Recently Ferdinand Bardimu opened a giant can of whoop-ass on nerds-
This is all pretty harsh. Nevertheless he talks about some behaviors or reactions that low-status people and outsiders sometimes exhibit that cause problems for them. I don’t agree with everything he says, because I have a different perspective, but you need to consider these things in your social interaction.
A note on terminology. When I was a kid a “geek” was a disgusting person not to be suffered, a social outcast. A “nerd” was somebody who loved science and technology, maybe science fiction and such, and was not popular with people in general, but not a social outcast, and not socially inept. “Geek” in a world where technology is ubiquitous seems to have more the meaning of “nerd” then and is often used in a positive way. The “nerds” of which FB speaks seem to be people who have their own social circles but do not relate well to regular people. But relating to regular people is the issue here, and although the psychological and social status of someone who is a social outcast and has no friends is different from a guy who is popular at the Society for Creative Anachronism the problem is much the same.
He notes that nerds, having been picked on a lot, tend to be very defensive. He is not sympathetic to this state of mind but having experienced it I can understand how you feel. It is important not to overreact, or even react quickly or emotionally, to things people say and do. You need to consider calmly whether the statement was hostile, and if it was hostile what you can or should do about it.
A low status person can’t say anything negative or aggressive to anyone, because he will be punished for it. If you assume the world is or should be fair, you will think other people should be punished for negative, aggressive or critical statements. But it’s not. Higher status people, even those with status little higher than yourself, are accustomed to doing this, often just to blow off steam.
Another kind of verbal aggression is what is sometimes called “ranking”, which is a verbal attack intended to show the dominance of one individual over another. Men within groups do it frequently, but it’s not intended to harm the other person. Men also do it outside groups- to affirm the superiority of those in the group or themselves to those outside. This is generally called bullying, which is kind of a stupid schoolyard term. I know it’s used in Britain to describe bad behavior by supervisors but why some better one has never been coined I don’t know, other than it’s something people don’t like to talk about. There is also aggression to determine whether a person is suitable for group membership, which is called “hazing.” Again kind of a dumb school term, but even psychologists use it. This is the male version of the “shit test”. Game bloggers will insist men are so rational they would never engage in such emotional, female behavior but that’s what it is.
My detailed discussion and taxonomy of all this nastiness is of course proof what a nerd I am, but I’ve seen it all.
To summarize, you need to recognize and effectively deal with blathering, ranking, bullying, and hazing, in ways that don’t harm you, make things worse or harder for you, reduce your social status further, and hopefully maintain or slightly raise your status. I will write more about this soon.