Wednesday, October 23, 2013

iExamen 2

Get Comfortable


                I decided to pick Saturday October 19, 2013 as my day that I would say everything that is kind, useful, and true.  From the moment I woke up, I knew this was going to be a struggle.  In my apartment, kind and useful are not exactly the core values.  I left out true because my roommates and I are extremely truthful with each other; just usually it is delivered in an insulting manner.  My communication with my roommates flipped completely but the communication I had with people outside of my apartment did not change much.  An outside perspective would think that my relationship with my roommates was probably conflicted and disconnected, though I felt it was the polar opposite.  So, throughout my day, I had to put on a filter or in other words, I had to think about what I was saying before I said it.  It felt as if I was talking to my parents every time I opened my mouth.  This self-observation was definitely tougher than the first one, but I made a couple of realizations on how I communicate with people. 

                So when I woke up, I decided to not tell my roommates about my self-observation experiment.  I tried to be normal in all my responses but was immediately faced with awkward moments because I had to think about what I wanted to say.  My roommates noticed something was off within ten minutes of talking to me.  Then, I told them about the iExamen 2 and they laughed but were excited because it meant they could mess with me all day.  When I say, “mess with me,” I mean that my roommates could insult and joke with me all day and all I could do was respond in a kind manner.  Conversations with my roommates were difficult to say the least.  Most things I wanted to say I could not.  It is not that I enjoy insulting my roommates; we just enjoy making jokes about each other that are said in an insulting way.  This is our way of showing how comfortable we are with each other.  Certainly a strange way of showing it, but it does make the bonds between us stronger. 

                Once I got out of my room, the day got easier.  When talking to people that were not my roommates, I did not feel so constrained.  I did not have to think as much and I was able to turn my filter off most of the time.  I also realized that the conversation I had with people was more meaningful.  I was paying more compliments to people and having more lively conversation.  In total honesty, it is because I am not as comfortable with these people and feel the need to be more polite.  Leaving the room made me realize that I am generally nicer and more polite to be that I do not know as well.  One would think that one would be kinder to friends and colder to people they did not know but the opposite was present.  I had never taken in to account my drastic change in behavior depending on who I am talking to.  Obviously, there is a change in behavior if you’re talking to your best friend or your grandma but in this case I had a change in behavior from friend to friend.
                Coming into the project I did not expect to recognize such a change in my behavior towards people.  I did not think it was going to be too difficult being a little kinder to people because I do not consider myself a mean person.  Though when everything I said had to be kind, useful, or true, it eliminated my ability to use sarcasm.  I rely on sarcasm for humor and to sometimes make a point.  For example, if I see a friend slacking off I may make a sarcastic remark about him failing out of school.  In the future, I will attempt to have more lively conversation with people that are not my roommates by making everything I say kind, useful, and true.  For my roommates, I do not think anything is changing there and I am quite alright with it.

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