Take me or leave me
I used to be a take-me-or-leave-me kind of person. I stood boldly and said “Here I am, world! This is me and I don’t care what you think. You can take me as I am or just forget it.”
It was armour, of course. A few people saw through it to the real me. I’m grateful for those people.
The problem I discovered is that when you take a hardline stance of being a certain way and anyone who doesn’t like it just has to deal, many people will deal with it by cutting you out of their life. And one day you find that you’re alone.
I’ve met a lot of other take-me-or-leave-me people over the years. I’ve even tried to warn a few of them that that’s an awfully destructive way to go through life. People don’t like being around people who are obnoxious or abrasive or mean. It’s exhausting and painful. Some people will do it, but eventually it will wear them down. Sooner or later, everyone will leave.
I tell them it’s your responsibility to make sure that other people have a good experience when they’re with you.
I’ve never succeeded at convincing any of them. They brush it off - it bounces right off their armour. They assure me that they don’t have to change. They are the way they are, and people just have to deal with it.
I nod, and sigh quietly. I tried. Then I deal with it by never speaking to them again.