've been.

The post I read speculated on how things would change if all of us met. It really did get me thinking.

Recently, I was corrected on a misconception I'd held for a few months ~ that being that the BlogHer conference was by invitation only. I'd believed that one had to be invited by someone else.

Just goes to show what happens when we don't check our facts. There were unintended consequences from that belief on my part and some of it was not very good. I resented the lack of invitation. Reading about it on other people's blogs made me feel like I used to feel when people would invite each other to events right in front of me, like I was a potted plant. But because I am so hypersensitive to rejection, I chose instead to frame it differently. I hadn't been invited because everyone who reads here knows that I am low-income and wouldn't be able to afford it.

Yeah. That had to be it. Right? "They" were just sparing me the embarrassment of having to decline. :) Sometimes we lie to ourselves. It's not uncommon.

So... given the corrected information, this led me to think:

Would I go if I could afford it?

No. I don't think so.

Here's why: I believe a certain integrity in what I do here would be compromised. In this space, I am brutally honest. People who read here know my better parts and where I still need to do a bit more work.

I admit when I go to my Awful Place and things get pretty dark. I'm a moody person. I can be so far in the depths that there's no way out and two hours later, I'm fine.

You know more about my history than some friends know, people I've known for several years here locally.

You also know when something is just perfect. .. and that's often rather simple. An unexpected kindness, an acknowledgment that is unexpected and, yes, sometimes even a validation or a compliment. Like everyone, I like to be liked. And even more, I like being understood.

You, in your anonymity, allow me to care. I care about the people who come here. And sometimes I think the anonymity is a part of that.

Here, in this space, I interact with other bloggers in the comment forum. I don't know what you look like, what your house looks like or what kind of job you have. I don't know how you define yourself in the social world. I know only what you want me to know.

I know what you think. I know what you feel. I know what matters to you and what doesn't by the content of the comments you leave. I get challenged and learn and grow from the perspectives you offer me.

You have your privacy. And I have mine. I won't be showing up at your door or calling you on the phone. (Well, unless you specifically ask me to do so and we both have free long distance!) So far, I have interacted with people in private email. Those emails have always been initiated by others because, honestly, I simply lack the confidence to approach people. I'm a wallflower in all regards. I've never spoken to another blogger on the phone. It's not that I'm adverse to the idea. It just hasn't happened. If it does, it does.

But I'm thinking that's probably as far as it would go.

Meeting in person, particularly in a group, would change the dynamic here so drastically that I'm not sure I'm willing to risk it. I like the honesty here in this space, both from me and from you.

What do you think? If money, time and transportation weren't an issue, would you want to go to the conference? (Any conference or convention ~ fill in the blank.) What do you think would change if we actually met?


Peace,


~Chani

34 comments:

Christine said...

I just made a comment about this over at blogrhet, too.

I think i really want to meet all the people i interat with on-line here. I would lov eto see them and know the lits of their voices and their smiles and their laugh. But. I would be afraid that they would be disappointed in me. That I wouldn't good enough, smart enough, pretty enough, etc. It is weird because I am such an extrovert in person, but under it all I am so insecure. Needy even. maybe in the future i could meet some people from the blogosphere, but I would be scared ashell.

thailandchani said...

Christine, I'm with you on that. I feel exactly the same way. Maybe the difference between us is that you would be willing to take the risk ~ and I'm not sure I am.

I value this... this we're all doing here in this space. If I met all of you, I suspect that it would be a kind meeting, of course, but I would also be a major disappointment to everyone.

I don't laugh easily or at the right things. I'm not very clubbish and don't enjoy the social aspects of bonding. Not good at it at all.

Small talk completely paralyzes me.

Dunno. Guess I'm just not the type who could carry it off. A limited meeting with an individual might work. You know.. lunch maybe... or something that has a limited time involved.

It's interesting to think about. But admittedly, even thinking about it is somewhat paralyzing.


