I am more capable of seeing myself through the eyes of those around me than I used to be and so before I'm able to actually charm, amuse or ingratiate somebody into thinking of me as a prospective friend, something happens. I get in my own way. I am so utterly aware of annoying or not fitting in with those around me, that I shut down. I transition to my go-to quiet persona, with hard eyes, a cold exterior. Which, unfortunately, in the last 5-6 years has come to be the way I look and act most of the time. Even if it isn't how I feel.
And then the problem escalates. I look angered, mean, judging (I have chronic bitchface, you know) and so possible friends come to think I am hard to get along with, attacking. At lunch, I lift the shut-own briefly to join a discussion of the soup. A harmlessly directed explanation of the word "chowder" to my lunch companions reads to them as a dressing down, and I can all but see the wall go up between us.
rainy day toe self-portrait
So this is to state for the record. I am not actually a cold human being. My heart and head are full of warmth and love and dreams and excitement - about people and about art. About philosophy and about media. About the human condition (IknowIknow) So, I probably don't think I'm cooler or funnier or smarter than you (I mean I might, but if I want to be your friend I likely think you have me at least tied on one or more of those fronts.). So if I seem cold and reserved, quiet and angry, I am probably feeling insecure, isolated. I probably fear what will come out of my mouth when I open it (feelings, passion, the truth about my boring little life). So I keep it shut.
But that doesn't mean I don't want or need people around me. So I'm going to keep working on the bitchface and on letting in a little warmth. And hopefully it will work out.
This post has been brought to you by my livejournal from 2001*.