Life: Changing Faces


I’m not a social person. Not really. Though I bet if you ask the people I work with, or even my family, they would say that I am.

Yes. I CAN get along with people. Yes. I DO appear like I enjoy interacting with people.

But here’s a secret – I don’t.

Not really.

I interact with people because I have to. Given the choice of being isolated or around people, I will choose isolation every single time.

Generally speaking, I don’t like people.

I would describe myself as being a chameleon. I tend to be whatever the situation requires me to be.

At work, I’m a confident, no-nonsense, efficient, humorous, compassionate co-worker with one goal – do my job to the best of my ability.

At home, I’m a wife, mother, daughter (in-law), and aunt. I play these roles when the situation warrants. I tend to laugh too loudly, contribute to conversations when appropriate, (or not), and play my familial role when necessary.

In public, I’m polite, considerate, and unassuming when around strangers.

I don’t have any close friends so I’m spared of having to assume yet another exhausting personality.

Whenever I’m alone, or I’m in public but by myself yet surrounded by people, my personal mantra is: please don’t talk to me. Ignore me. I’m invisible.

And yet. People still approach me. I get asked questions a lot when I’m in public. People take one look at me and assume I want to know their life stories. I assure you, I do not. Apparently, I have a trust-worthy face.

I was talking to my old boss the other day – I was toying with the idea of transferring within the company to a different position. I was a shoe-in for this position but it would be quite different than what I’m doing now – it would be in a quiet office, dealing with insurance companies all day long. I would have very little interaction with ACTUAL people. When I was weighing the pros and cons with my old boss, she said, “But Karen. You would miss the patient interaction. You’re so good with patients.” And I nearly laughed – she really didn’t know me at all. The LACK of interaction was one of the biggest PROS to the job, in my opinion.

It sort of made me sad that my work persona is so convincing that even people I’ve worked with for years don’t really SEE the real me.

personality I’m never outright rude to people. I always smile and pretend I give a rat’s ass, but inside, I’m desperately looking for ways to end the interaction. And I thank God every day people can not read my thoughts.

I would likely be burned at the stake if they could.

I don’t really dislike people, per se, I just don’t have any desire to be around people. I would much rather blend into the background and simply watch. I ADORE people watching. People are fascinating to me. I love watching the play of emotions cross their faces, their body language and mannerisms that give away what they’re thinking and feeling. These tell-tales may not be obvious to the casual observer, but to a people watcher such as myself (that sounds creepy), I see them.

I have a knack (gift?) for reading people. I can tell, within a few moments, what sort of personality someone has and then I adjust my personality accordingly. Queen bees, loud/obnoxious, vain, quiet, no-nonsense, shy, uncertain, braggart, brash, bold, vulgar … there is usually a reason for all of these types of personalities – some insecurity they are covering up, or exposing. Sometimes it’s painfully obvious. Sometimes it takes a while to get to know the person, but eventually, I start to get a picture of what type of person I’m interacting with and become the person they can get along with.

Sometimes I wonder who the TRUE me really is? I’ve been someone else to either survive a situation or to assimilate into a sub-culture so many times and for so long I don’t even know anymore.

I’m not sure I really want to know anymore.

People, generally speaking, annoy me. I find fault with everybody. She’s too loud. He’s too obnoxious. She’s too vain. He’s too confident. She’s insecure. He doesn’t possess a funny bone in his body.

I don’t know why I’m so critical of people. Lord knows I’M not perfect. I guess I do not want to spend the time, nor the energy, trying to compensate for these perceived flaws. Life is too short for the nonsense that comes with drama.

I realize I’m not painting a very attractive picture of myself, but I’m just keeping it real. I’m a realist, if nothing else. And that’s not always a glamorous personality trait, I guess.