Peace,

~chani

jen said...

i would love to meet you, but you already know that. but with you, i'd want hot green tea, pad thai, and a long walk.

about blogher. if i'd thought it was invitation only and no one was asking i'd have felt very sad about that, even if i didn't want to go. i am glad you understand that isn't the case - because if it WAS invitation only, i'd have invited everyone i knew. even if i didn't think they'd want to come (hint hint)

and i am not nervous, because i think it will be fun. if i can't for some reason manage it when i am there, i'll go to my room or explore the city, but either way, i get to try something new.

great post.

jen said...

oh, and if we actually met, i think i'd be happier for it. i'd get to look in Chani's eyes and admire her jewelry. I'd get to hear the inflection in her voice.

i've only met one blogger so far, and it made her more tangible and lovely.

Tabba said...

This is interesting, Chani...and at first, I didn't think it possible for me to get to Blogher. I wasn't going to push the issue....but circumstances came together and I found a roommate, very inexpensive airfare, and will be using my student ID to get the cheaper rate for registration.....that being said...

I'm nervous as all get out.
And ecstatic.
I want to place actual voices with people and the voices in my head that go with the voices on blogs.
I want to see the fire in the eyes of some of my favorite bloggers.
I want to see them in motion.
I want to see their minds at work.

For I understand the ingretity issue you are speaking of.
But my curiousity is getting the better of me.
And I'm willing to risk it all.....

There....there's my selfish act :)
I was trying to find one for you.
So, it's that and my music.....

Very interesting, Chani.
As always, I love reading your perspective on things :)

Feel free to email me anytime, if the mood strikes you, by the way :)

Sober Briquette said...

Would I go? Maybe.

I'm going to post at my place instead of continuing this comment. Later today.

KC said...

Last year, fairly new to blogging, I read about BlogHer on all of those popular mommyblogs and quite frankly was turned off by that. I just imagined a place with the queen bees and the excited sycophants dancing around them. But now, I have to say my thoughts have changed some. Having found a community of people I think are amazing and wonderful make me think that having the chance to meet them in person would be a gift. Even if it means "exposing" myself.

I think about those business conferences I dread and then turn out to be truly great experiences, worthwhile.

Maybe it's worth the risk...

thailandchani said...

Jen, I would probably be comfortable meeting you but I have a fairly significant history of interacting with you. It wouldn't be so intimidating. I am a horrible chickenshit when it comes to social situations, you know?

I am very, very relieved to know I was wrong. Thanks for setting me straight on that.

The idea of that conference is absolutely horrifying to me because I am not a person who is confident in groups and am, frankly, rather phobic about it.

Pad Thai? You mean you don't like som-tam?

:)

~*

Jen, oh, gee... my jewelry isn't all that great.. and I sound like Jane Fonda.

Now you know. :)

~*

Tabba, it sounds like it was meant to be for you. A lot of times when the pieces come together like that, there's a reason why you are supposed to be there.

I hope it goes really well for you.. and I'll keep the email in mind. Thanks. :)

~*

De, it will be interesting to read your perspective. There are more posts about this subject at BlogRhet, too.

~*

KC, that is honestly what I imagined about it, too.. and frankly, I tend to imagine that about any group gathering.

I just don't think I could expose myself that way... and no one, believe me, no one would want to see me naked. And that's just how I'd feel.

Maybe someday I will be ready for a risk like that... but not yet.

Hope it turns out to be great for you. :)

~*

Peace,

~Chani

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Oh, I am so far out of the loop(s) that I also believed until I read this post that Blogher was by invitation only.

Some time ago, another blogger asked me by e-mail if I was going. I told her that I didn't know anything about it, and she never responded, which made me assume that it was by invitation, and she was embarrassed to have mentioned it to an uninvitee. :)

I also take comfort in the anonymity of blogging, the fact that my words are taken for themselves without being measured against how my physical persona impresses anyone. I would be quite scared that I would disappoint, and also that I would never again be able to read other bloggers in the purity of their words, totally free of personal associations.

Hel said...

I would love to meet everyone but am also a bit wary of that initial uncomfortable oh my god what if I can think of nothing to say feeling.

The thing to do would be to have a two day silent retreat first. By the time we start speaking again our physical beings would have caught up to our words.

meno said...

I am very glad that you know it is not by invitation. If that were the case i wouldn't go even if i were invited.

