May 2018
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I hate empty words like "hello" oops I'm super rude


icon: "ewwwww (a photo of me making a disgruntled/disgusted face)"

I hate it when people say 'hi' to me. It does not convey any meaning except 'pay attention to me now' and you're not even explaining WHY you want my attention. I hear 'hello' either as meaningless noise or as an irritating demand. Just go ahead and talk!

Unfortunately, greetings DO convey meaning to other people. What meaning, I cannot fathom. But this gets me into trouble because rather than going through back-and-forth exchanges of meaningless words, I just want to jump right in. I want to walk up to a person and say "I need to drop off some papers for so-n-so" or "do you know where blahblah is?" without irritatingly insincere questions and uselessly vague answers! I do not want to ask how you are when I don't actually have the time or interest to hear a real answer, and I do not want to lie to you with a vague expected response, ughhh. Can't we just be practical and stop this fucking pretense?

Do other people actually enjoy the ritual of "hello" "hi" "how are you" "fine, how are you" "fine." before the actual conversation?? How does that not annoy the shit out of people? I don't want to exchange names unless I plan to talk to you again. Why would I?

It took me this long to realize that this is probably part of the reason that other people think I don't like them - I do not want to make pleasantries, ever. Ugh. I gotta figure out a way to make it interesting for me so that I stop seeming like the rudest person.

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Comments
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sandracaprice ══╣╠══
You're not alone in this
I play along with the pleasantries at work, and I make it bearable by occasionally giving an honest answer: "I really didn't sleep well last night and want to be home working in my garden." That kind of thing. Either a real conversation begins or I get a funny look--either way, that's more satisfying than idle pleasantries.
garrulous
belenen ══╣garrulous╠══
Re: You're not alone in this
*nods* I try to do that too, but more often than not translating my life into acceptable office chat is too much work. :-p
queerbychoice ══╣╠══
Sometimes a "hello" from a complete stranger you encounter alone after dark or in the middle of nowhere is meant as "You don't need to be afraid of me," and it can somewhat serve its purpose by demonstrating that the person is speaking in a friendly tone of voice and following social norms.

Beyond that, I'm not sure what "hello" is for. Maybe if someone is walking up to you and isn't quite close enough to hold a meaningful conversation yet, "hello" could be the filler indicating that they're approaching you for the purpose of starting a conversation.
Wackiness
cactus_rs ══╣Wackiness╠══
oop I should read better, you already said basically what I said. :P
belenen ══╣╠══
medesign ══╣╠══
I agree with you fully. Its almost as bad as how was work? Its work = most likly something that wasnt fun = not something you want to discuss after being there all day.
eccentric
belenen ══╣eccentric╠══
INORITE? *shakes head*
wildrose ══╣╠══
garrulous
belenen ══╣garrulous╠══
*nods* makes sense!
thoughtful
cactus_rs ══╣thoughtful╠══
It only bugs me when it's random strangers on the street. Some cultures are very open and friendly and people do that but it makes me super uncomfortable.


If you want to hack yourself into tolerating them, I'd suggest S. I. Hayakawa's "Language in Thought and Action." As a Senator Hayakawa was kind of reprehensible, but his work on semantics was pretty important. The big takeaway for me was that the point of those meaningless pleasantries isn't to convey information but to signal to other people that you are friendly and approachable, and that's made me a lot more OK with it ever since. I'd further add that it warms them up for the actual content of what you want, like for example if they were involved in a very focus-heavy task or were "in the zone." Being able to mindlessly parrot "oh I'm OK" and a few other lines gives them time to shift gears.

Thinking more on it, greetings can also function as a shorthand for saying, "I see you and recognize you." I went to a writing meetup back in February. It happens every Monday and it's called "drinking about writing." Sounds friendly and casual, right? I knew from the description that the first hour was writing and the second hour was discussion, so I wasn't put off when I got there five minutes late and everyone was writing. But I was *really* put off when not a single person looked up and smiled or said hello when I entered. I wasn't expecting to come in and chat right away, but a little warmth would have made me feel way more comfortable. I haven't gone back to that particular group since.
wantedonvoyage ══╣╠══
I went to a writing group like that during NaNoWriMo... I kept hoping it would get better, but it didn't. Once I sat down with people who were NOT there for the group and they were actually more engaging, even though they weren't expecting a stranger at their table.

cactus_rs ══╣╠══
wantedonvoyage ══╣╠══
belenen ══╣╠══
ghostwriter ══╣╠══
raidingparty ══╣╠══
Yes, this! I've had a few times where the person who asked how I was disappeared before I've collected my thoughts enough to come up with an answer.
belenen ══╣╠══
ellie_nor ══╣╠══
I don't mind pleasantries so much: I see them as lubricant for people who can't just stick it straight in there, and need some working up to the Main Event.

