navigating a world which feels like gravity is working in reverse

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Lesson: People Will Not Give You Error Messages

If you do any kind of programming or even surf the web enough, you will run into error messages.  Usually these error messages will give you an indication of what is going wrong.  For example, when Dropbox failed the other night and I clicked on a video of mine that was hosted there it gave me a message about the server having trouble.  Because of the message’s specificity I knew that that file probably was still on the server, it was just that Dropbox was having problems.

Now imagine if I clicked on that Dropbox link and it just gave me a white screen.  Imagine if it gave me a white screen even when Dropbox was working but the file requested was not found.  This is what people are like, especially people you don’t know well.  They will not give you an error message—tell you what you did wrong.  They will simply ignore you (and maybe cut you off) when you do something that merits their disapproval   They do this for a couple reasons.  First of all, there is a principle rooted in animal training that all kinds of attention (both positive and negative) is interpreted as positive by animals (and by extension humans).  So any contact a person gives you, even if it’s negative, is an invitation to engage them further.  Secondly, neurotypicals are afraid they will offend you if they are too direct because if someone were to be so direct to them they would take offense.