But i am going, and i will be rooming with two women that i am very excited to meet, and perhaps the size and noise of it all will be too much for me, and then i will take a walk and explore. Chicago has lots to look at and eat.

As for disappointing other people with myself, i am not worried about that. I don't know why, but i'm not.

I have met two other bloggers in person, and it was a very fun and comfortable experience. That gives me courage.

gingajoy said...

I am going, and very pleased it's in Chicago so it's more affordable. The monetary factor here does concern me a bit (being concerned with inclusion issues, etc) though I will say I have seen numerous activities online to bring women to the conference for free or a reduced cost. A friend of mine (a blogger I met who I discovered was a neighbor) actually got a "scholarship" last year, and it allowed her to go--her family is struggling on one income, as are many.

All your concerns are similar to mine, actually. Although I am a social gadfly in many regards, I do have a number of "friends" I have made through this venture, and I worry that I will not be able to have any quality time with them.

I am also worried about going toxic with blogging and blogging talk.

But overall, I am excited to be part of such a powerful movement and cannot wait to see what this experience will shape up to be.

(I also did not go last year, and I felt like there was a big party going on where I was not invited--I posted on it, and immediately got a number of "you neither? THANK GOD!" responses. Because of this, I have vowed not to talk about the conference a great deal on my blog--maybe a reference here and there... Not that I seem to be blogging much there lately!)

slouching mom said...

Sigh. I have a very odd personality, both extremely extraverted and almost painfully reserved. The two parts coexist really uncomfortably. I think when I get to know someone really, really well, I can finally let down my guard and be, strangely, the life of the party. But it takes a lot to get me there (alcohol helps, heh). And before I'm there, I'm quiet and somewhat distrustful.

So even though I can't go to BlogHer this year, I'm relieved not to be going. If I were going, I'd probably be panicking right now. I can imagine thinking, "What if they find me nowhere near as (fill in the blank, try 'interesting' for starters) as on my blog?"

Snoskred said...

It depends on the group and the circumstances as to whether I would want to meet up. I don't think I would go to a meet unless it was a very small group of people who I trusted implicitly. You'd be one of them Chani, and that says a lot.

But can I say something, without you taking offense? It's about the circle of control thing. Each of us has a circle of control. I can control my stuff, but I can't control yours. I'm sure you've heard of the circle theory before, if not this page kind of explains it. I tried to find something with more but am having trouble googling today.

So let me give you an example. It's a good one. You know I'm a germophobe. I can't handle mess. My mothers kitchen is an absolute nightmare to me. First off, she uses tea towels and sponges. I find this offensive and wish to burn them all. I think it is better to use paper towels. I encourage her to use them as much as possible, but it's her house and if I burn her tea towels and sponges she will buy new ones. I know this to be a fact. ;) No, I did not set fire to them, but I did throw things out when she wasn't looking. It didn't work. She bought more tea towels and sponges.

So what is in my circle of control in this example? I can control being in her kitchen. I can suggest we eat here instead of there. I can sneak over there when she's not home and clean to my hearts desire but if I do that she might take away my house keys. Plus, I know from experience, the first thing she'll do is use a dirty sponge on the clean countertop, and my head will explode - on the inside, not literally. If I have to eat there, I can not look at the cooking process.

At the end of the day, I have to accept the real problem is within me. Her house isn't a haven of filth. It's quite clean actually. She just likes to use tea towels and sponges. I believe they are breeding grounds for germs. I grew up in her house where she used these things. I have not died. I have not even got food poisoning (my greatest fear). I have to grit my teeth and bear it, and try to stop those germophobe thoughts from getting in my way.

In my house, I can keep my stuff my way. There are no tea towels here and sponges have a very short life. That's within my circle. Her house is within her circle and I have to respect that.

I sent you an email the other day, and you didn't get back to me. When you read the email, your email program sends out an automatic read notification (yeah you might want to fix that, probably you didn't know).

So when you didn't reply, my reaction is something which is within my circle. I did not think - oh, Chani hates me, Chani is rejecting me, Chani doesn't like me, or a multitude of other possible assumptions I could have made. Assumptions of malice, assumptions of rejection, etc.