I actually think the "Hi" at the beginning of an interaction is really important; it makes sure that both people are engaging in the conversation before it starts. At its best, it's a form of asking for / ensuring consent.
ladywind ══╣╠══
From cactus_rs: "I see you and recognize you."
This.
All the time, for me, "Hi" is, "I recognise that you are a person and not an object." So if, in the process of scanning a crowd I'm walking into, a stranger and I make eye contact, the stranger gets a tiny nod and quiet "Hi," as I go past. The teller at a bank gets "Hi," before we do business; the cashier at the grocery store gets "Hi," when my turn comes. None of you are machines; I see & recognise you as people.

(Granted, I'm trying to work past some social anxiety Stuff at the moment, so performing according to the local script makes a situation with ALL THE VARIABLES OH GOD WHAT IF I PEOPLE WRONG AND EVERYTHING EXPLODES significantly less fraught for me. I can actually attend to the early stages of the interaction if I don't have to weigh my first few sentences before speaking them, which means the meaty bits of the interaction go better for everybody.
well. assuming they're okay with the script, themselves. ~facepalms~)

"...it makes sure that both people are engaging in the conversation before it starts. At its best, it's a form of asking for / ensuring consent."
ALSO THIS! :D Well put!
belenen ══╣╠══
belenen ══╣╠══
(Anonymous) ══╣╠══
garrulous
belenen ══╣garrulous╠══
I didn't realize even that it was possible to actively enjoy them until making this post!
fayriekisses ══╣╠══

EVERYONE in my office does the whole "hi how are you?" but I work with one person in particular who does that every single time we speak in a single day. I hate it!

power_l ══╣╠══
Why don't you tell him that it annoys you?
fayriekisses ══╣╠══
power_l ══╣╠══
belenen ══╣╠══
meri_sielu ══╣╠══
I don't really always enjoy them as such, I guess it depends on the person and who is trying to engagement in conversation a lot of the time. Pleasantries with random strangers like this can be odd and offputting but then quite often so many times we get to know new people that we grow to love and connect with can be met in this way. I guess it's a case of judging boundaries and knowing how and when to use them.
garrulous
belenen ══╣garrulous╠══
*nods* I think that really my attitude was shaped by being disallowed to ignore anything my parents said. I do like when people strike up conversation randomly if it is interesting conversation, I just hate the stuff that is such habit it has no meaning.
sabr ══╣╠══
I don't mind the pleasantries, but I also dont really see it as rude if you walked up to me and said "I need to drop papers off for so and so" without any other conversation.

I don't see hello and other civilities as pointless. To me, they lay the foundation for conversation, allowing a starting point for tone, personality, mood, etc to help direct further conversation. Therefor, if there won't be much of further conversation, I don't find them to be necessary.

I feel like hello is an invitation to talk, invitation to discuss. It is the other parties reaction and answers that help the initiating party discern how receptive they are.
kiwi ══╣╠══
I think this sums up my feelings (quite nicely!) as well.
belenen ══╣╠══
Ernestine
wantedonvoyage ══╣Ernestine╠══
It's funny; I agree the words are meaningless but some days just being acknowledged by someone makes a huge difference in my outlook. Some people are clearly going through the motions and not even listening to your response, as you said, but then sometimes you encounter a person who makes you feel like their transaction with you made their day.

Also, I feel like the admittedly disposable "hello" serves the same purpose in person as on the phone where it originated: you have to make sure you have a clear line of communication or else the important bit that comes next may be lost.
eccentric
belenen ══╣eccentric╠══
I realized that I have my own version of "hi" which is eye contact and a nod and/or smile. I do value acknowledging people, just have a different connotation for verbal greetings.
zimtkeks ══╣╠══
I think there are two reasons I greet people before I say anything else:
a) It's a traditional way of showing respect, kind of like saying "please" when asking for something.
b) It makes the other person aware of the fact that I'd like to talk to them, so they'll usually pay more attention to what I have to say. (If I just started with whatever is on my mind, the beginning might geht lost.)
For these reasons I want others to greeat me before they talk about other things to me, too.
I absolutely don't like dishonesty, though. I won't ask people how they are id I don't want to know, and I don't lie to them when they ask me. (I adjust how much of the truth I tell them, however.)
garrulous
belenen ══╣garrulous╠══
*nods* that makes sense! I appreciate the feedback.
Original ★ let it go
ragnarok_08 ══╣Original ★ let it go╠══
I'm not a fan of those either - to me, it feels like just filler before the real conversation even begins, but sometimes it can't be avoided.
garrulous
belenen ══╣garrulous╠══
yesss that is how I feel!
plicease ══╣╠══
The practical aspect of saying hello is that people don't think you are rude. Regardless of if you are or not. It not matter in the immediate, since you assume that you will never have to interact with them again, but you might.
garrulous
belenen ══╣garrulous╠══
*nods* yeah, I honestly didn't even think of it as rude at all, but have now realized this may be part of why people find me scary or off-putting.
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on communication, social justice, intimacy, consent, friendship & other relationships, spirituality, gender, queerness, & dreams. Expect to find curse words, nudity, (occasionally explicit) talk of sex, and angry ranting, but NEVER slurs or sexually violent language. I use TW when I am aware of the need and on request.
Expect to find curse words, nudity, (occasionally explicit) talk of sex, and angry ranting, but NEVER slurs or sexually violent language. I use TW when I am aware of the need and on request.