Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Sometimes the truth is hard to swallow

Wednesday night. I've been pretty much on plan with food all day, or close enough to make me happy. This is good. No exercise because I had a study team session directly after work, but that's OK, too.

I need to write about something now and I don't want anyone to say "no, that's not true" or "gosh, you're not a bad person" because none of you know me in my real life and you only see what I want to present. I have to get this out because it's going to fester otherwise and I just can't keep a separate blog for the stuff I'm too ashamed or embarrassed to share here.

So here's what happened: in my study team session tonight, the lone male on our team called me out about 45 minutes into our session for being bossy, pushy, overly sarcastic, and for making him feel bad about himself. At first, I thought to myself how wrong he was and I reacted by trying to smooth things over with a platitude about how maybe we could do things a little differently to make it easier for him. Wrong-o again, Denise. He called me out again, this time for basically being patronizing about what he'd said. It hurt like heck and it was all I could do not to get up, gather my things, and walk out, but he was right. I was silent for a while as everyone else worked through our assignments and I thought about how my personality had caused such a huge tumult in our group and for this (very nice) man.

I know I'm not a bad person, but my personality really rubs some people the wrong way. I am very sarcastic, and it's not meant to hurt anyone, it's just me trying to be funny. What I miss is that it does hurt people or annoy them and it's just this stupid defense mechanism against being teased and made fun of myself. I just need to stop. Seriously, I need to stop trying to make a joke out of everything and learn to be quiet more often. And I am bossy, too. I don't mean to be, but I am. And I made him feel like I thought he wasn't smart, which is totally not true, but that's how he felt, so it's valid.

Now that I'm sitting with the really awful feeling, I'm sifting through my memory bank and wondering how many other people I've hurt or angered or put off because of my abrasiveness? How much work is it to like me because of the way that I act? Most importantly, how can I stop this? If I make my life this happy place for with good health and good works...and yet no one can stand to be around me, this will have all been for naught - how sad is that?

I have to be able to change, although I just don't know how yet. It can't be too late, it just can't.

6 comments:

Rebecca said...

If that's your character flaw, then so be it. At least you recognize it. (now.)

It's never too late to work on self improvement. Good luck!

Tiffany said...

Ooh, different comment thingy!

It's very hard to just be quiet and find different ways to interact with people than you're used to. I think it's possible, but you have to be aware of what you want to change and think of ways that you can interact positively. Which can be tough--but I'm sure that you are up for the challenge!

Anonymous said...

From Hot Mama Taylore: So you are abrasive and sarcastic? Ok. You admit it. You know it. Next. Is it also possible that study group guy is a tad sensitive? Too be honest, I've always been bossy and sarcastic too. To some degree, I still am. However, the thinner I've gotten the more I've realized I used/use sarcasm as a defense tool - it was a padding, like my weight. You have owned up to your abrasive-ness (although as a staunch Denise supporter, I cannot agree with you!) - so now you can take baby steps to be less so. P.S. HOOORAY you have a tea link too! Did you get your free tea stuff yet?

deborah said...

As another very sarcastic person, I can SOOOOOO relate to this. I mean, hello? my blog is called "Caustic Opportunity"! We would probably get along very well indeed. Anyway, I don't really have an answer for you except to say that I understand. I also use my sarcasm as a defense mechanism and I can also tell you exactly where I got it too. My father was always very sarcastic, especially to us -- teasing was d'rigor in my house growing up and even though his teasing and sarcasm could hurt, if you complained about it, you would be accused of being "too sensitive". Anyway, I guess I'm trying to say that we learn at an early age how to function in the World. That doesn't mean that we can't change, being aware of it is a huge first step. I would say that you handled this recent issue very, very well and in an extremely healthy manner. Most people truly are not willing to hear criticism and to step back and REALLY look at their behavior, so kudos to you for that.

Bluegrass Mama said...

I know just where you're coming from! Though I agree that this gentleman might err on the side of oversensitivity. Let him know it was unintentional, apologize, and move on. Some people see the humor, others don't.

Beatte said...

Omigosh, I can post comments now! :)

Hang in there, Denise. We are all human, and we all have our quirks. If you can recognize them and better yourself, that is what counts. I don't know what you said to upset him, but consider: did he call you out in front of the rest of the group? That kind of behavior is suspect to me. When I have a personality clash with someone, I take them aside for a quiet chat. Anything less smacks of over-sensitivity.

Good luck -- I applaud tht you had the courage to see someone else's POV!