I have the sneaking suspicion that I was born in the wrong place (or planet), and I want to come to terms with the loneliness that sometimes creeps in. Please help? Details inside. [more inside]
Recently I had to take my car in for repairs. I visited the shop for an estimate, spoke on the phone to the receptionist and dealt with her when dropping off my car and picking up the courtesy car. Not only was she very helpful in providing me with some information I needed (a previous shop I went to weren't helpful at all) but she was fun to interact with. She and I seemed to hit it off and chatted each time for a few minutes, about the car and also about some other random topics. After interacting with her I just felt like I wished she was my friend. The converation was light and fun and I think we share a sense of humor. Just to provide some more information: I'm a female in my early 40s and I think she is maybe late 40s. [more inside]
Not too heavy but not too light [more inside]
A homeless man in my neighborhood mentioned his social worker's name to me; can I ask her to deliver a care package to the homeless man? [more inside]
I would like to be more curious about my fellow human beings. Curious people, how do you approach conversations with people you don't know? [more inside]
I am a transwoman thinking heavily about transitioning, looking for resources that discuss the day-to-day and social aspects of the process. Can you recommend blogs, books, articles, or anything else? Any "Go trans! Yay!" things would be helpful, actually. [more inside]
I've just volunteered with a prison ministry in Tulsa, OK devoted to criminal justice reform, helping families of inmates, providing services to prisoners, etc. I'm looking for transition resources & am working on identifying the needs of transitioning prisoners. [more inside]
I'm a super lightweight (even if I've eaten) who sometimes goes out drinking with new colleagues, in small groups, often as the only female in the group. I'm a happy melty drunk who gets dreamy and quiet rather than more social -- not the worst of all possibilities, but clearly not right for these important professional contexts. Any strategies for always being the non-drinker or less-than-one-drink-er in occasionally competitive and/or macho drinking cultures?
Scenario: college party with other folks my age, drinking and meeting folks. Problem: I'm not good at talking about light, non-intellectual topics at parties. I don't watch TV or movies or know about goings on on campus. What can I talk about (that isn't boring), or how can I improve this? [more inside]
So I finally got health insurance in the US and made a 'new patient' appointment for a physical. After talking the nurse through my (very limited) medical history, I was asked to undress and put on a medical gown. I then met my new doctor, talked about my medical history again, asked for a referral to a chiropractor (I have scoliosis and associated back pain, and wanted to re-establish treatment). She took my blood pressure, did the stethoscope thing on my back, and did a bit of abdomen pressing. The rest was talking. So why did I need to undress and wear a medical gown? [more inside]
Hi! I'm hosting a dinner party. One of the attendees is a professional chef. MeFi, what do I feed my guests? [more inside]
How to handle issues regarding a friend who is typically late to nearly all our plans? [more inside]
I'm writing a dystopian sci fi novel and it's coming along sparkingly. Yay. One of the plot lines involves a shortage of women, and the development of new family units utilising polyandry. I'm looking for resources - primarily non-fiction - of both positive and negative experiences of polyandry. [more inside]
I had a great second interview for a position that I believe I will excel in. I did the best I could and answered as truthfully as possible. I believe things were going well and both managers seemed receptive, yet had their poker faces on. My mistake was when I got up to leave, I grabbed my purse and forgot to shake their hands and walked out. Is it a big deal? [more inside]
I am on facebook, pinterest and twitter, and I was wondering if random people can just look up my stuff that I have written or even my pictures. I'm not talking about people who are logged in and are following me or my friends. I just mean random strangers. Thanks.
I have an idea of what I think would be my ideal career set up (involving social, ethnographic and/or market research in China) , but am not too clear on the next steps to take. Can you help? [more inside]
For the past few years, I've had to deal with what seems like procrastination's more stubborn cousin. It's not just a tendency to put things off- it feels like a visceral, physically-manifested resistance to doing things that should involve no forethought in terms of effort whatsoever, or that do, but that would only serve to help me better myself if I managed to get them done. [more inside]
How can I be more confident when speaking in nervous situations? When I'm speaking to a friend, I'm fine and speak really well, deep voice, etc. But when I talk to a superior, like to a professor or mentor or an intense discussion group, my voice gets high-pitched and cracks and I don't speak well. How can I speak more confidently in these nervous situations?
