Dinner and Discussion at Empire Szechuan Village

  

This month, let's go back to Empire Szechuan and continue our discussions on "Human Behavior."

Here are a few specific topic suggestions:

1. Why is procrastination such a common problem?

2. What is passive-aggressive behaviour? What is the motive behind it and how and why does it get started in the first place?

3. Why is the approval of others so important to so many people?

4. Why do we make mountains out of molehills?

5. Self esteem: why is it so elusive for some people and can one live fully and sucessfully without it?

We'll vote on a specific topic at the meetup. The first-place winner will be discussed at this meetup; the second-place finisher will be the topic of our next meetup in December. Looking forward to a great discussion!

(A $3 contribution to cover Meetup fees would be appreciated!)

 

 

 

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  • Patricia M.

    Just for anyone who doesn't know, changes to meetup e-mail settings are under "My Profile" in the upper right corner of the meetup page. It's small along with a picture of your avatar (?) There are then three options including "E-Mails and notifications". Change the settings (as I did) if you choose not to see these discussions.

    1 · November 24, 2013

    • Sheryl

      It works, Stu. Definitely better to decide for yourself what you'd like to hear, than tell everyone else what they can discuss (so you don't have to hear anything you don't want to hear).

      1 · November 27, 2013

    • Kam

      but Sheryl, he probably didn't get that – LOL

      1 · November 27, 2013

    • Sheryl

      Love this line: "Debating those we disagree with is as American as overeating."

      November 27, 2013

  • Paul O

    But obviously not everyone is comfortable discussing feelings, ideas, and human interactions. But to ask others who are interested in that to stop – just because you’re uncomfortable or don’t know how to participate, or want to protect your email’s inbox – seems incredibly selfish, inconsiderate, narcissistic (for the entitlement), and uncivilized. It’s as if you see several people having a good time in a way that doesn’t appeal to you, and instead of just walking away from it, you go over and insist they stop. Is that not outrageous? I don’t understand how people can behave like that. Maybe that’s another topic for discussion.

    And how can you not tell the difference between an interesting and rich conversation – and gossip? We seem to have a few people here who can’t distinguish between the chaff and the wheat.

    November 24, 2013

    • BobMM

      "But obviously not everyone is comfortable discussing feelings, ideas, and human interactions." Why not, Paul ? These are the only things worth discussing.

      2 · November 24, 2013

    • Sheryl

      Yes, gossip is saying things behind peoples' backs. That's not what's going on. We're talking about the group and how to make it better.

      1 · November 27, 2013

  • Paul O

    “Gossip” would be talking about someone behind their back, or wallowing in hearsay. This discussion is nothing at all like that. This is an open discussion about and with several people in this group, and about situations & attitudes that are pertinent to the group, its members, and the group’s activities. The subject of these discussions (Ronnie) made open comments to everyone, and our responses are open to everyone – including Ronnie. This is far from gossip. To come along, Stu, and tell us all to shut up – is outrageous.

    For making real connections with people, discussions like this, followed by meeting in person, are, as I see it, as good as it gets.

    1 · November 24, 2013

    • BobMM

      I agree with Paul that we should have openness in our communications. I rather like to be able to see and hear people's reaction to things I have experienced - even though I may have a different reaction or an entirely different slant on things. And since I've been at many meetings of this meetup with many of the same people, I feel I know them a little and they know me a little - something I like.

      1 · November 24, 2013

  • stu f.

    "With all due respect" (as they say), I'm getting really tired of this. I open my e-mails for "West Village Dynamics" on the outside chance that Leslie- or perhaps someone else- will be trying to relay important information to the rest of us. Instead, I'm being placed in the position of eavesdropping on comments that really should be addressed to specific members of the group through private channels. In this instance, I'm referring to personal grievances concerning first Ronnie and now Leslie. For heaven's sake, guys, if you don't like the group or its members or the way it's set up, please just bow out. Or, at the very least, save the gossip for those who can't get enough of TMZ and deliver it to them and only them.

    1 · November 23, 2013

    • Bonnie

      Thank very much Stu.

      November 23, 2013

    • Kam

      I'm thinking your boundaries, Stu, and Bonnie too, extend to the meetings themselves. That's all the communication you want. I don't know about for you, but when I receive these notifications from West Village Dynamic, the contents are right there. Can't you just delete them? (I belong to a women's group and they post all sorts of what I consider "extraneous" things, and I just delete or skip.) I semi-agree about the personal grievances, but it's a fine line because evidently the person has chosen to give it a public airing (see what/how other people think/feel?, etc.).

