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Community Living: Are You the Grouch?

Updated on April 16, 2020
Kyler J Falk profile image

I'm "The Grouch" in your community, please be kind to me even though I'm different.

Just because I'm grouchy, it doesn't mean I'm someone to avoid.
Just because I'm grouchy, it doesn't mean I'm someone to avoid. | Source

After reading my article, The Negatives of Being Positive, over again I recalled having been compared to "Oscar the Grouch" multiple times in my life. Here is my exploration of the notion.

Recognizing and Approaching a Grouch

If you are even the slightest bit active in your community then it is safe for me to assume that you know who the grouches in your community are. Heck, like me, you may be the grouch yourself. Nonetheless there are oblivious individuals out there who can't recognize grouches for themselves, and this can lead to many miscommunications and misrepresentations of the grouch. The most common misrepresentation of a grouch is that they are someone to avoid completely, and that just isn't true. So how do you discern between an unfavorable individual, and the ever-lovable grouches?

Well in order to determine who is a grouch, and who is simply someone to avoid you must first get to know the individual. Yes, something so simple as walking up and asking, "How's it going, what's your name?" is a great first start. Don't be the type to stare from a distance with cautious or scrutinizing body language, that would make anyone uncomfortable. Communication with your body is just as, if not more, important than with your words and you wouldn't want someone gawking at you from across the way. Most of the time, the grouch is too shy to approach you so in approaching them you've already done more than most would for them.

The grouch will seem a bit reserved, as if they don't want to talk to you, but rest assured and remain confident that the grouch just doesn't know how to present things in what others would describe as a positive light. When they seem to grunt an unwilling response toward you, don't let silence take over, keep bombarding that grouch with your questions and energy! If the grouch doesn't want to talk to you they will tell you so, but chances are they are dying to let someone into their grouchy little world. Even if the grouch tells you not to talk to them, make sure you check up on them at some point in the near future, they're just slow to open up because of the way others have treated them.

If you've made it to the point where you are regularly talking, smiling, and hanging with the grouch then congratulations you've learned how to recognize and approach a grouch.

If the grouch managed to scare you away, then know that the grouch is sad and alone and didn't actually mean to have that happen. The grouch would much rather you be their friend but there are reasons the grouch acts the way they do, and they most likely understand why you don't like them to begin with.

It's lonely.
It's lonely. | Source

Living as a Grouch

The first time someone said, "You are like Oscar the Grouch," to me... I was offended and hurt to say the least; but like many others I didn't take to heart the message that Sesame Street was trying to convey. Grouches are a part of the community, and just because they are different doesn't mean that they deserve to be treated different. This person who compared me to a dumpster-dwelling, green, hairy, trash-eating monster meant nothing by her words and was in fact infatuated with my grouchy self. This opened my eyes to the mistreatment I had received my whole life, simply because I am different, I am a grouch.

Living like a grouch isn't very easy. Due to being severely abused by my family growing up, that abuse still occurring but less severe and through different mediums, I formed a very pessimistic, grouchy view of the world. I learned to live through what others didn't have to, being forced to enjoy the figurative garbage that was all that was made available to me. Being alone and mistreated, ignored by everyone minus the rare occasion someone would stop to be disgusted by me, is a depressing existence I have always yearned to escape. After twenty-six years it would seem that being a grouch also goes hand in hand with the phrase, "You can't teach an old dog new tricks."

Make no mistake, my prospective friends, I'd love to change for you but the pain that has warped me into a grouch makes it very difficult; especially when being a grouch scares everyone away. When you express an opinion, a belief, a fact to me I may present something to the contrary in a very intimidating or off-putting way that seems like I want to attack or hurt you. Please don't run away, or at least don't run away and never come back, I love to hear everything you have to say and everything that you are thinking. I'm just a grouch, and I need your help to overcome my grouchy ways.

