Selasa, 14 Januari 2014

Why do people not like to socialise with me?

Q. Hi,

Im a nerdy 16 year old with average looks and glasses. Im a bit shy and quiet. However Im not the worst case. I have different interests from other kids. I never get invited to socials or parties. What can I do to change this.


A. What does nerdy mean? The classic look that includes pocket protector, incredibly ugly and ill fitting cloths - heavy on the plaid, greasy Einsteinian hair, and - the cream de la cream - toilet paper trailing from a shoe. What do these mean about a person? What they mean is the person is in a state of learned helplessness in terms of social approval. Its awfully easy to comb and wash your hair and pull the toilet paper from the bottom of your shoe. But why bother the person knows that wont make any difference because the tougher skills of social interaction aren't there.

Your first obvious problem is that you think your problems have to do with rather superficial things about you. They are much more likely in the realm of skills you lack. Shy quite people can be very popular if they know the art of being approachable. When others approach you what do they get? The only clue you have given to that is the comment about different interests. High school, a socially awkward, problematic, and hostile environment for many reasons but on of the big ones is the identity crisis. Everyone is defining themselves and often in rather shallow terms of narrow interests. This age is characterized by hostility to anything that threatens the emerging self identity. At the same time young people are yearning for others who share their interests to bolster their own sense of identity and belonging. This can lead to activities comparable to missionary proselytizing and crusades/jehads.

What to do:

Ask yourself: How can I be more approachable? Open postures, friendly expressions and yes even grooming are important here. Now with grooming it is not nearly as important that you look trendy as you don't stink and show an attention to detail. If you look unusual but clearly you spent some effort looking that way it comes off as interesting.

Then ask yourself: How can I reward others for approaching me? Do I get uncomfortable and make them uncomfortable? Do I ask about them and show interest in what they are interested in? Don't ask if they have a collection of microscope slides right off. It is rude to ask people to rule themselves out as your friends first thing. You may be yearning for some one to share your fascination for 100 year old electrical motors and ham radio but start out with the most likely common interests and try not to show disappointment if they say no about something. Try to show interest in what they are interested in. You want to get invited to parties? This means that you need to do well at the acquaintance level. Patronize the narcissistic jocks you don't need them to be your BFF's but you do want them to enjoy your passing company enough to invite you to the party. Everyone's favorite subject is - themselves.

There are times to be rude. It is important to demand respect. When disrespected show fierce defense of your own pride. Show others you are worth respect because you respect yourself. Demand apologize and accept them when offered. It backfires every time to be so desperate for the approval of others that you will put up with abuse in hopes of acceptance. No - you don't have to fight back physically simply show disdain and withhold your own affection until they show respect. Demanding apologies is an invitation to repair a relationship. Do so strongly but with a measure of kindness. Everyone wipes their feet on doormats and leaves them outside for the party.

Looking for a good brand of hiking shoes...any recommendations?
Q. Please reply only if you know from experience...I am not looking for something trendy. I am looking for something durable, waterproof, and that can withstand (and keep me from falling) rocks, eroded hills/mountains, mud, etc. Thanks for any advice!

A. I do a lot of hiking and backpacking. I have tried many different hiking boots over the years including Asolo, Danner, Merrell and HiTech without finding that perfect pair. My biggest complaints are that many were too narrow and nearly all would lose their tread or have holes worn in the sides or toe within a year.

Last year after hearing rave-reviews from friends who had them, I bought a pair of REI Leather Monarch hiking-boots (waterproof Gore-Tex version) and these have been a great pair of boots - by the far the best that I have ever had. I understand that the shoe is actually built by Raichle (a hiking boot company in Europe) and sold under the REI brand.

They are very comfortable, provide good ankle-support and have held up extremely well. I have put over 400 hundred miles on them in the last year and a half (including a 100 mile trip on Mount Rainier's Wonderland Trail and two trips to the bottom of the Grand Canyon) and they are still going strong. Perhaps the thing that I am most impressed with are the Vibram rubber soles - they still have excellent tread on them. Every other boot I have had before needed to be re-soled after about 300 miles (especially Asolo boots). I have also heard good things about Vasque, but have never owned a pair.

That being said, boots are one of the most personal hiking items and what is perfect for one person may be terrible for somebody else. Certain brands seem to be better for certain shapes of feet. While finding a reliable well-made brand is important, it is even more important that the boots fit and feel comfortable. If the shoe that fits best and feels right is some low-cost no-name brand that no else likes - go with it (and if they wear out quickly, buy an extra pair with the money you save :) ).

Go into a hiking shop and try on a number of different brands and spend a little time walking around the store in each (and going up and down the little fake slopes that many have). Wear whatever socks you would normally wear while hiking and try to go at the end of the day when your feet are somewhat more swollen and expanded than at any other time of the day. You want a snug fit at the heel, but wiggle room for the toes.

If you have an REI store near you, I have found that their salespeople (most of whom are hikers and campers) are more knowledgable and helpful than if you were to go to a shoe store or sporting goods store.

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