Who remembers MySpace? I do, but barely.
Who remembers the asinine quizzes that used to make their way around? And the surveys you used to post for your friends to answer?
I remember one survey I posted asked about first impressions. One person answered, in regards to me, “Caustic, but now I know you’re just a big teddy bear.”
Caustic? At the time I didn’t even know what that meant. I do now, though.
sarcastic in a scathing and bitter way
I know I’m a smart ass. I know I’m sarcastic. I didn’t, however, know that I came off as a complete asshole. Thankfully this particular person stuck around long enough to get to know me.
How many people haven’t, though? How many people mistook my sarcasm for general asshattery? How many people were offended by my acerbic words and assumed I was some hate-filled jackass?
Relationships of any kind have never come easy to me. Not even familial ones. I’m sure this is all my fault, but I’m unsure how.
Patience is not something I can count among my virtues. For the longest time, tolerance would not have been on that list, either. When something strikes me as stupid I don’t hesitate to say so.
How many people have I alienated by doing so? How many people have heard my acidic words and completely wrote me off as an asshole?
Since that moment and that realization I’ve done my best to make a better first impression, but I don’t have much to show for it. I’m not much of a social person. I’d rather stay home than go out. I don’t care much for drama. It’s hard for me to keep friends because I’m a no-bullshit type of person. If someone I care for is doing something I feel is wrong I tell them. It’s not something I do to be an asshole, but rather something I do to say, “Hey, you’re kinda fucking up. It would be better for you and/or your loved ones if you stop.” I say the things I do because I care for people, not to belittle them.
Sadly, whether it’s because of the way I deliver my concern or because people just don’t want to hear they have faults, I have lost many opportunities to build or maintain friendships. I remember telling a very good buddy once that, after having left his wife, I thought he was too focused on his newly found freedom and not focused enough on his child. I have a sorta soft-spot for that after having been, what I felt was, neglected by both parents when they began dating after their divorce.
My buddy didn’t hear the concern for his child in my words. What my buddy heard was that I thought he was a shitty father. That is not at all what I meant and I’ve still not figured out whether it was my delivery or his unwillingness to hear criticism that was at fault for this disagreement. I’m not sorry I said it, though, because at the time both he and his ex were spending a lot of time partying and finding babysitters for their son instead of focusing on their son during a time he was surely struggling with the concept of his parents no longer being together.
If I put my mind to it, I can be a very convincing liar. The problem is, I don’t care much for it. I don’t want to pour energy into anything that’s not genuine. I don’t care for lying. In fact, my mother has told me on more than a few occasions that I used to tell on myself as a child. She would laugh as she told me that when my little brother came crying into a room I’d freely admit to hitting him. I’d also tell her why.
I often wonder if my inability to maintain relationships has anything to do with my bluntness. Some people just can’t deal with the naked truth. That’s just me, though. I don’t have the desire or time to deal with drama or beating around bushes (as fun as that sounds). I prefer to get straight to the point, and that seems to alienate many people.
Sometimes it upsets me that I can’t make or keep friends as easily as others. However, if the cost of doing so is being fake, I’ll gladly take my current predicament.
In recent years I’ve gotten better at keeping my thoughts to myself. If pressed I still won’t say what I think someone wants to hear, but it’s a start.