Tip of the Tongue 002

Nerddom, Observance

What is TOTT? A (hopefully) weekly snippet of what I’ve been thinking about, pockets of content for bite-sized consumption, not quite big enough to be pieces of their own. Think of this like a commonplace notebook, or a conversation starter. 5/7/17

On Nerddom

We, as a culture, have an interesting relationship with the term “nerd”. It has a negative connotiation, bringing to mind bad stereotypes of pockmarked skin and greasy hair. We think of hour-long, heated discussion about things we couldn’t fathom personally caring about.  I think it’s time we start to focus on the second definition of this word. No matter where you go or what you do, passion creates opinions. The nitty gritty of tools and procedures are unavoidable as you delve deeper into a hobby or skill. Having preferences about these tools is a sign of devotion to a craft, not a lack of interest in other areas of life. And the créme de la créme any craft comes from people who have that level of interest — people who might be termed “nerds” are the artisans for some of your favourite consumables, from coffee to television shows.

There will always be a stereotype when it comes to being nerdy, but I think it’s time that we embrace its good qualities, and continue changing that stereotype for the better.

Observance and Accomodation

Lately, a lot of articles and books have been focusing on the benefits of clear communication. I believe that it’s an undeniable fact that communication is necessary; letting people know about your wants and needs is a huge part of having a maintaining a healthy relationship.

However, I think conversation on this topic often neglects the importance of observation and memory on the part of each individual in the relationship. Expecting a person to communicate their needs is understandable, but requiring that they communicate that need every time the situation arises also saddles them with an enormous burden of emotional labor.

I believe that it’s reasonable to expect a certain amount of interpersonal understanding after a given period of time. To put it simply; I feel I should know my close friends well enough that I don’t always need them to voice their needs or status. It’s remembering that a friend is lactose intolerent, so you don’t put cream in their coffee. It’s remembering that they have an interview today, and sending them a good-luck text. Observance means you know when you can lend a hand — you don’t have to be told. And while direct communication is wonderful, it can’t wholly replace observance in our relationship toolbox.

This article was originally written and posted on Medium.