On dealing with difficult people

I am a difficult person. I say that not to be self-deprecating, but because it is a fact. There are lots of things I don’t like, lots of attributes in people that I don’t care for, and many activities I would happily sit out. And yet, most people who meet me will find me mostly agreeable. Which is probably one of the biggest tricks I have ever pulled off because I am really bloody difficult.

I could spend an evening out with my best friend on our mate date night (an evening each week we have designated to hanging out, now that she is in a relationship and I am busy being an introvert), walking the streets of London and “enjoying” the sites. By “enjoying”, I mean that almost every time we are out I will either be pointing out all the things on the street that I don’t like, or she’ll be talking to me and I’ll be thinking about my day and all the things that happened in it that I didn’t like. She finds this amusing, but I hadn’t really given it any thought, until recently.

I am not easily flustered, but I am usually irritated; getting out of bed is annoying, my toothpaste feeling a certain way on my teeth bothers me, having to interact with (other) difficult people whilst pretending that I am calm as a cucumber and extremely appeasing, tends to drive me to drink.

I hate this about myself; not being difficult, but not being courageous enough to express just how difficult I would like to be on a daily basis. And this doesn’t just stretch to the day to day; this happens in my relationships, in my working life, and especially with sex. I am appeasing as fuck (pun intended) when it comes to sex, and I know that we as women have been trained as such and it takes a lot of unlearning to get out of that head space. But that doesn’t feel like a good enough excuse for me to personally accept, especially considering my past.

I spent five years of my relatively young life, counselling women who had been sexually assaulted; who had their freedom taken away before they even knew what freedom was. I tried to help them find a voice and a way to say no to the things they didn’t want, telling them they were independent women and no one else had the right to tell them what they should and should not accept.

I am 100% full of shit when it comes to myself. And to prove it, I was thinking back on all the sexual partners I’ve had (it’s not a bus load, calm down) and how maybe two out of a double digit figure have been remotely sexually satisfying. The rest I was just playing along with; not there for myself but completely there for them. The kind of “there” where I know full well that I’m not really enjoying anything that’s happening; I know this person doesn’t really care for me, and I’m just remaining there to convince them I am something I’m not. And then afterwards I would feel empty and terrible, and wonder what I did wrong.

And when it all ended (the relationship we were never in), I would feel like I was the problem, and maybe if I was easier and more amenable, I might be able to “keep a man”.

Just to be clear, I would lament about staying with men who cared so little about me that they never even thought to enquire about what I might like, not like, pick up on my clear unhappiness during moments of intimacy, and instead told me at the end of everything that I was complicated. Which to be honest, I can’t really blame them for, now that I think about it.

One minute I was on board with everything they were saying and doing, being their best cheerleader, building up their confidence, spurring them on with words of encouragement. The next I was a stoic robot, letting my silence speak volumes, clearly wishing that they would leave.

If I had had two or three of those experiences, I would have said they were good lessons learned, that I had seen my patterns and now knew how to turn them around. But eight or nine feels like a vast waste of my time and I have no one else but myself to blame.

How can I expect to like or even get close to someone when I am completely dishonest about myself from the outset? It’s not intentional at all, but I have chosen to remain oblivious to it for far too long. But not anymore! I should just lay all my shit out on the table from the get-go:

  • I suffer from depression
  • I hate group sports
  • I hate crowds
  • I hate people a lot of the time
  • I had a damaging childhood that from time to time comes back to bite me in the arse
  • I trust no one, except maybe one person, 85% of the time, and I’ve known her 11 years
  • I don’t know what the fuck I am doing with my life
  • I am not doing the job I should be doing
  • I’m obsessed with love stories but I have stopped imagining myself in them because I genuinely believe love is dead
  • This will probably not work out and you’ll probably walk away feeling a little sexually satisfied and a lot confused.

My online dating profile writes itself.

Fucking people, right?

Image credit: angry by JMA from the Noun Project

Published by

Maame Blue

Writer| Poet| Blogger| Ghanaian by heart, Londoner by nature

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