After staying for more than a year, I came to realize that we do more than what our job description tells us. I came here primarily to study, but I do more than that.
One of the things I do is social navigation.
There are different people out there. And based on how these people interact with me, I act differently.
It's not that I change who I am in front of different people. It's just that I watch myself more when I am with other people than when I am with others.
There is a small set of people I know who I am close with, and with these people, I feel free being myself. I do not need to watch what I do, what I say, because, I know that these people can understand me. And they will not get offended if I do something that may be wrong sometimes.
Then there is this set of people where I need to be careful as to what I say or do. Simply because I do not know how they would react, whether they would be offended, or whether they would be mad. So I hate to offend them, so I watch what I say.
Then there is a small set of people, where I always have my guard up. These are the people who somehow had a brush with me in the past, and I do not want to undergo the same pain I had before, so I always have my guard up whenever I am with them. Good thing the members of this set are very low in number.
Then there is just the set of people who I never interact with, not because I choose to, but simply because our worlds never collide with each other. So I do not worry about how I am perceived by them because I just never care.
There are different people out there. And they come in different sizes and colors. As much as I try to make sense out of them, sometimes people do not make sense. And that is a fact I have to live with. Categorizing people sometimes makes life easier and more easy to deal with, but still, my theory has holes in it.
Good thing I am primarily a linguist, who studies language, not a sociologist, who studies people. Languages do have weird rules with them, but sometimes, people have weirder phenomena than language.