My roommate and I have a mutual friend who, although kind with good intentions, can be socially awkward. Although a loyal friend, he remains unable to read basic conversational cues.
This has frustrated us to no end, especially when we want to sleep or study and he still wants to chat. We have had to tell him specifically, “when we say that we are tired and it is late, it is time for you to leave.”
This was my roommate’s idea. My idea was to train him like B. F. Skinner’s animals, use positive reinforcement for correct behavior and negative reinforcement for bad behavior. Apparently, it’s bad manners to use a spray bottle for negative reinforcement. “Bad friend.” Spritz. Apparently that only works on the Big Bang Theory.
If my friend is a model of American manhood, then we have a problem. We aren’t educating our boys on social graces. Granted, I have male friends who do understand and can read social cues, but it is exacerbating to watch the boys around us act like children.
In a highly unofficial poll of my friends, I have learned that the girls are more focused on school and work, while the boys are focused on parties and girlfriend troubles. They handle breakups and relationship issues with explosive anger, while the girls seem much more in control. I’m worried that my life will be like a Judd Apathow movie soon enough.
So, our options are training the socially oblivious or living with the dudebros from Knocked Up. I’ll take training the socially oblivious, even if I can’t use a squirt bottle.
Inspired by the Big Bang Theory. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=euINCrDbbD4&feature=related