Wenx’ World: Socialopathy.
Definition: Personal dysfunction of good social interaction, possibly caused by higher degree research with the most commonly affected group being PhD students in their last year of doctoral studies. It might not be in the psychology books yet, but we have defined.
It came up between PhD students. Driven from the joy of being a student, we remained, or returned to, being a student. PhD student, in fact. So to say the royal level of student being. Same fun but different? Well, it seems to be the time when you notice changes, especially with yourself.
Socialopathy seems to be contagious! Passed on from year to year, it occurs, when you expose a hard working PhD student to ‘other’ people, preferably people (s)he barely knows. “Solution optimisation of differentiable reverse inequations” just doesn’t make a good small talk opener. Neither does “Mortality in anorexia nervosa” or “The poetry of the Kyounshu “Crazy Cloud anthology” of Ikkyyu Sojun” And please never use Titanic as an ice breaker… we all know how that ended!
So we try to be social and end up in social awkwardness caused by uncomfortable silence as soon as those 3 minutes of introductional small talk are completed. Of course, I can think of more topics to talk about: Weather, travels, the latest fashionable eating disorder. But those bore me to death. And I don’t know celebrity gossip, cricket or movies, because they bore me to death, too. So I prefer to be silent. Sometimes I simply observe. Or I go home and give in to the socialopathy side effects: loneliness, exclusion, crying ego.
My friend said, in those awkward silences caused by socialopathy, he wishes he could simply fall asleep or kiss – I might try it next time.
See you out there – Wenx