Friday, 18 February 2011

A Little More Detail

As always, you guys pitch in there with the support at a moment's notice - you rock.

I do feel I need to clarify something a bit though, as right now it makes my friend sound like an absolute bastard for what he said.

So here's the deal:  J and I were chatting last night online, and it was just after the London Boy had broken the news.  As you can imagine, I wasn't in the best of moods, and was bemoaning the fact that I seem to have the worst luck with guys.  This inevitably led to the "why do guys not find me attractive?" whine, and being the good friend he is bravely piled in.  He told me I was attractive, intelligent and fun, if "a little loud and overbearing sometimes when you get self-conscious".  That was followed very shortly by "over-bearing probaly isn't the right word".  He also clarified that it was generally when I drink and "if I drank that much Diet Coke, I'd be like I was on rocket fuel too". 

He was trying to be honest, and I do appreciate that - he freely admitted that he has can be difficult when he's self-conscious himself, so I know he's aware of his own faults.  And given he accepted my criticism recently when I had cause to pull him up on his behaviour, I know he really is trying to help.

The problem, really, is I don't know what to do about it.  I'm aware that when I feel nervous or self-conscious, I automatically bolster my behaviour to appear more confident.  Pretty much all of my friends are out-going and confident types, who shine at one thing or another, and I don't feel I stack up against them if I don't behave larger than life.  As I said to J, when I was bigger, I felt like I had the role of the funny fat chick to play.  In many ways, I still feel like that's my role - sometimes because I still "feel" fat and sometimes because I just don't know what else to be.  I don't have any particular talent now, that I didn't have before - which is to say, that generally what I do best is make people laugh.  And to do that I guess I am loud - in fact, half the time I feel like a performing monkey!  But I didn't know that came across as over-bearing, or annoying, or whatever word he was looking for.  And I don't know how to play any other role. 

J pointed out that I do many things pretty well, and that is a lot more than most, but I feel like I disappear next to my friends and just fade into the background, if I'm not being the Sue they know.  In fact, if I do stop (usually because I'm tired) I get actively asked what's wrong, or even why I'm so grumpy. 

So now I'm faced with a dilemma - should I try and be quieter, a bit more lady-like?  I definitely don't want to be annoying and drive people away.  Or carry on with my coping strategy and hope I naturally become a bit more confident at some point and quieten down of my own accord?


claire said...

Love, you don't need to change - not that it's so easy. The confidence thing needs sorting first - it's 'unconscious' behaviour for a reason - it's not something you will easily be able to alter as long as you feel self-conscious.

I know that sounds bad but it's not meant to - be proud you're not 'demure'! If it's not you, it's just not you.

I have this after appraisals at work - i try so hard to fix my faults but it's a slow process, esp when there are underlying reasons for things.

But remember, you don't need to change. What is annoying to one person doesn't bother another. Your friend was being honest when they probably should have kept quiet. Don't take it to heart.

Linz M said...

I don't think you should try to change unless you really want to, you are who you are and people love you for it.

If you find that you are constantly trying to live up to people's perception of you as the loud and funny one and it's hard going, then maybe try and hold back a bit - but as you gain in confidence, I reckon you'll stop feeling the need to 'perform', so to speak.

But, heck, what do I know??! I'm also fairly loud and always trying to be funny, but that's one of the reasons me and Matt work so well together - he is the same and we bounce off each other. I am fairly sure there are people around me who don't like how I am, but I don't generally give a monkey's chuff about that (me and my over inflated ego I guess!)

So in short (because I am in danger of having a right ramble here), don't change unless you really want to. If it's your way of coping with stressful situations, then so be it. You rock. That is all :) x

Kathleen said...

Never met you. But from what I’ve read here, you have MUCH more to offer than just being ‘the loud one’ or ‘the funny one’. Your life is full of all these fun activities and adventures. You seem like you would be a great friend or girlfriend. Keep your chin up.

Badger said...

Be yourself. There are plenty of people who will find the 'loud and a bit overbearing when self-conscious' part of you adorable. Ok, so your friend doesn't, but that's just him.
There is a lot of truth is the saying that these things come when you least expect it. It's because you're not looking for anything, you are relaxed and therefore being yourself. Guys will be attracted to that. xx