My thought was - oh, Chani must be busy. I guess she'll get back to me when she can, if she has a reply. After a bit more time went by, my thought was well, maybe she didn't have anything to say about what I said. It was kinda rhetorical, just me sharing my thoughts on something. I didn't take it personally. Lord knows there's only so many hours in the day and we all have stuff to do. I'm not going to get all bent out of shape over a non-reply to an email. ;)

You always seem to jump to conclusions with this stuff. That is something which is within your circle of control, you know. I think it was Oprah who talks a lot about changing the tapes in your head. You're making real progress here on these things. It's a pleasure to watch.

People here keep showing you that you're accepted, that you can make mistakes and people are going to forgive them, that you can trust your readers, that people are going to keep coming back to your blog, that people really are your friends. All of that won't do any good unless you begin to *believe* it within yourself, and you have to change the tapes in your head which try to tell you "They're rejecting you. They don't really like you. One of these days they're going to tell you what they really think about you instead of just pretending to accept you. You're not invited. You're not popular. You're not a part of the "in" crowd. You'll never be somebody important. Look how few people visited your blog today. See, they don't like you. I keep telling you they don't like you, one day you'll believe me." <--- is that the kind of thoughts in your head? I may be miles off, but believe me I've been in this place you're in. There's a way out of it.

I've said a few times that I have trust issues with women but somewhere in my past I learnt not to automatically assume things from peoples actions or inactions. That's why I didn't feel rejected when you didn't reply to me.

I'm not saying this for any other reason than hoping it might help you get to that happy place I seem to be in. I got there simply by focusing on the positive, stopping myself each time I heard those negative tapes in my head, and *asking* people what they meant by things if I wasn't sure. I learnt to do this the hard way.

Text is a really difficult medium. Most of us communicate in person with body language, and tone of voice, etc. You don't get any of that in text.

I worked with a guy in a call centre who spoke in a monotone. No warmth in his tone. No happiness. No anger. Just, nothing. My automatic assumption was - this guy HATES me, and he's the assistant team leader. It really drove me to distraction. So one day during a progress meeting with my team leader and the assistant team leader, I confronted him about it. As in, I burst into tears and general incoherence, saying "you hate me". Yeah, I made a real fool of myself in front of two men that day.

It turned out that it wasn't just *me* - this guy just had a style of talking which was an issue for the whole team, and it was something he and the team leader were working on improving. It affected everything from his phone calls (customers complained because they thought he was not trying to help them - he was, but the tone is SO important on the phone. What else do you have?) to his progression to actual team leader. He could put tone into his emails with smileys but for some reason had real trouble putting emotions into his voice.

That was the day I learned never to assume anything - always ask if you're not sure. Especially before bursting into tears in front of people. I soon learned nobody's going to slap you around for asking the question - what do you really mean by that? or - are you mad at me - or what's the deal with...

I'm still not perfect at it. I seem to assume bitchiness, if I can. I have a real tendancy to do that, especially in the workplace but the more I change the tapes in my head, the less likely it is I will jump to those conclusions.

Anyway, I hope maybe something I've typed there might help you in your progress forward on this issue - which there has been plenty of and I congratulate you on that. :) Well done!

Julie Pippert said...

When I realized I had some trouble getting in front of people---mainly a group of people---I began drama (this was junior high), loved it, and kept at it for years. I've gotten used to doing things like that, desensitized I guess is the right word. We moved a lot, so I had to, and my job asked it of me a lot too. Now I am okay with walking into a group of new people. I am even okay speaking publically.

So if I were able to go to Blogher, I would and would be looking forward to it.

I guess I'm a little surprised to see that so many felt this was an invitation only event.

I can imagine it would be offputting and upsetting to you to think it was so exclusionary!!!

But, it also doesn't make sense. Why the Web site Blogher would do something like that?

I want to pose a question that I hope conveys the sincerity and care within it:

Why first assume inconsideration? Especially with a person or people who typically aim for consideration?

I want you to understand that I am a person who often feels not quite on the ins and who spent a good portion of life being the new girl, excluded, not recalled and invited, etc. So I REALLY understand.

It got very painful.

It also sometimes hurt people around me who were surprised to find I could believe they deliberately excluded me. KWIM?

