September 7th, 2005

I have a confession to make. In all honesty, I probably have dozens of confessions that I can theoretically make right now, but I'll only tease you with one. For those of you who know me, and have repeatedly heard me make statements regarding my dislike of people... they were all lies. Maybe not ALL of them, but most of them. In reality, I like people, and need people, and not only close friends and relatives. I need strangers to reaffirm what I already beleive about myself. When a stranger tells me something about me that I don't think myself, they're obviously wrong, for one thing, but I'll usually respond negatively towards them... even, and sometimes especially, if it's a compliment. So it's not that I hate people, I hate that I'm not good at relating to people.

I think I may have figured out why (after 26 years of a primarily hermitic existence). For one, I'm too cynical. I always question peoples' motives. For some reason, I don't believe that people will like me for who I am if I lay all my cards on the table, but for what I possess. I would rather somebody take the time to get to know me, and getting past the front door is their biggest obstacle. It's a rather rigorous obstacle course that I construct, mostly mental, in an attempt to weed out people who are chiefly interested in what I can do for them, and those who sincerely care to know me. I am rather impersonable at first with most people, unless you have a very warm and inviting personality that allows me to lower my defenses knowing that you are no threat, nor do you want anything of me. This is the kind of person that I aspire to be. The only thing that I want from other people is to be understood, if not liked. I don't like it when, upon learning that I'm an artist, people immediately request that I paint them something, or to play them a song after learning that I'm a musician. Granted, these are things that I want people to appreciate about me, but not to use me for. I'm also very tepid when asked to talk about myself. This is also because I'm afraid of sounding cocky or egotistical, along with the fear of people using me for my talents. Upon first encounters, I try to downplay my talent as much as possible. In part, it is modesty, in part because I don't want that to be the reason somebody likes me.

My least favorite part about gigging and playing shows is finishing my set. I love being on stage and performing, it not only feels natural, but invigorating. Once I finish my set, and realize that I'm no longer performing, but actually interacting with people, I'm at my most vulnerable. I had just laid most of my cards on the table (I always have a few tricks up my sleave still), and it's there for others to judge. I have no clue what's in their hand. I don't like when people think I'm sexy or even attractive unless they've gotten to know me first. I know I should be flattered, but I don't like it. And this is the possibly the most hypocritical thing that I do, and the most ironically self-defeating because finding people attractive is what draws you in to learn more about them. I should applaud people for finding me attractive especially since I put no effort in gaining that sort of recognition, but instead I find them shallow. It works, on the other hand, if I'm approached with a good critique of my music, and not just a, "Hey, I like your stuff." You're allowed to find me attractive then, but just don't tell me about it until we've become friends.

So my lesson to myself is this. Just be nice to people. Don't assume that everyone is out to jump your bones, and so what if they are anyway? Here's the big one.... DON'T PRETEND NOT TO LIKE SOMEONE WHEN YOU OBVIOUSLY DO. It's not even that I pretend not to like people, but I usually act rather indifferent. This is a self-defense mechanism that in reality keeps people from liking me who might have otherwise had I treated them with the dignity and amicability deserved of them. Ah yes, lessons learned, but will we ever see them in action? I certainly hope so. I'm getting pretty tired of people telling me that they thought that I hated them. I never intended to give that vibe to anyone, especially since I really don't hate people. Surely there are some times when I'd like to bash a motherfucker's skull in, but that's purely out of love. And let it be known that I've never acted on those feelings. And to the perpetrators of hate, I will also lovingly kick the shit out of you, too.