Recently, I was asked by a coworker, “Why don’t people like you?”
This question made me stop and think.
I have always described myself as an “acquired taste.” I recognize that I am not the typical brand of popular, though I do have some quirks that bring my peers back for more. I acknowledge and move past the people who do not care for me, and embrace the ones that do. I choose not to have a large population in my close inner circle, but I have plenty that I could go and blandly karaoke with.
This question, however, forced me to consider the differences between my coworkers/peers and I. I wanted to consider something beyond the stereotypical comparisons, white vs. black, young vs. old, female vs. male, etc. Though these commonalities lent some aid, it was not what I was searching for.
I was more interested in the comparisons between what we have in common that makes me so different.
At the age of twenty-two, I do not need anyone to confirm to me that I stand out among the others in my age group. I carry myself ‘much older’ than my age, and make decisions that do not contour to the average thinking process of my age. My maturity lands me among people in their mid-thirties to early forties. So, I have the thinking of a thirty-five year old, with the opportunities and privileges of a twenty-two year old.
I am honest. I made the decision early on to live my life in such a way that I do not need to embellish facts, events or create tales to make my life seem more interesting. If there is something I want to experience, I make the effort to goand do so, successfully most of the time. There are a great deal of people that are afraid to make that same decision. Whether it be fear or other reservations about public opinion, I hear from my peers often that “they would never be able to do something like that.”
Furthermore, unlike recent trends of women in their twenties, I lack the desire and the ability to have children, so instead, I focused on my education immediately following high school graduation, and by doing so, I was able to make more progress on my degree than my peers will be able to do any time soon. This bothers my female coworkers, because I can live a life that they didn’t or won’t get to live. I can better myself in a way that is no longer available to them, and jealousy is often triggered.
I’m smart, and I have a power of adaptation that I do not find in common with my colleagues. I can be put in any position and I am almost immediately successful. In most cases, these positions are objectives that my colleagues have gone to school and training for years for and I am able to come in, learn extraordinarily quickly, and provide equal, if not better, results than they are able to. This makes me competition, and though I never work to pose as a threat, it does not change one’s perception of my opportunity to become one.
So, ultimately, based on this short analysis of which I’m confident I will write more, I am not liked because I am a threat. I have opportunities available to me that my peers may never experience again, and what I have inspires jealousy.
Like I said, I’m an “acquired taste.”