On Being Picky – Late Night Ramblings of An Introvert
I am very picky about who I let into my life. It’s not cause I have trust issues or Daddy issues or issues at all. I just know what I am worth and I choose to screen who gets to be there. Ask any of my friends and they will tell you. We became friends through trial by fire. There are a lot of walls to break down. Well, I don’t like referring to them as walls. I like to think of them as…..levels.
When people first meet me, it’s hard to get past the RBF (look it up). If you see me in public, you would never approach me. I guarantee it. I look mean. But maybe that comes with the mental state. Not that I am in an unpleasant state of mind, mind you. I am just very protective of my space and my personality. Because I believe that these things are exclusive experiences. It shouldn’t be a free for all simply because not everyone is going to appreciate the value of it.
It’s hard for the simple-minded to get past the gate that is my pickiness. First of all, you and I have to just click. It can’t be forced and it can’t be abrasive. I HATE when people try to force themselves to be my friend. It kind of couples with me hating when people say that you have to do this or you have to do that. I hate people telling me what I have to do because the reality is I don’t have to do a damn thing. When God gave us free will, He meant it to be just that – free will. To do what you pleased, when you please and how you please. So, you forcing yourself into my life is like telling me “Hey, you have to be my friend cause it’s the nice thing to do.” “Hey, you have to be nice to me even if I pop up in your inbox unannounced because this is society’s playground and this is what we do here.” “Hey, you have to be nice to me because I’m a nice person.” “Hey, you have to be my friend because I’m already yours.” Again, I don’t have to do a damn thing but somehow there are people convinced that I do and that is a real easy way to shut me down to you even more.
It has to click. It has to make sense. We have to have common ground on one thing before we can move on to other things. Not a lot of people on the internet get that. And so they get offended when they can’t get past the wall. They get offended when a person doesn’t play along and the reaction is negative. They don’t understand that a person protecting their space is going to come off as aggressive, is going to come off as offensive, is going to come off as prickly for the first few months. They don’t know how to adjust being denied that instant gratification.
So, a lot of people get stopped at the gate. For me, that’s fine. Because there are very few people in my world. I can count on my right hand the non-blood relatives who reside there. Everyone else is outside the gate. Some of them will never make it past the gate. I have friends on Facebook right now who got to the gate and left because they couldn’t hang. I have friends on Facebook right now that are lingering but one foot is out of the door. And that’s okay. There’s nothing I can do about that because that is what social interaction is – trial and error and decision making based on compatibility.
I value myself enough to let folks go. I tried holding on already and I got burned. But this has not deterred me from holding on. This has just made me examine closely who is worth the risk. I believe that this is where truly loving and appreciating yourself begins. Not everyone deserves a membership card to your life. Decide who you let in and sometimes, let them decide. Set your rules and then lean back to see if they are ready to abide by them. You’ll know the ones who don’t. They will moan and complain about everything and make you try to feel awful about protecting your space. They make your life easier by showing themselves so that you can eliminate them early.
Once you get past the gate though, it’s all about making sure that you stay in. That is no walk in the park. That actually becomes the hardest part. Now that you’ve been let in, you’re in a very delicate position. You hurt me and you’re back outside the gate. From there it’s even harder to get back in. From here you get to see my innermost thoughts and you get to hear my candid advice. I treat you as a friend from here on in. This is really very delicate because now you are a resident in my world and you have the power to wreck it and crack that part of me. This is the responsibility that I give you. I expect you not to screw up, I expect you to be faithful and I expect you to respect the positon that you have in my life. I hold you to a higher standard when I let you in. I expect you to maintain it.
But I hardly let people through the gate easily because the ones that have a hard time actually stay for a long time. Ask my best friends. Ten years of friendship didn’t come without a lot of battle scars. I know with one of them she took a while before she referred, at least to me, as her best friend. We went through a lot which is why I can count them on my fingers still. It’s a process. There is another friend of mine who is ever persistent and is going through the trial by fire as we speak. It’s only been a couple of months but he’s still around even while others have realised that they won’t get what they want and have jumped ship. It is what it is though. Some people can hang while some can’t. Even as someone who is actively picky, you can’t cry over people who have made it clear that they don’t want to stay.
In a sense, this is what it is like being picky. We are not snobbish, we are not too materialistic, we are not all worldly. We just know what we want and who we want there. We act accordingly. The rest of the world calls it “anit-social”, “problematic” and “weird”. We call it “safe”.