That Need to be Quiet, Very Quiet

Today I feel this need and strongly so.

Yesterday, for the first time in over eight years I went, by train, into London. I used to live there over a decade ago.

The first thing I noticed is that people don’t like you to look at them, as I am accustomed to do. Quickly I began to lower my eyes and shorten the length of my gaze. The floor is after all a very interesting place.

The second thing I noticed is that the average pupil dilation is greater, suggesting a higher level of general anxiety. The anxiety was palpable and because I can pick up such things, tiring.

My tube head and familiarity with the underground was easy to retrieve from the memory server and I adopted that way with ease.

The woman in the coffee shop was not keen on me taking a china cup outside to sit, offering me a paper cup instead. She relented when I promised to bring the cup back in.

I sat for most of the day in a basement with ~200 others. And the noisier it became the quieter I needed to be. I have noted this tendency before, external noise makes me ever more silent.

And on the journey home there were two young “lads” fresh from a football match talking louder than they needed to and watching the latest Premier League data, playing football top trumps. They shared images and stats on their ‘phones.

And by the time I got home, I felt shell-shocked.

Le bruit.

I have some answers about what I can now do. There weren’t any questions when I started out, but I have some answers in any case.

Hmnn…

Лбом сте́нку не расшибёшь

It is with some sadness that I have been watching Boris-the-gob in action of late. Some crazy association comes into his head, he does not think it through and out it comes. This is the danger of ENTP, each new thought propels. No matter how much “advice” someone like that is given, when the urge comes, it is so strong, it has to be said. He is starting to look very foolish and many might cringe at a senior politician behaving like this. Other people may cheer him on, “let’s give Vlad a bashing”. They forget that at the end of the second world war half a million Russian troops marched into Vienna.

This inability to pause, fully engage mind and then act, is not his alone. It is very common.

I am reminded of at least half a dozen times when I have warned people about things. For example, when I say that now is not the time to discuss things, this is a considered statement on my part. I have taken my own mood into count and figured out that it would be better to let things calm down. I have suggested that we think things through. I have even suggested that people think before they say something. If it gets to this stage with me I am ready to act and swiftly so. But suggesting to some that they need to think before opening their mouth is a waste of breath. It can even encourage people to do that, gob off. What happens is not my fault if a warning goes unheeded.

Having cued this up:

Has my need for immediacy ever precipitated a situation {badly} for me?

Has my mouth ever gotten me in trouble?

Do I fail to heed warning signs?

Is taking advice something that I simply will not do?

Irrevocability

I have come to a working conclusion this afternoon and it is that there are some things which are so simple, so very straightforward, that it is impossible for people to believe them. People can have assumptions about the way “it” is supposed to be and when the simple reality stares them in the face, they just can’t see it. It is just too damn simple to be true. This is especially the case if that simple thing, whatever it may be, has implications. The human mind simply will not accept it. Never mind Occam’s razor let’s make it complicated as all hell and then we might believe it, but not before.

Anyway I digress a little, and talking about beliefs:

Do you believe in irrevocability or are many things revocable and open to discussion / negotiation?

Has something irrevocable happened to you and you have had a hard time accepting it?

The notion of irrevocability is allied to that of impermanence. And until you attain impermanence there is a tendency to think you have all the time in the world in which to fanny about. When the “permanent” ceases to be permanent people get upset. When people die it can cause grief. We all know that people die every day, yet when someone close to us dies we get upset, are shocked and surprised. That physical plane death is an irrevocable thing, we can’t plug people back into the mains and they are good to go. Thus, we approach life with at least some notion of revocability, we can take back what we said and what we did, somehow. We imagine a second chance, so we take stuff and people for granted. But there are some times when things and people do not come back, they are gone. Chapters end, the book finishes and that is it. Most of us do not factor in irrevocability, in the way we live our lives. One could call that complacent.

