This is a public service announcement from Bearie, Lunacy Now’s resident emotional support teddy.
Many people in this world are hiding something. Many of them will respond very differently to different approaches, different conversation topics and different modes of being. A light-hearted conversation about boating, for example, will be one person’s horrifically boring nightmare, and another person’s ideal Sunday afternoon.
So the socially awkward anxiety-fiend and the ambitious social-climber is left in a pickle. How do you know how someone will respond to something before you say it? How to you minimize social friction before it happens?
The answer is, of course, that you can’t.
There is simply no way to reliably predict how anyone is going to interpret something you do, and therefore respond accordingly to get them to like you. It’s true that you can get a fairly good idea, and follow the normative social patterns of your class, culture and in-group.
But even then people can still surprise you.
Even if they don’t surprise you, and everything works out, you will still be tricking them into being friendly with you by saying things you don’t mean. You’ll have to maintain this facade, perhaps for years, in order to keep them around.
The best solution, therefore, is to come out as your authentic self, and let the chips fall where they may.
Obviously that’s not license to be a wanker. Come out as your best authentic self, not the version that eats cheetos from the carpet with your mouth because you don’t want to take your hands off the controller when you drop them during an all night-gaming marathon.
But this way you can be friends with people who actually like you, not just people who are hoodwinked by your tricksy ways.
Plus you can hold a sweet coming-out party, where you reveal the inner you to the world.