After a while I figured, okay maybe sometimes it's true, other times it was deliberate, others it was simply not thinking, and maybe sometimes it was a misunderstanding.

If I think the person intends to be a kind and nice person and generally find the person thus, I force myself to start from "this could be a misunderstanding, let me ask."

That said...INVHO even though BlogHer isn't invitation only, I find it exclusionary to a degree simply by virtue of cost.

Chicago is an expensive town, and the conference is over $200, not to mention travel and the expense of staying somewhere (hotel, meals, outings, etc.).

($200 may not seem like much to some, but that's almost my entire monthly grocery budget!)

So these expensive events end up being noninclusive because only those who can afford it get to go. It divides by socioeconomics.

Additionally, I wonder whether there is some of the tiering there that exists to some degree in the blog world.

So anyway, all that to say, I do understand.

And the reason I asked my question is because I like you and I care, and thinking that others have intentionally hurt someone (or you) or excluded must be really hard.

I hope my friendship comes through here.

jen said...

Chani, my true favorite is Thom Ka Kai (i can't spell it) but the coconut lemongrass soup...i first had it in Ko Phi Phi in the dark on the sand after a long ferry ride. I feel in love. Desperately.

I've never found it in the states to compare to that first bowlful. And since that island was ravaged by the tsunami, i often wonder how the soup tastes there now.

MsLittlePea said...

I completely understand your feelings, that's normal. We all have moments like that. I feel like that sometimes but I always try to push it away because I want to believe that most people are good inside and have good intentions(I'm not always right). There are some who move easily in crowds, who know just the right time to make a joke...when to ask about a person's job, when to laugh...what to say. And then there are some who are shy or just don't know the 'traditional social rules'. I'm sort of in between- sometimes I'm MsConversation, other times I'm quiet and uncomfortable. I can't believe there has ever been a situation where people made plans right in front of you and didn't include you...this is not rejection this is just plain RUDE. That's happened to me before and even though it hurts I'm almost thankful for those moments. Those moments teach me about a person's character and manners.

I'm not sure if I like the anonymity so much...this is a good question. I think actually I would like to meet my blog friends, I don't think it would change how I felt even if a person ended up being different from what I thought. I guess I would feel a little disappointed if someone who liked me on my blog didn't like me in person-but not everyone in the world is going to like me and that's ok. I would definitely go to BlogHer if I were willing to spend the money(which I am not, I'd rather buy shoes) just out of curiosity. I read on a few blogs that some people were cliquey last year. I would definitely want to avoid that.

Denise said...

I don't think I have ever visited your blog until today. I suspect I will be visiting you regularly now.

This is one of the most interesting posts about BlogHer Con that I've ever read. It's also one of the best comment threads I have ever read.

Ever.

(I'm a Contributing Editor at BlogHer, by the way, and while I wish you were all going so I could meet you in person I have a new understanding of why some people might choose not to go.)

thailandchani said...

Denise, thanks for coming by. I am shooting this comment off quickly because Comcast is having trouble.

But I will say this much: Yes. This site has TBDCOTI.P.)(The Best Damn Commenters On The Internet. Period.)

It is the best way to get a real sense of what people are thinking about any given topic. It's never failed me yet.

Since you recognize now.. and you have a great deal to do with BlogHer, I hope you will be able to incorporate some of these comments into the general flow of information.

Exclusion/Inclusion is a big topic.. and it's one that's easy to forget when the doors are all wide open for you (generic).

Hope you will come back and check again. This post will probably be up for the weekend.

:)

Peace,

~Chani, who is a slave to Comcast at the moment

Lee said...

I like meeting bloggers one on one, but the very word "conference" scares me. I just couldn't do it. I can't stop thinking of Star Trek.

Anonymity is not that important to me. People who know me know that I am as open as my blog. I've recently had to curtail my subject matter because of a court case, ut once that's over, I'm back to letting it all hang out.

flutter said...

I would like you just fine, I am sure, but you know what I'd worry about?

What you thought of me.

Laurie said...

I'm pretty shy in real life, so I probably wouldn't feel comfortable going.

I don't think anything would change if we met, Chani. You are a straight-shooter and so am I. I think we'd get along just fine.

thailandchani said...

