Premise 1:
Most of human interaction is a series of basically prescripted exchanges. A given situation will call for a certain set of acceptable responses; those responses call for their own certain set of acceptable responses. This is a constant interplay by which humans reinforce the unspoken idea that they share a society, share values, and basically are playing by the same rulebook as each other.

Premise 2:
Nobody actually tells anyone else what these rules are. Partly because there are so many potential circumstances that it’s completely impossible to circumscribe them all. But in large part because we seem to value the spontanaeity and flexibility of ad-libbing within those particular acceptable ranges.

Premise 3:
Nobody created the acceptable ranges; it’s not a conspiracy. They’re not constant, they can be changed–but both the creation and the drift are slow, organic processes that aren’t directed by any given person and will frequently squish in strange directions when confronted by a concentrated effort to change the direction.

Premise 4:
It is to the benefit of a person to be able to consistently predict the acceptable ranges, and lie within them; by continually reinforcing his position as “one of you” and “I belong here,” he opens doors for himself. Someone unable to do the same will just put people off, and usually in ways that the conversational partner can’t put their finger on.

I don’t have a problem with any of this. It’s just the way it is.

I just wish certain ranges weren’t set off-limits to even talk about. As though they’ll stop existing because you declared *this* axis off-limits. So it’s hard to pick up the common range second-hand.

I’m fighting enough of an uphill battle, not picking these things up naturally. Can’t you at least let me know how to act like a girl?

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