Every time I rant about people’s misconceptions and wrong impressions of me, I get the “you should be more open then” response.

My reaction is that of defiance. “Why the hell should I be more open? Why shouldn’t people be more open-minded about others and extend them the benefit of the doubt? Isn’t that an essential part of co-esixtance? It’s not my fault they chose to see what they wanted to see and jump to conclusions so quickly.”

I have an issue with it, because it’s been done repeatedly and I am getting sick and tired of it. And I wish they kept it as a false conclusion and left me in peace. I wouldn’t really care then. What irks me is that they act on those perceptions and for a very long time I remain confused as to what the motive of those actions were.

It boggles my mind that people don’t understand this: being open with people right off the bat feels like inviting complete strangers to my home.

It’s not about trust issues, it’s not about insecurity, it’s not about being boring, uptight, playing hard to get, or thinking that no one’s good enough for me. It’s about boundaries and privacy. It’s about the proper steps of getting to know someone. It’s amazing how one thing can be misconstrued and twisted.

I meet most people with a kind of formality and I always extend civility and respect. Then, with time, I gauge and see what the person is like and how much closer and informal I would like to become with them, and I adjust my attitude accordingly. I don’t see anything wrong with that.

I often wonder if my politeness makes people think that I am ready to forge a soul-to-soul kind of relationship. A situation of giving wrong (or commonly misunderstood) signs, perhaps.

In the case where I am truly interested in building a relationship with someone, I take the initiative in establishing contact. I become involved in their life and I pay attention to the little details. It becomes OBVIOUS that I am reaching out. I open the door. (I open a blog ;] )  Politeness and civility should be extended to everyone regardless of the nature of our interactions, in my opinion. An outdated thought, it seems.

But whenever I give this response, I am answered with: “Well, everybody does that.” Then what the hell am I doing wrong here?!?!

A rhetorical question. It wasn’t rhetorical before, there was a time where I truly wanted to understand what was going on and every time I ask I get blamed for this and asked to change my behavior. Now, I really don’t care. I won’t change. I’ve observed what I do for a long time and I’ve never been mean to someone, perhaps I haven’t been very sweet either, but never in my entire life have I ever outright disrespected someone or denigrated them.

My life and myself are not on display ready for everyone’s viewing, and I will never overlook the fact that because of how I build my relationships with others I’ve managed to meet some great people and was able to foster great friendships that stood the test of time. It’s not something I am ready to apologize for or give up on so that a passerby could satiate a momentary curiosity.

 

 

(People’s perceptions and their own injected bias are also one of the reasons I don’t listen to given advice very often. But that’s another topic, for another post.)

8 thoughts on “

  1. niffer says:

    i agree bro, and i wish i knew what the individuals that you had these interactions with are going on about. as for the first three paragraphs, i completely relate.

    1. Whenever people ask me to change for their own benefit instead of mine, the rebel in me begins to act up.

      I wish I knew too. I feel like I need to revamp the scene where I hang out and meet people, because it seems that I am surrounded by a lot of nonsense.

  2. Whoa boy, can I ever relate to this. Any ‘mask’ you put on when you meet people brings about a whole slew of assumptions about your person. When I’m cheerful and bubbly, I’m perceived as an airhead. When I’m reserved and quiet, I’m aloof and snobby. These are just facets of my personality. I am who I am in that moment and what I choose to reveal to whom at what time is a piece of my puzzle.

    Frankly, I don’t understand how anyone can be ‘open’ without telling someone their entire life story from the get-go. Even then, you can’t really know a person enough to draw conclusions. People can say one thing about themselves and be another. However way you slice it, any meaningful relationship with another person is going to take time and an open-mind.

    1. Exactly. Just because a person chooses to show one side at the time or have a preference for it in the beginning, it doesn’t mean it’s the only one that exists, nor does it take away from the authenticity of their other personality traits.

      People are multidimensional and I don’t know why that keeps getting overlooked.

  3. Eirene says:

    I completely relate.

    People who I meet, think that I am very open, but that is only one side of me that they are seeing. I think what makes relationships beautiful is being given the privilege to have access to different “faces of the prism”, seeing how much more light can shine through the person as you get to know them, flaws and all.

  4. Sandra_B says:

    I have this problem also. I will give off one of two first impressions: People will either by very intimidated by me, or they will be drawn to me because I come off as very warm and kind. I’m never outright rude to people without cause. I try to treat everyone with respect. I keep a distance from almost everyone on a personal and professional level but somehow people want to dump all their personal shit on me as if we are best friends after one conversation. I don’t mind because it gives me power over them either way.

    I used to have people think I was a total cunt-bitch but I’ve grown up a lot since then lol. I wouldn’t worry about other people’s impressions of you. As far as I’m concerned, their perceptions are their business, not yours. I never understood why anyone felt it was their call to tell me how other people felt about me. If anything, that exists between myself and the person in question and that will be for THEM to clear up, not me. Fuck bitches. Fuck’em.

    1. I’ve realized that people will always see what they want to see and hear what they want to hear. I’m no longer surprised by their seemingly inexplicable actions.

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