The Cost of Being Myself

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?

Ah, memories.

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?

swift kickSince 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.

About Twindaddy (337 Articles)
Sometimes funny. Sometimes serious. Always genuine.

28 Comments on The Cost of Being Myself

  1. In earlier life, I never picked battles. Everything was a battle and I attended every one.

    Now, now that’s exhausting to me and I see it’s alienating to others. I have the battles I must for health, well being and the like, but let go of some of the less important things. In letting go of them, I’ve come to see … they never really worth the fight, or the annoyance, and the wall of watchfulness for any wrongdoing between me and others.

    I read your last paragraph as a different expression of the same kind of conclusion, even if not exactly the same one. Interesting to revisit then and now for a moments, holding each in mind and being glad, too, for those who stuck it through with me.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Well I for one apreachiate your honesty. I think it is better to have a few genuine friends than a bunch of non genuine types. And real friends will realize your attentions and come to be thankful for a friend such as yourself.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Caustic? Harsh. Now, sardonic: that’s a word I could live with.


  4. Its no wonder. Caustic is a negetive word to ME. To the person who claimed you were, maybe not. I know there are a lot of words that I use to describe mysef that many others think is too harsh. They claim that I’m too hard on myself. I say that they’re wrong.
    After a relationship ends, I go through much reflection time. This is good for you, Daddy. Take time to absorb it. Soak it up. Write it out….then CRY it out, if you need. Its pretty jarring.
    – Jain


    • Well, to be honest, my sarcasm CAN be pretty sharp. I normally reserve that sort of sarcasm for those who know me, though. I think the thing with this person was that she was new to the group I hung out with at the time and she saw me being myself before she got to know me.

      I always seem to be reflecting. I wonder if I should stop at some point.


  5. The word I live by is authenticity. I try to be true to myself and who I am, but I also try to be sensitive to the person I am talking to. Sometimes it is difficult to discern the right kind of delivery to someone that makes sense to them. Put yourself in their shoes and think “If I needed to hear these words, what would be the best way I would listen?” Or if they have a different lymphatic system, think about their personality and how they may need to be approached. When giving someone advice, it needs to be about them….. not us.
    I have found there are very few people in this world who are willing to take the time to really get to know another person. That takes time, effort and an investment. And most are focused on themselves and what can YOU do for ME. Not what I can DO for YOU…. by focusing on others, I have made many more friends! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Oh but it’s tempting to appease, to avoid the drama…


  7. I think everyone needs at least one friend who will tell them the truth no matter how ugly it may be.


  8. Personally, I think you’re a cupcake. Chocolate. With a little id shaved bitter chocolate on top.


  9. Honesty is greater than fakery. I’ve always appreciated yours…so there.


  10. Pro-truth!
    One of the things politness and fakery has gifted us is the knowledge that you can walk around all day with a big hole in your pants and no one, not even people you know, will point it out to you.


  11. Delivery is often problematic. I have been accused of being harsh in my delivery a time or two. I think, choosing those battles worth fighting is the key. The rest, meh. I think also choosing those people worth fighting for and sometimes with, that is the other important key. Those that are worth it, will listen. They might not always love your delivery but they will take the time to listen.


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