Given how quick I am to judge everyone else around me you might think I’m more comfortable being judged myself. So might I, but as I’ve gotten older I have to admit that isn’t entire accurate. Or rather, I realize there is some grey area between what judgements I care about and those I don’t. I spent a large portion of my child hood being worried that everyone was judging me all the time, and then I realized that was a waste of time and the pendulum swung hard the other direction and I spent the rest of my formative years not giving a shit. Middle age has landed me somewhere in the middle.
It turns out that I walk a razor thin line between fear of rejection and not giving a crap. The truth is I’m still pretty indifferent about most people’s feelings about me. I’m fairly comfortable with the person I am and the choices I’ve made with regards to how I live my life. Because of that I generally feel that if a person doesn’t like something about me they are welcome to fuck right off. Seriously. Right off. And this is true for almost everyone I encounter on a daily basis. But not everyone.
There’s another group of people – a very small one mind you – who I’m constantly nervous that I’m going to offend. Or maybe offend is the wrong word, I know I’m going to offend everyone at some time so I’ve given up worrying about that. I’m constantly nervous that they will think less of me. This small group of people, these are the people I genuinely care about. These are the people that I love. The ones I’d be heart broken if they weren’t in my life anymore – so to some extent I guess I’m worried I’ll do something to push them away.
The result of all this is I think I’m much more guarded around people I know than those I don’t. I don’t care what people I don’t know think about me, but I totally care about the ones I do.
In thinking about that, I don’t think that’s unusual. To care about the opinions of people you care about. But when you step back a little bit it’s actually kind of weird. Look at this math: People I don’t know or causally know + don’t care what they think of me = confident // vs // People I care about + do care what they think about me = less confident
Do I tell some guy about to back into me that he has no idea how to drive a car? Sure. Do I tell my friend that her band is unoriginal and kinda sucks? Probably not. Do I tell my wife my every dirty, sexy and freaky desire? Of course not, like a normal person I keep that shit locked up and just hope she magically reads my mind.
Doesn’t it seem like maybe that should be reversed? Am I alone on this one? What causes this? Fear? Trust, or lack of it? If the situation was reversed wouldn’t I want the guy I was about to hit with my car to keep his damn mouth shut? Wouldn’t I want to trust that my friends would give me honest opinions about my band? Wouldn’t I be excited to learn I was married to some kind of dirty, sexy freak?
Like usual I don’t have the answers here, but it’s something I’m thinking about. I should more often put on a smiley face for strangers and be more honest and forthcoming with friends? The most honest and forth coming friends I have are generally considered dicks by most everyone else, because most people don’t want honesty. Yet I very much appreciate their candidness and openness. Hrm..