When I first arrived I was terrified of being disliked by anyone, no matter who they were, no matter how much I disliked them. I carefully kept contentious opinions to myself and I was super, indiscriminately nice to absolutely everyone.
It’s not that I now have an urge to be mean to anyone, because I’m not a mean person, but man… if someone annoys me these days I’m more than happy to NOT keep my mouth shut. I’m comfortable here now, I have friends who won’t abandon me if I get emotional and act like a bitch, and I really don’t care if the dickheads out there don’t like me. Not anymore.
In RL I’m not an insecure person. I know my friends love me and will always be there for me. But LJ (or, I imagine, any kind of online community) breeds insecurities I thought I’d left behind in high school. If someone I consider a friend doesn’t respond to a comment, does that mean they don’t like me anymore? Did I say something wrong? Did my comment offend them? Annoy them? Am I not cool enough? Not funny enough? If I get defriended, is it because that person hates my guts? Or do they just find me boring? What does so-and-so truly think of me? They’re always nice to me but then, they’re nice to everyone, so that doesn’t mean much. Why hasn’t x, y or z commented in my LJ for days? Have they gone off me? Shit, I haven’t commented in y’s LJ in weeks. Has she noticed? Does she think I hate her now?
I’m asking those questions less and less now, thank god, but for a while there... yeah. I’m like, the least neurotic person I know, but I couldn’t stop it. I couldn’t stop feeling these things because it’s like, I’m USED to being able to see into the eyes of the people I’m close to. In RL it’s easy to tell when someone loves you. Online? Not only is it not easy, it’s virtually impossible. Unless you’re talking to them regularly on IM, and even then, if I don’t hear from Becky for a few days I start panicking that I’ve done something to annoy her (she’s easily annoyed).
But yes, I’m finding it easier to be myself now, to be unapologetic about my opinions, about who I am, to be angry at the sort of people who would make me angry in RL (i.e. the idiots).
My irrational fears are mine and mine alone. I like to deal with things by being honest about them and I invite you all to do the same.
Talk to me! Am I crazy?