Yesterday a dear friend told me that I am scary. Or maybe I should say she reminded me of that.
She offered that reminder when I was venting about a campus committee meeting. In the esteemed group of faculty and administrators at the meeting, I found myself to be the only person who could make the projector work and the only person who was familiar enough with the initial draft of a survey to notice that someone’s proposed “additional” questions were already included. I was feeling uncharitable about the inefficiency. And I acted accordingly. Maybe not huffy, but definitely snippy.
Apparently, that makes me scary.
There I am. This picture is so terrible that I love it. For close observers: that is just a shower curtain rod, not a spike through my head. (Note that this is a picture I have on file for when I need to laugh; this was not actually taken at the meeting.) If I were better at Photoshop, I would have added the green tinge to my face.
My dear friend explained to me that I am scary because I am blunt. I prefer to think of it as “authentic,” and maybe no-nonsense and efficient. Smarty pants, picky bitch, bossy. Call it what you want. Dear friend suggested trying niceties. I cringed. I took her point, but still cringed.
Maybe I will try to be nicer. Or maybe I will just bask in the privilege of having survived long enough that my quirky style isn’t going to leave me friendless or jobless.
Your “directness” is part of your charm.
What others see as bossy, snippy, or scary, I see as leadership, professionalism, and competence.