I'm having a hard time with disappointment lately. I feel like I keep having interactions with people where I feel like I understand who they are, but then they turn out to be completely different - not at all who I thought. And not only that - but they have such a different idea about who I am, and what I'm all about - that it's shocking.
Two of my friends have been teasing me about the way I am: friendly, making eye-contact with strangers, saying hello to random people, chatting with strangers. They say that it is communicating intentions that I'm NOT trying to convey. For example, according to them, making eye-contact with a stranger on the subway means you want to have sex with them. Who knew?
I was trying to defend myself by telling them that occasionally a man will be following close behind me in my "blind spot" and I'll abruptly step aside, so they are forced to pass, but as they do so I'll say "Sorry, I'm walking slowly." They were rolling with laughter that in my attempts to be dominant and agressive, I'm ruining the action by very passive speech. So yes, I've stepped aside and basically said to the person "I'm weak and slow and you're strong and fast."
This has me wondering about all kinds of messages that I may be inadvertantly sending people. I want people to think of me as strong, intelligent, interesting, and respectable. Someone that is reliable, and worthy of the time and attention it takes to develop a relationship or a friendship. I don't think people are getting that message, and I'm not quite sure what I need to do to change.