Sunday, January 29, 2012

on being a bitch

My mother has always told me that I have a strong personality. My best friend has recently said that this is my mother’s way of kindly calling me a bitch. She says her mother does the same. This thought had never crossed my mind. All my life I had thought that my biting wit and opinionated banter contributed to what I deem a jealous-worthy independent lifestyle. Could I be wrong? When I think of a “bitch,” the words selfish, scathing, and soulless come to mind. These are not words I associate with my personality. In fact, on the ever-classic “getting to know you” surveys that my old sleep away camp used to mandate each summer, I would always write that I pride myself on selflessness. Anyone who knows me would attest that I would do anything for those I care about; I’d catch a grenade for them, throw my hand on a blade for them, I’d even freaking jump in front of a train for them (shoutout to my boy Bruno Mars.) Hell, last time I checked, selflessness such as mine was the dominating quality of the anti-bitch.. Despite my confidence that I most certainly did not fall victim to this label that my friend falsely accused me of, I nonchalantly, without letting her sense any sense of doubt in my mind, BEGGED her to explain. She said I am dismissive to people that I don’t care for- that I am intimidating. Hm, I thought, this sparks a memory. Maybe I DO faintly recall practically now ancient old classmates and friends telling me that I have a certain “intimidation factor.” My heart sped up as my friend continued. Could she be right? Was I really a bitch? The latter of her shpiel discussed my impatience with said people I don’t care for. She cautiously, noting my face begin to red, suggested that MAYBE I don’t know how to sufficiently mask my disdain for certain individuals. To be honest, it would be a lie to say that I was anything near flabbergasted at hearing her description of that aspect of my personality. I knew her accusation was true. In fact, I know that on occasion, I purposely manifest these intimidation tactics. I’ve been, as my mother called it, “strong willed” my whole life. I never took a moment, though, to step back and ask myself why it is I act in such a way to certain people. I have always recognized my dismissiveness as a folly of mine, yet never sought to understand it- let alone fix it. So now, after my folly was brought to attention in a way that screamed the message “YOU NEED TO FIX THIS” I got to thinking about my actions. My rationale has always been this: the people I like, I love, and the rest of you, I don’t feel the need to waste my time faking a connection that isn’t there. This is not to say I am outwardly stand-offish to people I don’t consider friends; rather, I subconsciously erect an aura of so-called dismissiveness that quickly gets the people I don’t care for to stop speaking when it is inopportune for me. It is important for me to clarify that I am never short with strangers. I only act in such a (what I now recognize as immature) manner in front of acquaintances that I have, through ample experience and a substantial amount of time spent, and established that I don’t care for. That is no justification for my actions and by no means do I think those circumstances are a fair cause for my actions. You see, giving people a chance has never been my problem; rather, I struggle with how to cope when I don’t like what I see.