Thursday, April 25, 2013

Stay in Your Lane

   A very wise person wrote these words (at least there are some people that think the words are wise...even if they think the author isn’t):

“Social interactions are not unlike cars on the highway. Some are going fast, some are going slow, some are new, others are old. Every once in a while, there are some lane changes and exits to other frontiers. That said...we all have some social boundaries. The next time somebody crosses them, simply tell them to stay in their lane...and keep it moving.”   - The Pontificator

   Human interaction is complex. A lot goes into the relationships and bonds we form with each other. There is also much happening when bonds don’t form and when people don’t seem to click. That said, there seems to be some sort of social etiquette  that most of us find acceptable...and others just can’t seem to grasp.

   Looking at the highway analogy, it’s easy to see the correlations. For example, “Hello my name is John Doe, would you like to go out Friday night?” (too fast). “Hello, pleased to meet you” (new). “I’ve known her for 34 years” (old). “I’ve stopped drinking and started going to church” (new frontier). When you really take the time to look at our interactions, we seem to all be on a super social highway.

   Now, like a real highway, sometimes there are some lane changes that just shouldn’t be made. Simply put, there are just some people that can’t seem to mind their own business. I can’t begin to understand the affliction some have with being preoccupied with business that isn’t their own. I suppose we can just chalk it up to human curiosity...but at some point, the line between innocent (and controllable) curiosity and outright social awkwardness bordering on rudeness gets blurred. Like driving for long hours and succumbing to fatigue, these types of people swerve...and if you are the subject of their interjection or inquiry, then it’s your lane they are swerving into.

   Ever been in a conversation, and because of someone else being able to hear the conversation, they take it as an invitation to join it? What was your reaction to that? Where you gracious about their rudeness, or were you harsh in your response? Let me offer an alternative...four simple words that will stop anyone in their tracks, and get the point across: “Stay in your lane.”

   How about that person that likes to ask awkward and personal questions beyond the scope of their familiarity with you? Do you answer the question? Embarrassingly change the subject? Again, there is an alternative with four simple words: “Stay in your lane.”

   Some reading this might find it funny, but I can tell you that those four words work...really. People don’t know how to react or what to make of them, and inadvertently are forced into self reflection upon pondering what their lane actually is. For those individuals that just have this trait as a personality defect, it may become necessary just to let them know that they are swerving when they border on intruding into your business.

   Lest I forget another segment of the population that often swerves and needs a reminder to stay their lane, the hater. You’re doing something they can’t do, or being something they can’t be...and that drives them to try to interject their misery into your life, often by running their mouth about you behind your back. Such behavior is analogous to driving down the highway at night, and turning your headlights off. It’s reckless, stupid, and can get many other people hurt. Without lights, it’s a sure bet than many lanes are crossed. To these people, it can’t be stressed enough...illuminate and see what’s really happening, and above all...stay in your lane!

1 comment:

  1. Interesting read in these worrying times of intolerance & road rage.
    Cheers, ic