Thinking ahead to my eventual retirement, I phoned Sallie Mae earlier this year, and spoke with a rep who was easy to chat with, and seemed well-informed and helpful. I asked her if there was any sort of discount or other concession made for student loan payments once the debtor retired and began drawing Social Security. Her answer was that, good news, once I provide Sallie Mae with documentary evidence that I am drawing Social Security, the balance of my loans would be waived. [more inside]
What is the proper response when you've just sent out an email invitation to a regular social group because it's your turn to host, and immediately one of the members replies-all to your email in order to publicly "correct" you. Only they're actually wrong. [more inside]
Over the weekend we went to a party at my friend Ryan's apartment (not his real name) where he lives with his boyfriend Kevin (also not a real name), then we all went out to a bar. They've been dating for probably a year. My friends Anne and Steven, who are dating, came too -- they don't really know Ryan and Kevin but they came for the party. I ended up leaving fairly early and Anne and Steven were still there, as was my friend Amanda (none of these names are the actual names of participants). I found out yesterday from Steven that Kevin "jokingly" groped Anne which is obviously profoundly not okay. I have a few questions about how to proceed from here. Don't know if this matters but I am a woman so it would be great if suggestions about specific steps I should take could please bear that in mind. [more inside]
I have some friends who don't have GCSEs or A-levels. I would like to help them study for these qualifications. How can they support their living costs? [more inside]
I'm struggling with a social / political issue at work. I have been in my current job for about a year. I am a little overqualified for the position, but I really like most aspects of it and it's a small enough field that other similar jobs are hard to come by, so I'd vastly prefer it if the solution doesn't involve quitting. [more inside]
I'm currently traveling in a developing country (Ghana) and got the very common feeling that "I'm so privileged/lucky" compared to some of the underprivileged people here. I'd like to continue this train of thought, and read more books about privilege, dealing with privilege (do we have a responsibility to give back since we have privilege?), and generally how inequality comes about. What do you recommend? Some books I've found on this topic are inside. [more inside]
I'm a teacher who didn't introduce my boyfriend to my supervisor at an informal gathering and I'm wondering if I should apologize to to him [the supervisor]? Was this rude or perhaps OK for the circumstance? [more inside]
I've had a truly awful year, and in April my much beloved pet died suddenly leaving me completely devastated with guilt and grief. Among the things I no longer seem to be able to do is answer the innocuous "How are you?" question from acquaintances and colleagues. Any suggestions? [more inside]
I'm going back to school for communications in the fall. I'd like to start gathering career ideas now so I know what to look for when I graduate and also so that I pick the right courses for my career path. When I went in to my undergrad in 2007, I had no idea of what I would do upon graduation. So, I'd like to gather some ideas now and tailor my course selection towards potential career options. [more inside]
Does Twitter or Facebook provide any mapping like this, or is there an app that can, through access to a TW or FB account, create this kind of map? [more inside]
I’d like to get some outside opinions on managing the probable end of a friendship with a formerly very close friend, without (any more) melodrama or middle-school emotional antics. I will definitely see her at a mutual friend’s birthday in a couple of months, and I may see her infrequently (e.g. a few times a year) on an ongoing basis. [more inside]
As someone who is socially anxious and has difficulty interpreting social interactions, what is an appropriate follow-up response to someone who appears to be being friendly but may actually just be following social niceties? [more inside]
In the last year or so, my life has basically become work and errands, and my social life is barely there. As a result, I find myself becoming unable to be sociable around people. All I seem to do is be able to discuss my job. How can I get out of this rut? [more inside]
Mefites with ADHD, how do you cope with the social and professional problems caused by this condition? [more inside]
How do I make a genuine smile when I encounter people so that they know that I'm open to interactions? [more inside]
Apart from some very special people, I avoid interaction as much as I can. I don't remember ever feeling like I enjoy interacting with people just for the sake of it unless I already have an established good relationship. You are not my therapist, but what is my deal? [more inside]
A few weeks ago I saw this FPP and found it to be very enlightening. Since then I was exposed to some similar but much lesser academic work and found questionable references in it. My issue - should I just drop it or do something more substantial? [more inside]
I am having some difficulties explaining/trying not to explain my spouse's chronic health condition in social and work situations. I need some stock answers I can give for various occasions. [more inside]
What lessons can the UK learn from the US education system in order to close the achievement gap? I am writing a report on the pivotal role education plays in increasing the ability of low-income Americans to move up the income ladder. Central to the American ethos is the notion that it is possible to start out poor and become prosperous - it is hard work and not circumstances you were born into that offers real prospects for success. The class system in the UK is deeply entrenched and a mindset that higher education is for "posh" people. Why does the US have much more social mobility? Or is the reality not so encouraging? I am looking at inner-city schools in New York City in particular but any opinions about the US in general would be very appreciated.
