One of my biggest strengths and weaknesses is that I’m always critical of everything. I have to look at everything and understand everything about it, and it frustrates me when there’s something I don’t know and can’t even guess. When I’m watching a movie or TV show, I’m actively listening to the soundtrack. I’m imagining the script being written and the actors saying these lines and whether or not I think things were executed as well as they could have been. If there’s something I don’t like about the movie, I point to the clear flaws and try to find a general, concluding statement as to what was ‘bad’ about the movie.
Now, I actually really like this about me. It helps me understand a lot about things and lets me look at things on a deeper level than just mindlessly doing something because its fun. But the worst part about it is that I can’t turn this off, even when I try. When I see a flaw in a videogame I’m playing, I can’t help but notice it more and more, and in some situations it inevitably makes me enjoy whatever the thing is less. I’ve recently developed a nasty habit of talking during movies and stuff to make quips or point out certain things. I used to only do that if everybody had already seen the movie, so it worries me a little that I have such a strong desire to be funny around other people that I can’t keep my mouth shut when I should.
Unfortunately, this feature/flaw also applies to people. I could count on one hand the number of voluntary friendships I’ve had that lasted longer than three years. Perhaps I’m oversimplifying a deeper or simpler issue here, but I largely blame it on the fact that after a certain amount of time (ranging from a few weeks to about two years) of being around somebody, I start to pick out things that I don’t like about them, even if its personality traits that they can’t help, like somebody’s laugh, or their sense of humor, or their tendency to bring up certain topics too often. Many of the friendships that have lasted over a longer period of time have been the lucky few whom I’ve never found flaws for or whose flaws I’ve fortunately learned to accept.
It is entirely unfair to dislike somebody simply because of how they laugh, which has lead me to this love/hate relationship I have with this particular quirk. Once I find this flaw I can’t help but notice it more often, and it can unconsciously make me want to spend less and less time with them.
I am thankful that many of the people I’m closest to tend to grow an immunity to this effect. It’s only people that are in the ‘friend to close friend’ zone that are in danger.
In the end, though, I do consider this part of my personality to be a virtue. I just hope I can learn to reign it back as time goes on.
P.S. This is also something I don’t like telling people. When I do, the first thing out of everyone’s mouth is “What’s my flaw?” or “What’s X person’s flaw?” and it is never a good idea to answer that question. Could you imagine telling somebody you hate the way they laugh and making them insecure about it the rest of their life? With self-esteem as fragile as it is, it’s often best not to touch it unless you’re building it up.