(2005-12-31) Can you hear me? Or... is this thing on?

There seems to be an ever-growing number of depressed people in this part of the world (I live in Sweden). Everyone looks happy until they suddenly comment how depressed they really are. I was on a party with some of my colleagues and a few of us were discussing how the anti-depressant Zoloft could mitigate tinnitus. One guy told me that he would never try anything like that and I said something "Yeah, but you're not depressed, so there's no need for you to try it anyway". He answered "Well actually I am and have been for a long time". Why him? I mean he have a wife, a couple of kids and a good house. I won't go into detail about this, but he wasn't too happy about things. And he also had tinnitus for a very long time.

There are many reasons to feel bad when you feel insecure at work (If the company is doing so great, why are they still downsizing?) or at home (Can I afford my home? Do I spend enough time with my family?) For sometime I actually thought that I was one of the few that were going through depression, but lately it seems to be a big problem.

The inspiration for this post on my blog was something I saw on an IRC-channel I often visit. One guy said that he was going to put a couple of people on his ignore-list because they never noticed what he wrote. I remember that he wrote something about that a few months ago after trying to participate in a discussion, but no matter what he wrote, the others just didnt seem to see that he was there. This little rant of his woke the people up, and they gave him a chance to enter. But for me this issue is about something else: being part of something. He is in the same position as I am. Neither of us know very much about the others. I know the guy who introduced me to the channel. Ive met very few of the participants IRL (In real life). And there you go. Its always about who you know, not what you say. No one is actively ignoring anyone here, but they prefer to talk to their friends. One should be very careful not trying to use the computer as a substitute for meeting real people.

This is a lesson which took me years to learn. The only reason why I got my new job was that I met real living people. I had previously tried to add myself to all the lists my company had which displayed employee competencies and skills. I never got any calls or requests from other departments. What changed things to the better were when I choose to attend a seminar for IT-folks on my company. There I met a lot of people which worked in the same area as I did, but which I had never met before. A long story short: this gave me some contacts that eventually led to an offer to work on another department. Had I not met those people and spoken to them, I dont think they ever would have called me. For an introvert loner like me, this was a huge revelation on how important this was despite how many times I had heard it previously.

To sum it up: making friends is always more important than showing your worth. In a way this is sad as many talented people never get the appreciation or the chance they truly deserve, since they have poor social skills. Im one of those people but Im slowly learning.

I wish you a happy new year wherever you may be!

Tags: Psychology
Posted: 2010-06-17 by Erik Zalitis
Changed: 2010-06-17 by Erik Zalitis

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