Saturday, August 22, 2009

I am not Congenial, that is all

I had late lunch with my sister in one of our favorite Chinese restaurants ever. It would always be a part of our taste buds and childhood memories thanks to my dad who introduced it to us. Over fried meat dumplings and fish fillet congee, we talked about a couple of things. From trivial to senseless stuff to personal. In the end it veered towards the topic of my distinct personality.

My sister and I are obvious opposites. The whole world knows that. She cited that I live in the extreme side of her being extroverted and congenial. For example, she can easily get along with my friends and I'm sure most of them like her without any of my help. My sister is the type who could introduce herself and enjoy herself with different kinds people, whereas I have no idea who her friends are and unfortunately for those whom I already know, I'm pissed at. One of our differences, amongst a gazillion differences, is that I'm not congenial. She often stresses that I'm not a fun human. Most importantly, she said I'm not an easy person to be with and she fears that I'm digging my own social grave at the prime age of 26.

I don't deny that. I am the first one to admit that I'm not a social person. I have limits with human interactions and it's not something that I hide. If certain precautions failed, I excuse myself and step back. It also goes to show that I don't open up with people too much. It takes a while. It takes time and maybe a certain intense situation that might trigger me to put down my defenses. Meeting up in random parties and exchanging small talks won't do for me that's why I tend to miss out on the certain closeness level with people, especially with ladies my age. They can do it in a couple of drinks, but I couldn't. But just like always, I don't mind.

Being an introvert, it's not a priority for me to interact. I don't find the need to get personal, and even if I do, I treat it with ultimate privacy. I don't interact for the sake of false camaraderie. If the situation calls for it, I can engage painstakingly in small talk, but don't expect me to go beyond that. As an introvert, I have so many inhibitions on people's attitudes. I can immediately spot a person who I might have great tendency of clashing with. It might be because of something grounded in beliefs and personality, but sometimes it could be as senseless as the person's gestures and aura. If I know that it wouldn't work, I stay away from them as much as possible, limit conversations to small talk and just get through with the required interaction. I may not close doors to relationship developments, but I'd rather stay away from doors to possible conflicts.

I may not be congenial and friendly, but I am real. I'm real as the computer you're using. If I don't like to interact, I won't force myself to or else I'll involuntarily do the sulk-and-no-care motion. If I don't like how the interaction's going, it would show. I know this gets me into a lot of trouble. I often get misinterpreted and people with sudden sensitivity simply hate me. They hate my being difficult and they hate my attitude. There's nothing much to say but I'm used to it anyways. But if there's something that I can't do, it's compromising myself for the senseless happiness of others. If I cannot praise someone without puking, I don't praise at all. I can't live my life thinking of how to suit my personality for others' tailored requirements. As long as I don't disrespect and directly hurt, then I don't see there's anything that I need to apologize for, hence the unavoidable trouble.

Lots of people tried to study me and offered words of advice. There were friends, whom I thought really knew me, but ended up to be my part-time enemies. And there are acquaintances and strangers that repel away. I could honestly say that I don't care if it has something to do with their own preferences of me, but I do listen to whoever is brave enough to tell me how he feels about my personality, because if it were me, I'd do the same. But they have to understand that as long as I'm not doing anything wrong and disrespectful, I may explain and exert effort, but never apologize. Anyone could just melt and die out of anger towards me because I'm not agreeable and friendly like the others, but it's honestly not my problem. One time, there was a friend who confronted me because he "felt" that I was not warming up to his new fling like the rest of our friends did. But he didn't consider the fact that I don't easily warm up to anybody new by default. I will never force it and I just the relationship flow naturally. If others could be immediately congenial, I cannot. It's not something personal, but it's just the way I am. In the end he understood and we became friends again.

With all that's written, I know that I may not be your friendly next door neighbor. I'm the type who believes that being civil is a must, but being congenial isn't. Friendship and warming up are not forced in my book. Social engagement does not come easily. I appreciate the effort, but sometimes I just need time. This is me being real. As much as I would want to stress that I'm quite far from being a bitch, some people might not agree, and it's the risk I have to take, but don't expect me to apologize for your uneasiness. I highly respect human beings and I'm far from doing something premeditated to hurt. My personality is not a disease and it permitted me to treasure a few friends who can completely understand me. They stick through it all and it was just luck that they complemented and matched my personality. Not all people are fortunate enough and we all just have to accept that.

This is me being introverted. This is me being real and simple. I always find it weird in explaining myself because in my eyes there is nothing much to explain, really. The world would be better if people should just take me for what I am and don't put extra meaning behind my polite indifference. And even if I don't apologize and immediately become close, I do hope people won't take it against me. But then again I don't expect people to understand my plight and I don't expect people to like me ether. I just hope that if they do, they must really mean it and stay around, or if not, it's best to just stay away from each other with mutual respect still.

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