Susan, I know darned well that meeting a bunch of people, especially in a group setting, would make it difficult for me to read their blogs the same way again. Meeting individually might cause me to love their blogs even more ~ but in a group, no.

I simply can't tolerate group dynamics. Seriously. Major phobia. I admit it.

Do you think meeting others individually would work for you though?

~*

Hel, I like the idea of a silent retreat first. There would be something bonding about that.. and it would challenge group dynamics, almost to the point of making or breaking the conference. :)

It's worked at every dharma house I've ever visited. Being silent together was wonderful! I loved it!

~*

Meno.. you know, I would have a really hard time going if it was by invitation, too.. even if I'd been invited. There's something kind of snarky and girlie cliquey about that. It would turn me off. I'd never feel safe with them.

The noise at a conference like that would probably have me hiding in a closet within a few hours. LOL

~*

Ginga, I know you haven't been blogging very much. I miss you :)

That said, the money thing is an issue, definitely. There's no immediate solution to that unless eventually the organization decides to use teleconferencing. The fee would be affordable for most .. and it could be done on the Internet.

Of course... geez.. then you have the issue of those who can't afford high-speed...

Maybe there's no real solution at all.. or at the very minimum, it would take someone brighter than me to come up with it.

Sounds like you have a BlogRhet discussion there! :)

~*

SM, it's kind of pathetic in a way that all of us, human beings which is all we are, have so many doubts and fears about each other. Oh, shoot. Another rant if I go with this one.

Seriously though. It shouldn't be this way.

~*

Snos, I don't take offense in the least. Thanks for the circle of influence reference. I agree with parts of it.. and disagree with others. I do understand that I can't influence others to a large degree... and I do know that my own perceptions shape my reality. (Whitehead kind of covered that one. :) At the same time, I think external reinforcement is always necessary to solidify any thinking pattern.

My "picker" is bad.. and I've notoriously picked bad, selfish and emotionally unavailable people in my private life. Truth told, that is really the core of the problem.

Metaphysically, I believe we create situations that reinforce our beliefs. In other words, I keep drawing these people because there's still something I need to learn from them.

And by gosh, I think I'm doing some of that as I am writing.

Now.. regarding the email, I did get it. I have to let you know a fundamental truth about me. I am very, very slow about things. Most people live at a much faster pace than I do.. and due to health problems, I am sometimes a slave to my body and how it feels on any given day.

I'm not making excuses. Not letting you know that was thoughtless on my part.. and I do apologize. Truly. (palms together)

When you least expect it, I will be answering you. Seriously. I never forget. I just take a bloody long time to get things done.

~*

Julie, I think it's a negative feedback loop, to be honest. As I said above, I have a tendency in my private life to keep creating the same situations, over and over again. That reinforces my negative belief which, of course, draws more negative people, and so on.

Heck, I am learning to trust more with this darned blog than I have been able to with the people who surround me in my private life.

I really need to work on that.

One more thing: when I go to my Awful Place (such as I did Wednesday morning, as an example), it clouds all of my perceptions. I see monsters everywhere.. and sometimes all I can do is wait until it passes... which it invariably does.

Eventually, something will happen that will break that loop. In fact, I'm reading something right now that I am finding rather amazing. I'll blog about it in a couple of days.

I hope every woman who has children will read the book I am reading right now!

Seriously. It's about this very kind of thing.

Re: blogging and the conference. Someone commented here that there was cliquing up at the last one.. or that she'd read about that. My guess is that there will be at the one upcoming, too. There will be tiering. Again, group dynamics. It's a scary thing.

But I also believe people attending can choose to not be a part of that.. and perhaps even challenge it.

~*

Jen, I love lemongrass soup but honestly have a problem with the coconut. Don't know why.. it just doesn't taste right to me. I do like thom ka kai.

If you are ever in the area here, I really should take you to Thai Chef's House. The owners are from Thailand and the recipes are as close as I've found to the real thing. (Apparently, one of the owners' mother is responsible for the recipes.)

My friend Ba and I meet there on occasion.

