“I’m a million different people from one day to the next”
It’s a lyric from a song that we’ve probably all heard before, Bittersweet Symphony by The Verve.
Well, he wasn’t being literal in the lyric. Obviously. He was, however, being somewhat realistic. At least from my perspective, we are all different people depending on who’s listening. To some extent. Or, maybe not to any extent. I’ll speak for myself.
Well, I definitely have different faces for different crowds. It’s always been that way, and it centers around how I see them react to how I act. There are stages in any relationship- any friendship, partnership, etc. That first stage, when you’re getting acquainted with someone, those first impressions- for me, that’s a template I work on. I have that filed into the back of my head, and I edit it continuously. Hey I’m Luca, how are you doing? I like art, basketball, favorite genre is alt-rock. Now, obviously I don’t just spit out that sentence when I meet someone. But, that version of me that’s introducing himself, is universal. Generally speaking, that’s probably the closest thing to who I am. Other friends that I have, see other ‘phases’ of me if that makes sense.
I cuss around my best friend. I watch my mouth around my friend who is religious. I flirt with the single girl who I’m getting into. I refuse to be controversial around my serious friend. It’s that kind of thing; I shift my mold based on how people expect me to be, or how it would best suit the relationship. It is the concept of being a ‘million different people’- you wouldn’t say those cringe jokes you make with your best friend at 3 am with your date. You might later, but for now, you want her to get comfortable, and you assume you being too off the wall would deter her. So, you change your face to save face. Don’t know how clever that was because it only makes half sense, but that’s the point I’m trying to make.
There are a lot of frustrations with this, clearly. I hate when I’m hanging out with a friend and they’re like I didn’t know you could be serious! Because, my relationship with that person was casual- oh yeah, I’m forgetting that duh, of course they think I’m constantly joking- because, around them, I am.
Not everyone sees you for even half of your day. Even the person you live with, be it your family, wife, husband, bff- they don’t see you for 50 percent of your day. Unless they were just attached to you at the hip, they’re not gonna know you like you know you. And, especially for those friends you see off and on, they may think you’re a totally different person than you really are.
That last sentence frustrates me. I could tell you with confidence that I’ve turned a lot of people off via SOCIAL MEDIA because of how I accidentally portray myself on it. I make awkward humor, self deprecation, and then before you know it people have an idea of who you are before even getting a coffee with you. I know for a fact it’s ruined chances at dating someone before- a girl once texted me verbatim “you’re not my type at all ahahha” after I jokingly said “I’m gonna have to drown in my tears, then” when she rejected my coffee date invitation. Look, I was 16, and it was a joke. Intended to make her laugh, no matter how cringe-inducing it was. She’d never seen me in person. We’d never hung out. We’d been texting a week (maybe two?), and she’s already hitting me with that “you’re not my type”- WHAT? That awful phrase “you don’t know me” is actually relevant here- she didn’t know me. She didn’t even know the surface of me; that ‘template’ I was referring to when I’m getting acquainted with someone. She didn’t even give me the chance to show her that, because she gathered from my retweets and Facebook posts that I was just not her type. Fair enough, I can’t get upset about that. I mean, I can, and I was, but I’m not really allowed to voice that. It’s her right to rule me out based on her pre-conceived notions. For fucks sake though, really? Give me a chance. When I’m up at 2 am still listening to your personal problems and your current boyfriend is ignoring you for 12 +hours, I’ll just say I told you so. Oh wait, it won’t get to that, because that was 3-4 years ago and you didn’t give me my chance.
That’s not the only time that’s happened. And, it has happened on wider scales too. I’ve had periods where no one would invited me to a party based on who was there. Okay? Well, the guys who did invite me kept inviting me because I made them laugh. They’d give me a chance and I was able to repay them by making it more fun. And, don’t act like it’s never happened to you. You know some people won’t hit you up because they think they know who you are. Sometimes it’s fair and just; don’t ask me to get high and watch the big bang theory with you, because we both know I don’t do those things often. In fact, I never watch the big bang theory. It’s not funny to me. We both know I’m not the guy for that. But, the only reason that you know is because you got to know me. And, you saw me through the lens I showed you.
Everyone has a different angle for a different situation. My crude humor turns into awkward kindness at family gatherings. It’s what I wanna do, to make a joke about something preposterous, but because I know my aunt wouldn’t laugh, I bite my tongue. It’s a thing we do as people to make conversations and relationships as fluid as possible. It’s a good thing, in general. To try and compensate for not only yourself, but the other person you’re interacting with.
But man, the whole “overthinking” part of anxiety really nails me here. If I let myself think into this concept too long, I’ll start uncovering some tough truths. Maybe the reason this person doesn’t wanna hangout with me is because they think I’m always making fun of life and never able to be mature. Maybe this person thinks I’m too serious for their taste because I thought it’s what they wanted me to be like. It’s not being a people pleaser when you concede the fact that you have to monitor what you say based on how the other person would take it, to a certain extent. You are just trying to keep the peace, after all.
According to a classmate in 12th grade economics, I’m quiet and not much else. It’s all they’ve ever seen from me. But, according to the 6 or 7 different people I’ve seen in the past week, I can actually talk. According to my Mom, I’m a serious, diligent worker. However, Kevin sees me as a sailor mouthed comedian. I could pile up these comparisons for days. Is it being an enigma? No, it’s being human. At least, that’s how I see it.
Thanks for reading
Luca DeJesu, 3:32 AM