Confessions: Sometimes I live in my Own Bubble
I am sure you remember me as a kid—running around like everything and nothing fit together. I was happy to be friends with almost everyone until, of course, I decided I didn’t like them (which to be fair has never been very often). And, although I was frequently regarded as the “weird hippie kid,” I really enjoyed growing up in our small town. However, it wasn’t until I moved away—perhaps the best decision that I ever made—that I actually realised that I tend to live in a little bit of a bubble, meaning that I see things through my own, personalised rose-tinted glasses. Now, I’ve gotten better since I’ve left the States and travelled, but every once in awhile I start to notice it again.
I would like to say that personally, I don’t consider ‘bubble living’ as an inherently good or bad thing (on some level, I think we all live in a bit of a bubble), but it is something that I feel like I should be aware about—if I’m not, I tend to interpret things around me in an exceptionally distorted way. At the same time, I do believe that our interpretations of the world are tied to our cultural upbringings (hence why cultural competences are so important). As I am slowly accepting my need for personal and emotional space, I am starting notice a couple of things about myself.
I take a long time to connect to people, but when I do I connect deeply:
The idea of friendship is really hard for me because most people seem to accept more superficial relationships as friendships (in fact, I have on occasion offended people by bluntly telling them we are not really friends but just acquaintances). This doesn’t necessarily mean I don’t like meeting people, but that I tend to take things at face value. If we meet up in a group, I will probably have to know you for months before I tend to take you out of the “people I know” box (and into the “friends” one). In fact, I usually will tell people that unless we’ve done something one-on-one—from having a coffee to going for a run—I don’t tend to consider us friends.
My bubble: Tends to be formed by people I care about, and once you are inside, I probably won’t ever let you go (even if we lose contact, I will still care deeply for you and you will be able to count on me). And, if you ask anyone, my friends are the most beautiful and intelligent people I know.
I tend only to remember good things:
This is somewhat unintentional but I think that because I seem to live in my own, personal space, I also try to make it as wonderful as possible for me. It might seem weird, but it is in my nature to downplay the things that make me sad or angry and after a while I forget why they seemed so important to me before. This also means that I much prefer to talk about positive experiences than negative ones and get tired easily when the conversation seems to be going in a pessimistic direction. It also means that I spend time with people who share their good energy with me much more than people who are energy drainers (no matter how ‘cool’ they are).
My bubble: Is formed by good memories and more likely than not I am going to tell you all the best things about my experiences, conveniently downplaying or forgetting all the not-so-great ones.
I don’t understand the need to be dishonest with myself or others:
Sometimes I might be just too honest (luckily, people tend to think I am joking), but I truly don’t understand the need to make things more or less than they are—unless it is a white lie that helps a situation in the long-run. This goes two ways: when I am talking to myself and when I am talking to others. A lot of times I may not truly like the reality of a situation, but I practice honesty with myself and try to at least understand how I really feel about it. On the other hand, I am not going to go out of my way to make something more or less than it is when I am with others.
My bubble: Going back to the friends thing, I will only tell people I really care about them when they are truly important to me. I can go from “we are not friends” to “I love you and want to hang out” with different people in the same group without feeling too embarrassed about it (just ask my now friend Germán).
I have specific values that I expect others to have
Because I live in a self-created world, I sort of expect everyone to think like me—even though I know it is not possible (nor would I want to live in a world where everyone is the same). This means that often times I may be more driven at work or more serious about arriving on time to events than the people I am working or hanging out with and can get frustrated when others don’t feel/act the same. At the same time, this means that I consider the things I do to be very ‘normal’ and am always kind of surprised when people think my life is odd or that my way of doing things is special.
My bubble: I am extremely committed person, and when something has to be done, I do it. For example, when my work team was going through a rough patch earlier this year, they all seemed surprised that I just stepped up (far outside my responsibility and payroll) to make sure everything was as it needed to be. For me, I just did what was ‘normal.’
Overall, I enjoy living in my bubble. I find people who value me and who are willing to accept me with all the quirks I have. At the same time, it is frustrating when I extrapolate my expectations of myself onto other people and I feel like they let me down. However, that is all still part of my own personal growth—I can only control myself and must let others live their own best lives, which more often than not does not include them living in my bubble.
What about your? Do you tend to be a super realist or are you a ‘bubble living’ too?