By Rock Kitaro
March 14, 2013
The following are just my thoughts conjured in the wake of a couple of conversations. Note that while this is written down, my opinions do change overtime but even if they do, I won’t alter what I’ve written. I like to look at it as a documentation of my personal growth.
(Thinking Music) Nujabes – “Reflection Eternal” –
I had a conversation with a lady friend the other day, where she criticized me for calling myself charismatic. She said that I’m not supposed to call myself charismatic and that others are supposed to do that. Otherwise it just looks bad on my part.
First off, I’d like to point out that its moments like these that reassures me that I’m not the arrogant jackass some individuals of my generation make me out to be. Cause if I was, I wouldn’t even be considering her thoughts, but label it as bullshit the moment she uttered the words.
She went on to say, as another person once pointed out, that it’s hard to decipher my personality because my behavior and my words contradict each other, they change like the weather.
This girl…I’ll go ahead and admit that I once pursued this girl as a potential girlfriend. You see, I’m an old-school romantic. The kind of guy that reminds you of your parents when you hear about how they got together. When I set my sights on a girl, I really do go “all in” and reveal so much about myself that it all really does sound unbelievable. And no, the unbelievability, isn’t something I’m bragging about, because not many can handle the truth about me. It really is a risk I take by revealing such details. Don’t have to take the risk. But like I said…old school romantic. The kind of guy who believes my wife would also be my best friend. Can’t be my best friend if you don’t know me.
But basically, I had to spill out for this girl that I behave differently depending on who I’m around and the environment that I’m in. Kind of like wearing a mask to guard and protect my fragile heart. (no lie, I might have fucked this metaphor up when I told it to her, so for that, I don’t blame her for still being confused)
But the point is, this is the second time I’ve had to explain this to a girl. And when I do, they seem so stunned or shocked. Today’s pop culture labels this behavior as “fake” or “pretentious”. I think it’s all so silly. I think its human nature. EVERYBODY FREAKING DOES THIS! Everyone changes their behavior, chooses their words more cautiously, depending on whom you’re talking to and where you’re at.
I have no difficulties in admitting it. Shame on me.
I went on to explain to her that I’m just joking when I brag about my good looks or charismatic behavior. I’m not really chauvinistic, but I know that acting this way just riles her up. So I’m “acting” that way just to be playing with her.
She says that she doesn’t like to be played with like that. That sometimes, my “playing” seems too real.
It was at this point that I could’ve thrown in her face the abusive amount of criticisms, threats and curse words that she’s thrown at me… So I did! But tactfully of course. I told her that I know when she insults me, her intention isn’t to cause harm, so I smile at her insults, taking it all in as an endearing show of affection. This is flirting in my book. When you poke at and make fun of your object of affection with the intention to make them smile or laugh.
But here’s the problem with her. A problem I didn’t want to point out, because she didn’t ask for it. She was on a kick of criticizing me, and I actually wanted to hear her thoughts. I felt that by pointing out a flaw in her criticism, it would deter her from openly revealing her thoughts to me again. So I held back from saying the following.
“Missy. I think at some point, you really did change. It’s not like I started joking with you this way all the sudden. From the get go, I’ve always given you a hard time, and you’ve given it back. We’re just playing with one another. Or so I thought. But somewhere along the way, you really did just get sensitive. My jokes are no longer amusing and you always take my compliments in a negative light.”
Didn’t say that. And I won’t. Unless she keeps friggin pushing me…arg
Then there’s the whole problem of complimenting one’s self. Again, I really did take her thoughts into consideration as it’s not the first time she’s looked down on me for thinking highly of myself. And she isn’t alone in this regard. I know about three other girls who frown at the sight of my complimenting either myself or my accomplishments. One girl even went so far as to tell me “Well, I don’t compliment you because you compliment yourself enough.”
Kind of goes along with the hand-me-down statement of “you shouldn’t care what others think about you.”
And again, it’s always people my age who thinks this nonsense. Older people, men and women… they get it. I don’t have to break it down for them. Even when I vent about the nonsense my peers are spitting at me, the older generation just looks at me cross-eyed, asking “why would they think that” or saying, “that doesn’t make any sense”.
And yeah, it does sound incredibly demeaning to tell someone close to my own age that they got some growing up to do. So of course, I don’t.
For my peers who I see everyday…My accomplishments…my pride…my source of admiration. It’s not obvious. There aren’t any trophies for it. I’m not rich and I don’t have a prefix to my name. Most of the feats I accomplish on a day to day basis are seen by only myself and God almighty. I lost 168 pounds. I studied scientology and remained unconverted. I studied acting and rebelled to do my own thing. I wrote a freaking book. I work at a law firm. I’ve studied kung fu. My mentors are some of the most intelligent people in the state. I don’t drink or smoke. I’ve never been to prison. I haven’t bastardized any children. And in my college internship alone, I’ve witnessed a scam artist and con artist collaborating under the same roof.