Sometimes I can take or leave Thai food.. but, you know, I couldn't live without Thailand! :) It never occurred to me that there is a place on this planet that "fits" me so well. The familiarity.. wow.

I miss it.

~*

MsPea, oh yes.. people have stood in front of me and made plans to go to parties. It's humiliating to say the least. At the time, I took it without saying anything. These days, I would pointedly excuse myself. I'd say, "I think this might better be a private conversation" and leave. These days, I don't care if I hurt their feelings. In the past, I was too afraid of alienating them to speak up.

Thank God I've at least grown out of that kind of obsequiousness.

But, you know, for years, I had no boundaries at all. Anyone could do anything.. and I'd just take it.

I was a sick girl!

~*

Lee, yeah... my ex and I used to go to Science Fiction Cons all the time. The group dynamics were obnoxious.

~*

Flutter, I think we're all coming from the same place on that. We all seem to agree that we'd like each other.. and then we worry about what others would think of us.

I so hate that about this culture. Dammit, we're all just human beings! Maybe one day, we'll be free to behave like human beings without all this f---ing competition!

~*

Laurie, I know I wouldn't be.. but, yes, I think you and I would get along just fine. There's nothing forceful about me.. but I am not afraid of gently expressing my opinions. :)

~*

Peace,

~Chani

mitzh said...

First- thank you so much for visiting my page. I am truly grateful for that.

About the conference- knowing myself. Of how nervous I am when I'm in a party or any occasion that involves a huge number of people, I'll probably say, NO.

Honestly, while am reading this post, I felt that I am reading me.

In the end it's really our choice and the real US that truly matters.

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Yes, individual meetings would work for me, I think.

I really hate crowds, and prefer to focus on one person at a time.

Since some of us are more outgoing than others, shyer folks could be inadvertently ignored and suffer hurt feelings.

QT said...

Chani - I am torn in so many directions by your post.

I wonder, like julie, why the automatic exclusionary assumption?

BlogHer is close to me, so cost is not a big factor. If I could afford to go to it anywhere, I would. Because, you see, the anonymity you are so interested in can be preserved by the sheer numbers attending.

I guess I have to say my feelings are a little bit hurt, that, given the chance, you wouldn't want to meet ANY of the people that comment regularly here. I respect your opionion, I just think that if you have so many people who support you unconditionally - wouldn't you want to know who they are, shake their hand, look into their eyes, even hug them?

Maybe that is just me.

Snoskred said...

Chani, I see what you're saying about external reinforcement but I have to respectfully disagree about the external reinforcement. Because we've been reinforcing like crazy for a while here now, and you're still in the old mode of always jumping to the exclusion stuff. Like I say, it's something within you that has to change - we can reinforce till the cows come home (usually about 2:30 pm in Australia in winter but they do it daily, so it's like a neverending thing!) but until you believe within yourself that you're a worthy individual, as worthy as anyone else in the world, this will keep happening.

Each time something happens, we have choices. You get to choose how you react to things. All I'm saying is, next time choose to assume inclusion rather than exclusion. :)

I have these little cards on my desk, I'm gonna blog about those today because they help me a lot. But maybe you need to write something down and put it on the computer screen in front of you to remind you. I have "Sometimes taking the high road is no fun at all" written here. That's because in the past I have found myself always taking the low road. ;( But now I'm changing that for the better.

I'm running out the door to Saturday Night Chinese food, so I may come back to this later.

Oh, and about the email - don't worry about it! :) I was just ranbling somewhat incoherantly and I don't think it was thoughtless on your part - I choose to believe you were busy. Whether that's true or not doesn't really matter. ;)

ThomasLB said...

I think that even if we met, the two worlds (real and virtual) would remain separate.

When two people talk over coffee, they can't take fifteen minutes to formulate a reply. Even thirty seconds can feel like an eternity. On line, though, that's not a problem.

So which form of communication is more authentic? I have no idea.

Tabba said...

Chani, I hope you don't mind if I add something here....

When talking on the phone with a fellow blogger that I'll be rooming with for blogher, I confessed my dirty, little secret. That I have social anxiety. And I never know when or where it will strike.

