Why do I do this? My time in this life is limited and I'd like to maximise my pleasure of living. One of the ways that I do this is to maximise the time that I spend with the people I want to spend time with and minimise the time with people that I don't want to spend time with. I get irritated when I plan to spend time with someone I want to spend time with, who brings along a friend or two (complete strangers to me). There are many times that I am tempted to cancel once I find out about the arrangement, but often these things are sprung on me at the very last minute such that I don't have time to cancel.
What I really want to write is that there are people that I don't like spending time with - and there is nothing I can do about this. I say that because really, liking someone or not is something very subjective. A person can be very popular and loved by everyone else, but if it so happens that I am of view and he/she is phony, then of course I don't have any problem differing from the crowd. It is rather unfortunate that some (or a lot) of charming people in this planet can come off as phony, you know all those people who are all about style and no substance. And it is even more unfortunate that those who've got substance are severely lacking in style, because these people have got a lot more to give (and subsequently teach).
Out of the two, the former is a lot worse than the latter. With the latter group, spending a little more time would enable you to see their real charm, and or at least, appreciate their substance a lot more than you originally do. Yet at times, given their lack of style, holding a conversation with them can be so incredibly painful. I know because I have tried this too many times with too many people.
Some of my friends call me talkative and feisty - I always have an opinion about anything and everything, usually very detailed and covering all aspects that anyone can think of. Yet most of the time, I don't really share this during my conversations, unless they are with the people that I like. Because I can't be bothered sharing this part of myself with strangers. It is rather ironic that I am a lot more open here in the blog. I don't have an explanation for this, except for the fact that... I just can't be bothered.
Actually, it is not that I can't be bothered expressing my opinions. It is more that I can't be bothered justifying them or arguing them especially when all these-strangers-to-me have differing views. I don't see the onus to be on me to be able to reconcile our differences. In fact, I'd rather not reconcile because the reconciliation is often something that says something about the person with the opinions (I am judgmental like that).
It really is not my issue that there are people out there more open minded than me and vice versa. I also don't think it is worth while to pursue this abstract state of having a more open mind - this often requires tolerance, and I think too much tolerance in one's life is a guaranteed one way ticket to misery. Because there is this thing as tolerating too much - which often comes in the form of suppressed anger. Anger is necessary so that we can grow and we can improve.
These days I am very selective as to who I spend my time with. The craziest development to date is that I much rather spend time with a friend over online interaction rather than a stranger in a real life situation. I think this is a sign of a change in the way we interact. I would be the first to say that if it is your friends that you are interacting with, the medium of interaction takes secondary importance. It is a pretty good substitute for physical proximity with them.