Archive for the ‘Sofa Psychology’ Category

Eye Contact

Friday, August 21st, 2009

When’s the last time you talked to your best friend? ¬†How about the last time you had a good conversation with a good acquaintance? ¬†More importantly, did you actually TALK to the person, or are you using chat/text/emails or other forms of online communication to play that role?

Email, texting, and chatting are completely ruining interpersonal relationships. ¬†Yes, it’s convenient to text and IM, but honestly, it’s not a good substitution for actually being with someone. ¬†Making true eye contact is so important. ¬†You can tell so much from someone’s voice, or someone’s body language; all that information is lost when you type. ¬†Sarcasm, tone, and overall attitude plays a huge role that we ignore by just chatting.

I’m not asking everyone to just pick up the phone and call me to get together–but it’s food for thought. ¬†When’s the last time you actually gave your friend a hug?

Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics

Thursday, July 9th, 2009

Mark Twain once said, “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.” ¬†Despite this obvious observation, our society focuses so mightily on statistics, you’d think we revere them as if they’re stone cold facts. ¬†Commercials that tell you “Three out of four dentists recommend Crest.” ¬†“Lysol kills 99.9% of germs.” ¬†Studies show “2-5 cups of coffee a day keeps Alzheimers away.” ¬†“Drinking 1-2 glasses of red wine prevent xyz”

I’m sorry. ¬†This is all bullshit. ¬†The “dentists”, or whatever professional they choose, is never mentioned. ¬†There’s no control. ¬†It could have been, “Three out of four dentists [who we found while speaking at a Proctor and Gamble board meeting] recommend Crest.” ¬†The Lysol guys: ¬†“Lysol kills 99.9% of the germs [that we placed on a smooth, non-porous surface, and chose carefully to make sure it wasn’t one of those resistant guys].” ¬†And as for the studies: ¬†Correlation without Causation!!! ¬†Seriously! ¬†What’s the control group? ¬†More importantly, what other aspects of these participants lives have you ruled out? ¬†People aren’t all built the same.

It’s one thing to go off and explain that a certain percentage of participants of SOMETHING had something happen to them while doing something. ¬†That’s pretty solid, like “40% of study participants yelled ‘fuck!’ when they hit their thumb with a hammer. ¬†The other 60% were dead to begin with.” ¬†But it’s another thing to go and say, “Drinking 2-5 cups of coffee a day reduces the risk of getting Alzheimer’s Disease by 26%.” ¬†Are you serious? ¬†So the control group must have been a large group of people who don’t drink coffee. ¬†What did they drink instead? ¬†And what did the participants who drink coffee do after they drank their coffee? ¬†More importantly, how do you determine the risk factor in the first place?

There are more holes in these studies than a bad porno flick.

Old Acquaintances

Monday, February 23rd, 2009

Someone from a long while back sent me an IM; though she didn’t actually remember who I was. ¬†After sending a photo and a brief bio, she remembered me–and we talked briefly about the last couple years of our lives. ¬†To be honest, I didn’t really care much about what she had to say, and I didn’t really care to tell her much, either.

I suppose that’s the trouble with meeting people from online–it’s tough to know who’s really going to last, and who’s going to be around for a fleeting moment.

I’ve been trying to cut down on the people I meet from online, and today highlights my reasons why. ¬†Unless there’s a true connection, there’s no way anyone from online only can ever be as true a friend as someone from in person. ¬†Kind of a tough realization, but I had to come to it.

Relationship Advice and Analogies

Friday, February 20th, 2009

I am the king of analogies. ¬†I can make ANY situation into a brilliant analogy. ¬†Sure, sometimes they’re not that good, and sometimes they’re brilliant; for instance when comparing the course courting a woman to buying/leasing a car. ¬†(If you’re a woman, you probably think that’s an awful analogy. ¬†Bite me. ¬†It’s a perfect analogy.)

But today, I had a good one–and it was shot down (yeah, you know who you are!) while talking about a friend’s relationship with only person, with the exception of a brief interlude. ¬†I tried to explain that dating around is good. ¬†My analogy (edited), was this: ¬†Most people have a favorite food. ¬†Chances are that the reason it’s their favorite food is because the other food they’ve tried just wasn’t as good. ¬†But if you don’t have any food to compare it to, or the one you did was tainted by salmonella, obviously you’re going to go back to your favorite food.

I was cut off there–bad analogy, apparently… ¬†But I think it was actually quite fitting.

See, relationships really are a lot like eating, and the person you date is a lot like your favorite food. ¬†There are a lot of folks out there who LOVE pasta primavera–and have no plans on trying anything new. ¬†Why should they? ¬†They love the pasta primavera, and that’s that. ¬†These are the people who date one person, marry them, then die. ¬†And that’s fine–if they’re happy, I’m happy.

But the moment you introduce something new, you have a whole new¬†palate¬†to choose from. ¬†Say you’ve been eating pasta primavera since you were 17, and suddenly the pasta doesn’t agree with you, so you try the chicken piccata. ¬†If you like the dish, you’ll try it some more, maybe you’ll stick with it a while. ¬†If you don’t, you either go back to the primavera…or try the dumplings. ¬†Or something else.

The key here is, you don’t know what you like until you’ve tried it. ¬†My brother is a very picky eater–he hated Chicken¬†Parmesan–until he tried it. ¬†Suddenly, he realized the dearth of his palate, and began to expand his horizons. ¬†Well, with food, that is. ¬†When it comes to relationships, he’s on a hunger strike.

But that’s another issue altogether.

At present, I’m not in a relationship. ¬†I’m currently still looking at the menu while taking nibbles from the appetizer sampler. ¬†And that’s what you’ve got to do. ¬†Experience more. ¬†You’ll know what you like, and what you don’t. ¬†As far as I can tell, is how to find someone who you’re really compatible with. ¬†Just make sure you don’t order the whole menu at once–it’s expensive, complicated, and the waiters will hate you for being such a glutton.

Love and Marriage

Monday, February 16th, 2009

As a little disclaimer, I’m very cynical about marriage.

In the last year or so, I’ve seen about 15 of my¬†acquaintances¬†get married. ¬†Most of them are happy, which makes me happy. ¬†It’s the few of them that are NOT happy that make me take a hard look at marital dynamics, and whether or not it’s something I’m ready to dive into.

Must someone be in love to get married? ¬†Does the love have to stay strong throughout the marriage? ¬†What happens when a couple gets married, not realizing that they’re actually not in love, but instead just “taking the next step” in their relationship?

The three people I know who just got married who aren’t happy fall into the category. ¬†All of them had been dating for between four and six years, and the ultimatum came up: marry me, or I’m outta here.

It’s a tough situation, really, and I don’t fully understand it. ¬†It’s all or nothing. ¬†But when someone gives that ultimatum, are they really in love? ¬†Because ending something so suddenly indicates (to me) that there was no love in the relationship, just complacency.

I’ll need to start thinking more about these things before posting them–my ideas suddenly vanished, though I’m interested in hearing your perspective.

Powered by Great Matter