I'm Labeled As Rude And Mean But I Can't Help It
I will be in my second year of high school in a few months. I'm very caring and polite when it comes to strangers.
When it comes to voicing my opinion, I'm not afraid to speak up. No matter the topic, I'm very sarcastic. For that, people call me an asshole.
It is very hard to hold back my smart alec remarks. Some jokes are even race related, and I tend to be called a racist. All in all I'm not, I just have a crude sense of humor.
What can I do to change that about me? My first thought is always a sarastic one, which is seen as rude.
My natural facial expression tends to be very gloomy and angry. Most of the time, I'm happy as can be!
So many people come up and ask me, "What's wrong with you? Be happy? Why do you hate life?" It pisses me off when I get asked this, and when I respond with, "I'm not," No one ever believes me.
This eventually leads to me making a comment, or getting defensive. These days all the kids use the word "mean" for everything. Because I become upset, I'm once again seen as an "asshole" or "jerk."
When I try to be nice to people, they always ask what's wrong with me. Why am I being nice, am I feeling okay? Once again, this angers me, causing me to lash out.
Overall, I want people to realize I'm not an ass, and I just want people to like me. Endless amounts of kids in my school think I'm rude and mean. Will there every be a way to change that?
Response from Dr. DeFoore
Hello Vincent, and thanks for telling your story here. I truly respect your honesty about your situation. I think that you are sincere in your desire to change, based on what you've written here.
I have some suggestions, which of course you're free to use or ignore, whichever you choose. If you use them, I think they'll help. These are the things I would do if I were in your shoes.
1) Begin a daily exercise in front of the mirror, practicing new facial expressions. You say that your natural facial expression is gloomy and angry, but I would suggest that this is more habit than natural. Habits can be changed, with practice. So, practice these facial expressions, just to loosen up your facial muscles and make it easier for you to smile:
a. Surprise -- pretend that you're really surprised, in a good way. Do this several times, until it starts to be believable.
b. Relaxed happiness -- imagine that you're happy, in an easy-going, cool way. Try to feel the feelings that go along with this expression.
c. Laughter -- fake laughter, pretending that something's really funny. Keep going until it starts to feel real. This is a really good exercise, for a lot of different reasons. If you need to, search YouTube for some funny videos to get the laughter going.
d. Love -- pretend that you're looking at someone you really love, and feeling a tremendous amount of affection for them. Notice how this feels in your heart and your body.
Here's a video that will likely bring a smile or two:
2) Follow these journaling exercises
on a regular basis, as a way of shifting your inner attitude about yourself and other people.
3) Write down all of the sarcastic things you can think of that you've ever said or thought. This will make you more aware of the sarcasm, and then you'll have an easier time choosing something else to say.
It takes more courage to be kind, Vincent. I think you have that kind of courage. As you do the above exercises, imagine the person you really want to be, and make up your mind to become that.
You can do this.
My very best to you,
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