There used to be a time when I was considered to be rather impudent and rude because I said it like I saw it.I was brutally honest,like in-your-face honest. This trait of mine was a part of who I was and I saw nothing wrong with it. People close to me understood where I was coming from and accepted it. And as for the others who did not get me, I couldn’t care less.
But things changed when I started working. My first job. I was 21 and fresh out of college and that was my foray into the big, bad, ugly corporate world. People who did well at work were those smooth and slick (sic?) operators who knew exactly what to say at any given moment. They kissed ass religiously and knew exactly how to get noticed without putting in a decent day's worth of effort. They were sarcastic beyond reasonable limits and would switch loyalties in a second. I, on the other hand, was a textbook case of open mouth insert foot syndrome. As far as I was concerned, I was just speaking my mind and being myself. But it turned out that my brazenness wasn’t really appreciated and my honesty was misconstrued for over-confidence. To the extent that it started affecting the kind of assignments that were coming my way. So I decided to change. I was nice to everyone including those annoying MCP SOBs who could not handle having a girl on their team who was just as competent and smart as anyone else. I chose to ignore snide remarks and avoid confrontations. I did not argue or demand a better assignment. I did a good job of whatever was assigned to me. I was patient. I was tolerant.
On hindsight,I realize that it was just my immaturity and short-sightedness that made me change so drastically instead of finding an in-between, more moderate and appropriate solution.For a while, this avatar of mine was reserved only for the workplace. But as time passed by, it just became me. And I hated it. I hated the fact that I was overly concerned about what others think of me. I hated the fact that I don’t let my guard down easily. I hated the fact that I wanted to be nice to everyone and I was apprehensive of being disliked by someone. I hated the fact that though I was seething with rage from the inside, I found it in me to forget and move on like nothing ever happened. Until one day it hit me that all this was such a truckload of crap! Why on earth should I let go and then be trampled upon for no reason? Thank heavens! I have actually started making a conscious effort to detox myself and try and get back to my old self. There has been a considerable improvement in the sense that people rubbing me the wrong way do not get away as easily as they would , say 2 years ago. For which I am plenty thankful---to myself.
And yet I cannot help but envy people who manage to say the right things at the right time. When I am overcome by extreme emotions like anger or hatred or frustration or even happiness for that matter, I just clam up. I can never ever think of the right thing to say at that moment. So much so that I find it hard to even let out expletives. I don't think I have ever cussed aloud to-date! It’s like I am thinking f*** you biatch get out of my face but all I manage to say is take a hike. You get my drift? So its either open-mouth-insert-foot or close-mouth-stay-mum. But the good thing is that this hasn't deterred me from arguing my point or saying what’s on my mind to begin with. I have a long way to go though but the first few steps have been taken.