Thursday, February 18, 2010

Smiles, the awkward kind...

Ever run into someone you vaguely remember from High school or some other social setting? Well what usually happens is these people usually don't remember if they liked, hated, or tolerated you during such a time so they give you the flash of an awkward smile to try to cover up the ambiguity of the social relationship between you.

I'm currently pumping this blog out from school, where I've run into quite a few awkward smiles today. Mostly these happenstances occurred during the hunt for an office of one of my Profs. I had no idea he was a evil doer until now, my evidence is his office is held in a secret location far removed from the rest of the school. Very clever, but not clever enough.

Whilst running around hoping to locate this secret lair, I made eye contact with a number of old acquaintances from my past years of university, and high school. It seems I'm not easily remembered because each of these people gave me an awkward smile, the default social reaction of human beings for when they cannot determine where they know someone from.

I find this social behavior quite interesting and have a few theories of why it occurs. My main idea is that this is the preferred ideal expected by both participants, because forgetting someone (even if they are insignificant) is socially demonized or considered rude. I disagree with this mind set, I find myself noticing their smile and reading it just as it is... my usual response is to break eye contact and not to return the gesture. This usually proves to make the person think they don't know me, and makes them feel stupefied or insignificant.

I do very much enjoy social mind games, especially when I specifically recall contempt and resentment from the other participant. Believe it or not a charming guy like me wasn't what you call super liked in past social situations. Hell, even now a person has to be used to my normal terms of thinking or prefer my blunt terms on how I view reality.

Actually this reminds me of the one week I had a facebook. Yes, I tried it out for only a week. I had all sorts of people who I absolutely hated in high school adding me just so they could feel socially superior due to their huge friends list. My significant other managed the page for me, I recall her asking why I only have a limited number of friends when I got so many requests. Simply put, I told her that I don't forget the actions of others nor forgive their insolence. I soon deleted facebook because I wanted no part of the social hierarchy of it.

*Flashes an awkward smile*

1 comment:

Kelly said...

Yeah, I know well -the awkward smile look. I given it and gotten it, myself. I have a really hard time remembering names to put with the faces. Always have, really. Plus, the problem with being 46, is that a lot of people I knew have changed so much in their faces and the rest of their bodies. That makes it even harder. Sometimes, it's like... Wow. You've gotten so fat or bald, I'm not sure who the hell you are... but you look familiar.

I agree. Social mind games are fun. The facebook experience you had is interesting. I didn't know that kind of crap went on but I can easily see it happening. That's the way society works (or not works, if you know what I mean).