I dated this guy once who actually told me what he thought of me upon first meeting. Apparently it was something along the lines of "I don't think she's dumb, but she kind of acts that way." Or something like that - I've paraphrased poorly there.
It may have been because within an hour of meeting me, I was telling him stories about Princess Me, and how the village children sing songs of my glory. What made me fall in love with him was when he asked in complete seriousness "what did they sing?" Awesome.
Anyhow, I get that a lot. People think I am in fact flaky. Now I don't mind it so much when people don't "get" me. That way I can just say that they don't understand me and move on with my life. But I've come to the realization lately that there are some people in my life, very close to me who think that I either genuinely am kind of dumb, or am a flake.
And that? Is unacceptable.
My own self-schema can't even reconcile the idea that people would actually think of me that way. I am the smart responsible friend/child/employee. And as much as I might aspire to be the cute, fun friend/child/employee - it's simply not the case.
I realize though, that what people think of me - has to do with how I present myself. If people think I'm a flake, I have no one to blame but myself for this.
I suspect it has to do with my lack of confidence. I can feel the respect I lose from people when I fail to stand up for myself or let things slide or sit quietly. Or even when I say something funny and not take things too seriously.
A couple of posts ago I went on and on about how I get things. I do. I really do understand most things around me. I mean if you want to talk about Physics or hedge funds, I'm clueless - but people situations? I get. How to do well in a job? I get.
But sometimes? The fact that I get that a situation just doesn't need to be taken too seriously causes people to think I'm dumb. Sometimes when I try to diffuse situations by saying something off the wall creates confusion. And sometimes, when I am blindly obedient or quiet because I don't think it's worth it to argue- causes people to think I don't know any better.
The job that I left? I realized once I was gone that both my bosses thought I was kind of dumb. Competent yes. But in a nice, sweet girl kind of way.
They didn't realize that I could tell when they were lying to me. They didn't realize that I often strongly disagreed with them. They didn't realize that I had to bite my tongue so many times when they were wrong. And they were. Often. Quite often making themselves sound like morons without even realizing it.
But I don't have the same kind of power hungry ego that alpha executives have. I am not bursting with ambition and drive and resolve to run the world. I am content to be an obedient little soldier. Cause you know what? I get for the most part what my bosses are trying to accomplish.
I get that my friends feel very strongly about this or that. I get that some of my family members feel smarter and somewhat superior to me. Even if they're not.
What I don't get is how to not look like a bitch when I do finally get annoyed with people talking down to me and putting them in their place. That? Is a bigger challenge. Cause for all the TV shows that have a final scene showing the timid little girl getting angry and putting everyone in their place, and people are in awe of them? And finally show them the respect they deserve? Yeah it never works that way in the real world.
I'm not dumb. I just respect your ego and don't wish to argue. I know when things aren't that big a deal. People? Quit making assumptions about others -cause that's what's dumb.
Monday, June 01, 2009
Posted by Princess of the Universe at 12:35 pm