Daily Archives: April 22, 2010

Shiny Happy People

Disclaimer/Warning: This post is a generalization.

There was a time in my life that I wished I was liked by everyone. I admired those people who seemed so comfortable with others that everyone loved them. You know the kind of people I’m talking about — they are the kind of people that, when they are talking to you, you know you are the most important person in the world. They usually smile a lot. They ask you the right questions. They nod in agreement with you.

Then it occurred to me, if these people are like this with everyone — then none of us are the most important person in the world. We are all, in fact, unimportant.

I encounter one of these people often. She’s constantly cheerful and uses the word “awesome” a lot. “How are you?” she asks, seemingly genuine concern in her voice. Then when you tell her how you are she replies with, “That’s awesome!” She may ask how the kids are and when you respond that the kids are doing great, she responds “That’s awesome!” You ask how she is. How her son is. How work is. It’s all awesome!

At first I thought she really genuinely liked me and really cared. But then I’d overhear her talking to others and she sounded exactly the same. It’s hard for me to talk to her now — not because I feel just part of a crowd, but because she’s just too damn cheerful. It gives me a stomach ache — like when I eat too many jelly beans. At least her husband balances things out — he’s often a grump.

I no longer strive to be liked by everybody. I’m not often rude, but also not overly cheerful either. People eventually see through the cheer and wonder what you’re hiding or what you want. The woman, above, is a successful salesperson — I just wish she’d leave the awesome cheer at work and be real with me.

But then, maybe that is really who she is and I’m just jaded.