“You know, you didn’t have to squint at it?” – he said to me in a most accusatory tone ever.
When I gave him a semi-puzzled expression, he continued, “I know it was small, but seriously Dami, squinting!”
He was obviously less than pleased about the course of action my eyes had subconsciously taken to enlarge something it couldn’t see very clearly.
It wasn’t my fault, really it wasn’t.
Yes I confess, it was small.
However, I did not squint consciously, it’s something that ‘just happened’.
Unfortunately for me, my fault was not in thinking that it was small, but it was in squinting.
Somehow, by I doing that, I managed to communicate the thoughts racing through my mind.
Let me be honest with you, I felt very bad at my subtle reaction. I didn’t know it would be noticed.
That day as my friend showed us her engagement ring I squinted.
I must confess that though it was a tiny stone; the ring was beautiful, and I did not intentionally squint!
As we left dinner that night, the ‘squint conversation’ began. Apparently, this is something I do on a regular basis.
Squint at small things, or give them a puzzling look as though I was only semi-interested due to the fact they did not meet my expectations.
I was surprised to hear this. But more so, I was saddened by the fact that this was apparently a pattern. I suddenly became aware of the fact that I may have offended so many people both friends and strangers alike, by my ‘squinting habit’, and I became overwhelmed with questions for myself.
How many people have noticed it?
Was he just being picky?
How many other unconscious habits do I have?
How many of them are actually offensive or just plain annoying?
Just like a nervous twitch, an unconscious habit can easily become part and parcel of who we are.
I have a friend who twirls her weave in her finger over and over again as though they’ve magically turned into curling tongs.
Another one who cannot have a meal without posting it on instagram. She literally reaches for her phone before she has a slice of toast.
Another one who picks at her fingers when she’s upset so much so, she never has a perfect manicure.
My personal pet peeve is chewing gum loudly and blowing gum bubbles in public! I mean seriously. It’s so annoying!
Bad habits, or unconscious habits are part of who we all are. Some habits are plain annoying whilst some can be offensive.
So I started to write a list, and gather information on how many of these ‘habits’ turn people off where I’m concerned.
Hopefully I’ll be able to stop some of these habits before I’m 50!
Although, I’m not sure I can do anything about the squinting! But I’ll try.
How about you?
Do you have any habits that you are aware of?
If so, how many people are offended by them?
And finally, what habits do people around you have that you consider a turn off?
This might just be a fun exercise to do during your lunch break – get out your pen and paper and start writing!!!!