Duplicity

I find it difficult wearing masks. Metaphorically speaking. I’ve never really worn many actual masks to have an opinion on them.

People don’t always express their emotions, especially the negative ones. One might greet someone with a pleasant smile and a warm handshake only to spit on them once their backs are turned. That’s not something I can do. If I don’t like someone, I try to avoid talking to them or keep the conversations short. I want them to know that we’re not friends without actually insulting them to their face. But I won’t pretend to be their best friend. I suppose I’m not the most politically savvy person around.

Networking’s a big thing, especially here, and I’ve sometimes been told to make friends with unpleasant people because it can help form a connection for future business. I say screw that. Climbing to the top of the corporate ladder doesn’t interest me. I’ll just sit on the middle rung and have a sandwich. As an introvert, I’m very picky about the people that I make friends with and talk to. And ultimately, I’m interested in their value as people rather than the financial or political advantages the can bring me.

That’s just a waste of time. I’d rather focus on forming solid human connections with a handful of people instead of schmoozing with everyone to achieve career ‘success’.

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Introversion

I can be kind of an asshole.

There are no doubt people who would disagree with that assessment and rush to point out my nice qualities. Very kind of them, but I know the score. Sometimes, I’m kind of an asshole. I don’t really mean to be and, once the wave of assholishness passes, I’m mortified by my attitude and behavior. But I’ve got to face facts.

I spend an inordinate amount of time in my own head, lost in my thoughts, planning the rest of the day, dreaming up writing/drawing ideas and grappling with my various anxieties. As such, I tend to set the world aside, the way one might have a movie playing in the background while doing household chores.

This often reduces people to pieces on a board, moving around so that I can make my way across unobstructed. And if one of these pieces should end up in my path, I can rarely see past my own inconvenience. It tends to be about how I’m being delayed in getting somewhere, or how my plans are being held up or derailed. Needless to say, I’m not happy about that, and make my displeasure known. Now, I’m not one to scream and shout or throw tantrums. Instead, I tend to give people the silent treatment. In part, it’s because I know that should I open my mouth, something unpleasant will fly out of it. I’ve got awareness enough, I suppose, to avoid slinging unnecessary barbs.

On reflection, it’s easy to see how I would have handled things differently, more tactfully. There’s a famous saying about hindsight that eludes me now. I always resolve to be better, to show more understanding, more compassion. Yet as soon as something goes wrong and someone ends up inconveniencing me, a black cloud forms around my head again, and I shun the offender until the cloud dissipates.

I’m getting a little better at that. Once upon a time, I might have ignored someone for a day or two for some minor offense; now it’s down to a few hours. There’s also a bit more consideration on my end for the other person’s situation, and how that might have contributed to the problem. I’m trying to step out of my world a bit more, but old habits are hard to break. It’s a process.

Side note: This post is just about 400 words, without having to trim anything. Brevity achieved!