When someone greets me and I react back… but not physically.

Almost every day I encounter people I get greeted by someone. As I wrote the last sentence and I got two thoughts:

  1. Man, this statement sounds dumb.
  2. The only place this statement would be appreciated is on Whose line is it Anyway.

The reason that I start the post with this seemingly Paris Hilton dumb quote or a Colin Mochrie type funny quote is because as an INTJ social interactions are really difficult for me to maneuver. I may know theoretically what to do but I can’t physically do them.

Most of the time when someone greets me, I nod in response. More cost-effective for me. Speaking to greet someone becomes draining after a while. Other times I use lightly aggressive physical contact to greet other people. At times, thought, nothing comes out. I physically can’t do it. Mentally, though, I greet them well.

This has gotten me into trouble several times at my church. Some people that I have had certain issues with, regardless of whoever caused it, think that I’m pissed off at them because I don’t respond to their greeting.

I know that it’s my lack of reaction that caused this mentality with those people. I can’t expect them to understand just how hard it is for me to physically respond to a greeting, even though in my mind I respond in an acceptable manner. I know that if I ever explain my inability to behave consistently in a socially acceptable manner as something that I can’t control, then whoever listens to it will call me crazy and will try to put shame upon me for this fault.

I know rationally that I should just let it be; let them think what they want. It’s easier and, even though they are wrong, I will not get called crazy and be negatively judged for my explanation for my reactions. Emotionally, though, I want understanding and compassion from them. Sometimes I open up and give my explanation, but people suck and their reaction is always what I envision it to be. The desire for compassion and understanding seems to be too much to expect from people.

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