What is individuality? I mean, what is it really? I think it may just be a construct of our imaginations. I wonder if you even have an individual personality without society. I mean, all we do all our lives is try and live up to some expectations and overturn others — expectations of ourselves, based on other people’s actions; expectations of ourselves based on self-perception; expectations laid upon us by other people.
So what if you think you’re a reasonable person? What if, as far as you are concerned, you and all your friends think that you’re fairly reasonable, laid back, drama-free, quirky, generally funny, compassionate, and intelligent. But there’s this other subset of people, over here, who say you’re irrational and uptight and full of drama. They say you’re not so much quirky as weird and off-putting, they say your jokes are stupid and you’re too judgmental and pretty stupid besides.
So who’s right? I mean, depending on the lens and personality an action or behavior is viewed through, technically, both groups could be “right,” an objective term for such a subjective situation. And does it matter anyway? I mean, fuck those guys, right? They don’t matter anyway.
Except, what if they do matter? Boss, co-worker, friends/ spouses who’ve grown apart, sibling, parent . . . what if they do matter, what if their perception of you has changed and shifted over time, and you want to change it back?
You can’t, really, I guess. I mean, it’s that old canard — you can’t change someone else, only yourself. So maybe you commit to change all the things they say need to be changed, but find yourself against the wall of their preconceived notions. Suddenly, you realize with a sickening wrench that not only will they not allow you the opportunities to prove you can alter potentially damaging behaviors; they won’t even allow it’s a possibility. They have a set image of you in their heads; this is your personality and it cannot be changed, in their opinion. They do not see you the way you see you, the way your friends see you. There is a schism in this social relationship, a shattered piece of glass that refracts and reflects words and behaviors and ideas all wrong; distorting them through the lens of personal belief and personality.
And since, really, your personality is based on society and social interactions, this persons perception of your personality is technically accurate. Now, whether you have intended to or not, you have become someone you despise, at least to one person. And you have no real control over whether or not that perception of you is altered — it really depends on that person. Even if you take every step to erase all behaviors that offend them, even if you follow every bit of advice and materially alter yourself into a clone of what they require of you, it ultimately still depends on them to see that change in you and accept it.