No one deserves to be mistreated, so don't mistreat them.
No one deserves to be mistreated, so don't mistreat them. | Source

Please Be My Friend

As of now I have three friends in the entire world. My girlfriend, my son, and a man I haven't seen in years but loves me for the grouch that I am. Looking around me I see people with tens, hundreds, thousands of friends who check in on them on a daily basis. All these people preaching acceptance and tolerance, all the while I'm sitting here in my grouch dumpster with people occasionally throwing trash on me. When I come out of my grouch dumpster and try to be friends with people they are put off by my grouchy demeanor, perceiving everything I say as negative or only looking at me as if I am a downer. Really, I just haven't been given the chance to step out of my grouchy shell and show you I'm just as fun and positive as the people around you.

So I ask today, please be my friend? Be friends with the grouches in your community and give them the chance to show you that they are just like everyone else, just a little bit grouchier.

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    • Kyler J Falk profile imageAUTHOR

      Kyler J Falk 

      12 months ago from California

      Yes I did manage to find Val, and I followed him near immediately. It is going to take a bit of time for me to get into his articles, as they are quite verbose and written in a style my processing disorder has trouble comprehending, but I've enjoyed what I have been through so far and look forward to reading more here in the near future.

      As for Norco the manure smell remains mostly within the city these days, the 91 is worse with 50-60 minutes being the norm to Anaheim, and the only thing really coming our way from Norco is a giant dust bowl any time there's a slight breeze.

      I think I like your interpretation of grouchy as well, definitely something I need to think more about. Perhaps I'm giving myself less credit than I deserve as far as the good side of my personality.

    • Aliswell profile image

      Allen Edwards 

      12 months ago from Iowa

      As a "grouchy" old farmer once told me.."Allen, if I had to count on one hand, the number of times I had to tell someone they were "full of shite"..I would need a hundred hands"!

      I liken your definition of "grouchy" as to that of what may be one person’s defintion of being a terrorist to another person’s being that of a freedom fighter?

      As a "Former Marine", you know doubt had a "drill sergeant" who would fit the "grouchy role to a "T", but without him, where would that inner strength of your's, been first drawn to the surface, never to be held again -- for very long -- under that surface of that cold, slimey, "swamp of depression".

      "Ketamine" + Talk; or "Psilocybin" + Talk or "Ayahuasca" + Talk or ALL the Above = "Stay tuned, News at Ten"!

      Oh, by the way Kyler, I lived in Corona back in the "stonned age"..when it took 45 minutes to get to work in Anaheim (during normal commute hours)! I'm guessing Corona has changed a little since 1971? Can you still smell the aroma of horse poop coming from Norco...on a smoggy day?

      Did you find my friend Val?

    • Kyler J Falk profile imageAUTHOR

      Kyler J Falk 

      12 months ago from California

      Thank you, John, and thank you, Paula I always appreciate the positive things you guys have to say about myself and my articles. I would never want to diminish the kindness I receive here on HubPages; but I find myself wishing it translated into real life, you know? A hug from a friend and a pat on the back, people to go hiking with who don't have ulterior motives (usually sexual), and maybe even a group who'd invite me to their home to sit around a fire and share some brew and conversation.

      I don't know, loneliness bites a little hard sometimes and it makes me forget what I have here and now. Then again, my situation is more than unfavorable to most.

      Gotta keep pushing for success and get out of this situation for good!

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Suzie 

      12 months ago from Carson City

      Hi there, Kyler. I suspect you may not be as much a "grouch" as you think. Even if you have moments of grouchiness, you wouldn't scare me away. Like our Aussie friend, Jodah says, we can all have grouchy moments. Beneath most grouches, there is usually a sweet, funny person, just needing love like the rest of us. Actually, your honesty is a real plus. Being able to admit our flaws, makes us all much more "real," & relatable..

      I'm happy to tell you that you're in the right place for FRIENDS. As time goes on, you'll find that Hubbers are some of the most incredibly wonderful, positive & accepting people in the world! After nearly 9 years here, I continue to feel more and more blessed by the awesome individuals, I can call my friends. You are a welcome addition to the group! Cheers, Paula

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 

      12 months ago from Queensland Australia

      Hi Kyler, I think we all have our grouchy moments, though some maybe more than others. I can probably count my real life friends on one hand, but I have lots here at HubPages. It is a great community and it won’t you long to fit in..grouchy or not.

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