Thoughts/Opinions on social mannerisms?

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Mind over easy, modified 9 Years ago at 6/12/13 9:00 PM
Created 9 Years ago at 6/12/13 9:00 PM

Thoughts/Opinions on social mannerisms?

Posts: 239 Join Date: 4/28/12 Recent Posts
So it occurred to me to try to open this discussion after work today. In the past few months, and today at work, I've been very twisted with the notion of social mannerisms. This post might seem bizarre or insignificant, but it's still interesting to me, and I'm just assuming others have dealt with this on some level, after enough practice (can't remember who posted it, but for example, someone posted about how their friends grabbed them after the dance floor cleared and he/she was just standing there, spacing out at the lights). I don't really know precisely how meditation has changed my life, but in any case, there is a very obvious change in how I feel in social settings. People are constantly doing things in social settings that (I'm assuming) they wouldn't do otherwise. Such as... touching their hair, bouncing on their heels, bouncing in some way or another, tapping fingers, nodding and moving eyes about when being talked to... etc...

So I've noticed that I really don't have a tendency to do these things anymore. When people talk to me, when I realize the tendencies they have in social settings, I realize that I'm... uh... standing there, almost stone still, with a stone face, and an unwavering gaze towards them. And then the thought comes... is it weird that they are buzzing with these social tendencies, and I'm just standing here like a stone gargoyle? I find myself unnaturally emulating these social mannerisms just so people get the impression that I'm friendly, easygoing, etc., which I feel is true anyways, but it just feels like they like to see those little things going on, like it makes them feel more comfortable or whatever. I find myself making small laughs, making small talk, etc... just to fill in these moments where I'm stone-gargoyle like. Stone-gargoyle-ness isn't a bad thing to me, and I think it's a much more calm place to be, rather than bouncing around with all these nervous habits. So, part of me thinks, okay, I feel just fine being still and silent while listening, staring directly at a person, fully present. But another part of me says, artificially adopt the social mannerisms, since it makes people feel more like there is a like-minded, socially compassionate, fellow human, rather than appearing to be some cold, lifeless, emotionless robot. Because I can definitely tell that some people find the stone-gargoyle me to be slightly odd and possibly offsetting in social settings.

It's a humorous situation in a way, and also odd to find myself suddenly thinking about these things. To those who have gotten paths or to those who have felt some serious changes in social mannerisms after enough practice, what is your philosophy on this? Once you uninstall a bunch of unconscious tendencies from the computer, which ones do you still consciously run just to facilitate a sense of solidarity? (For example, Kenneth Folk seems to appear as a robot when he speaks, being reserved, cautious and slow, whereas Daniel Ingram seems to be much more high-energy, fast paced, and emotionally expressive, just trying to get it all out)
This Good Self, modified 9 Years ago at 6/12/13 9:44 PM
Created 9 Years ago at 6/12/13 9:15 PM

RE: Thoughts/Opinions on social mannerisms?

Posts: 946 Join Date: 3/9/10 Recent Posts
I'm picturing you as that guy in American Pie, staring at the plastic bag floating in the wind.

I get what you're saying. There's a constant nervous tension for many people in social situations. This "bouncing around" and nervous shifting and darting glances ...all these things accompany the thought: "I don't know if I'm ok or not...Am I? Am I ok? Tell me I'm ok!".

But I wouldn't worry about trying to fit in by bouncing with them. When you're in a good state (and it is a state), your gaze will hold a lot of power, and humour will come naturally. People love that and are put at ease by that. They will lose their bounce and start relaxing and enjoying. When men start wanting to shake your hand and girls start giggling around you, then you're probably in a very self-accepting state. They don't actually love you (in fact they couldn't care less about you), all they want is to have that feeling for themselves.

On the other end of the spectrum is the guy who has resigned to the notion that he isn't "good enough". He also stares blankly, but the vibe is totally different.
Tom Tom, modified 9 Years ago at 6/12/13 11:27 PM
Created 9 Years ago at 6/12/13 11:27 PM

RE: Thoughts/Opinions on social mannerisms?

