Friday, September 7, 2007

832 Keeping your personal space personal

Message no. 832[Branch from no. 823] Posted by Thomas Culhane (1311520071) on Sunday, April 15, 2007 6:28pm Subject: Re: I chose this because

I have a particular and peculiar way of getting rid of people if they pester me when I want to be alone -- I drag them into my vision of eutopia so enthusiastically that they have no choice but to either engage me in the thing that I am obsessed about or get as far away as possible as quickly as possible! What I mean is that rather than them hijacking my mind, I try to hijack theirs!

A good example that I have done many times: At home in L.A. years ago telephone salespeople from AT and T would call up to ask me if I wanted to switch my service. Immediately I would say, "does your company donate money to social or environmental causes like Working Assets does?" They would say, "excuse me, sir"? And I would launch into a tirade about corporate responsibility and the need for any company to give back to the community and would state that if they would like I could send them brochures and examples and perhaps they could switch THEIR telephone provider.

One time a street preacher started accosting me about how we were all sinners and how I should repent and be saved. I immediately jumped into a conversation about why, if he were saved, he was so worried about the rest of us and why he was screaming and yelling and getting mad. I said, "shouldn't we be good role models for what it means to be saved? Why don't we pray together." And you know what? We did!

Other times, like on airplanes, when I don't want to talk, and I'm reading a book and somebody starts talking to me for their own sake of just talking, I turn the conversation to the book I'm reading and start showing them passages that really interest me. Sometimes (but rarely) they get into it, and we have a great conversation. Most times they feel overwhelmed (as you can imagine, now that you know me!) and they quickly get absorbed in something else and want to avoid bothering me again.

It is about defending your personal space in a nonthreatening way, I think. If you feel you are being invaded, use the Akido technique in martial arts and use the agressors energy against them. It is, after all, their energy, not yours. You just want to be left alone.

So what I normally do I don't consider a bad thing, it is a defensive posture, maintaining your personal space by KEEPING IT YOURS.

This may not work so well for women, as men may take it as a come on if a woman responds to the provocation, but then again, many men are intimidated easily and will back down if the woman holds her own ground with what is on her mind and doesn't let the man dominate the conversation. Usually the man will retreat.

On one occasion this led to an interesting result: Walking through a forest in Germany years ago, I started talking to a woman( a friend of a friend whom I did not know) who was in a contemplative mood and thus in no mood to talk. Rather than be rude or tell me she didn't want to talk, she used the presence of an inchworm hanging from a tree to immediately started talking about her fascination with eating insects. She later told me that she did this often to men to get them to think she was weird and leave her alone, but I didn't know that at the time. So I responded by telling her about my various trips to places in Borneo, China and Mexico where insects are on the menu and then invited her, if she ever came to Los Angeles, to have dinner with me at a great Thai restuarant where they serve delicious fried water bugs and crickets.

At this point she was intrigued and we talked for hours. We ended up dating for a year and she did, in fact, come to L.A. several times where we went to that Thai restaurant and to a great Mexican restaurant for chapulines con queso (grasshoppers and cheese).

So you never know what will happen if you defend your personal space....!


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