Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Why are you behaving differently?

Yes,thats what some friends asked me a few days back when i went to meet them. Well, to give you some context, the topic of discussion at that point was centered around women, attraction etc. And i just bluntly turned around and said, "Well: sex does not motivate me". I got some serious stares right then and there. Then this girl asks me :"Why are you behaving differently today?". I said, well, i am behaving myself today. All these days i was trying to be social and all that. And yes, in that process, it might have appeared very differently. Today, for a change, i am being myself. So is it difficult to accept me this way?

The point is, all this while i have been trying to cover up what i was actually feeling about a lot of things. Just to keep things social, i do not push myself; my joys, my sorrows, my anger, my frustration, my thoughts, my ideas and opinions onto my friends. But again, i am trying to please the people around me, some of whom i know and some of whom i don't know - being etiquette, you see(or seeking acceptance,as i would put it). As far as some of my close friends are concerned, i am most of the time, well, myself. As soon as my comfort zone starts disappearing, i start becoming another person - the put on charming, talk-a-tive jovial self of mine. For a change, i wanted to be myself and the reactions i got were...well, rather interesting:

1. Why are you being suddenly nasty?
2. What, if sex does not motivate you, what does?
3. Are you a even a man? (Well, i don't need to prove that, do i?)

Well, all these reactions did not happen this particular day, but these have happened every time i just wanted to be myself. No no, don't get me wrong, i am not blaming anyone here. I mean, everyone is entitled to their opinion. I am no one to pass moral judgements about what anyone thinks. In fact, i was amused that it was becoming difficult for others to accept me the way i truly am.

So i started going back thinking, why? I mean, why was it difficult. Well it all starts a few years back. I, was like any other normal fun loving guy back then in college. I had the same aspirations, same thoughts, same emotions and the same libidos like any other normal 20 year old would probably have. I had great friends(or atleast i thought until then), was in a great place learning my life skills and was having some amazing time. Then, this peer pressure started setting in : "You need to have a girl, thats what makes a true man". But hey, girls are not like apples, who might just fall into your lap. They probably require some work, said a few of my friends. Well, and i think that is where i learnt some really bad lessons, which have sort of become irrecoverable, now.

Lesson #1: You need to either have the looks or the money to attract women
Lesson #2: You need to talk to them well. You need to be social. You need to be fun loving. You always need to have something interesting to talk about
Lesson #3: There are 3 kinds of people : 1. The naturals 2. The learners and 3. The rest. The naturals are born with some skills. The learners learn them and the rest are incapable of learning them.

There were a lot more, but i guess these were a few important ones, given as gyan to me.

Now, i am not naturally an extrovert. I am quite shy as a person and extremely introvert-ish. Now, again, i was constantly told (both by men and well, and a lot more by women) about my lack looks. Fine, i am on the heavier side, but thats me. And i am definitely not the best looking guy around(i probably never will be). And yes, i wasn't obviously a rich dad's kid.

As far as lesson #2 was concerned, I had very different interests then, which obviously weren't lets say, "gelling" with the rest of my peers. In essence, lesson 2 didn't happen successfully.

Now, for the lesson #3, the only thing good about me, which i think holds good even today is that at my core, i am a very nice guy. Yes, you read it right :" Nice guy" :). Which means, i didn't have the skills necessary to attract women. Women could be friends with me, but thats that. Rejection after rejection, spending one of my b'days in the college lawn, stargazing and then going back to the lab, spending overnight there, coding something and then to spending 2 consecutive new year evenings with myself, in my room, watching tv, i had definitely learnt to live lonely. Not that i liked it, but well, my "friends", were entertained differently. As with this guy, who borrowed my dinner jacket to go out with his friends, but didn't even have the courtesy to invite me or even ask me how i plan to spend my new year eve, as if i am going to push myself into his group. Am i that ugly that not one girl even wants to spend some valuable years of hers with mine?, i thought. It affected my self esteem, i thought then, that i didn't have a girl in my life. Self-esteem, is something that originates from within, and i don't know why i placed my self esteem on other's opinions about me. I lost a few more opportunities later when this one girl asked me to go out for a dance with her(lesson #3 - part of the 'skill' training). I said, well i don't know how to dance, i said. Funny, as it may sound, even after a decade, i don't know how to dance. And in this decade, quite a few promised to teach me and a few of them didnt and the rest left me midway stating that it was beyond my scope to learn dancing. Well, i am sure they had their reasons(time, patience, effort required etc). No seriously, again, i am not blaming them. Fine, so be it. If and when the day is right, i will learn, i told myself. I don't wanna become an MJ or something. I will still learn it, maybe to prove a point to myself(or maybe to prove a point to them). And there were others, who wanted me to smoke-up and drink, both of these were a no-no for me. So, then i learnt to create this different self, which was fun loving, joking, and most importantly pretentious and yes, definitely not me.

Well, through these years, i did make some success on this front. But time and again, i have been told and beaten to death with my insecurities, everytime i tried being myself : "You aren't good looking, you don't know how to sweet talk me, you befriend a lot of male friends,so you must be gay, you are boring, ....YOU AREN'T GOOD ENOUGH". Not one, not two, but a lot of them.

Yes, maybe i am not good enough. But this is all i am - "A nice guy".

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