Minority Opinions

Not everyone can be mainstream, after all.

The Unfriendly Nod

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I’m not much for words.  Writing is hard enough, but speaking is almost unnatural to me.  It usually takes me some time to get warmed up, even at the best of times.  That’s probably why I’ve taken to a casual nod and smile as a form of greeting.  Most people respond in kind, but a very few do so in a very off-putting way.

I nod downward.  The gesture is probably derived from bowing, through hat-tipping, to a much less formal culture.  It’s a gesture of acknowledgement, respect, friendship, or sometimes thanks.

There are those, however, who nod upward.  Perhaps it’s even more casual, yet I receive it even while passing a total stranger on a path.  Worse is that it reminds me of looking down the nose.  Instead of friendliness, it connotes contempt.  Instead of a smile, a sneer.

Perhaps that’s just me.  A few of the most contemptuous people I know have nodded upward at me, and my dislike of them may be rubbing off on anyone with similar behavior.  Or perhaps it really is meant, at least by certain users, to assert superiority.  I’ve seen at least two cases where such posturing overlaid an overinflated ego, partly based on skills that, when push came to shove, were eventually proven inferior to my own.

The resentment, of course, is purely personal.  I know I need to let go of negative feelings derived from inconsequential events; I’m partly writing this for the potential catharsis.  It needs to be public, though, for the off chance that it can reach someone who has been unwittingly hostile.  If even one person starts nodding downward instead of upward, and does so in a situation where another could have felt the same way I have, then the world will be a better place.

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Written by eswald

8 Nov 2011 at 9:05 pm

Posted in Lifestyle

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