Fake emotions as a form of slavery
As far back as I can remember, I've always had problems with the emotional ebb and flow of social situations. People seem to laugh, smile, and make eye contact with a certain rhythm that looks so natural. I never felt this natural rhythm.
Over time, I've learned to blend. I learned how to smile naturally, when to show appropriate emotion during a conversation, how to laugh to make people feel good, and all the rest. A large part of this is making people feel comfortable. If I make people feel comfortable, it leads to better outcomes for me in the long run - they're more likely to help me out, let me bend the rules, or appreciate my work.
I've decided to stop showing this fake emotion, created only because other people's social needs demand it. I will only smile and laugh when it is a natural reaction, and not concern myself with how it affects other people. Carnegie's How to Win Friends and Influence People was probably the most damaging book I've read, since it convinced me this method of social interaction was good for me.
If I'm allowing other people to dictate my social reactions, I am not being the radically free individual I want to be. I am a slave to their social needs: reacting, laughing, and smiling because I know that they want to feel comfortable. No longer. I am a free man; I now choose to truly embrace this freedom in social encounters.
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