Wednesday, 11 May 2016

The real me

What's the real me and what's the fake me? Does it even matter? Is the fake me all a part of the real me anyway? And why do I worry about such nonsense?

I worry about it because I don't want to fool people, to appear as something I'm not. I want to be seen exactly as I am, warts and all, loud socialist left-wing views and all, weird private habits and all.

But what the hell is the real me, I wonder. Is it the me that keeps to myself and wants peace and quiet whenever possible? Or the me that enjoys a good conversation and enjoys a raucous, high-spirited public rally? Or is it both?

Perhaps I should leave the judgment to others. I'll behave as I feel like behaving, and others can decide if that's the real me or some peculiar impostor. They can decide if I'm being Nick or channelling an alien being.

Of course they might just be seeing my well-polished public persona. The kind, considerate, sensible old geezer who gives everyone a fair hearing and never rants or raves. As opposed to the private curmudgeon who takes exception to everything, hurls crockery across the kitchen and kicks the cat*.

But if I'm being super-polite and super-agreeable, am I fooling people or do they know very well it's just my bland public image? I mean, nobody can be that polite, can they? They must assume straightaway that in private I'm as potty-mouthed and sweary as the next person.

Mind you, however hard I try to be my genuine, unedited self, some people will always read something bizarre into what I've said and get me all wrong anyway. A fake me I never even thought of. I can't win.

* Don't worry, we don't have one.


  1. I think it's hard to be yourself when you give it too much thought, but you already know that.

  2. Nick,I have known you since you began blogging... about nine years now, I think? We have met many times an different situations and never found you to be'potty-mouthed and sweary.

    You are corteous,intelligent, interesting and easy to chat to and with.

  3. Bijoux: Very true. Unfortunately I've always been a bit of an over-thinker....

    Grannymar: Thank you for those effusive compliments. The cheque is in the post, ha ha. I must admit I'm not often potty-mouthed and sweary. Someone has to be seriously insulting before that happens.

  4. Interesting subject, Nick.

    Trust me (despite not being your mother): We are all the genuine article. There are many many facets to all of us - and what you lament, namely, how people will perceive you is sometimes, though not always, out of our hands. I know this because there have been occasions in my life when those who not only "know" me but are by our bond well disposed to me have taken offence or NOT. One of the more memorable was once upon a time (we were about nineteen) - among a group of friends - discussing something and I played devil's advocate. I played it so well (nurturing my appetite for animated debate) that the fall out that evening was truly amazing. Nay, astonishing.

    Yes, Nick, astonishing. It was a seminal moment of my life. There were those who saw straight through my charade of carefully worded contrariness and applauded, and those who took it at face value and went off me for, say, five minutes till they got the joke. It taught me one of the most valuable lessons of my life. Namely, that you think people "know" you, yet even those close to you may miss the point. As indeed - and this is important to remember - you might miss theirs.

    I know exactly who I am, what I am, where my faults lie, where my strengths are. It's the devil's own job - sometimes, rarely - to make others look into that mirror and myself into theirs.

    Never do I like you more, Nick, than when you write something truly from the heart.


  5. There is a word for someone like you, ambivert. That is one who is both an introvert and an extrovert when needed. I am one too. I have simply accepted that this is the way I am.

  6. Ursula: It's so easy for people to misunderstand each other. It happens to me all the time. People read the oddest things into what I've said. And no doubt the other way round. If I pretend to be something I'm not (e.g. right-wing old fogey), I do it so deadpan it can easily be taken as real. So pretending is best avoided.

    I'm writing from the heart? I couldn't say, I just spill out whatever comes to mind....

  7. Ramana: Well, I guess we're all a mixture of different things, depending on the occasion and depending on how we feel. I can be polite or rude, bossy or humble, po-faced or emotional - whatever is required.

  8. I agree, we're all a mixture. Mostly I don't worry about my image, mainly because people are going to believe what they want to believe. If I act in ways I don't like, then I try to figure out why and do something about it.

  9. Jean: True, people often believe what they want to believe. And you wonder how on earth they arrived at some idea that bears no relation to your actual identity.

  10. People see us through their own eyes, not through ours,so to our own mix they bring their own.

  11. Helen: They do. And the result is quite a tangle of inaccuracies and misconceptions!

  12. ambivert!
    finally. the answer!
    I love my solitude. I have to have it. I can not go out for days and be perfectly and totally happy! not seeing another human. or speaking to one.
    and yet. I can also be the life of the party and enjoy it completely.
    I am talkative and friendly and outgoing when it's called for.
    and like you... I have long wondered which is the REAL me.
    and now thanks to that definition I know!
    they're both me.
    I learned from moving every single year of my growing up life...
    that kids are judgmental. you are always and forever 'the new girl.'
    so you are friendly so they will like you. you don't have time for them to REALLY get to know you.
    I still feel like the new girl. it's genuine.
    but it also wears me out. I have to have a LOT of my alone time to renew from that energy.
    very odd. but I've grown accustomed to it now.
    I understand every word you're saying here.

  13. Tammy: Ambiverts of the world unite! After I've been socialising for a while, my brain gets a bit scrambled and I definitely need some time to myself to recover. I do admire those people who can socialise non-stop and seem to thrive on it.

  14. I suppose we all perform on the daily life "theater-stage"....I try to be authentic and honest but people are not always pleased with this kind of behaviour. I am on the very left side for my political views and always say what I think. Why should I apologize when right wing people or even fascists have no restrictions in showing their racist, unhuman and not at all charismatic point of view.
    Mia More

  15. Mia: Life is indeed a theatre stage, and we're all performing an imagined "role" in any situation. I also like to be honest, but unfortunately honesty isn't always appreciated so has to be used sparingly to avoid nasty scenes. Especially as you say with people of opposing political views who can get quite vicious when their opinions are even mildly disagreed with.

  16. My mother had a saying
    " you never know ANYONE until you follow them home"

    Perhaps a real truism me thinks

  17. John: A truism indeed. Until you know what someone gets up to behind closed curtains and closed doors, you only half know them.

  18. With reference to John's comment above and your reply:
    In the street where we used to live there was a couple who were always immaculately turned out - her with not a hair out of place, well made-up, posh clothes, him in an expensive suit with briefcase, and every day they'd climb into their up-to-date 7 Series BMW and go off together.
    For ages we didn't know exactly where they lived, but then one day we saw them getting out of the car and walking back to their house, which turned out to be the most dilapidated unkempt shithole in the area.
    Just goes to show you can't necessarily trust the picture that you're presented with.

  19. Dave: Extraordinary! Reminds me of those shabbily-dressed old tramps everyone assumes to be poverty-stricken, but after their death they turn out to have had millions stashed away. Also reminds me of those people who pretend to be going to work every day, when actually they were sacked months ago.

  20. Nick, my father-in-law used to say, "Vivi e lascia vivere" - he was a happy man and lived to be 93. "Live and let live" is what I stick to now...I want to live to be 103!
    Greetings Maria x

  21. Maria: "Vivi e lascia vivere" is very much my guideline as well. There are too many people fuming and raging over things that really aren't that important. We're all different and we should be a bit more tolerant of those differences. But my mother is 94 even though she's one of the fuming tendency!