An issue has arisen between my LSE SO and I.
I have a hard time responding to social niceties like "How are you doing?" and "Have a nice day!" when they are said by a person I don't know and am in fact unlikely to interact with again. I think I've explained this elsewhere on the forum; I think of such things as "making nonthreatening noises" rather than an actual exchange of information or intent, and I don't feel obliged to respond in kind.
The problem is, the LSE dislikes this. He has several times offhandedly mentioned how different it is to him that I don't say "Fine" and "You, too" automatically. He was raised to always be polite and pleasant to people who are making the same effort. And while he's never said that I should be more this way ... he's brought it up at least six times now. Once or twice, OK - just an observation. Over and over again - oh shit, this really bothers him!
What he doesn't seem to understand is that I dislike insincerity. While I no longer bother to actually feel a measure of disapproval when others exhibit this behavior, I can't actually go all the way to the point of inspiring the behavior in myself except as an afterthought.
Someone says "Having an OK day?" while they swipe my groceries across the reader.
My brain goes "OK - so she's not meeting your eyes, you're likely to be out of her line and thus her life within two to five minutes, and you know she's not actually asking for a rundown of the ups and downs of this period of sunlight with a conclusion as to your satisfaction with its balance. The appropriate response in your record banks to this query is 'Fine, thanks. And you?'"
... and even though all of that happens essentially with no lapse in measurable time, I know my response will be contrived, not sincere. And if it's contrived, then why bother?
We both live in a civilized society, and in any case, if I meant to do her harm, neither her remark nor some preprogrammed response by me would dissuade that intent, so what's the point of making such "nonthreatening noises"? Hell, I usually pay with my debit card, and my total shows up on the screen of the card reader, so the brief time we spend together requires no spoken transaction whatsoever. Why complicate that?
I have tried to explain why I actually dislike being expected to respond to such frivolous social proddings every time he brings it up, and instead of understanding me, every time he cuts off my explanation earlier. I get the message: he thinks I'm rude. But I'm not trying to be rude, I'm trying to avoid being insincere!!!
I doubt it would even bother me except that he's one of the few people whose respect matters. And also, I'm 33 years old. I doubt at this age I'm going to have much success programming myself past this block. Either he's got to accept me as I am, or this is going to be a sticking point between us.
Does this have more to do with E versus I and/or J versus P, or more to do with upbringing, or maybe something about being LSE and having been brought up a certain way? I really wish he'd just understand me ...