Hi! My name is Kristin, and my special talent is making people uncomfortable.
It’s not that I’m a particularly crass or in-your-face type of person, I just seem to do the types of things that make the people I tend to hang out with uncomfortable. I have no qualms talking about sex or politics, swearing, talking about emotions or breaking out into the occasional dance. I’m the friend who is in that weird show that you don’t really wanna go to, but sit through in agony waiting for it to be done (“Rocky Horror,” “Vagina Monologues…” the list goes on.)
I guess I never thought that much about what I like or say would be the catalyst for so many awkward looks and strained smiles, but it seems to me that I can’t introduce a new hobby or film anymore without getting a look of hardcore judgement from 90 percent of my peers.
It’s not like I think I’m some hipster-oddity that has interests so much different than everyone else. On the contrary—this is a very recent development. I thought that everyone liked to try new things and go where they haven’t before. Suddenly, I’m realizing that is not the case.
For a while, I’ve honestly felt really badly. No matter how little cares you give about the opinions of others, it still is a little embarrassing to realize the things you like make other people cringe. I’ve felt really, really guilty and for someone with anxiety, that has made me think more than twice about liking the things I do.
But, I know I have a problem with passivity, I have a problem with acting nice when you are really boiling with anger inside, I have a problem with not pursuing interests or quirks because they make people uncomfortable.
You see, life does not get better or more exciting or even more bearable without new experiences that test your limits and your comfort zones. If we all stayed in what is our little box of beliefs and values and experiences, then we would all live very boring lives, I promise.
I am a million percent happy to be that weird girl if it means that someone, somewhere questions a notion that they had before or discovers something that they like or believe in. I do it all the time! I try not to let anything shock or offend me because if I’ve never heard of it, I probably want to do it.
Learning is uncomfortable. Growing is uncomfortable.
So everyone can continue clutching their pearls. I will continue befriending weirdos and saying the wrong thing and not giving a flying damn about your open gapes.
Photo by ruffin_ready
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Kristin– Thank you! I feel like I could’ve written this post — you’ve encapsulated my feelings/attitude towards being “comfortable,” “normal,” passive, etc. I’m also from the East Coast (New Jersey), have participated in the Vagina Monologues, love trying new things, enjoy being open and honest, discussing things that are unexpected and may make people uncomfortable, etc. Being a transplant in the Midwest for the past 6 years, though, I’ve begun attributing my weirdness [i.e. openness to discomfort, new things, honesty, etc] to being from the East Coast. Most of the Midwesterners I’ve met are much more passive and guarded; they are generally surprised by my openness to discussing anything/everything, and my directness in saying/doing things. How when I see a problem or feel anger, I don’t ignore or hide it. Perhaps I’ve been conflating geographic cultural differences with personality differences — maybe the differences I’ve been observing are more distinct in the MW, but still exist in NJ/on the coasts. I’d love to hear your thoughts about this trait of we’re calling “weirdness” and cultural differences. Thanks again! Shira
Yes! I’m not the only one!