Too Self-Conscious About Choosing An Appropriate Title.

I am a very self-conscious person.  It’s one of my most prevalent personality traits.  I would call it a personality flaw, but I refuse to give it that title because that would give it an inherently negative connotation.  Self-consciousness, in my opinion, can be a flaw in certain contexts.  But in others, it can save your life.  Or at least your reputation.

I have a distant admiration for people with no self-consciousness.  They are the ones who are truly carefree: I call them the I Don’t Give A Fuck-ers.  They are the kind of people who, when presented with some kind of task that some might perceive as potentially embarrassing or psychologically damaging, will respond with a statement akin to, “I’ll do it, cuz I DON’T GIVE A FUCK!” A typical scenario might play out like this (especially after a few drinks):

“Alright, who’s gonna shove this porcupine up their ass?”
“Oh, God, not me!”
“I’m sure as hell not doin’ that shit!”
“Oh yeah?  Well, I’ll do it…cuz I DON’T GIVE A FUCK!”
“…who invited that guy?”

I could never have that attitude towards life because my self-consciousness holds me back.  However, I don’t mind that.  In fact, I embrace my self-consciousness, because it keeps me grounded.  You show me a guy who’s really self-conscious, and I’ll show you a guy who’s never once gotten hammered at a party and tried to fuck the couch.  Why?  Because your self-consciousness keeps you in check, and keeps you from doing such ridiculous things. (Plus, let’s be honest: how embarrassing would it be to know that the couch lasted longer than you did?)

Does that mean I live a somewhat sheltered life due to that trait?  Probably.  Hell, I feel nervous when I start rocking my head back and forth at a rock concert–like everyone’s watching ME rock my head like a doofus.  I know it’s totally irrational, but I can’t help it.  That’s the negative side of it coming out.

One of my favorite personality traits (although I find it really weird to call it one of my favorites) is my tendency to be somewhat delusional.  And when you pair that up with self-consciousness, it makes for one hell of a mental tornado.  One night, I was sitting in a coffeeshop writing about how big of a loser I am (a common occurrence), and I somehow delved into this weird inner psyche in which I felt that every other person in the coffeeshop was staring at me–making my self-consciousness increase–and harshly judging me, which was caused by my delusions.  When I go back and read what I wrote when I was in that mindset, it’s actually strangely interesting: my usual polished handwriting looked much more rudimentary, as if a seven-year-old had gotten hold of my pad of paper and scrawled all over the pages with a pen.  Misspelled words abound (which, truth be told, are very uncommon for me).  My thoughts spiraled into a black abyss of negativity.  It didn’t look like MY writing.  Yet, it was.  And as I was writing/carving those words, I felt connected with whatever inner psyche was at work.  Possibly more so than ever before.

Being delusional, in my opinion, is just another way of saying I have a kickass imagination.  Either that, or it’s just proof of my deep-ridden self-centeredness.  I like to play out events in my head–I live vicariously through myself within my imagination.  I will take something that happened in real-life, and then re-interpret it into a completely different event based on making myself act differently in my head.

For instance, if I was performing at a stand-up comedy show, and during my act an audience member were to shout some sort of insult towards me, the real-life me would simply brush it off and try to ignore it.  But the version of me that lives up in my head would be going fuckin’ nuts: pacing around, breaking beer bottles, like this:

(crack of beer bottle) “C’MON, MOTHERFUCKER!”
“You don’t have the BALLS!”
“Oh, I’ll do it, cuz I DON’T GIVE A FUCK!”
(ensuing brawl erupts)

I’d never do that in real-life, but it sure is fun playing that out in my little fantasy world.  It’s great, because I’m like a badass in my fantasy world.

In real-life, I’m just a guy who talks to himself all the time.

Until next time,

–Riley

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2 responses to “Too Self-Conscious About Choosing An Appropriate Title.

  1. Good lord, we’re really quite alike.

    Except, of course, that you are much better at stand up…

    • This whole post was an extended version of something I tried to do in stand-up (that didn’t work as well as I thought it should have), so I figured I’d give it a shot here. Some things work better in different formats.

      –Riley

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