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Social Cues

M was a former client from over ten years ago. Recently, I was at the company where she now works for a customer meeting that did not involve. I decided to stop by at her office to say hello and was very warmly received. She asked why I had not let her know sooner so we could have done lunch or dinner. It has been my experience unfortunately, a lot of times these statements are made without much sincerity - just as a social gesture, a filler of space in a short, impromptu conversation. And such thinking has led me to frequently treat them as such.

As a social experiment, I decided to inform M a few weeks prior to my next visit there. Almost predictably, she politely declined claiming a prior engagement that would preclude the possibility of dinner - maybe next time. Logically speaking, ofcourse I could let her know the next time too and see how that goes - and in my greener years I would take people at their word and do what's logical. 

As I grow older, my desire to try again diminishes greatly. This incident got me thinking about social cues and how unless a person is prone to finessing their own feelings and emotions, they are unlikely to understand when others do so. It ends up feeling awkward for the one who is more plain-spoken.


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