Bad Words: Difficult, Frustrating

Difficult…Frustrating…

I am a downright pain in the ass.

Between stubborness I came by honestly (my last name is synonymous with stubborn) and the odd quirks I’ve devleoped for whatever reason over the years, I can be trying to deal with. Much of my being difficult and frustrating comes from, I feel, my other bad words.

I do not have the best social skills and I’m pretty socially illiterate. I don’t read people well and I don’t interpret their words, gestures, behaviors, and actions correctly. This leads to me having knee-jerk reactions to seemingly inoccuous things, sometimes not taking jokes well because I see them as insults, which causes people to think I can dish it out but can’t take it.

On the flip-side, there have some compliments I’ve received that later I think people were insulting me, but I somehow missed the sarcasm. This has led me to be suspect of any kind of compliment I receive. I may be gracious when accepting it, but in the back of my mind I’m processing it, trying to find the insult. Sometimes, I just outright ask (we’ll discuss my lack of brain-mouth filter in another post). This doesn’t usually reflect well on me either.

My emotions give me difficulties, which in turn, make me difficult. I have trouble expressing my feelings adequately. Vulcans have better luck with it than I do. I can never seem to explain myself well in the moment. It’s only hours later that I realize exactly what I meant and what I should have said and by that time, it’s too late. I’ve already made an ass of myself and that incident has been chalked up in the mind of whoever I’ve offended, never to be erased. It’s one of those classic cases of I know what I mean, but no one else does because I’m failing to communicate it properly.

I also have issues with having the wrong emotions for a particular situation. I should be mad, but I’m not. I should be relieved, but I’m not. I should be happy, but I’m not. I should be sad, but I’m not. These inappropriate reactions cause some serious frustrations with my friends. There’s a general feeling of “you’re doing it wrong” about those awkward interactions and reactions that I haven’t been able to correct.

Then there’s the lingering effects of being raised by a family that deals with every situation with humor. We make jokes about everything. Life, death, and all that goes with it. It’s how we cope. However, it’s not appropriate in every situation with every person and I have a tendency to forget that. My default reaction is to make light of whatever situation I’m in. Not everyone understands or appreciate that. Or thinks well of me for it.

And then, of course, there’s the running of the mouth. Man, do I come by that honestly. Sometimes I don’t know when it’s best for me to shut up. On one hand, it leads me to get tongue-tied and awkward, but I keep going to try to straighten out my knot. On the other hand, I have a tendency to go too far and end up blowing past the point of no return.

All of these little things combine to make me hard to handle and sometimes not worth dealing with. It’s frustrating that I don’t have the appropriate responses. It’s frustrating for my friends to have to deal with that, to put the energy into handling me. You can hear it in their voices when they say everything but what they want to say in those situations to spare my feelings.

I wish they wouldn’t. I know I’m a pain in the ass. They can just go ahead and say it. Go ahead and call me on it. I’m fine with it. If I know what I’m doing (because a lot of this stuff I really don’t realize),  maybe I can make the effort to change and therefore, stop being so difficult.

It’s not like I’m not trying now, of course. I’m just not very good at it. Typically, I realize when it’s too late so I try to remember about it for next time. But, every situation isn’t the same, so there’s a good chance I don’t catch myself in time again.

I’m not trying to excuse myself; just trying to explain it. I know understanding doesn’t make it any less annoying/offensive/frustrating, but dammit, I want some credit for trying.

Maybe these bad words don’t seem so bad. Well, just wait. The farther we go, the worse the words get. The worse the words get, the worse these words will seem in retrospect.

That’s how bad words work.

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