Friday, April 11, 2014

Weird people analysis 2

There are certain conventions of social interactions which nobody has taken a complete rulebook and taught us before. It also changes with different culture, nation, organisations, religion, as well as time. Those who do not follow the rule book are viewed as weirdos.

Above is my assumption about the definition of weirdos. Here is my theory of how and why weirdos come to be.

It can be that sometime people pay less attention in observing the unwritten social rulebook and thus doesn't know the rules. Therefore it is unsurprising that they would break the rules now and then. Sometimes they learn the rules from the stares of people around them, often they didn't even know which rule they broke because nobody told them.

There can be two possible reasons for the initial ignorance of the rule. First is that they might not have the intellectual capacity to understand the rules. In this case, the rest of the society should not unfairly discriminate against them, as they cannot help it, just like a physically disabled person.

The second reason is that they didn't think that social conformity is as important as whatever else they put their mental attention to. It's like playing a game, in the initial character design, one can choose various statistics and skills to put in their points. And they can choose which skill to increase as they level up with the relevant experience.

Take the example of Sheldon from The Big Bang Theory comedy. He concentrated his attention to Physics and Geek culture so much so that even in his 30s, he still had very poor social skills that constantly annoy his friends. Sheldon only learns the social rules when he discovers that it makes his companions happier which in turn makes his life easier. Raj has better social skills in terms of friendship with males but worse in terms of female communication which explains why he is the only one without a girlfriend currently. Amy has almost the same social skills as Sheldon, but it is only due to the lack of opportunities to practise them. Right now, she has successfully integrated herself into the gang and has even better social skills than Sheldon.

So far it is a social archetype that scientists and geniuses tend to be socially awkward. However, it is not true in general. Most of the scientist I know does know and follow the social rules quite well. Of course, due to the archetype, there are quite a few people who are weirdos. These include people who knows the rules and yet break them anyway.

There are a few motivations for these group of people. First off, they might have forgotten some rules. Sometimes, when a new situation or a rarely met situation comes up. Things such as meeting your first crush at her wedding with another man and letting your emotions cloud your mind when you give the toast speech or going to so many countries that you forgot that in Singapore it is not acceptable to jaywalk. These are sort of acceptable and more understandable by the public.

The next one is temporary drop of cautions when a person gets drunk. A lot of social rules gets twisted when drunk people are involved. It is generally unwise to go to bed with a stranger you just meet at a bar, but because it is a bar, drunk people has a way of dropping their wisdom and guard. As shown in How I Met Your Mother, in U.S.A. it has become so common a practice that the world see this as their culture instead of a weird way to behave. The walk of shame shows the female half at least regretting that they had exposed themselves to sexually transmitted disease, unwanted pregnancy, kidnapping, violence, getting their hearts broken, destroying other families, exposed to serial killers or rapists, and exposed to stalkers. This is true for the male half too. It should be noted that drinking alcohol is not the only way to be drunk, some people may go into their high mode by just eating too much. This is to direct attention away from the pain of overeating to the temporary joy of getting high.

The third possible reason is habit. Some may had learn about the rules later on in their lives but by then some actions had become a habit. Things like constant nodding of your head as a greeting to everyone you meet, talking to yourself out loud in public, moving your lips but not saying a thing.... Some people also has the habit of saying "actually" when there is actually no need to say that word. All these in a minor sense are quirks, add them together and it becomes weird.

Next is knowing the rules, yet don't have the need to keep to it. So there are some people who knows that they are weird, but could not be bothered to change their behaviour. This is because it might not have an effect on their life, or at least as far as they can see, they are ok with being the oddity. Super genius who do not need to worry about presentability to get hired are amongst these category.

Then there are those who live in their own world. As kids, we had the experience of playing using our imagination. For some people, the imaginary world becomes so important and wide that they keep on engaging in it even in adulthood. When climbing down the stairs in low speed, carrying something heavy, we might imagine that we are Iron man and use our free hands as repulsor blast to stabilise ourselves. Or coming down in high speed, we become Iceman, freezing a slide before us to slide down. When running up the stairs we become Azula from Avatar, the legend of Aang, using fist to spew out flame behind our backs as thrusters.

The other reasons of avoiding girls and wanting to becomes infamous had been covered in the first analysis.

All in all, anyone can be weird sometimes, so do be more compassionate and considerate the next time you meet one. So long!