I have mentioned here numerous times that I am not too good at interacting with people. I suppose there is a wide spectrum of reasons, from my personality which can be placed on the genetic end, to the people among whom I grew up who can be placed on the environmental end. Now, I know it is not a clear-cut “nature or nurture” issue and I will have to work on it throughout my life, but some days I really wish I could put it aside and out of sight.
Today was one of those days – I had a person show up at my place without an appointment. She is someone fairly close to me, whom I love and respect and admire very much, having been a part of my “environment” for quite some time. But what she still does not know, after all this time together, is my strong “genetic” tendency to shy away from surprises, especially in things that I am not too good at, like personal interaction. So, as much as I felt extremely guilty, I did not regret not answering the doorbell or the message left on the phone inviting me out for a meal.
Maybe I was very rude to pretend I was not home.
Maybe it will make her upset if she found out about it.
And maybe you are wondering why I did not just tell her I did not feel like going out today, with her.
Well, I was definitely rude… there is no cultural difference here. And I am pretty sure she will be very upset if she found out I was actually home the entire time… a common reaction you would expect anywhere around the world from a person being lied to. Yet, even if I was given another chance, I would choose to tell a little lie than tell the big truth… maybe this is more an Asian thing to do.
It is not just with her I tell little lies instead of big truths. I do it all the time nowadays, because I have found it to be the easiest way to avoid unwanted interaction but maintain friendly relationships (on the surface, anyway). And because it makes me fare better in the society I live in now, it has made me feel a lot more a part of them. I truly think I have become much more the person I have always wanted to be – more Asian.
But the ironic truth is, I am not happy. At all. I do not like myself when I act rudely polite. I am constantly worried about not upsetting others, and find myself in distress all the time. Most of all, I hate being a habitual liar. And what scares me is, maybe the causes of my becoming the person I am now are not all environmental, but some genetic?!
Please do not think all Asians are like the person I have become – I am sure there are many who can get their ways without hiding their true feelings. This gives me hope that I can be me and be Asian at the same time, in the same mind and body. Maybe I can have an existence ranging a wide spectrum, and I do not have to choose a clear-cut profile to show.
Maybe that is the truth I am supposed to look for to come out of my lies, throughout my life.