The ones who are open in their opinions, despite their potential controversy or provocation are the ones who tell you who they are upfront. That girl who leered at you condescendingly is doing you a favour. She is telling you to avoid her and to not waste your time. You have the advantage of moral superiority. You know that her goading is coming from a place of unhappiness.
The ones who lure you in with deceptive grins and meaningless flattery are the ones to watch out for. Their charisma and falsehood draws you in until you are in the clutches of superficiality. The friends who are bystanders in conflict disappoint. They lurk sheepishly, so as not to taint their reputation. If they are not with you, where are they? They are standing in the comfort of neutrality, loud with their silence.
Some of the most exasperating experiences a person can have are trying to place a subtle eye on the nuances and subtext between interactions. This includes tone, body language and detecting the real intent masquerading beneath the face of social etiquette. The most frustrating are those who choose the darting route of silence and last minute diversion than admit the real reasoning behind their actions. Sometimes you’re faced with a sudden disintegration of a relationship. It vanishes into a smoke of nothingness like a magic trick: poof and everything you thought you knew is not real. I’m not completely above this. I recently chose to cut off a “bad apple” of a friend instead of talking it through. Fortunately we did get around to clearing things up. So it’s better to be the forthcoming asshole than the gutless asshole.
On a slightly different note, I find that there is something more interesting about angry people. Anger screams “look at me”. Happy people are easier to ignore even though there’s something intriguing about their constant front of contentment. Is it true happiness that radiates or is it forced? What sadness are they hiding and is there any to hide at all? Whenever I come across someone with a hard exterior, I want to know what happened to them to make them that way. This person hasn’t bothered to put up a congenial façade or they have opted for aggression as their tool to combat life. The rough edges and scratches are the most remarkable. Polished people are boring. Their shininess is quick to fade while the wear-and-tear of the hardened results in accumulating more substance and catching my interest.
Now from the angry and forthcoming, I’d like to talk about the straight up vicious. There is something strange about the snobbish. They drain the life and energy from you with their unprovoked, soul-sucking malice. I have distinct memories of a girl who was patronizing at every interaction she had with me. I don’t really recall the specifics of how she did it but she definitely dangled an air of self-imposed superiority over me. It was something that deeply upset me when I was in school but now that I look back on it, I find it fascinating. What was it about this girl that she actually took the time to berate me? I was the quiet girl who never said a word to anyone. Why exactly did my inwardness provoke her? It was so astoundingly blatant as well. Who needs subtlety anyway? It’s even more disrespectful. I think that she has this deep-seated need to be popular. Treading over someone submissive like me must have fulfilled that need in some way. She had the safety of knowing that I wouldn’t fight back while giving her this ego-boost. There also exists the need to feel “better” than the others. This is especially true for outcasts. You can’t join them so you tell yourself you’ve beat them. I had a phase where I convinced myself that I was just so much “deeper” and “smarter” than these people. I’ve grown up now and realised the stupidity of being dismissive and close-minded. She wasn’t an outcast but I found her to be peculiar. Everything from her strangely affected voice to her high-pitched piercing cackle was abrasive to me. Based on my social media stalking skills, she seems to have descended into the world of filtered images and self-promotion. I hope she finds happiness there.
Now let’s talk about my harassers. At the ripe old age of fifteen, I was still very much struggling. The teenage years are usually around the time most people blossom out of their shyness, yet there I was still alien in my habits and hopelessly withdrawn. Due to this, I was probed and prodded (I’m just trying to expand on my alien metaphor before anyone jumps to any other kinds of conclusions) by two people who were trying to coax some kind of reaction out of me. This was done by regularly following me, asking me strange and leading questions and talking down to me as if I was some amusingly naïve child. Degrading as this was, I instantly forgave them for it when they showed genuine concern after my good friend (and pretty much only person I was comfortable around) suddenly cut me off coldly and senselessly. They invited me to sit with them, which was an initiative they really didn’t have to take even if they did feel some sort of guilt. The easier option would be to silently feel bad for me. We all have been assholes, especially me even if I’m writing from a victimised perspective.
I can’t be too judgemental. We’ve all formed poor perceptions and been dismissive of others at some point in our lives. We’ve pretty much all indulged in bitchiness whether outright or subtly. I’m not the person I was back then and even though I still have my faults, I feel like I’m not isolated with these flaws of mine. We all have insecurities.
I’d also like to include males in this. Bitch is more frequently associated with females but it’s definitely not exclusively applied to them. Calling a guy a bitch is often perceived as more demeaning as ascribing any kind of female qualities to a man is regarded as an insult. But according to my personal experience, guys can definitely be on the same level or an even higher level of bitchiness than girls. There are also both guys and girls who don’t stoop down to the level of these kinds of horrid, nasty comments. While cat-fights are more prominent amongst girls, guys aren’t all that great at being above that kind of immaturity. Anyway, when I moved to a co-ed school by far the bitchiest people I had ever come across were a group of guys. They were all pleasant on an individual basis but once they got into their mob, they could be quite ruthless and often unprovoked. They walked about in a gang and sized you up and sometimes left remarks and then sneered and laughed. I witnessed some of these guys being incredibly two-faced as well. It was the kind of behaviour you’d expect from immature tweens. Their drama was also on the same level as the girl-drama. While there were girls who were just as bad as these boys, they weren’t so outright. I may have mentioned that being forthcoming is better but in this scenario; the outright bitchiness was like an intimidation tactic. At least with the subtle ones, ignorance was bliss. Grappling with your own sense of anger with the world is one thing but participating in this kind of mob-psychology is far more frightening. The truly forthcoming people aren’t so chameleon-like in their switch from nice to condescending.
Anyway, as I grow older and move up in the stages in life I realise that guys are generally more upfront (maybe superficially at times, you never really know with people) and with girls there are these subtle undercurrents that you have to pick up on. It’s very confusing. I find people to be generally confusing, girls and guys equally. So I think that the forthcoming ones (even though they may be frankly cold at times) are the people I admire more. It’s very hard to decide between which approach is better: the harsh bluntness of true emotion or the façade of politeness. You don’t want to be an asshole for no reason but you don’t want to lie. Navigating the wilderness of social norms is a tough feat. I wish I could be like you charmers out there who stroll through it easily.
All I know is that when being faced with assholes, don’t be intimidated by these little bitches.