Social obligations, or Sunday morning neurosis (take 2)

December 23, 2007

OK, apparently I’m unusally neurotic this morning. Anyway . . .

Over the weekend, I sent a Christmas card to friends in world. Thankfully, Tobie finished the card late last week, as I was having problems coming up with something suitable to send out, and she designed something much cuter than what I would have with the pics I had taken.

Yesterday, one of the people on my friends list started a conference with all her friends to tell them to quit spamming her with cards, etc. Of course, this is someone I had sent a card to the previous night.

At first, I got a little defensive (though I didn’t say anything). What I sent, I sent out of friendship, and now I was being chastized for it. Though it didn’t last, for a while, I was a little upset/angry.

Christmas cards are, to many, a social obligation, and I can understand the annoyance with feeling compelled to respond in kind when receiving one from someone else. The act of giving has gone from a gesture of good will to one of reciprocal action. So, with this in mind, why is it that I took some offense to my friend’s response?

I think this may tie in a little with the post I made earlier. It may be that I don’t necessarily always want to meet my social obligations, but I do it because it’s expected of me. Maybe I got upset at my own inability to respond how I want to at times instead of what I’m actually feeling.

Before anyone takes this the wrong way, I absolutely wanted to send out holiday greetings to all my friends! I actually wish I could have done more. Maybe I’ll work on my design skills so that I can send a little something out on Valentine’s Day.

I guess at its core, what I’m questioning here is my own compliance with social expectations and obligations. I’m wondering if by keeping my feelings in check at times, I am doing a disservice to both myself and the people with whom I’m interacting.

Meh, I don’t know. Time for another cup of coffee 🙂



  1. *pets the kitten/or whatever shape you find yourself in*

    In RL I have basically no one I feel I need to give a card to, even if I’ve gotten one from them… Then again I’ve always been a social rebel… ^_^

    I really think the person that complained was annoying though… Does she really have that many gift giving friends that it’s annoying her…? If so I need some more of her friends… ^_^

    oh… and that reminds me… I’m currently giving prezzies when people let me hug them… SO find me somewhere in world and collect your prezzie for a hug! Tober to! And plenty of others… *giggles* I’m just in a crazy hugging mood… ^_-

  2. As I said before, what is important here is being true to you. You certainly don’t strike me as someone who conforms to every social expectation. You do strike me, however, as someone who cares about your friends. On the basis that you cannot please all the people all the time, not everyone will be happy with your choices, but in this occasion I cannot see that you did anything wrong.

    Phoenix and I were discussing the whole Christmas card thing this weekend. Neither of us feels compelled to send a card to everyone who sends us one, and it certainly feels cheap sometimes to get a card from someone briefly after they get one from you when you know damn well they weren’t going to give you a card before. That’s not the case here though! Receiving cards may prompt you to realise how little time you have left to send your own out (mine are always late!) but the decision to send cards at all seems to be your own so far as I can tell.

    I’m not into flattery so I’ll keep this to simple truth. You are very bright, creative and sensitive. Self doubt is a part of all that, but please don’t ever let someone else’s crankiness make you question your own generosity of spirit. There’s enough darkness in the world this time of year without some miserable bugger trying to convince people that genuinely offered Christmas cards and gifts are spam!

    Sorry, I seem to be countering your “neuroses” with passionate opinion. I do that sometimes 😉

  3. Shadey: Thank you for the hug and present! It brightened my day after a *blah* morning 🙂

    Wolf: Thank you! I think a combination of events made me question how I interact with others. Anyway, I appreciate your words of encouragement! I guess I just need a good sounding board now and then 🙂

  4. I personally loved your card! I rarely get to see you in world and I thought it was super thoughtful of you to send out something like that. I doubt the person would be annoyed if she/he got handed a gift certificated for some store!!* rolls eyes* The bottom line is your incredibly thoughtful for doing so.As for the xmas card debate I love nothing more to get a xmas card through the mail. Maybe I am semi old fashioned that way in the age of emails! 🙂 I send out xmas cards to close family and friends not cause I feel I have to it just cause in this busy time of xmas etc sometimes you just run out of time to see everyone and a card is a way to just say you are actually thinking of them! I think anyway! But what do I know! 😉 Have a good xmas Chloe :))! Axx

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