You ever find yourself chatting with someone, either on the phone or online, and they have to go, so they say goodbye, then you say goodbye to be polite, but then they say goodbye again, so you say goodby again, then the say goodbye again… and it goes on for a couple more because you’re not sure whether to be the last one to say goodbye or if they should, but you don’t think you should let them get the last word because, well, why should you?
Yeah, I ponder the stupidest little things, I know 😛
As far as I understand, the person who’s leaving says goodbye first, the other says goodbye second, and that’s the “good manners” end of it. So why don’t people do that? Is it a small, subconscious or nonconscious power struggle? Is it a game of, “last one to say goodbye & get the last word is the stronger-willed person”? Is it just carelessness & thoughtlessness that we assume we have to be the one to end a conversation? Is it narcissism in us, trying to “own” the conversation? Who knows. It’s a tiny little thing, really. But it’s not the only one I’ve seen. Every hour of every day, there’s little things we do that, when we look at it objectively, might be nothing on their own, but when piled all together, show patterns of rudeness & arrogance toward each other.
“It’s the little things,
that often mean,
the most day after day;
’cause little things,
can often show,
what words alone can’t say.”
What I can’t help wondering this afternoon is, what do the little things we say & do to people, no matter how small, really tell those people about ourselves & how we feel about them? For decades/centuries, those little things were an integral part of our society; little motions of politeness, like standing when someone enters a room & greeting them, making proper introductions of mutual friends/colleagues, etc. When/how did they go from being integral to ignored?
“It’s not who I am underneath, it’s what I do that designs me.” – Batman; Batman Begins
A lot of people tell me to not worry about it, that I’m over-thinking, to just enjoy living my life & not care how rude others are. I can’t do that, sorry. Maybe it’s the Autism in me, but I need the order & structure that a set of rules about proper manners gives me. People tend to forget, because I appear to be “normal”, that I struggle every day and with every social interaction. I’ve learned to hide it damn good. The fact is that yes, I ponder little things like this all the time, and am always second-guessing my words & actions around others, because I really don’t understand a lot of the little ways people interact, and am in all honestly just trying to fake that I’m “normal” (~shudder~ I hate that word…). I never want my “disabilities” to just be an excuse to get away with things; that does not change the fact that my brain is just plain wired differently, & interpersonal interactions are frikkin hard for me. I always feel as though the world is just a stage, and I’m the understudy who’s forgotten my lines & trying to wing it. I see people interact with each other around me every day. I see the little petty squabbles & disagreements they get into with each other, and more often than not it’s just due to miscommunications & people selfishly being subtly rude to one another without caring or noticing.
Does it really matter that this bugs me? Nope. Not one bit. Not a single other person I know (excluding my mom :P) gives a flying fuck about this stuff, really. It’s a mild annoyance for now, if only because it’s confusing the hell out of me constantly and no one bothers to stop wasting time and ask the question, “who’s actually supposed to be the one to say goodbye last?” so we all can finally know & can stop spending those few minutes with every conversation saying goodbye over & over because both people wanna have the last word. It’s not THAT it happens; it’s that it KEEPS happening , people get annoyed with each other, everyone just does it & no one cares that maybe there’s a better or more efficient way of doing things. It irritates me, which is why I’m venting here, but really, what else am I gonna do?