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Thursday, 12 February 2015


What the hell is socialising anyways? I feel like socialising is interacting with people on an informal level.  Making friends, hanging out, partying, meetups in the park and the like.

Is a job interview a social situation? Is a job a social situation? Is it a social situation when you sit and talk to a therapist or counsellor?  Is that a social situation for the therapist?

Personally I don't think these are social situations.  I think they are, what I am currently calling, false social situations.  Situations that people, mainstreamers usually, use as examples for why homeschoolers shouldn't homeschool, why our kids need to be in school.  It is important to be able to communicate properly and interact with people on a human but professional level in these situations.  But that is not socialising, that is not making friends, talking about random nothings.  In a job you should be doing your job, you should be able to interact with your co-workers in an amicable way, and you should be able to communicate your needs efficiently.  But that is very different to talking about your favourite sports team, TV show or the weather. Not to mention delving into far more personal things.

I am an anti-social introvert, I could happily be a hermit out in the woods.  I am not great with people or socialising.  This is not because of my childhood, I was actually very social as a kid and teen, its only as an adult that I have become this way.  In the end, I can make friends.  Despite not particularly enjoying the social life, I can make friends if I wish to.  I can talk to people I am friends with and comfortable with, people I have know for a long time, and sometimes people I have known for almost no time at all.

And I can very easily navigate a job interview or other interview, a job itself and I am pretty sure if I needed to, I could talk to a therapist.  I can do these things easily enough, way more easily than I can hang out with a group of people I am supposed to be socialising with, but don't really want to socialise with.

Isn't that all that matters?  Is it really necessary for us all to know how to perfectly navigate a room full of strangers and make pretend friends with all of them, for no reason other than that is what is expected?  If you can make friends, be a friend and keep friends.  If you can interact and communicate effectively in non-social areas, such as jobs and interviews, then isn't that all you need?

I think so.  It's not about socialisation so much as it is about effective communication.  And, sad to say, faking it when necessary.  Probably it is important for some of us anti-social introverts to learn how to grit our teeth, subtly, and just put up with it without exploding.  And I suppose school is a great place to learn how to fake it. But it is not the only place to learn it, it is not the only way to learn it.

It's not necessary to force ourselves or our children into mass groups of people to teach them how to socialise, they can actually learn that by interacting with one person at a time.  It isn't needed to force ourselves and our children into mass groups of people to teach them how to communicate effectively, they can learn that by interacting with one person at a time, or a small group.  It isn't necessary to force ourselves and our children into a large group of people to teach them how to fake it, because they will learn how to fake it anyway.

I don't need to be socialised.  My kids don't need to be socialised.  My kids can interact with people of all ages and in that moment of interaction, they get to decide if they will make the interaction a social one, a formal one or a fake one.  They just need to know how to communicate, and I am pretty sure I can teach them that.


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