I mentioned previously that I tend not to bluff. It makes me shit at poker. If I say I am going to do something it is not an attention seeking drama or threat, nor is it a negotiation ploy. This has come as a surprise to some. Introverts tend not to gob off all that much and when they do speak, it is often considered. I know when I am doing something of significance and I rarely undertake these things on a whim. By the time I am talking about it I am often >90% towards a decision and subsequent action. I have done quite a number of things which I knew were irrevocable, some with fairly wide implications.

It adds a little edge when you know that things are irrevocable.

Having cued this up:

Do I believe in this notion of irrevocability?

Is it perhaps more common that I would like to countenance?  

Or is there plenty of reversibility?

Timewasters

The dream I put up earlier points at a reality, this is that without a recent track record, status and kudos, many will consider you a timewaster. It is not possible that you have anything to offer if you lack these. I am certain that on numerous occasions this thinking has prevailed, in regard of me. Important people only like to deal with other important people. This is a way of the world.

Last year when I was looking into this kind of funding thing, I had a lot of clarity in this respect. In these start-up circles there are many “networking” events perhaps beloved of extroverts and ENTP types. I fucking hate these things with a passion. They are a complete waste of time, for me. If I went on one and had a few shandies, there is a non-zero chance that I might get into trouble. If someone kept talking at me and would not go away I might feel the need to head-butt them, to shut them up. So, it is best for all that I never go to events such as these. Joking aside, what is a good use of time for some is a complete waste of time for others.

Having to chase people up is one of my least favourite things. I have made a mental note never to do this again. It is such a waste of time nagging, persuading, cajoling and harassing people to do something. This “chase me” game is a part of the VC funding landscape. Those in possession of capital will of course get many suitors and there is a power game from the get-go. Prove to me that my money will be used well, and I will get rich. Beg me for the money and if I deem fit, maybe I will let you have a few quid for half your company. This is loosely the script behind Dragons’ Den. There is a power imbalance.

Here is the flaw. Those things, those people, which you might seriously want to invest in may not ever come knocking at the door, or down the business plan pipeline, because they have become or are already disinclined. Which means that the investment portfolios might lack “the one”. I’ll suggest that a good founder might have a “bad attitude” so to speak.

I digress slightly. If you spend all your time kissing frogs hoping for a prince maybe it is time you moved away from the pond. Unless you are kinky for frogs, it can be a waste of time.

Having cued this up:

Do I waste time, if so why?

Do I know myself well enough to know what does not work for me?

What are my disinclinations and where do they come from?

Is time an infinite commodity?

It’s Always the Quiet Ones….

Last night I was watching a George Carlin sketch on You Tube, it was about all the stupid things we say without thinking about them. One of his targets was; “It’s always the quiet ones that you have got to watch”. Obviously, we are all proto-axe-wielding-maniac-mass-killers who are not popular with the neighbours. It is always reported thus on the news. Many popular people have done heinous things, though somehow this isn’t mentioned, their popularity. Believe it or not on a number of occasions people have actually said this shit to me, “it’s always the quiet ones that you have got to watch”, with a wink implied or actual, where I am “the quiet one”. Apart from thinking “what a wanker”, what can one do? Well one can remain silent. On rugby tour I stayed up late in the bar on the ferry chatting to some young ladies with my poor French. We were still talking when the others surfaced. They imagined many things, when nothing had in fact happened. “It’s always the quiet ones that you have got to watch”, wink wink, nudge nudge, one said to me. As it happens, I got invited to a Christian group in France as a result of our philosophical discussions. Later on that tour, I escorted the not-so-quiet-ones out of a possible stabbing by a pimp, away from the gendarmes and back to the hotel. It wasn’t me the proto-axe-wielding-maniac-mass-killer who was in danger of causing trouble.

