Sunday, June 8, 2008

A question of politeness and genuine concern.

I often wonder if, when people ask what’s wrong, if they’re asking to be polite, or if they’re asking because they care. It’s hard for me to judge, so I usually respond with an automatic, “Nothing” or “I’m fine.” It’s like when you say to someone, “How are you today??” and they go into their whole pathetic life story. You ask because it’s polite and automatic. A few minutes of conversation is fine, but you’re not trying to give them an opening for confiding in you.

Hence my automatic response to the question, “What’s wrong??” After too many years of people not giving shit, it astounds me that here in the early years of my adult life, there are a handful of people who ask that, not to be polite, but because they genuinely care. I’m not used to it, it’s a foreign concept to me. All my young life people have confided in me, but when has anyone ever cared to listen to my problems?? Leach is the only one I usually truly confide in (there have been people here and there whom I’ve opened up to about a specific problem merely to get matters off my chest for a short period), yet oddly enough it’s never seemed foreign, as I said before. He’s just easy to shoot the shit with.

Anyone else, though, I usually tend to shy away from because of my deeply-ingrained insecurities. I’m terrified of making the mistake of opening up to the wrong person, making them feel awkward or giving them something they can use to hurt me.

When it comes to supervisors, forget it. I opened up to one once to TM. He did nothing at all. I know TH genuinely cared, so it was easy to talk to him, but in general it’s part of the job description for them to be “concerned” and to “look out for you”. GO was more or less hostile from beginning to end, and any confidence shared with him was forced. All he saw when he looked at me was an emotional mess who drank too much and didn’t do enough for work (and this was when my work ethic was at the top of it’s game!!). All he saw was the surface, and there was no way I was going to let him see even the first layer underneath, because he didn’t really care.

Then there’s Rich. I’d love more than anything to tell him every little thing that’s wrong in my world. But lately we’ve been having a lot of petty arguments (nothing serious, fortunately), and I don’t want to add fuel to the fire. I’m a woman, and as such I’m going to get upset over dumb shit. I hate to admit this, it seems so anti-feminist and mildly degrading to my gender, but it is in my nature as a woman to get upset over dumb shit. However, I am rational enough to see that whatever it is I am upset over is dumb and petty and not worth initiating a bloodbath over. Unfortunately, this line of rationality does not stop me from being upset or pissy or what have you. So the best thing I can do for all parties involved is to keep my mouth shut and lie through my teeth when asked if anything is wrong.

Unfortunately, Rich can see through these lies, and it pisses him off.

And I am truly sorry for that. Now, in my defense, I’m not pissed off nearly as often as everyone seems to think. I don’t know why, but ever since I was a teenager, if I’m pensive or bored, I get this hard look on my face that leads everyone around to assume that I am mad as hell. There’s nothing I can do to change that, I’m sorry. So, about seventy percent of the time that this look is on my face, I’m not really mad. Fifteen percent of the time I’m just fussy over something dumb that I’ll get over in a few hours, and the rest of the time I am truly upset over something that is important.

And I can’t change that. But I can adjust how I respond to these inquiries so that Rich no longer gets angry with me, and to weed out the ones who truly care from the ones who are just being polite.

I’ll be honest about being either bored or pensive. And if I’m bothered by something petty, I’ll be straight about it and assure concerned parties that it will pass. And if it’s serious, I’ll admit it; and depending on the concerned/polite person’s reaction, I’ll go from there. I really should start opening up when given the opportunity. The only way any problem will ever be resolved is if I share it and get input from those who truly care.

And another thing. Sometimes, I really really really want to confide, I really do. However, I force myself to pause and consider. The irrational part of me wants to blurt out the first thing that comes to mind, and if I let that part of me rule my actions, all hell could break loose. I must give the rational part of me time to organize my scattered thoughts so that I may express myself in a coherent manner that will cause as little damage as possible. This also serves to help me look at the matter from all angles in case I’ve missed something. I refuse to irrationally explode over a problem that is not as big as it may initially seem and can be resolved with little or not fuss.

I guess this is why I write so much. It helps me organize my thoughts, and is a release for my destructive irrationality.

I don’t want to hold a grudge over something petty, and I want to be able to learn and move on from the serious stuff. I want to have a fresh start every day, no matter how bad things were the day before. I want to have a good day everyday, and just be happy. And I want to do my part to end this steady stream of petty momentary disputes that leave me in a bad mood that lingers for hours while Rich gets over it with lightning speed and moves on. (Ugh, I envy that in him.) Because as I was told by a very drunk Jay, Rich loves me and is very lucky to have me and I’m the best girlfriend he’s had since Jay’s known him, and I’m very lucky to have Rich and he knows I love him. (Ten thousand of Almighty Davi’s blessings on him; I adore Jay from here on out.) *grin*

Today is a new day, and it’s bright and sunny out, and I’m starting fresh. So I will patiently sit here and wait for Rich to wake his happy ass up so we can watch some 24 or play Rock Band.

On a completely different note, I miss my daddy and wish he could come see me for Father’s Day. Sigh. I miss my mommy, too, but she’s given me a vague promise to visit in the fall, so that will have to do for now.

No comments: