Zone38 Presents...
Letters to the World

28-Jun-2001

I know the pieces fit,

Filed under: General — codeman38 @ 11:34 pm

I know the pieces fit, ’cause I watched them tumble down
No fault, none to blame, it doesn’t mean I don’t desire
To point the finger, blame the other, watch the temple topple over
To bring the pieces back together, rediscover communication…

— Tool, “Schism”

I just don’t understand it. How can I be so gifted in one mode of communication– and yet I come off as being so gauche and rude in another?

I know what you’re thinking: “What the heck is codeman38 incoherently rambling about this time?” Well, it’s simple, really: the fact that I’m just not all that comfortable when it comes to talking on the telephone. And the fact that my style of writing– whether it be in snail mail, e-mail, instant messaging, or chat rooms– seems rather incongruous when one considers my clumsiness in handling telephone conversations.

Again, don’t get me wrong. When I’m the one initiating the call (that is, if I can get to the point where I actually dial the number in the first place– I’m shy, all right?), or when I expect the phone call ahead of time, I’m generally quite well at ease in maintaining a phone conversation. The problems come about when I receive a phone call unexpectedly, or when I’m interrupted in the middle of something I feel is important by the ringing of the phone; they’re often compounded when the person on the other end of the line is someone I don’t know all too well. But the worst case of all is when someone calls “just to chat”– I’m awful when it comes to making small talk, and in fact it’s something I (and most other INTPs) detest– especially when any of the above-mentioned situations also apply.

Of course, that’s not all that unusual for a shy, introverted person like myself– I mean, we’ve all heard the stories of the stereotypical “shy guy” reduced to a stammer upon receiving an unexpected call from a friend. But what’s especially unusual is that, if I receive an IM or chat request under circumstances which would induce fear if it were a phone call, I generally have no trouble whatsoever with it. No gaucherie, no rude attitude; in fact, I tend to be rather polite and forgiving if I receive an IM in this situation.

So what gives? Again…I’ll just use the excuse presented in the last ‘blog entry, and blame it on my self-proclaimed eccentricity. After all, this excuse seems to work for everything else… 🙂

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