I Didn’t Like You First

My personality snares people in and then spits them out for some reason I’m still trying to fully understand. When I was younger, I used to just deter people right off the bat with my shyness, but eventually I became more self-confident and more comfortable with people I didn’t know. So now instead of scaring people away immediately, I make them think I’m nice. I come across all Rachel Green at the beginning and then turn all Daria Morgendorffer in the end.

And yes, I know – not everyone is going to like me. But for people like me who have a small circle of friends, making non-friends is more noticeable. I mean, isn’t that a little bit worse than not ever becoming friends? Becoming non-friends? Because then that potential is gone. There are a billion people out there who could potentially be my friend. How cool is that? But there is an ever growing number of people who are now my non-friends. Maybe I should just start with that when I meet people. “Hey, nice to meet you. You seem like a pretty cool person. Interested in becoming eventual non-friends?”

So when I “lose” a friend, I definitely want to know why. My first guess is always that I said something offensive. I have no social filter. I say what I think. I like that I do this because I hate being fake. But it also gets me in trouble. The problem is I usually have no idea what I’ve said to someone to make them run away. And of course after I notice someone shying away from me, I spend countless hours dissecting what I could have possibly said or done to bother them. I swear I’m not obsessed! I just want to be a better person. Ok, that’s bullshit – I’m not interested in being a better person. But I am curious what horrible thing I’ve said to someone to make them give me that look of horror and confusion as they walk the other way.  I’m pretty sure I have scarred people for life. Therapists are taking notes about things I’ve done to their clients. I guess that’s another thing I should start doing. Handing out contact info for a good therapist when I meet people. It’s the least I can do.

If I can’t figure out why someone is upset with me or not talking to me, my first reaction is to be a bitch back to them. Even if I haven’t actually offended someone and the only reason they’re ignoring me is because their favorite Nana died violently while wrestling alligators, the 9-year-old in me says, “Fine, if they don’t like me, I won’t like them.” And after a while it’s a self-perpetuating cycle of hate. I see them ignore me, so I ignore them and then they see me ignore them so they ignore me. Then I’m left wondering, did they not like me first or did I do something to make them think I didn’t like them first and then they didn’t like me second? Holy shit, I just need to stop talking to people… ever.

I also find myself compelled to tell my husband whenever these situations arise – because I’m an idiot. He inevitably rolls his eyes at me and says, “If someone stops talking to me, do you see me calling them to find out what’s wrong? No, I just stop talking to them.” Indeed, some sage and shrewed advice to ponder. And then I immediately go back to obsessing, being passive-aggressive, and fuming for a couple weeks. Eventually something happens where the person and I start randomly talking again and everything is all good until next month when it happens with someone else.

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