I have this friend, J, who is not the nicest person to be around with. However, if you bother to know him well enough, you will realise that he’s one of the best person to be friends with because all those bad points that you spot on him? Well, they are basically all the bad there is.
He is one of those who just bear it all on the surface like an open book, with no hidden agenda.
Unfortunately, it is hard for people like him to have a lot of friends because in this world, sadly, few bother to look beyond the surface and find out the goodness within. Most of us just let the dog ear on the book deter us from even picking it up the shelf, or not pick up an apple because of a small dent or dot.
I don’t think we can control how people look and view such imperfections. But I do find that the option to react or respond is entirely up to us.
By us, I really mean people like J and I, who are too direct and candid and lazy to bother to try to be nice just for the sake of, well, being nice. We just put it all out there.
The consequence, though, is that we cannot expect others to see past our harsh exterior and appreciate us for being ‘honest’. Now, what happens is that often, people like us often become cynical and mean because much as we are honest people, we are also people who know that we are just not popular with others. And because we stand to our ideals, we learn to protect ourselves even more by being even more ‘true’. It ends up with us being the meanest people to be around with.
Now, there comes the dilemma — do we ‘stay true to ourselves’ and be who we are, or do we ‘conform’ to fit the mass?
I used to take it very bitterly. I decided to put on a mask, hold back my thoughts, smile and learn to not disagree. I chose to be fake. I felt that I was bending over backwards to conform and boy, was it miserable.
And honestly, I was doing it sometimes in hope of seeing projects flop (since I hold back my comments) so that I can tell them, “I told you so!” and also throw in ten thousand comments about how many mistakes led to the ultimate flop.
Gradually, though, as I begin to see the difference in my interaction with others due to a difference in my output i.e. behaviour and perceived attitude, I realised that the ‘change’ was good. I realised that it was something I had to do after all and most importantly…
Changing for the better does not equate to ‘conforming’ to the world.
In the end, I truly adapted. Not in that extremist negative mindset, but rather, wanting to change for my own sake. And I changed my behaviour and attitude willingly and happily, because I know it is right to do so, to please nobody else but myself.
Of course I have met people who saw the traits in me as strengths and appreciated me for who I am, looking past my harsh surface. But these people are rare and few in between. To be honest, I used to feel very misunderstood and I actually expect others to understand me. But I have since learnt to see that it is a bonus if somebody bother to look past my surface and understand and appreciate me for who I am. I cannot expect others to do so naturally. Not at all.
Unfortunately for J, he has yet to learn. =/
I guess it is also very similar to gfs who pretend to be alright with some behaviour displayed by their bf, like “Sure, go out with your friends”. And they start to ‘give allowance’ in spiteful manner, instead of genuinely wanting to grant their bf what the bf wants. We should all know that in relationships, we should be striving to give the best to the other party willingly and selflessly. If a difference in belief is creating unhappiness, strive to change for one’s own sake — because no one wants their r/s to fail. Nobody is telling you to deny your own rights and freedom so that the other party benefits. In love, there just isn’t ‘calculation’ and quantifiable measures to determine who gives and who receives since it is always about us and not you-me.
(maybe that’s why I suck at it since I need to quantify and make sense o everything by logic =/)
Recently my writing is getting more and more incoherent. A direct reflection of my mind.
So I shall end here. With a photo of me eyeing that amazing mango tart.