Should I amend my personality to make more friends or, "be me" and have fewer friends?
September 12, 2009 7:11 AM Subscribe
Should I amend my personality to make more friends, or "be me" and have fewer friends?
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (39 answers total) 18 users marked this as a favorite
I have a sarcastic sense of humour, and when I'm with friends I tend to make jokes about everyone, including myself. I have close friends that I share this with. I never mind being the butt of the joke myself. I am not everybody's cup of tea, obviously. I like to think I have a high level of social skills (wow that sounds pompous), I am quite good at reading people. Or so I thought.
A new-ish but close friend of mine, let's call her K, just told me that she doesn't appreciate the way I make jokes about her. The example she used was an instance where I jokingly called her the "town's fashion expert" after a comment she made about what streets were 'in' and not. It's probably a "you had to be there" moment, but anyway. She didn't like it.
I am fully aware of the fact that everybody's limits vary, and I misjudged K's comfort zone when it comes to being the butt of the joke. I apologised to her, and thanked her for letting me know. But it actually came as a surprise, because I had always thought we were on the same page. Turns out she has been offended on many occasions, which, let's face it, I can understand. And she is probably not the first to react, but she is the first to tell me to my face.
I am also aware that we all need to compromise and make sacrifices in order to get along, but to what degree does this apply to your closest circle of friends? (Again, not work/school colleagues, family, or anyone else that you're forced to interact with.)
My usual principle would be to always show my true colours, warts and all, and people can take it or leave it. I have had success with this, people still like me. But is that too rigid and selfish? It seems I would be missing out on friends like K, who is awesome in many ways but can't stomach my humour. Should I treat all new friends with kid gloves, in case they are offended by my personality? That doesn't seem right either. I'd love some insight and thoughts about this, and hope I won't be completely slaughtered for being an insensitive beach.
For the record, I am in the 25-35 age group and female, and this is not intended to be your classical "how do I become most popular in high school" question, but rather "how do I end up with quality friends without sacrificing my personality".