November 2, 2015

What I wish others knew about me… #FridayReflections #MondayMusings

When we set out to meet a new friend or befriend a random acquaintance on a bus or train, what exactly do we share about ourselves - our interests, our background, our profession and passions ? Ever wonder how different it would be if we could tell these people who we really are. No, I am not talking about sharing our likes and dislikes. But things that matter to us, like who are the kind of people we despise, what are our personal traits - are we short-tempered about silly things, do we have an easy-going attitude when it comes to facing deadlines, our pessimistic approach to life when it comes to certain matters - in short, how different would it be to divulge genuine details about our inner self ? 

I once came across this Japanese proverb somewhere which basically said - 'Everybody has 2 faces - a good one and a hidden one. It’s the hidden face that truly reveals who we really are.'

It was kind of creepy reading into that quote but as I thought more about it, the more sense it seemed to make. Isn't it true ? Don’t we always put up our best faces in front of friends and extended family ? Other than, maybe the people who live with us constantly 24/7, who exactly knows our true self ? You may argue saying that we are as we are even with friends and family, which in that case, is good. But I fail to accept that we are a 100% ourselves when it comes to revealing our personality with friends & family. 

If there is ever a scientific invention in the future of the digital age, where gadgets could reveal our deepest fantasies and darkest secrets, I would like to own the one that helps me understand that hidden face of an individual. Likewise, I would love it if others knew the following facts about me and about my hidden side - 

  • Friendships matter to me, more than my family - Last year, while spring cleaning my apartment in India, I found a nicely wrapped bundle of letters and greeting cards stashed away in one of the old storage boxes. As soon as I laid my hands on it, I began to dig in and read through every letter. The exercise was painful and it welled me up like never before. But in the end, the affirmation was the same as what I had believed all these years. 'Friends are the family you choose.' Each letter was from a dear friend over the initial difficult years when I had moved to India for higher studies from the Middle East and adjusting to the new place was making it all the more impossible to like my life. In the past couple of months, I have come to realize that these are the relationships that go a long way even when you go for a long time without being in actual touch. On the other hand, for me, when family tends to go off touch, they go off touch. 
  • I stay away from self-involved people - During my high school days, there used to be this class-mate of mine who would obsess about how good she was at everything and how things always turned out to be perfect for her. Even though reality was far away from being true, what she said and how she said always stuck with me. I know, it was a childish experience but I learnt a lot from it personally. I just couldn't survive around such people for more than 2 minutes. No matter how hard I tried, the discomfort of being around self-obsessed folks always shows in my body language.
  • My life isn’t a Facebook story - Yes, it's true. Been there and done that. I know of a lot of people who have tried to figure me out with just my Facebook account. And that is frustrating. I use Facebook a fair amount - like to publicize a new location where I am teaching a class or keep my friends informed about an upcoming performance or glimpses of past shows but when people expect me to upload a 100 odd photos of my personal life which has no meaning to why it is being uploaded in the first place, I wonder - 'How does social media help these people?' Back in the late 1990s when the internet made a slow and defining appearance into our household, my mother would crib - 'This computer thing is the worst invention of all time.' I dismissed it like yet another complaint but over the years somehow her statement seems to ring true when it comes to maintaining personal relationships even with those who we care about. I am happy to remain a firm believer of simpler times and everything old-fashioned.  
Tell me, if you could wish for others to know some facts about you, what would it be ? 

**Linking with Friday Reflections and Monday Musings**

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  1. What a food for thought this post is! Loved reading it. For me too - Friends are family and too much of self involvement ticks me off. I love honesty and that love is a beautiful thing. I am also a fan of positivity :)

  2. I would say there is a lot. But for me what always holds more importance is how well I know myself. Somehow people come a distant second..


  3. I love your 'me' pointers. The rouble sometimes is that we don't even know ourselves well enough till someone points it out. And if it's a not so good trait it takes a big heart and plenty of honest introspection to come to terms with it.

  4. That was such an honest post..Kudos to you for coming up with this.. My friends too are my family.. may be more than that! And I just can't stand self obsessed people.. I appreciate kindness and I try to understand everybody's perspective, which often portrays me as a weak person..


  5. I have the same feeling when I read old letters. They sound so innocent and genuine. I haven't met the second one in a long time. I remember I had a school friend like that too :)
    Thoughtful post.

  6. A beautiful proverb you shared here....It is so true we wear different garbs before different people because we know that we are being judged.

  7. A really fascinating post! I often questioned weather if people really could see 'me' would they still love me, in fact it is something I have spent a lifetime fearing. Always feeling like I am not as good as what people think. Through blogging I have found it easier to reveal the 'real me' and am finding more love and truth within myself. It is struggle at times but writing helps. Great post! Thanks for linking #Fridayreflections

  8. Lovely post, EM. Friends are more important to me than relatives who demand respect and authority. I hate it when people bully each other and when they crack jokes at others expense. I have no respect for such people. I wish if they have known that about me!

  9. I agree. We are never 100% ourselves with anyone, except probably our parents and our spouses. Having said that, I don't think that anyone is being intentionally fake. It is just the way things are. We are more cautious and guarded with others, and that puts a veil on our real selves.