Privacy, What's That?

A friend, and co-worker, the other day at his going away party told me that when he first met me he thought "that guy's a little freakin weird" but then he "got to know [me] and discovered that [I'm] one of the coolest people [he's] ever met."

I'm still processing that comment. Yes, he was drunk, as was I. But is it a vicious dig, or a really thoughtful compliment? I'm thinking I should feel more complimented than anything. I think what bothers me about it is that I've often felt like others must see me as a little weird or "off." So I've been trying to find out exactly what he meant.

So I started mentioning how he said that at work. I figured that if he thought that then the other guys we work with probably thought that. The trick would be getting them to be forthcoming about it.

I was surprised by what I found out. A couple of the guys said that they completely agreed with our co-worker: that I'm "cool as ****" once you get to know me, but that I come off a little "weird" at first. The things they said made me, me, were 1)I come on "a little strong," 2)I'm "very open" about anything and everything, 3)I'm extremely "honest." They said that whereas most people exercise a lot more discretion and subtrifuge in keeping a lot of the unflattering details of their lives (etc.) out of discussion, I pretty much just put everything out there in the open.

This is true. From the first moment I meet someone, I kind of maintain an approach which believes that the best way to break down walls and really get close to other people is to be willing to put yourself out there and be first to open up your walls. I dislike very small talk because it's so irrelevant and stupid and meaningless. It takes effort yet yields no connection, no knowing of another. So I try to get at the meatier matters as soon as possible.

Too, I think my tendency to do this can be a smokescreen. The surest way to obscure the real you is to mask it with a profusion of anything and everything else. It helps keep people at bay under the banner of bringing them closer and being open and forthcoming.

See, I don't actually perceive myself as tremendously forthcoming and open and honest. Yes, I'm fairly ethical, but there's always a lot more that I'm not saying than I do. When I tell a story of some weirdness that happened to me, I obscure my feelings on the subject. I tell them with humor and expression, and that's all others see. So maybe they have the impression of knowing me, without the actuality of knowing me. Or maybe they do know me. Maybe that's what I'm trying to do, is be truly known and understood.

When I suggested that maybe I could try working on being more "normal" they forcefully suggested that'd be a bad idea. They pointed out that what makes me so cool (after you get to know me) is what makes me abnormal.

and...I'm spent.
liferiot liferiot
26-30, M
2 Responses May 9, 2007

Well if you change yourself then you won't be happy. If they like you now, what else matters. So you come off a little strong. Once people get used to it, they won't be bothered. But you will be probably be saying "sorry if I am coming off a little strong". lol. But at least you know why people though of you as a little weird at first. And if you see someone uncomfortable you know why and use it to your advantage. :)

Just be yourself all the time, and stop worrying about what anyone else thinks about you. I think you'll be much happier that way. If you listen to the critisim of others, and its wrong, it could throw you off track!!! Besides, there's nothing like an original work of art, is there? See yourself that way, and be happy!