What are the biggest geek myths?

“1. Recognize that people will know you are a geek from the moment they meet you”

Assume nothing. If you’re not sure about something, ask. Give the other person the benefit of the doubt at least once.

“2. Don’t try to change people’s preconceived notions of geeks”

Don’t try to change anything about anyone else. Just be yourself and engage them.

“3. Don’t get too comfortable and start being yourself”

Always be yourself. Who else are you going to be? And who is going to be you?

“4. Try to talk as little as possible, and when you do speak, only ask superficial questions”

Take advantage of this excellent opportunity to engage with other people. Learning is maximized for everyone when all talk and listen.

“5. But don’t ask questions about things that normal people should know”
How else would you know what’s “normal” unless you ask?

“6. Temporarily let go of the urge to achieve absolute precision in speaking”

Sometimes absolute precision is exactly what’s needed to improve communication. The trick is to know when. Learning when comes from practice.

“7. Don’t correct anyone even when they’re incorrect or imprecise”
Again, the trick is in judging context, which comes from practice. If they said they did something a million times, obviously no correction is needed. If they’re giving instructions on defusing a live bomb, then you better correct them.

“8. Don’t use words that an 8th grader doesn’t understand”
Again, how would you know? Be yourself, say what you mean, and learn from the feedback.

“9. If somebody asks you about your job or hobbies, answer in one sentence”

Answer in as many sentences as you deem appropriate. You’re probably a pretty smart person. Exercise you judgement, which will become stronger just as if you exercised your biceps.

“10. If everyone around is enjoying the ambient music, background live performance, etc., don’t jump in with any analysis”

Why not? Sometimes the most interesting conversations get started this way. Again, your judgement is way more important than OP’s rules.

“11. Never start a sentence with “Did you know that …””

Sames as #10.

“12. Never start a sentence with “You should really …””

Probably better stated as, “Only give advice when it’s asked for.”

I’d prefer this simple list of social tips:

1. Be yourself. Being rejected by someone else for being yourself is a self-correcting problem. They just saved both of you lots of time and energy.

2. Treat others how you’d like to be treated.

3. If you spend lots of time alone, take advantage of an opportunity to be with others by engaging and learning.

4. Use your best judgement (That’s what it’s there for.)

5. Have fun.

6. Take any list of rules with the word “actionable” with a grain of salt.