Reflections on the Social Aspect of My Junior Year

I think that my popularity has increased quite a bit this year. There's the obvious factor of just more interactions with people as online meant I didn't talk to my classmates much, which was worsened by my lack of social media. I also seemed to be more charismatic this year. I quite dislike this development as I think that charisma is a negative as the royalty it creates intrudes on critical thinking. This is clearly bad, especially for public figures like politicians. But I don't know how to just "turn off" my charisma. Making jokes, being empathetic (literally a part of my philosophy), and having and expressing progressive views are all things that probably have made me more liked, but I can't really just stop doing that stuff. Maybe the jokes I can stop, but they are just so natural for me now. My dad's pretty charismatic, so maybe my genes contribute to it. It doesn't really make sense that they are expressed now though. Maybe it's because of the online year last year? In some of my online classes I made some jokes and tried to interact with people. Maybe that helped sort of ease me into charisma? It might also be my facial expressions. My resting position for my face tends to be a flat, serious look that tends to not smile unless at a joke, so perhaps before the masks I was just off-putting. I find it really hard to force myself to smile, and have found it hard since very young. Admittedly, it is bad to be inauthentic and engage in deception by signalling with a smile happiness when, in fact, you aren't happy. But as a child I certainly didn't think this, so it could just be me providing a rationale for behavior after the behavior. It could also just be my reputation as a "smart" guy. Maybe the self-fulfilling prophecy concept in psychology was at play: my neutral face led others' expectations of interactions with me to be bad, leading to less interaction. It could also be my junior year teachers being much more goofy than freshmen year teachers. My staunch belief in meritocracy has also been tempered by my junior year, so ig I'm more chill now towards people who do worse in school than me, which would contribute to my likability. As an aside, I'd thought I'd share a remark from a classmate from the online year that confused me. So I think we were joking about getting someone in our class voted on homecoming court, but then out of the blue, completely unprompted, some other girl suggested that a different girl and I were elected to homecoming court together. At this point in the chat I doubt I've even said anything, so I was just confused. There seemed to be no joke. It feels pretty cringe to ask on the internet about a social thing, but if you've got an idea on what this is, feel free to leave it in my guestbook. As always unless explicitly asked not to, I'll publish the comment to the public.

On a broader scope, I think that my social relations tend to be much less deep than others; I don't really have any people I've been consistently close friends with across several years. I think a couple of factors contributed to this: my dependence on my family for transportation and my guilt, the less charisma as discussed above, my dad's persistent belief that friends are just people to help you advance your career, and my horrible self-disclosure ability. Clearly as a kid I needed my parents or others to drive me around, which made scheduling harder. But, this is true for any child. The unique this about this was that I'm pretty susceptible to guilt, so I found it hard to inconvenience people with transportation requests. My dad also consistently expresses his belief that we need friends to help one's career develop, which given the recommendation system seems to be valid. However, he also discouraged me from being friends with people who he considered to be bad - like with bad grades. This is a pretty stupid belief, but I think my dad telling me this from a young age has influenced my relations today, despite attempts to counter it. I also really suck with self-disclosure. I'm just find it kind of awkward to inquire about people on a closer level. I'm fine with sharing information about myself with people, but compassionate love (a psychology term, not mine) are facilitated by one person sharing aspects of themself, then the other sharing repeatedly. When I first learned of this concept, I thought of how if people want to keep their secrets, then by getting other people's secrets, they can sort of ensure their own secret's security with them (mutually assured destruction).

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