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.
3 thoughts on “Shiny Happy People”
I don’t think you’re jaded, just realistic. It’s hard to trust people who are cheerful all the time. Somewhere between annoyingly cheerful and grumpy is where we belong most of the time. That way when something good (or bad) happens, our emotions have somewhere to go. Unless we’re hormonal and then they’re just swinging wildly back and forth making us TOTALLY unpredictable which is a great way to keep the kids in line 😉
This was really interesting and made me think. I have a friend who is bright and cheerful (particularly on the phone – I have to hold it away from my ears) to everyone. I’ve realised in recent years that this is a bit of a cover – because deep down she’s going through some heartache, and is trying to put on a brave face.
I have another friend (http://asummerafternoon.blogspot.com/2006/12/camille-29365.html#links) who is positive and cheerful and everyone loves her. She’d make me sick if I didn’t love her! She has the ability to make everyone feel special. I love this, because when she is with you, you get her undivided attention and interest. And it feels genuine. I guess that’s the difference.
I have a very dear friend who is a lot like that. When I first knew her, another friend once referred to her as “the woman who never has a bad day,” which was a pretty good description of her behavior. In truth, she had overcome horrendous obstacles in her life. Her mother died and her schizophrenic father left when she was barely out of her teens. She was left to raise a young sister and her own infant son. I’m not sure where I’m going with this, the whole story is way too long for a comment (-: I think that she has an amazing ability to be positive in the face of almost anything. It took some doing at first for introverted little me to trust her but I know that she really does care about me and all of her many friends.
But everybody’s different and I agree that there are certainly some superficial people out there.