One thing I have learned about myself is that, to people who don’t really know me well, I’m either a snob, a shy/reserved person, or a brooding loner – which somehow leads back to the snob part.
In recent years, it’s been a bit harder for me to blend into the walls. Although, I still manage to pull it off beautifully on occasion. But, these days people generally react to me more often than not: I’m the tall-ish girl with the good posture, I’ve been told.
And, the thing is, when people notice others, they are bound to form their opinions. I can’t know much of what others think of me – nor do I yearn to know – except they come right out and say it, or indicate their sentiments through words or actions, often unintentionally of course. However, from what I gather, especially from people with whom I have now been better acquainted, there is about a 50/50 chance that any opinion formed of me will either be of a shy girl, or a snobbish girl. The most common basis for either assumption being that they rarely ever saw me smile, and I never had much to say.
Take this story, for instance:
As a sixteen-year-old University freshman – being the farthest away from my large close-knit family than I had ever been and timidly trying to make friends in a country where the way I spoke was an accent, and people struggled to understand what I said almost as much as I did to understand them – this was perhaps the second most unpleasant experience I had in those first few months. One of the people with whom I thought I was becoming good friends – although I did wish I had more to say to her – confronted me to ask if and why I was being so snobbish. Apparently, she and her friends thought I considered myself above them, because I said very little and smiled not-frequently (the smiling part was largely a cultural difference BTW).
Now, why would she think “snob”? There are a lot of weird kids out there, who don’t smile much, and rarely have anything to say that wasn’t necessary. Yet, no one really thinks they’re snobs…most likely they’re just dismissed as weird. Simple as that. They might be called loners, hermits perhaps – but usually just regarded as strange. I have spent a lot of time trying to understand how it is that when certain people exhibit similar symptoms, some others perceive them not as strange little loners that take their time to warm up to others sometimes, but as snobs.
And I’ve come to the realization that there has to be an element of adoration or esteem, and a sense of a desirable but possibly inaccessible friendship, for one person to perceive the other as such, especially when the latter is in fact not. As much as I should be getting a bit of flattery from this realization, it only makes me sad – I’m still not sure exactly why, but when I’ve thought it through, maybe I’ll write a post about it.
Read the second part of this musing here!!