I'm completely nervous by this whole thing. Being in the room with the likes of Jen (oneplustwo) and other amazing, amazing women. The idea of being in a place with people who get upwards to 100 comments on their blog does intimidate me.
But.
I'm willing to go and be me. Warts and all.
I'm hoping that my social anxiety will decide to stay behind here at home.
And I guess I'm hoping that I'm OK enough with me that people there will be OK with me too.
I'm working hard on that first part though.....being OK with me.
And that's the hard part, isn't it?

thailandchani said...

Mitzh, I suspect it's true for so many of us. It seems to be a common thread running through this. Those who've said they would be comfortable are a small minority.

It would be interesting to know why that is. At some point, it would be an interesting post.. and discussion.

~*

Susan, I know individual meetings would definitely be better for me, too. Some of the reasons are practical as well as emotional. If more than one person is talking at the same time in the same space, I can't hear a dang thing! :)

And, yeah, I do think there would be a risk of some people ending up hurt by exclusion, simply because other personalities would be stronger, more outgoing and so on. It wouldn't be intentional.. but it would end up that way. There's no way to compensate for it, either.

~*

QT, it is not a statement of value in any way. My inability to function in groups doesn't mean I don't value the people who come here... or that I diminish anything about anyone. That is simply not the case at all. Perhaps because I do value it so much is why I want to protect it.

I think some of us come with a more social nature than others.

~*

Snos, I see what you're saying.. but let me bring this factor in.

Yes, we have choices... but choices are not limitless. We have choices within a range of possibilities. One fallacy of western thinking is that the whole universe is one big wide open landscape and we can cherry-pick what we want or don't want. It's not a big vending machine where we put our tokens in the slot and what we want flops in front of us. And not everything comes with a happy ending.

There are so many different types of people. Some of us are internal locus. Some external locus. We have different sensibilities, intellectual levels, physical capabilities and life experiences. Implying that all the conditions in our lives are a matter of choice can border on cruelty if it's not balanced with compassion.

The best thing any of us can do is to make choices within our realistic range of possibilities.

I am a very damaged person. I live with that.. and I challenge and stretch along a continuum that allows me to safely make changes.

I am also external locus. I take my cues from external sources rather than internal sources.

That certainly doesn't mean that I am stuck or without options. However, it does mean that I have to examine those options and choose from the ones that can be realistically actualized.

I don't believe we can ever have contentment if we can't accept limitations.

Does that make more sense?

In the context of what we're talking about here, I honestly do not believe I will ever be a social butterfly or even an outgoing type of personality. Some of that is damage.. some of it is simply who I am.

Given that, I have to eliminate my tendency to awfulize.. or to see exclusion where it doesn't exist by creating an external environment that will fortify that belief.

That means learning by example and creating logical thinking skills that will replace the fearful thinking with more confident thinking.

Of course I say all this with a degree of reluctance .. because my education is not in developmental psychology but sociology. It just seems logical to me.. so that's why I go with it. :)

~*

Thomas, I think they are both authentic. They're just different. :)

~*

Tabba, I think it's really a brave thing to challenge yourself at that level.. as long as it's with a great deal of compassion and gentleness toward yourself in the process.


~*

Peace,

~Chani

Susanne said...

I would love to go. Last year I was sad that I couldn't. And I don't think that going to BlogHer would be important enough to me to spend like 3,000 € on it. But if I could I would.

Even if I would end up eyeing it all from a distance and feeling like the wallflower.

How sad that you thought you were left out.

thailandchani said...

Susanne, it was an awkward feeling, you know? :) It's not like I could speak up and say, "hey... why didn't someone invite me?"

Fortunately, it was a misconception on my part. It's always worthwhile to check facts but I'm not always good at that. LOL


Peace,

~Chani

Carla said...

If I could meet many of my fellow bloggers, I think yes I would. I have met some very interesting people in the blog world. I don't know whether I would want to necessarily do it at a conference, but if there weren't any issues with cost, time or transportation, sure, I think I would jump at the opportunity.

thailandchani said...

Carla, there are times when I wish to be really wealthy because there are so many things I'd be able to do. A social conference probably wouldn't grab me very well... but can you imagine meeting individuals freely? You know, just spend a weekend to go have dinner with someone?


Peace,

~C