Belenen (belenen) wrote,
Belenen
belenen

changing my attitude toward 'hi'

icon: "exuviate (photo of a dragonfly with shimmery green wings after its last metamorphosis, standing next to its previous exoskeleton)"

After posting that I hate it when people use greetings like 'hi' and reading the responses, I realized 1) other people don't hate this, 2) other ADD people in fact feel a particular need for this, and 3) the reason I hate this is because it makes me feel forced to participate in something meaningless on fear of being punished, because I was not allowed to ignore people as a child. I can fix this by assigning meaning to my greetings and practicing ignoring whatever I do not want to respond to.

I honestly thought that most people didn't care one way or the other and people who reject norms would also hate it as meaningless and useless. I thought I was being kind by not making other people do this! So it's a good thing I posted about it because I have been unintentionally making people feel off-kilter or unimportant for decades *concerned frown*

So I'm going to do my best to change my behavior. I thought about how to make the ritual meaningful for me and decided that when I say 'hi' I mean H.I. which stands for hierarchy incinerate, a wish for all hierarchy to be burned into nothingness. And I will picture sending them a gift of flame, which they will hopefully use to destroy oppression but they can also just use for any positive purpose. If they say hi-how-are-you in a situation where it is not appropriate (such as walking by each other in a hall), I will ignore the question and respond with 'hi.' If they ask how I am when I can actually respond, I will offer them a summary phrase and one fact that has affected how I am lately - whether they want to hear it or not. It is disrespectful to ask someone a question and not care about the answer, and I'm going to assume people are not being disrespectful.

When I was forced to participate in this ritual as a cashier, I asked, 'how's your life?' because it was different enough that it shook people out of their rut sometimes and they gave a real answer. Plenty of people just said 'fine' though, so I am going to try 'how's your day been?' For me it is much easier to answer than 'how are you?' which is a damn huge question.
Tags: communication / words, turning points
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