I have, for more than a decade, been wary of considering myself liked. In general, this is because I am a very opinionated woman in a sub-culture that does not generally value very assertive women. On top of that, I am a progressive in a very conservative state. In person, I am fairly reserved until I feel that I know someone reasonably well (after all, how many people do we really know) and trust him or her not to take offense at my decided tone of stating my opinions. I am not usually offended by others' opinions — even if they differ from mine — but I know that plenty of people are offended by differing opinions, so, unless I'm blogging, most people find that I keep my opinions to myself. (This is especially true in church.) I am not overly fond of small talk. I don't mind silence, something that makes some people uncomfortable.
As a result, I don't come off as very likable, since I appear reserved, and probably aloof and/or unapproachable, and once I get to know you a little, my manner of expressing myself can seem abrasive to (my husband tells me) most people. I try to do the right thing, I help others when I can, and I attempt professionalism in my business dealings. But I'm not particularly likable. For the most part, I am fine with this. Having large numbers of friends is not important to me. I have a very few close friends who are not offended by me. These folks fall into the small realm of people that I believe actually like me.
Events taking place in the last week, though, have shaken up even my limited perception of my likability. I am not going share what happened, but let's just say that I figured out by accident that someone I thought might like me, at least enough not to take offense at my manner of expressing myself, doesn't. So it's thrown me for a bit of a loop. For the first time in years, I felt feelings that actually made me uncomfortable, and I am not normally uncomfortable with myself, and who I am.
But, since my trust level of how people I know in person view me has taken a major hit, what have I done? Headed off into cyberspace to do a little venting, and share a little more of myself than I would normally show to people that I see every day. Isn't it interesting how that works? I am more comfortable sharing my feelings with a few strangers that I will probably never see than I am with people I interact with regularly. That is one of the beauties of a mostly anonymous forum. I say things I wouldn't normally say. And since this is written, it is possible to work out my thoughts in a way that seems more coherent (to me, at least).
How many others feel the same way?