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Sunday, January 31, 2010

To know or not to know?

You know what really stinks? Finding out something bad about yourself that you didn't realize before. Like when you see what you look like from behind from the first time in awhile and realize you need to lay off the cookies. Or when you meet a new person and they don't seem to find you charming or interesting.

A couple times recently I've had moments where it was brought to my attention once more that I am not perfect. Oh, you didn't know I wasn't perfect? Well, I'm sorry I broke the news to you so abruptly but sadly it's true.

No one said to me, "Wow, you're super obnoxious" or "You're really not as funny as you think you are." Those are just sort of lingering impressions I've had a couple times recently after spending time with people I've just met.

Now don't get me wrong, I'm not depressed about these feelings, I'm just making an observation. Of course, it's not news to me that I have annoying qualities but I guess I'm not always aware of what exactly those annoying qualities are. And I suppose I'm not actively seeking out this information either.

Do any of us really know what annoys other people about us? Does the person who talks with their mouth full realize they're doing it? Does the person who acts like they know everything know that they don't seem interesting, but rather like a know-it-all?

And here's the question - is it good to know these things about ourselves? Will it help us? Or is it better to get rid of all two way mirrors so we don't realize how big our butts have gotten (so to speak)?

And PS, I'm not asking you to let me know of annoying qualities I have that I might not be aware of, so please don't misread this post and start making lists. I can't emphasise that enough.

12 comments:

Joel said...

Another aspect is annoying qualities can wear off on other people, thus spreading! I work with a girl that eats really loud, and is a definite loud chewer. She's dating a guy in the office, who's quite a snappy dresser and is big on appearances. The other day though I noticed something, he was eating loudly too. I had never noticed it before. Makes me wonder if it's rubbed off....

Now, to answer a question - I've never told her that she eats kinda loudly. Should I? We 'pick' on her for how loud her voice is, cause you can hear it across the building, but that's more just part of her personality. I think it would be rude to tell her that she eats really loud.

Anonymous said...

In the words of Sir Mixalot "I like big butts and I can not lie"

Natalie said...

I've recently decided to dump a "friend" who leaves me questioning myself in various ways. I know I'm not perfect, but she makes me feel worse than I actually am. I don't know why she does this, but I want people to like me. I'm clearly not her cup of tea, and it's like I've been trying to convince her that I'm not that bad. It feels good to give up on her and surround myself with people who validate me, or at least like me a little.

So, clearly, I'm all about getting rid of the 2 way mirrors.

Sandy said...

discovering a new flaw is the worst. i recently realized i have a terrible habit of interrupting people. i don't think it's as big a deal to other people as i think it is -- because i've run it by a few people and they just say "oh yeah, i guess you do do that" -- but every time i think about it i cringe. to answer your question, i'm glad i figured this out. it's something i need to work on, in at least certain contexts (like job interviews). on the other hand, if the annoying quality is permanent (a really obnoxious loud laugh) or harmless (a big butt), it's definitely better not to know. because of the cringing.

Lizzie McL said...

I find it hard to believe anyone couldn't find you hilarious and charming, but that's simply their loss. We need to surround ourselves with those that lift. Life is tough enough to drag people around behind us, letting their negativity drag us down. So...

Put on a happy face, know that cookie-eaters are happier people, and if the jeans fit, wear them! If they don't buy bigger ones (replace the people that don't fit:))

The Boob Nazi said...

I find myself obnoxious and a know-it-all at times. I know I am. I try to stop. But IT'S TOO INATE. So I try to own it instead of feeling bad about it. I tell people, "I'm sorry, I think I know everything. I'm trying to stop."
I find that people are much more understanding if you own up to your faults.
But I don't know what to tell you about the funny thing. People are stupid.

Christi said...

I think you're even funnier than you think you are. Just for the record.
I was actually thinking about this the other day. What is my obligation when it comes to other people's annoying qualities? On one hand, if the problem is something that is holding them back in life, wouldn't it be better if they knew? On the other hand, I think most people have at least a vague idea of what they do that bugs the crap out of other people. At least I think I know what those things are about me. So...I usually just keep things to myself. And I'm like you, I don't want anyone to start coming up with a list of all of my issues.

Kathy said...

I have a guy friend that had a female coworker who chewed and crunched very loudly. It was so bad, that everyone else was always gossiping about it behind her back. Because he liked her, and they had a good relationship at work, he decided to let her know. He approached it something like this: "You and I are friends, so I feel like I should tell you this. And it's because I don't feel right about people talking about it behind your back." And he proceeded to let her know what the issue was. The coworker totally went off on him, telling him his annoying qualities. Then she refused to speak to him. I'm not sure how long that lasted. I could not believe he had the guts to do that...and the results....ugh!

So....I've been meaning to talk to you about your soup slurping....

Katherine said...

I think I'd rather not know, I guess. I figure that eventually I'll figure out all of my flaws on my own (other people might not say anything, but they can still reflect those things back onto you) and work them out. And if I don't...I guess you'll just have to deal!

Also, I agree with the others - you're hilarious!!! And if people don't recognize it, they're just half asleep all the time.

Mike said...

Don't worry Elizabeth, I've been keeping a running and very detailed list for you since the day I met you. Let me know if you decide it's best to know these things, and I'll be happy to share and help you out in any way I can (except for ways that are actually helpful).

Erin said...

I was disappointed to find out that husbands are very good at helping us realize our list of faults.

So you've basically got 2 choices. 1: Stay single and wonder what's wrong with you that prevents you from getting hitched. Or 2: Get married and find out for sure.

Mrs. McGregor said...

Erin's comment is pretty realistic. I have a third choice that she didn't mention....

3: get married, and have kids that point out your faults and love might love to meet that loud office eater and say something like, "oh you must be the loud office eater!"

I'd like to know what your Grandma thinks about this issue Elizabeth.

Elisabeth