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Thread: Outside your comfort zone:AIB Terra Sapient

  1. #1
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Outside your comfort zone:AIB Terra Sapient

    We tend to hug familiar coastlines in our journey through life. When and how often do you find yourself in situations where you feel distinctly UNcomfortable - either intentionally or otherwise?

    A few weeks ago I had dinner at someone's house. I was just getting ready to dig in to eat when the host asked me to say grace. For those who don't know me, I'm definitely NOT a person who engages in relgious rituals. Talk about akward.

    How about you - been in situations outside your comfort zone recently?
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

  2. #2
    Cyburbian TerraSapient's avatar
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    Oooo this thread was inspired by me? Is that what "AIB" means?

    Anyway... On numerous occasions in my life, I have been in a "professional" setting (I use quotations because the situation was suppose to be a professional setting, but some yahoo always brings up personal and highly controversial topics, thereby IMO making the setting not a professional one) when someone (typically an older Caucasian man - just sayin') goes off on a tangent about everything that is wrong with the world, to include of course gay people, then turns to ask me what my husband does for a living. These days, I get a kick out of saying, "Well, my wife...."

    I use to get really really tense and uncomfortable in these situations. I use to just say, "My spouse" to avoid the confrontation. Not anymore. I figure if they are dumb enough to assume everyone is just like them, then they can be the ones to be uncomfortable.
    Occupy Your Brain!

  3. #3
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Situation #2 - for a while I went to a few classes at a yoga studio (it was free for me). At first I felt distinctly self-concious. There were very few males and I felt like I was making a fool of myself much of the time - and I probably was, but after a while stopped caring (but ultimately also stopped going).
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

  4. #4
    Cyburbian dandy_warhol's avatar
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    I'm wearing skinny jeans today - that is definitely out of my comfort zone. I'm much more of a track pants kinda person.
    In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends. -Martin Luther King Jr.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian TerraSapient's avatar
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    My situation #2:

    Going out in public with some of my in-laws (not MWs direct family, but the extended folks).
    They tend to be very kind, but very... um... ignorant. They use vocabulary that I find taboo. They also wear sweat pants everywhere. Fine dining establishment? Sweat pants. Shopping excursion? Sweat pants.

    Wait... does being embarrassed by someone count as being uncomfortable?
    Occupy Your Brain!

  6. #6
    Cyburbian Planit's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by dandy_warhol View post
    I'm wearing skinny jeans today - that is definitely out of my comfort zone. I'm much more of a track pants kinda person.
    Are you wearing those to support your knee?



    In my case, I get hit with very right-wing conversations (this is a very red county) and whats wrong with this country talks. I try to just smile and go on without saying anything but its very difficult. I want to say something like "stay ignorant my firend" but that would be a bad idea. Recently a upper management individual made the statement that President Obama was a Muslim. I replied "then why does he go to a Christian church?" His reply was "To make it look like he isn't."
    "Whatever beer I'm drinking, is better than the one I'm not." DMLW
    "Budweiser sells a product they reflectively insist on calling beer." John Oliver

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    OH....IO Hink's avatar
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    Going to dinner with my grandparents is always an experience.

    My grandfather, before he died, had lost much of his hearing. We would go to the same Chinese restaurant in Toledo because it was his favorite. Whenever they would seat us though, he would also begin the explanation of how / why "orientals" are inferior, and how he fought against the Japanese in the war....

    Since he couldn't hear, he usually was yelling, which made us all the object of people's glares.
    A common mistake people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools. -Douglas Adams

  8. #8
    Cyburbian TerraSapient's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Planit View post
    Recently a upper management individual made the statement that President Obama was a Muslim. I replied "then why does he go to a Christian church?" His reply was "To make it look like he isn't."
    Quote Originally posted by Hink View post
    Whenever they would seat us though, he would also begin the explanation of how / why "orientals" are inferior, and how he fought against the Japanese in the war....

    Since he couldn't hear, he usually was yelling, which made us all the object of people's glares.
    This is the kind of stuff that makes me extremely uncomfortable. Especially when it is in public or when it comes from someone I can't "talk back" to.
    Occupy Your Brain!

  9. #9
    Cyburbian Mud Princess's avatar
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    I make it a point to avoid mixing business with politics. My clients do not need to know my political views or affiliations. There are some firms (usually large engineering firms) that make political contributions, but that sort of thing goes against my nature.

    Oddly enough, I work with someone whose politics (especially on social issues) are the opposite of mine. I've accepted it since he's a colleague, not a client, and otherwise we have a great working relationship. But one day, the two of us were having lunch with a client in a conservative part of the country. Like many people, the client assumed that he was dealing with like-minded individuals, and made some sort of political statement. I don't even remember what it was. My colleague nodded in agreement, and responded by saying that he was a Republican, but (pointing to me) "She's a Democrat." Oof. Actually, that was not accurate -- I'm not enrolled in any political party -- but it made me very uncomfortable. I said little for the rest of the meal. Much later, away from the client, I told my colleague to never do that again. I don't think he realized how he'd put me on the spot. And I sure didn't want to get into these issues with our client.

  10. #10
    Cyburbian imaplanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Hink View post
    Going to dinner with my grandparents is always an experience.

    My grandfather, before he died, had lost much of his hearing. We would go to the same Chinese restaurant in Toledo because it was his favorite. Whenever they would seat us though, he would also begin the explanation of how / why "orientals" are inferior, and how he fought against the Japanese in the war....