All of that looks pretty cool and impressive by itself. But I didn’t go into detail about how much it took from me to get this far. Losing 168 pounds was a mental ordeal that took discipline, ambition and a ridiculous amount of motivation. The same goes for writing a book, studying scientology and working with the con artists. Didn’t mention the amount of mental abuse I had to overcome from my own race and oppressive religious guilt-tripping family members, but I have overcome it. I don’t hate anything about my past anymore, and I wouldn’t change a damn thing about what’s happened. That’s liberty that can’t be taught, but only attained.
Yeah, I had encouragement and advice from friends and family, but no one that was there with me physically. I wasn’t on some biggest loser show, having my family and a group of overzealous trainers to push me. I didn’t have a girlfriend to lean on, or even a best friend who I hung out with every day. I live in a city where I have no family. I work towards a dream that no one in my family has ever achieved. I take in the opinions of others because there’s always something to learn from them even if the majority of what they’re saying is crap.
I’ve fallen down so many times. But I always pick myself back up and remain ever optimistic and firm in my own personal constitution. And I’m only 26. I hear people my age already saying that they’re so old and I pity them. The twenties is baby stuff. I know tomorrow isn’t promised to us, but till the day I die, I’ll never consider myself incapable of doing anything that I don’t want to do. So long as I have that conviction in mind, I’ll stay forever young.
So! That being said. I think its fair to say that I have a lot to be proud for. And complimenting myself was more than necessary because such feats did not have an audience.
For me to explain all of this to my female friend, I fear would fall on deaf ears. Despite my confidence, I’ve failed to find a way to open her eyes and see the folly of her views. It makes me sad actually. I know growing up, I was taught that being modest was a good attribute. But I’m guessing that some parent’s just forgot to teach others how to compliment people.
After listening to my female friend and pondering on her opinions, I come to the conclusion that I flat out disagree. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with someone complimenting themselves. Not in excess, of course. But in moderation. Feeling proud and confident in oneself is a blessing that I’m thankful for.
And I’m not saying that one should live only for the compliments or approval of others. But I think that its human nature for individuals to feel like they’ve simply done something right. How would they know that without some sort of recognition?
“If you don’t compliment yourself, who will?”
And here’s the thing that I wonder about. Because, as it should be clear by now, I do actively compliment myself. But that being said, I can honestly say that I also compliment others quite frequently. I’ve always been that way, even as a boy. I’d tell grown women that I like their smiles or that they have pretty eyes. I tell other men that I like their shirts or tell them that they’ve done a good job with something. I have no reservations about it and do so with a genuine smile. I wonder if other people who compliment themselves, compliment others too.
I wanted to ask my female friend when’s the last time she ever complimented anyone. But I didn’t. I know I know. Such a terrible guy…to be someone who fears upsetting the ones he cares about. Thus indicating that if I ever do something to offend that person, it isn’t intentional.
Anyways…Yeah. I just needed to get this down on paper. Whether I’m wrong or right in my opinions…they are my opinions. And it’s as I always say. If you’re going to be honest with anyone…for God’s sake be honest with yourself.
P.S. If you’re angry about the title, thinking this thesis was solely about modesty leading to depression. Sorry.
No one’s perfect. I get that. I believe it. I revel in it. I wouldn’t want to live my life knowing that I’m perfect because it takes away from my greatest joy, that is improving myself. That being said…more and more, I’m seeing that some people…how do I put this… Some people are contempt with believing the hand-me-down sayings. Sayings like “you shouldn’t compliment yourself” or “two wrongs don’t make it right”
It’s my opinion that some people take those sayings and live by it, because it simply sounds politically correct, mature and it’s the way the majority thinks. I believe that individuals take those sayings to heart, to shelter themselves from creating their own path and a personal constitution to live by. If you live your life based on what someone else is telling you that you should do. That gives you room to blame. For some people it’s better that way to blame others, than to blame themselves. That’s why the bible gets such a bad rep sometimes. Or, excuse me, Satan.
“Nah…its not me. Must be Satan influencing me.” Is what they’d say. I digress.
So far in my life, there are two individuals who I have a tremendous amount of care for. One can say, that I care for them unconditionally. I can say that because if I didn’t, I would’ve left them behind a long time ago. But with these individuals, I’ve noticed that they’re the types of people who like to counter what you’re saying, more so than take in what you’ve said.
Example. “Hey man, I think you have a problem with raising your voice to stress your point.”
Instead of listening, they’d counter with something like, “Well you have a problem when no one does what you ask them to do!”
See what just happened? How is pointing out my flaw gonna help the person? It’s sad because they aren’t aware of it. And for me to even point that out to them would get us started on a cycle that wouldn’t end unless one of us just gives up, completely missing the point of an argument entirely.
And yeah, I know there’s the stereotype of some people arguing just to argue. But even if that is the case, there’s still a motive. There’s always a reason behind someone “wanting” to do something. So then why would they be arguing just to argue? What are they getting out of that? Is it their ego? The satisfaction they get from badgering others into submission? I don’t even…