Tag Archives: politeness

I am not – I cannot be – a troll

I have problems with how I behave on the internet. I don’t fit in with what seems to be the normal way of doing things, and it’s all down to my damn idiot brain not letting me fit in. Stupid brain.

I will, do, have and willdohave say: “I behave online as I behave in real life” and that is true. I treat people politely, generally, only argue when really pushed into it/when I absolutely know I’m right or the other person is completely wrong (or if I want to argue with them) and I don’t resort to petty name-calling, threats or anything else you see everywhere from Reddit to the Grauniad*.

But the reason for it isn’t some altruistic notion of goodwill to all humanity and general, basic politeness – well, it is in some respects. No, it’s more just the fact that I am the Socially Awkward Penguin. LET ME EXPLAIN.

I simply cannot get over the mental wall I put up – I associate what I say with having an effect on someone. A real person. If I am to annoy them in any way, this thought would make me feel bad. If I am to argue, it irritates. I cannot insult as I don’t do it much in real life – at least not seriously, or to people’s faces when it is serious. Basically, I find it difficult to distance myself from the reaction of others.

Maybe I’m insane and should just stop being such a brilliant ball of empathy. YOU’RE ALL FUCKTARDS TROLOLOLOL etc.

*The only two sites I read.

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Fear and politeness in real life

I made a shocking discovery today. Speaking with my ladyfriend about phoning the bank, I dropped into the chat that I wasn’t happy about it being an 0845 number. She responded with “ring them up then get them to ring you back”. This struck me as a strange thing to say, until I suddenly realised it both made sense and was something I have quite literally never thought of before in my whole life.

There are many things like this in life. I never ask shop assistants to actually assist me at any point, as I think it’s rude. It clearly isn’t – it’s their job and I wouldn’t demand things, I would be asking, so it’s not like they’d get annoyed with me. I don’t even like using things like room service, as I feel guilty the person has to bring the food all the way to me – surely I should be the one going to get it?

There are other things like refusing to complain about minor inconveniences, and getting deathly embarrassed when people you’re with actually do. “My glass is a bit dirty” springs to mind. But then, I don’t even like asking for a top up if the head of my pint is a bit much. Asking someone to move their bag on a full train? Forgetabahtit.

Really then, it’s just a mix of over-politeness and standard cowardice. I mean, why would you want to make a fuss when it’s oh so nice to just shut up and eat without the condiments you did ask for? What a strange brain this is.

I have a headache so I’m going to stop writing now.


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