    Since he couldn't hear, he usually was yelling, which made us all the object of people's glares.
    Ha. There is one particularly well known local old man around here that is always complaining about "the ornamentals". So ignorant that he can't even get that right. But it does amuse me.

    Anyways, Maisters first example hits home with me. Having been asked to say grace once or twice it has been uncomfortable because I don't really know what to say.
    Children in the back seat can cause accidents - and vice versa.

  11. #11
    Cyburbian Plus Whose Yur Planner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by imaplanner View post
    Anyways, Maisters first example hits home with me. Having been asked to say grace once or twice it has been uncomfortable because I don't really know what to say.
    Just offer thanks for the food and the opportunity to gather together. Most Christian grace before a meal aren't that long.
    When did I go from Luke Skywalker to Obi-Wan Kenobi?

  12. #12
    Cyburbian
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    I have to agree on politics. I love debating it but I've encountered so many people (on both sides) that are so uninformed that it's not even worth talking about it. There's no way I'm going argue over a bunch of demagoguery when its clear they wouldn't be making those statements if they were the least bit informed or persuadable. If those things do come up in casual talk, I'm going to be looking to end the conversation as quickly as possible.

    In general though, I do find a lot of social situations to be pretty uncomfortable. As an introvert, I'm just out of my element, especially when it's with a bunch of people I have little in common with.

  13. #13
    Cyburbian ofos's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by imaplanner View post
    Ha. There is one particularly well known local old man around here that is always complaining about "the ornamentals". So ignorant that he can't even get that right. But it does amuse me.

    Anyways, Maisters first example hits home with me. Having been asked to say grace once or twice it has been uncomfortable because I don't really know what to say.
    Quote Originally posted by Whose Yur Planner View post
    Just offer thanks for the food and the opportunity to gather together. Most Christian grace before a meal aren't that long.
    Just tell the host no thanks and that you're not comfortable saying grace. There are lots of religious people who aren't comfortable with public prayer either.
    “Death comes when memories of the past exceed the vision for the future.”

  14. #14
    Cyburbian Plus Whose Yur Planner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by ofos View post
    Just tell the host no thanks and that you're not comfortable saying grace. There are lots of religious people who aren't comfortable with public prayer either.
    That would work. I'm just so used to saying grace, both privately and publically, that I don't really think about it. FWIW, I say a quick, silent word of thanks (grace) before every meal. Most of my non christian go silent briefly and start the conversations again when I'm done, so it works both ways. I get the occasional question, but that's it.
    When did I go from Luke Skywalker to Obi-Wan Kenobi?

  15. #15
    maudit anglais
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    Quote Originally posted by imaplanner View post
    Having been asked to say grace once or twice it has been uncomfortable because I don't really know what to say.
    I would be tempted to say "rub a dub dub, thanks for the grub", but have never had the opportunity.

  16. #16
    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Tranplanner View post
    I would be tempted to say "rub a dub dub, thanks for the grub", but have never had the opportunity.
    Better would be

    "Good Friends, Good Meat!"
    "Good God! Let's EAT!"
    We hope for better things; it will arise from the ashes - Fr Gabriel Richard 1805

  17. #17
    Cyburbian
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    I was at training a couple of weeks ago. I had dinner with one of my coworkers, then I went back to my room, and he to his room. I was bored and lonely, but it took me close to an hour to get the nerve to walk down to the hotel bar to see if I knew anyone there. I've known a lot of the people at training for 20 years, so I shouldn't have felt awkward about going. I had a difficult time because I'm used to being by myself, and I don't spend a lot of time in bars.

    I didn't see anyone I knew in the bar, and that added to the awkwardness of going there in the first place. I pretty much walked in, then out.

    I was happy when one of my friends from another job called and invited me to meet her, and we found our way to the bar and I really enjoyed the company of the others who gatherd around us.

  18. #18
    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    I don't think I have a comfort zone. Maybe a familiar zone, but not a comfort zone. Strange thing is that I crave being outside my familiar zone and will seek out new challenges.
    Invest in the things today, that provide the returns tomorrow.

  19. #19
    Cyburbian Plus Zoning Goddess's avatar
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    I've never been able to handle Chamber of Commerce events/ cocktail parties, etc, where "small talk" is required. Just can't do it.

    Mom, the kid, and I were at Thanksgiving at my brother's maybe 10 years ago, it was balmy, the kids were eating outside at a picnic table, and my son came inside to inform me my SIL's BIL who was a minister had told the kids to pray before eating and my kid said "I don't think so" and the minister told him he couldn't eat unless he prayed first. My mom, brother, SIL and her family, all staring at me. I finally told my kid to just go eat and if the "minister" said anything else, to tell me and I would handle it. Luckily the a$$hole came inside to eat with the other adults and left him alone. My mom said I should have told him to pray. Religious people: don't think everyone else is!

  20. #20
    Cyburbian wahday's avatar
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    I'm out of my comfort zone on a regular basis at my work. Just when I think I have a handle on the range of things I am responsible for, I learn about some new dark corner I was not aware of. If its not the procedures and protocols for use of General Obligation Bond money, its the format of quarterly reports or the subtle details of our long term development agreement with the City and the complex intermingling of HOME, CDBG, GO Bonds, TIF monies and all the reporting that goes with each.

    The more I think about it, being uncomfortable is becoming my new comfort zone...
    The purpose of life is a life of purpose

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