There is a thing whereby people assume that silence is agreement. Now we proto-axe-wielding-maniac-mass-killers do not always feel the need to argue the toss. We may disagree and never voice our disagreement, we are definitely not “on board”, most often we are waiting for the noise to stop. I can think of many times where people have gone away convinced that I was “on board” when I have been anything but. All I have done is increased their Trip Advisor wanker star rating in my mind. They are on their own trip and good luck to them. I do not wish to travel with them. In fact, this has led to a number of misconceptions down the years, some of which have caused big problems.

I am getting around to the subject of control. People like to control certain situations and people. I am not quite sure why, but this is my observation. So, they try to get everyone “on board” or some such thing. They may talk at you, about you and all that kind of shit. They may assume that they have you under control and have your agreement. The may think that they have the situation under control and that they have a grip on what is going on. Way back when I did a start-up, the VCs insisted on various control clauses in the legal documentation. Right then their Trip Advisor star rating started going up and I was losing interest from the get go. I was offended, back then. It was a de-motivating thing for me. They could watch me all they liked, but I can be poker faced. Unimpressed, I was.

The phrase; “It’s always the quiet ones that you have got to watch” is wrong. It should read, “It’s always the quiet ones that you have got to ask.”

That is unless you are a skilled empath or telepath, which most of us aren’t.

Push Over or Assertive?

I was speaking with someone recently and they claimed, “being assertive prevents conflicts”. In some cases, there is truth to this claim. However, it can also cause conflicts. There is quite a lot of cock waving in the world today. And some like to bang their cocks together, to see who is the most rigid in their thinking. It takes all sorts.

A while back, after a traumatic event, I treated myself to a course of psychotherapy. As it turned out I picked a good one, she was older than me, American and tiny. She was very adept at taking the piss in an encouraging manner and she kept saying to me that I was a “push over”. What she said had elements of truth. I also noted the technique of mild bating.

Some people like confrontations and “fights”. Now one could play that game, or not. I am a bit of an experimentalist so sometimes I like to see how things pan out. One could turn the other cheek, to see if it works. Or maybe I am simply a coward shying away from confrontations, not manning up, perhaps my cock is flaccid. Sometimes it is interesting for me to see just how far people will go. I can absorb a whole bunch of stuff, a bit like a blotting paper. I can tolerate quite a lot. People will and do take advantage.

I have a second ray soul, which is love-wisdom. I am not overly keen on growling and snarling, unlike some others. Whilst the therapist was accurate in one sense, she was maybe pointing at a lack of balance. At the time I was very much in a service role, caring for others. I can be assertive to the max. Rarely, very rarely, do I do this. If someone is bating me to be assertive, it can ramp up. If someone is playing games, it is a quirk of my character not to play.

What we are talking about here is of course give and take. I give more than I take. I probably always have. I am not a very demanding or “taking” sort of person. Where each person feels comfortable on this scale of give and take is up to them to discern. I am not at the greedy or needy end.

Having cued this up:

Have I personally got the balance right between being assertive and being a push over?

On the scale of giving and taking, where am I?

Ego Stroking

Many have this need for being buttered up or metaphorically having their arse licked. Maybe they should be in “Last Tango in Paris” or go down to Sub-station South on “Underpants” night? Joking aside this Ego stroking is an often-expected part of social interchange. If you don’t do it, people are nonplussed, they can get upset or hurt. This need for flattery is strong in some. It can stem from insecurity but also has other causes. I personally don’t get it. It is odd. It is related to the game of top trumps which some are so fond of. The problem is that if you are needy of and susceptible to flattery, you might end up shaging some pretty strange people.

The need for some preamble seems important. I have been at networking events and people have told me of their marvels and I haven’t praised them. I don’t stroke their ego or anything else for that matter. Usually I have researched well beforehand. I wonder when are we going to get to the point, the crux. But no there is this dance. I haven’t subscribed to “Strictly Come Dancing” so why must we do this ritual sniffing. I am not a lamp post, and neither are you. I don’t care which posts you may / may not have pissed on.

This is a part of the secret world of introverts. Why can’t people simply get to the point? Like Jimmy, I believe that when time is short it is best not to waste it.