Don’t Misunderstand Me

She knows she’s more
than just a little misunderstood
She has trouble acting normal when she’s nervous
— The Counting Crows, Round Here

Today’s Writing Group prompt: What do you think people misunderstand the most about you?

I cannot count the number of times that friends of mine, after we’ve known each other for a while, have said to me some variation of “When I first met you, I thought you were mean.”  Intimidating is another word I hear a lot, as in, “When we first met, I was afraid of you, you intimidated me.”  This boggles my mind.

Sure, sometimes I have mean thoughts and say snarky (or even mean) things, but at heart, I really don’t believe I’m a mean person.  In fact, I think I’m soft-hearted in the extreme, often to my detriment.

And intimidating?  Me?  I do not get it at all.  I assume it comes from the fact that I don’t often let people get too close to me too quickly.  I guess maybe when we first meet I’m too busy sizing you up to be super friendly.  More likely, though, I’m frantically trying to figure out how to say the right thing and not spill my drink and trip over myself and generally how to not be my usual awkward self.  Maybe I’m working too hard at that and it’s coming across as indifference or superiority.  I promise, in no world are you more intimidated by me than I am by you.

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7 thoughts on “Don’t Misunderstand Me

  1. Interesting. I heard the word ‘intimidating’ a lot, too. I just chalked it up to the hockey player thing.

    I wonder if people just like to say it, even if it’s not remotely true.

  2. I used to never want to wear my glasses at school, resulting in a perma-squint. After graduation people told me I was intimidating because of the chip of Clint Eastwood I carried around in my eyes. The truth is I wasn’t tough, I was just too vain to see properly.

  3. People think I”m cold or standoffish or quiet or intimidating. I think that’s their problem. Oh wait. Does that make me cold or standoffish? LOL. I never thought of you like that at all and I DID get to meet you once, remember? 🙂 I think sometimes people that are a bit shy or feel awkward often come off like we sometimes come off….and I know for sure I can be intimidating at work…but that’s part of my job…so there you go.

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