The chum pool

I’ve always been a people watcher. Not in the creepy “guy sitting alone staring at your family from across the dining room at Denny’s” way, but in the “guy studying social interactions and trying his best to not come off as creepy” way. Some of my motives are related to my love of learning about people, and what makes them do what they do, and some are related to my lack of self esteem and feelings of inadequacy in social situations not catered to me in a specific way. Either way, it’s a favorite pasttime of mine.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m no expert on people, but I believe that I can understand a fair amount about a person and what they do, and even more so, WHY they do it. This can be great when giving people advice, though I’m always sure to tell those who ask me for advice that it’s just my personal opinion, and there’s just as much of a chance of me being wrong as there is of me being right. My track record so far is actually pretty decent, though, which is good.

Now here lies the rub. I CANNOT take any of my own advice whatsoever, even if it’s advice I’d have given me if I was disconnected from the situation. Now I know this is very typical, even for people close to us such as a spouse or close friend/family member. We’ve been there before, your spouse tells you time and again a snippet of advice that makes perfect sense, yet you only believe it when someone much further disconnected from you says the same thing, and then it’s gospel, thus causing your spouse to throw their hands up in the air in typical “what the absolute fuck?!” fashion. I’m not 100% sure why this happens, apart from not wanting to believe those who truly love you with all their heart because you feel they may just be saying this to make you feel better, and might not be completely honest with their response due to not wanting you to feel bad or whatnot.

It’s for reasons such as those that I have great difficulty taking compliments. I almost NEVER believe a compliment when it is paid to me, and even when I do, I’m very awkward about accepting it. This is indicative of my obviously high opinion of myself, and overwhelming self esteem and ego. As most of you know, I’m in a band. What some of you may not know, is that when people come to shows and say how good we were, I NEVER believe them. Don’t get me wrong, I know it doesn’t appeal to everyone, and I do like the praise the night of, regardless of whether I believe it or not.

On the other hand, I’m not comfortable lying to people about stuff like that. If you’re awful at something, I won’t come out and say you’re fantastic. I’ll say something else that doesn’t equate to “you kick ass” or “i loved it”, or won’t say anything at all. Many of you know this about me already, which is part of the reason I participate is less friendly banter than many others I’m close to. I’m not the guy to come to when you just wanna be lied to and told just what you wanna hear. This is why.

When I was younger, I was a pathological liar. I lied constantly, many times about shit that meant absolutely nothing. My reasons behind it are irrelevant at the moment, but it should suffice to say that it happened for reasons which are handled in other ways now. A few people caught on, and things went downhill with them pretty quickly. Please keep in mind, I was, and am, an excellent liar, able to get pretty much anyone to believe anything. That was the problem. Once people found out that I was this way, they never believed me because they couldn’t tell if what I said was real or fiction, or a blending of the two.

Fast forward a few years. I started a brutal honesty policy. I started being horribly honest with people to prove to them that I was telling the truth. This didn’t exactly win me many friends, mind you, since people seldom want to hear such things, but it definitely washed away the liar label with everyone but my parents. They’ll never believe me, but that’s a story for another day.

Taking this into consideration, I really am amazed that people talk to me at all about ‘real’ matters. I get that sometimes people want a brutally honest opinion, and then ask me what I think, but that’s not always the case. I’m sure I’ll never really understand it. Some people say things as to why they do so, and pay me compliments about my honesty and how I’m ‘genuine’ or ‘real’, which has little impact due to me being incapable of believing such romanticism as previously stated. Now I get stuck at an impasse, having to choose between taking the praise on faith, or not taking it. Neither feels 100% right.

I assume that many with self esteem issues feel this way. Some take the “fuck it” approach and just don’t give a shit what anyone thinks, while others take the begging for praise approach and seek as much affirmation and praise as possible. I’m sort of a mixture between the two, as this post shows. Granted I’m just writing about what’s on my mind right now, but i don’t delude myself into thinking that there’s no part of me doing this just for the aforementioned reasons, regardless of my inability to believe….


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2 responses to “The chum pool”

  1. Jackie R. says :

    I think you’re a lot more “creepy dude at Denny’s” than you might think 😉 I keed. Or do I? O.o 😀

    I’ve never been good at taking a compliment, so I get you there. Take it from me though, you growl like a metal monster. \m/

    • Mr. Persona Non Grata says :

      TY. Honestly, as far as singing goes, I’ve always felt that my vocal style and voice had merely niche appeal, and now that I’m in another original project I can see that this is true…..and it kinda sucks….I’d do the growly thing exclusively if it was me, but sadly it is not…. 😦

      And hey, it takes a REAL man to rock the creepy Denny’s look…..

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