Posts: 466 Join Date: 9/19/09 Recent Posts
American Pie Beauty
This Good Self, modified 9 Years ago at 6/12/13 11:32 PM
Created 9 Years ago at 6/12/13 11:32 PM

RE: Thoughts/Opinions on social mannerisms?

Posts: 946 Join Date: 3/9/10 Recent Posts
Thanks for that. Stiffler was more into staring at tits and ass than plastic bags in the breeze. emoticon
Tom Tom, modified 9 Years ago at 6/13/13 2:45 AM
Created 9 Years ago at 6/13/13 2:40 AM

RE: Thoughts/Opinions on social mannerisms?

Posts: 466 Join Date: 9/19/09 Recent Posts
It's a humorous situation in a way, and also odd to find myself suddenly thinking about these things. To those who have gotten paths or to those who have felt some serious changes in social mannerisms after enough practice, what is your philosophy on this?


I'm curious, do you do a lot of concentration/samatha practice? I found I was this way, temporarily, after doing long absorption sits. Having the hindrances suppressed from concentration practice seems to have this effect.

Also, if you are sitting a lot or doing insight practice you will also be doing some concentration, as a side effect, anyways. Have you tried not sitting for a few weeks to see what changes? You could be getting very concentrated/absorbed every day, from meditation, and that is what is causing these mannerisms.
Maher K, modified 9 Years ago at 6/13/13 7:12 AM
Created 9 Years ago at 6/13/13 7:12 AM

RE: Thoughts/Opinions on social mannerisms?

Posts: 14 Join Date: 1/11/13 Recent Posts
I've noticed this to a great extent as well after practicing meditation and spirituality for some time. The way I experience these mannerism is directly related to if I am being mindful or not. I tend to go through these unconscious habits when I am not aware of my surroundings and lost in thought; they sort of act as a trigger to bring me back to the present moment, However, whenever I am in a mindful state and engaged with the present, these habits tend to fall away and I sit in a neutral posture with each hand on top of each thigh. There are theories out there that the ego acts "mechanically," which is exactly what these nervous ticks are. All these actions take up energy, of course, so when you free yourself from these unconscious habits you have more energy to take deliberate action in social interaction (be more present and engaged). I personally find that my conversations are much more rewarding and enjoyable when I am able to free myself from these nervous ticks because I am "free" from my ego, or at least, not as much in its control, whereas if I am talking while the nervous ticks are happening it makes it harder for me to "control" my ego and prevent it from trying to manipulate others. I consciously tend to gesticulate with my hands to emphasize points and explain things, but other than that, I try to avoid any nervous habits, such as tapping, etc. and try to keep my legs uncrossed (when sitting in a chair of course).
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Dream Walker, modified 9 Years ago at 6/13/13 2:40 PM
Created 9 Years ago at 6/13/13 2:40 PM

RE: Thoughts/Opinions on social mannerisms?

Posts: 1430 Join Date: 1/18/12 Recent Posts
Mind over easy:

To those who have gotten paths or to those who have felt some serious changes in social mannerisms after enough practice, what is your philosophy on this?
Once you uninstall a bunch of unconscious tendencies from the computer, which ones do you still consciously run just to facilitate a sense of solidarity?

After second path the selfing process entangled with thoughts that managed the uncomfortability and stress in social interactions shut down quite a bit and I found myself staring at people for inappropriate amounts of time. I had to be mindful of this as it makes them uncomfortable and that was not my intention so I modified it. Shinzen Young talks about the different practices and the bouncy quality of some enlightened people. bouncy zen vs vipassanna
My philosophy on this is to look at your intention regarding others. Are your nonverbal and paralingual synching up with the intention? Add or subtract til it does for the sake of communicating consciously with skill.
~D

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