How to quit being an unwilling asshole?
July 13, 2011 7:21 PM Subscribe
Tell me how to be yourself when your 'self' is terrible.
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (23 answers total) 24 users marked this as a favorite
I've recently been readmitted to college, where I spent three years sleeping in (and have the grades to show for it).
My last try was over a decade ago, and while I've had my time in the working world since then, the intervening period
hasn't been positive -- bad job experiences, pretty severe depression after an incredibly bad breakup, medical issues,
financial problems. Eventually I decided to make an effort to try to get back on track, which is where the re-admittance to uni comes in.
Here's the thing -- I've not had a lot of social interaction with people in the last several years outside of my SO
and one or two close friends. Before my last episode of major depression I was known as outgoing and extroverted (sometimes unpleasantly so) with a tendency to speak out-of-turn, irrespective of whether or not my input was sought. The cliche of the "blowsy woman" fit me pretty much to a T.
Despite my evident lack of social graces I had a fairly large cache of social capital, all of which went out the window when I stopped getting out of bed or bathing for days on end. I essentially headed into the other extreme, cutting all contact with my social circle, my family, and my colleagues and becoming an introvert. I'm in a much better place these days thanks to years of therapy and medication,
but I find myself worried about going back into the social world again -- in jobs I was always polite, but underneath that there was a feeling of impatience that would eventually boil over into rage, never expressed outwardly because I'd developed a fear of conflict (and a fear of being rejected) -- but now that I'm trying to be a college student, especially in a field where "working the room" (in a sense) is considered a pillar of my discipline, I'm nervous about either being too quiet and unassuming just to avoid conflict with others, or interjecting my opinions/thoughts/anecdotes where they are neither requested nor appreciated. And it would be nice to make new friends, but I feel like I am a polarizing sort of person which turns people off. I want to be 'myself' but I feel like my 'self' isn't something that anyone would want to be around. It's as if I don't know how to be friendly, even when I want so badly to be friendly.
TL;DR: Is it possible for me to fix my unattractive personality and make friends with other people?
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