Re: Absent's Party / Socializing Advice.
I'm toying with this idea that people interact with others through a behavioral interface and that's how other's perception of you is determined. Other people interpret different outputs differently, of course, but at the end of the day you tweak your interface for optimal results. What this means, though, is that basically other people only know you through your interface, and either like or dislike you based on this interface. Your interface doesn't necessarily map directly to who you are, as behaviors and quirks of psychology can make you behave in strange ways that are incongruent with who you "actually are", where who you actually are is kind of determined by your thoughts / beliefs / etc.
In order to optimize my interface though, I need to basically *feel* like my inner self all the time and not let other peoples outputs or presence change my internal state. This way, I can have a more consistent interface that isn't fucked up by external things as much. This is like a more refined way of explaining a lot of the shit I've written in this thread already. For example, I like some girl, I generate some output like asking her out, and if she doesn't like me, I either optimize my interface (which is not necessarily a reflection of my actual self / worth obviously) or I just move along if I don't think I could have done anything differently. I don't let that rejection emotionally effect me because it's just her interpretation of my interface. It has little to do with me, in reality, it's just her inputs / outputs and interpretations of my inputs / outputs not working correctly. There's a limit on how accurately I can make my interface reflect my internal state because others interpretations are filtered through their state. I can't control their interpretations at all. I can just give outputs, receive inputs, and act accordingly.
This is pretty hard to do but it's essentially the model of social skills and mental hygiene I've adopted. A strong, healthy internal state (mindset) will usually spill over into a better interface, so it's a great starting point. It can sometimes go the other way, a good interface can result (over time) in a better internal state. There are ways to manipulate both. (Better thoughts, forcing better behaviors, etc.)