      November 24, 2013

  • Paul O

    If I felt the way you did, Ronnie, I think I would put it out there by saying I couldn’t figure out how to bring the conversation around to what interests me. I don’t think I’d describe it as others’ failures.

    I managed to locate the night’s subject in a place that interests me. I love talking about the arts, so I looked for where the issue of getting others’ approval occurs there – and I found one – which is what I talked about. It wasn't of interest to others, though. But I can think of a few other juicy places to locate that topic – that would be. A lot of the subjects we pick I find to be both specific and general enough to locate in more than one arena of what I do or am interested in. I think a failure to find interest in a topic isn’t the fault of the topic – but of the person bored. It often just takes a little imagination and flexibility – to connect a subject to something significant or interesting. I’m sure I’m boring you with all this.

    1 · November 23, 2013

    • Kam

      let's not pick on Ronnie – well, not too much. Not being vocal at the time didn't communicate what was going on, but saying stuff like "I'm sure I'm boring you now" might be understandably responding defensively to what you don't know, but also might be pushing the knife in a little harder.
      Responding to the above: sometimes I don't like it when a leader is *so* Present, that there seems to be just a narrow channel of what is okay to say or not say, and with overbearing leaders like that, I tend to clam up, as it feels kind of dictatorial.

      November 23, 2013

  • Rhoda A.

    I love all the subsequent email discussion this past meetup engendered. Everyone had a valid argument and feeling. I look forward to our next get-together.

    November 22, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    The discussion seemed to meander a little bit. I think we strayed this time because no one was really interested in the topic.
    We need to get more interesting, vibrant topics that would provide new insights into the world and people around us rather than into our own personal selves. Unfortunately, our discussions often evolve into narcissism - 'all about me' stuff. (Not the most scintillating topics).

    November 21, 2013

    • BobMM

      I'm sorry I bored everyone when I spoke about my life. From know on I will only expound upon the virtues of the Tea Party.

      1 · November 22, 2013

    • Yoko

      This meetup is not to train ourselves to be a professional debater. This is a friendly circle where we talk about topics that interest us and there will not be "conclusion" or "answer" in the end. I see your discomfort, Ronnie, but you could have suggested your thoughts during the discussion if you felt very uncomfortable about it. I also feel the same as Bob did that my small talk during the meeting must have disappointed you. I believe, though, all our thoughts and ideas cannot be away from our subjective experience and it cannot be iron cold idealistic philosophical talk. All thoughts root deeply in our living experience that must include ideas from books we read, though.

      2 · November 22, 2013

  • Paul O

    In general, it felt more like a bunch of friends getting together again, rather than anything more formal, and I think a few of us shared that we liked that about the get-together.

    A few of us also talked a little about how many had said they'd come, but didn't, and hadn't let us know they weren't coming. A number of us felt that was disrespectful of all of us. How much does it take to just say you've changed your mind? This venue makes it extremely easy to do that. So of 24 that said they were definitely coming, only 10 showed up. Then again, a number of us said we did prefer a smaller group. Still.

    And then there was a little talk about where to meet next time. In general, it was a very warm, friendly, and comfortable gathering.

    I hope that somewhat fills you in. Please add what I left out, any of you who were part of other conversations.

    November 20, 2013

    • Kam

      thank you Paul! thank you I'm sure also from Sheryl.

      November 20, 2013

    • Sheryl

      Yes, thank you from me, too.

      November 21, 2013

  • Paul O

    The topic with the most votes was the issue of the importance of other people's approval, but it felt like we didn't really spend that much time on that. I remember my interest in it had to do with the conflict an artist might have - between their work being "too" accepted (approved) - as a symptom of ordinariness. If you come up with something really innovative and creative, one symptom of that being the case is that it might be rejected. So it's that aspect of the topic that interested me most, and we tossed that around a little, but not that much. I'll write more about what else went on in a post following this, because there's a character limit here.

    November 20, 2013

  • Sheryl

    What was the discussion topic?

    November 19, 2013

    • BobMM

      You're not being there.

      November 19, 2013

    • Kam

      Well that's nice but I bet that got boring after 1 min. ! did you guys do procrastination?

      November 19, 2013

  • BobMM

    A close and open group.

    November 19, 2013

  • Sheryl

    I went to the other meetup, but missed all of you. I'm sure it was a great discussion, as always.

    November 19, 2013

  • Rhoda A.

    Very fine.

    November 18, 2013

  • Paul O

    Very warm, friendly, and open.