Friend invited her ex-boyfriend to her bachelorette event. During the event, he revealed to a few of the attendees that he still has feelings for her. Bride became angry at each of us for indulging in this conversation. Was I out of line? [more inside]
For the first time ever, I've opened an account in Facebook and started using it. Wow...it has to be the greatest social research tool ever! Attitudes and opinions can be gauged without the presence of a social / market researcher. Facebook must be changing the landscape of advertising / social research beyond recognition. Moreover, it must be a political electioneers / pollsters dream. No more contrived focus groups.... Can anybody recommend some books or websites the delve into this?
I have a problem with remembering names, but the biggest aspect is remembering to remember names. When I meet someone, I'll often ask their name, but it'll go in one ear and out the other. I need to specifically think that this is something that I want to remember later. I've been trying to build up this habit for a while, but I'm finding it very hard. How can I get myself into the habit of remembering to remember names? To be clear, I'm not asking for tricks and tips for remembering names per se, but on ways of building up the habit of thinking of names as things that are important.
So this will usually be in a family setting. I live quite far away from most members of my family (brothers, cousins etc). I look forward to seeing them but when I do something happens. For the first few hours everything is great, I'm happy to see them. We're getting on great. Then slowly but surely I start to feel that my life is inadequate, and that I am inadequate. Witty responses become sarcastic putdowns and insults. I feel like I'm taking things the wrong way. My own capacity for conversation and fun becomes subdued and almost entirely non-existent. I overthink every word. I feel completely mentally drained. And I wish they would leave as soon as possible! I know I was happy before the visit or stay. I know I never felt inadequate with any of my friends or work colleagues. But I feel really bad that I feel this way and I feel even worse in the actual situation. [more inside]
Tokers of Mefi! I'm hoping you can help me make the most educated and effective choice when I go to restock my herb tomorrow. I'm looking to replicate what for me, as someone dealing with cerebral palsy, (and because of it, a pronounced and profoundly isolating stutter), was a life-changing experience with MJ, one that came about a year after my first encounter with the herb. [more inside]
There's plenty of literature out there about creepy men, "nice guys" and other types of that sort. Where are all the resources for this regarding *women?* Google is only giving me examples like she put [something gross] in my food or she made inappropriate references to getting pregnant. I'm looking for something more subtle. Bonus points if it's aimed toward socially-awkward nerdy types. [more inside]
My partner and I are hosting a housewarming party and we've invited more people that I think we can accommodate. What's the best way to make sure the party goes smoothly and what are some things we can do to help things along? [more inside]
What are some great, accessible books that would allow me to learn more about social choice theory without having to become an economist? I am thinking something along the likes of James Gleick's "popular science" Information Theory book, but for social choice theory. [more inside]
Should my parents pursue this matter of civil rights, social justice, and mistreatment by police? [more inside]
I've struggled with pretty severe social anxiety most of my life, and I've now finally started to get a grip on it. Over the past year, I've gone from laying in bed thinking of reasons not to kill myself to getting a job, having a very small social life with some coworkers, and gaining some optimism finally. But I just don't know where to meet people to practice interacting with, particualarly girls. I'm a 24 year old guy and live in Nassau County, NY. I need some recommendations of places to go or groups to join. And by that I mean I really need you to hold my hand and be specific. Like not "join a yoga class" but "here's xyz yoga, join this class." If it helps, I'm interested in reading, writing, music, nature, history, art, religion, new foods. Thanks for any help or advice.
I'm in a work place environment, and lately some people have found out some personal details about my life, and are using these details to disparage me in the office environment. I know that they must be talking about these details openly together, but in front of me and to me, they merely make repeated allusions or oblique references, usually with a twinkle in their eye. How do you respond to an attack that is indirect? [more inside]
I stumbled across a site a few weeks ago which would put up an image of some sort and ask you to write what question came to your mind. I think the point was just to collect the questions and look at them (but it asked you to make an account before you could see more than a few of the other peoples' questions, and I never did that). I've forgotten where I found it. Does anyone know what site this was? [more inside]
I value my privacy, and knowing that people I don't really know can easily discover my current physical location makes me feel queasy inside. How can I use the internet/social without basically shouting to the rest of the internet "this is where my body is right NOW!"? Details inside. [more inside]