Social skills for autonomous people: Some things to think about after a bad interaction



If after interacting with someone, you feel filled with shame, or fear, or just generally feel like shit — it’s an indication that there’s a problem. Feeling that way tells you that there’s a problem, but it doesn’t in itself tell you what the problem is.

It’s worth taking some time to figure…

Something else to remember before you doubt or undermine your own feelings about a situation: Nasty/manipulative people often target those they perceive as vulnerable, weak, or abnormal, and not people they don’t.  And also, people who are not routinely made the target of things like this, who haven’t had to watch their backs for it their whole lives, don’t necessarily have the hair-trigger perception of it that a lot of us who have do.  So just because your friends don’t feel this way about a person or don’t perceive what you do, does not mean that you’re wrong in your feelings or perceptions.

A line in one of my favorite plays, Proof, summed this up for me:

CLAIRE: These guys seemed perfectly nice.  They were off-duty and they took the trouble to come back here at the end of their shift to check up on you.  They were very polite.

CATHERINE: Well people are nicer to you.

The number of interactions in my life that were accurately portrayed for the first time in that line, is literally countless.

It’s worth checking in with trustworthy friends, but also don’t conclude that you’re wrong just because they don’t see it, either.


I forgot about that, because at this point most of my close friends are people who have some clue about these things. But you’re absolutely right.