Throughout my life there have always been certain personality traits that can make me less likely to warm to someone. The first of these is the seeming lack of a definable sense of humour and especially if they are uncomfortable around brevity and comical banter. I seem to have met a lot of these people in my life (especially in a work environment) and they continue to ring alarm bells for me.
The second warning sign , although less serious, is having no appreciation of music in any form. I’m not talking about an inability to hold a tune or not sharing the same musical preferences as myself (that’s a decidedly teenage outlook). It’s the fact that they’ve never bought a record (I’m using an old fashioned term to incorporate any music medium here), don’t listen to music and have no intention of doing so (they just see it as a frivolous inconsequential gimmick and cannot understand anyone who would be moved in any way by such a collection of sounds). For whatever reason I’ll admit that I find this almost freakish but is much less a justification for avoiding these people over certain other traits.
Being an introvert I can sometimes find some extroverts slightly cringing but realise that’s more my personality deficiency than theirs (or a combination of the two). It’s just a chalk and cheese thing. I do seem to have had to contend with an awful lot of big headed brash, loud and crude personalities in my working life which can be an ideal recipe for a personality clash. Experience has taught me to mistrust people who sing their own praises a bit too loudly and without a slither of humility. The I’m right-everyone else is clearly wrong type of person who stomps all over other points of view however valid in the name of their own misguided sense of self belief and self adoration.
My Dad and my brother are extrovert personality types, blessed with large quantities of BS and a desire to be the centre of attention when they enter a room. This can have many positive advantages and in measured amounts can be an admirable trait in the right circumstances. Myself and my Mother have spent much of our lives cringing at others appreciation of these qualities whilst feeling totally inadequate in our mutual introverts qualification. Shyness is not often an enviable quality and can easily come across as stand offishness. Combine this with my own everyday hearing deficiencies and it can be hard not to come across as either moody and aloof or self contained and wishing to be left alone whereas I’m probably avoiding certain situations that would highlight my inability to follow multiple conversations combined with my own desire to step back from any over gregarious gatherings.Obviously age and experience lets you fake it pretty good in the right circumstances and manages to hold you back from heading for the nearest internet equipped hermits cave dwelling.
As one gets older, it would seem, cranky personal intolerances creep in too. It’s amazing how jealous one can be of perfect little twenty somethings with annoyingly over optimistic personalities and unlined faces (“Hiiiyaaaaaa” they trill, prompting in myself inner growlings and muttering of unjustified expletives). It’s pure jealousy combined with a kind of “what the hell do you know” prejudice which is not admirable but I just can’t help myself (a bad case of an introverts inner desire to swat displays of overdone optimism and perkiness) . But in a world where 19 year olds and twenty something “celebrity culture casualties” can seemingly write their autobiographies as if the sum of all worldly knowledge and experience can be gained before your 25th birthday, it can sometimes feel like you were always on the wrong side of the lucky bastard club.
These musings were prompted by a link on this blog about those of us who appreciate the eccentricities and style of a certain home grown TV weatherman and wondering how anybody could possibly not like him and his unique presentations skills. It’s interesting how we can each seemingly just “take a dislike” to someone based on our own inner map of personality pointers that we either find agreeable or not. Odd how it all works isn’t it?