The Mark of Cain

Builds Upon: Social Choreography

No matter where you go, nothing changes that much.  Each new set of people behaves much as the last.  A past history of low social rank or outright social exclusion leaves its mark that follows us around wherever we go.  One begins to appreciate just how effective human beings are at being social animals, just how competitive social existence is. Almost regardless of intelligence level, people can make a quick call based on how someone speaks(0r doesn’t speak) and holds their shoulders.  They always know on that gut level whether or not you’re confident and capable of defending yourself.  Whether or not you have friends and allies to back you up.  Whether or not you would be a useful ally to them.  The past keeps repeating itself, it’s a tough cycle to break out of.   There’s a couple days(at most) after meeting each new group of people before one is put into their place.  For lots of introverts it’s the same place time after time, no matter how they might scramble to put on appearances during that brief introductory period.  It’s like going through life with a mark of Cain imprinted in one’s forehead as one wanders from place to place.

Most people automatically perform these social processes and have little or no conscious awareness of what they do.  For the pensive introvert, they are painfully obvious even as they see yet another group going through its predictable motions.

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8 responses to “The Mark of Cain

  1. Pardon if this question is too intrusive, but in addition to introversion, are you also shy? Just curious.

    I consider myself as an introvert, but then I don’t know, I might as well be an ambivert or a shy extrovert. Nonetheless, I’ve had extrovert friends who I think are some of the most wonderful persons that I know. Or are they just ambiverts?

    • I don’t consider myself shy. I just don’t thrive on a constant diet of social interaction with numerous strangers. I don’t enjoy small talk that much(I can look out the window and see the weather for myself.) I don’t much like conversation with more than one person at a time or in a crowded room with lots of people talking at once.

      Maybe you ask if I’m shy because you wonder if I was visibly cringing away every time someone tried to talk to me? The point of the article is that people always know an outsider on some level even when the signs aren’t obvious, no matter where you go.

  2. Do you also find most people over-dramatic and tiresome? Because I really find them annoying, they give me headache (The Extroverted One).

    • You have to be dramatic, you have to memorable to live in the world as an extrovert. You have to steal the scene from everyone else who’s trying to make one. If I had to make a horror movie for extroverts, the main character would engage in jolly conversations with a whole room of people at a party and find out later they don’t even remember his or her name. The only problem is that this probably happens too often in real life. As we see with advertising, all product promotion looks alike once we’ve gotten the general idea.

  3. Hey this is Adi. I have been reading a lot of your posts and like this blog a lot and I am posting for the first time.

    I have a question that has been bugging me since I first started reading some of your posts. Before that let me clarify that I am your fellow intorvert as well. What I want to ask is, I still don’t understand a purpose of life that doesn’t involve social success and achieving a position in society. Because, the way I have been growing up, a lot of things that you have mentioned are extrovert traits are, the ones I have possessed too in spite of being an introvert. And yes, the way you have stated earlier, I too have wished that I was a person who is sought after by people, can make social bonds easily. But it hasn’t happened and then after realizing my true selves, I have started accepting myself. But still, I do not understand the purpose of life if you remain completely detached and aloof from society. Can you explain what are you living this life for? One example could be living for a very crazy passion if you do possess one. But what if you don’t?

  4. Pingback: Social Choreography/The Mark of Cain | Neurodiversity

  5. Isaac tells Esau he will live by his own means and die by his own means. He will acknowledge his brother, but his brother will not acknowledge him. He will always be his brother’s servant, meaning he will only be worth to his brother Jacob what he can do for him. Isaac says this condition will endure for what will seem like an eternity … but that someday, Esau being the stronger of the two will shatter the bonds his brother has placed upon him and be free, forever.

    In the end, it is all about form, not substance. You will find that people will appreciate you when they need you or they will pretend to … but after you solve their problems for them (that they cannot solve themselves) they will encourage you to move on.

    Life is not a meritocracy. The good guys do not win. The best people are not rewarded.

    Dr. Peter Lawrence of THE PETER PRINCIPLE demonstrated with research in over 5000 corporations that all meaningful work is accomplished by “transients.” These are people easily identifiable. They do not have social skills. They are never really accepted wherever they go. They are usually hired just long enough to solve serious problems and then are ejected by the group when the crisis has passed and the corporation can get back to doing what it usually does – collect money and process paperwork.

    Dr. Lawrence said that frankly the life of transient people is incredibly hard. They must keep moving (contractors, frequent job changes) just to stay employed. He believed that people like this must become self-sufficient and work for themselves or they will find they will never be rewarded by the corporate system. Lawrence said that corporations are dominated by social athletes who are otherwise useless … when they get in serious trouble they hire contractors to come in and rescue them by doing brief stints of real work. Dr. Lawrence believed that ultimately, our entire civilization is built on the backs of these people, who are never acknowledged.

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