    November 18, 2013

  • Kam

    I have an audition and therefore I will be arriving late. If it looks like I'll be getting there much past 8:30, I will not come. ' sorry to miss all the inspiration – you folks.

    November 18, 2013

  • Judy

    LESLIE, sorry I have to cancel… Judy

    November 15, 2013

  • Sheryl

    I can't attend this meetup because it conflicts with another meetup that meets on Mondays - Dinner & Philosophy.

    Leslie - PLEASE could you note when this other meetup is meeting and not schedule on the same night? I'm not the only one who attends this meetup who goes to both.

    Thanks.

    November 11, 2013

    • Paul O

      Good idea, Patricia.

      November 11, 2013

    • Kam

      as I kind of schedule off the seat of my pants, – well actually I could go either way.

      November 12, 2013

  • Paul O

    Kam - I'm sending this one from the latest thread. You can continue it by clicking the email that's sent to you.

    November 7, 2013

    • Kam

      Hunh. I'll try that.

      November 8, 2013

  • Kam

    it's weird; I don't think the ones I posted on the Rail Line page went out; but I got the beginning of your second post below. –?

    November 7, 2013

    • BobMM

      So it's "Past Meetups"

      November 8, 2013

    • Kam

      yeah.

      November 8, 2013

  • Paul O

    I don’t think that alternate discussion mechanism works. It didn’t notify me of the two messages you posted there, Kam.

    But I did get your recent “test,” Kam. I'm responding on this thread instead of that one, because this is more recent.

    I also favor #3 – “why is the approval of others so important.” As independent and maverick as I like to think I am, I am affected by how I think others think of me and what I say and do (to an extent.)

    On one hand, it makes sense to have to factor into things how others think or feel, but on the other, it’s nice to imagine the freedom from angst offered by not caring what others think – and how sweet doing whatever the hell I want whenever the hell I want to (as long as it doesn’t harm others) – sounds.

    I guess an ideal subject would be one that’s something of an issue with all of us. The not so obvious ones would only become evident through exchanges like this, I think. Another reason I favor discussing these things through these group postings.

    November 5, 2013

    • Sheryl

      As I said, approval of others is not that important to me. So therefore it's not important to everyone (being that I'm part of "everyone"). :)

      November 6, 2013

    • Paul O

      Cute. Yes, I get it.

      November 7, 2013

  • Paul O

    Sheryl - you were right that I didn't select to get every message by email, or to get notifications from the discussion board. I've now enabled that. Thinking about what topic might be of interest to all of us, it dawns on me that the reason we're in this meetup group at all - might be from some desire we all have to connect with others, that we don't completely get through other means - through family, or the friends we already have, the people we work with, etc. Why else might we all come together like this - meeting with essentially complete strangers? It feels like we're all looking for something. So I'm wondering if that topic that was on an earlier list - about aloneness and loneliness - might be worth digging deeper into.

    November 6, 2013

    • BobMM

      U gotta read "Lonely" by Emily White and "Loneliness in Philosophy, Psychology and Literature" by Ben Lazare Mijuskovic.

      November 6, 2013

    • Paul O

      Thanks, Bob. I put the one by Emily White in my Amazon cart.

      November 7, 2013

  • Sheryl

    Paul, which notifications you receive depends on your Meetup.com settings. Apparently you don't have Discussion notifications set. I do, but it doesn't give the content of the message like you get here, and I'm too lazy to click to see the discussion online.

    November 6, 2013

  • Rhoda A.

    I'm interested in #4 (mountains out of molehills) because till now I've avoided thinking about why I do it. Runnerup would be procrastination because I've finally joined the ranks of those who do. As for the others, although they're relevant I've thought/discussed them to death.
    Sorry I was unavailable for the last one but am looking forward to getting together again on the 18th.

    November 4, 2013

  • Sheryl

    I vote for a variation on #1 - not so much "why is it common", but why do some people procrastinate while others don't - what is the difference between procrastinators and non-procrastinators?

    November 4, 2013

  • Patricia M.

    Will miss everyone. Can not make it Nov. 18 - already have dinner plans that night. Have a great discussion!

    November 4, 2013

  • deborah g.

    I also like number 3, closely followed by the idea of passive aggressive behavior.

    November 4, 2013

  • BobMM

    I vote for #3. I now know all the answers to these questions as I have read the definitive book on human nature:"Loneliness in Phiolosophy, Psychology and Literature" by Ben Lazare Mijuskovic.

    November 4, 2013

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