Do you feel happy when you receive a lot of likes on Facebook? Do you feel down if no one comments on your stuff? In the world of social media, we know when you've checked into the airport, when your cat gives you that look that says, "You lookin' at me?", when a homeless man gives you the pleasure of seeing him take a piss on the street. I've been given that pleasure. Many times.
I go on Facebook about once a day. If that. And I saw that one of my friends had held a BBQ that I had been invited to, but she cancelled due to an unforeseen circumstance. Which happened to be me. She had rescheduled but no invite for poor little ol'me. Tissue please.
I assume it was cancelled and rescheduled to avoid the embarrassment of uninviting me. There were several people who didn't like my kind of humor. So be it. Now, I didn't react with an angry emoticon. My ego was a bit shocked, but I actually don't care.
Then why are you writing this post, Jimmy? Hopefully, to show that what people think of you means nothing. Or, at the very least, has no real affect on who you are as a person.
God, you're such a hippie. No. But I did go to the Summer of Love exhibit at the DeYoung Museum. That was pretty awesome.
If you give a talk in front of a hundred people, how many different opinions do you think you'd have? The easy answer is probably one hundred. Everyone who is watching you is interpreting what you say and do through their own lenses. In a sense, it doesn't matter what you're talking about, there will be people who agree with you, who oppose you, who love what you're about, and those who hate you with blood curdling passion. And because they're seeing things through their own lenses, how they feel about you has nothing to do with you. It's not me, it's you. And that's the real secret.
This is hard for most people to understand let alone believe. So let me give you a simple example:
If someone comes up to you and calls you a tree, you'd think, "You're stupid." Because it's simple to see that you're not a tree.
However, if someone accused you of being stupid, you might go to great lengths to prove that you're smart. The reason is because we take things such as attributes personal. Maybe at some level we're insecure about our IQ level, no matter the number of degrees we may have, so feel the need to argue for our intelligence. And let's say we were successful at convincing this person that we're smart. Does that mean we're smart? What I'm really asking is are you going to let someone else dictate how you feel?
We all do. We're human. I've become less reactive because I see the difference between my ego and me. And seeing that difference has allowed me to move on to things that matter like dick jokes. That doesn't mean my ego doesn't get in my way every now and then. It just happens less than it used to.
Now, I enjoy doling out lewd and crude and rude jokes. I also like to swear. Oh no. Call the popo! People who are prim and proper tend not to like me because I don't fit in their narrow world view. I like to have stupid fun. But the Prims have no perspective in that regard and judge me. They don't understand that there are real problems in this world that go far beyond some nuisance a writer (i.e. me) is dishing out. There are girls in Africa that risk rape trekking miles on end so they can finish their education.
Let's not get ahead of ourselves.
Lucky for me there are people other than the Prims. They may or may not enjoy lewd and crude and rude humor, but they're open enough to enjoy it for that moment or roll their eyes. Mainly the latter, but whatever. Though, these people have quirks of their own, we somehow get along. There's very little judgment. We're there to share and indulge in each other's company. There aren't any grand expectations, so there's very little conflict. Their lenses aren't fogged up with narrow points of view. So they aren't offended by what is said.
So what do you do when people don't like you? Or get uninvited to a BBQ?
It's not worth having them as friends because they'll never be a real friend. Unless you want to whore yourself out and be fake, covering the real you with small talk. I for one hate doing that. I do that at work a lot, and I feel dirty afterwards. And not like raunchy sex dirty. That's the good kind of dirty. The bad dirty is the kind where the soul is slowly sucked away by millions of bloodsucking leaches. Which is why I don't display my life on Facebook. This isn't modesty. Why waste time trying shove events of my life onto a public forum for the world to see? What are people trying to front? But if there was some major event like a child being born, a marriage, a book being published, then that's worthy news.
Deciding what a real friend is up to you. For me it's tolerating each other for all the good and bad. It's kinda like marriage except no one gets half of anything if the friendship ends. One last thing, I ain't no saint. At times I'm an asshole. But when it comes to friends, I'm there for them. To have good friends, be one.