Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Goffman: The Bane of My Existence

There are a lot of blogs I've written that I haven't posted this year. Some I deleted, some are just lying in wait, perhaps forever doomed to be a Draft. I have tons of things I've written: Journal entries, poetry (usually I hate poetry, but sometimes there is no other way to accurately convey your feelings, but with a series of abstract and descriptive incomplete sentences and thoughts), short stories, letters... what-have-you. Anyways, my point is that I censor myself. We all do. I don't care who you are.

You could be the most blatently honest Tucker Max-ish, Rush Limbaugh, Rosie O'Donnell (I just typed the first people who came to mind that say stupid and offensive things sometimes), and you're still hiding something. You can be rude, judgmental, crass, but within you lies more. You might be super-sweet, the person people name as the nicest person they know, and harbor ill feelings inside. We all censor ourselves in different situations with different people... I think this is Impression Management Theory (Amanda! Your boyfriend Erving Goffman returns to stalk us with his Social Science theories!).

I was actually chatting with my dear buddy Amanda earlier today when this all just sort of hit me... When I am around certain people, I feel compelled to act a particular way and there are few people I can just relax around and not worry about what they think about what I say or do. Around most of my friends, I feel like I have to be funny, smart, and witty. Unless I'm hearing gossip and reacting, I'm shooting the shit about whatever is going on in my (or other's) life(ves), and cracking jokes about it all to boot. I don't know why. I'm just conditioned to do so. Maybe many who do this are like so many "comedians" who josh around to cover their neurotic tendencies (thanks Joel, I had to look up the word and use it).

The number of people I can completely be myself around can be counted on two hands, I think. In fact, I could probably just name them all here and let them know they have experienced the Uncensored Sarah: the mom, the bros, Geoffrey, Josh the ex, and probably anyone who came in personal contact with me in the first two months after my brother died and witnessed firsthand my verbal diarrhea got a little Sarah Show.

I'm not mean, but I'm not overly-fake nice. I'm forgiving, I try to forget, but I will make you remember when I think you need a little kick in the shin. When I feel the need, I can say something so horrible to you that you would not believe it came out of my mouth, but I have to be provoked and cornered for this to happen. I also always assume the best about people, not the other way around (I like to think all people would never act maliciously until they do, which gets me into trouble a lot). I'm funny with or without trying, but sometimes I try harder than others. I'm very self-conscious and I never think I will be as cute, stylish, kind, flirtatious, interesting, as the other girl (I don't care who it is). I'm hard-headed and once I make up my mind to do something, I am not easily persuaded to change because I do not like to admit I am ever wrong. I try to act tough and I'm not, but I'm tougher than I internally give myself credit for. This is just the tip of the iceberg, but I have to start censoring somewhere...

I miss the people I could be myself around. No offense to anyone at all. You have probably witnessed me to a degree. Maybe I am myself entirely, but I feel like I can't cry in front of you, or that you will judge me for something I say or do. No worries. This is just the uber-censored, highly-trained-to-act-normal society we live in. Now go pretend to be yourself.

5 comments:

Amanda said...

See MySpace comment....

Ty said...

Well, I hope you know I don't judge you. In fact, your beauty, style and wit are sometimes quite intimidating! I'm quite glad you showed up on our doorstep, so to speak...I hope someday I get to witness the full Sarah show, because I am sure it's spectacular!

Now go forth with yo' bad self!

Sarah said...

Why thank you, Miss Ty! Glad to have come upon your doorstep, and I know you will see the Sarah... it's in the mail. :o)

Jaime said...

Wheels, your incredible honest diatribes constantly make me think, and I appreciate it! Your honesty is something that more people should aspire to, and I know that personally, I'll never judge you. Hey, we used to be neighbors! And the best neighobr I've ever had by far!

Sarah said...

Thanks, Jaime! I'm trying to conjure up some more humorous material to blog about, but I've been too contemplative lately.

Hopefully something will come up... :o)