by Niall Doherty

After reading many of the strong reactions to my last post, I feel inclined to reintroduce myself. So that’s what I’m going to do today.

A few things…

I will eventually disappoint you

Several readers have mentioned recently via comments and emails that they’re disappointed in me, for various reasons. Of course I appreciate the feedback and sometimes I’ll even reconsider a few things because of it. But at the end of the day, the only person I really care about disappointing is myself.

I’m not about to change my behavior simply because a few (or many) people disapprove. As long as I feel I’m being true to myself and not hurting anyone with reasonable sensitivities, I’ll keep doing as I please.

With this approach to living, it’s likely that I will eventually disappoint you. But I’m not going to feel bad about that. Your disappointment has as much to do with your beliefs and expectations as it has to do with my behavior.

Better expectations

Here are a few things you should know about me, which should give you a better idea of what to expect from this blog…

  • I’m cool with casual sex and tend to take a business approach to relationships.
  • I’m not religious and consider many religious beliefs to be ridiculous.
  • I’m a hypocrite.
  • I change my mind sometimes, meaning I don’t stay true to everything I’ve ever written or believed.
  • I’m a terrible tourist and don’t care much for seeing landmarks. (Here in Kathmandu, for example, I’d much rather hang out at the local falafel stand and meet random people than go get my picture taken in front of an ancient stupa.)
  • I like attention and want to be famous (like Drew Jacob).
  • I regularly say and write words like fuck and shit.
  • I like to try new things and challenge my own beliefs.
  • I often ignore conventional wisdom and good advice.
  • I like being weird.
  • I think it’s sad if you rely on alcohol to get laid.

I have and will continue to write about controversial and taboo topics like those listed above. Some of you will accept that we won’t see eye to eye on everything, and either shrug off such differences or leave a comment respectfully articulating your disagreement (thanks in advance).

Others will take personal offense, get all worked up about what this random Irish guy said on the Internet, and leave a snarky comment or twelve.

If you fit into the latter group, I first suggest reading my article on becoming unoffendable.

And if that has no effect…

Change the channel

Back in my college days I remember spending hours watching a show on MTV called My Super Sweet Sixteen. It was basically a show about spoiled and ungrateful American teenagers throwing tantrums when they didn’t get their way (and sometimes even when they did). The behavior of these people really got my blood boiling.

One day I was complaining to a long-suffering friend about the brats on the show. Finally having heard enough, my friend snapped back at me, “If it pisses you off so much, why do you watch the damn thing?”

A similar question comes to my mind when folks get all worked up about something I write and leave long tirades or quick digs in the comments. Not such a big deal when it’s a new reader who just stumbled across one of my articles, but a good chunk of the offended parties I hear from are regular readers and even subscribers.

I can’t help but wonder: If my blog pisses you off so much, why do you read the damn thing? You know you can always change the channel, right? There are plenty of other blogs out there.

Tell you what, I’ll make it really easy for those of you who fit the above description: Replace my blog on your reading list with the most inoffensive blog I could find.

Seriously, go ahead and click that link if you’ve found yourself disagreeing with or being offended by much of my writing. Life’s too short to get worked up about what some dude in Kathmandu thinks.

Here’s the link again, your easy opportunity to banish this annoying fool from your life. One click and you’ll live a few months longer.

Still with me?

Okay, cool. I think we’ll get along just fine.

Rest assured that the above wasn’t some ploy to avoid all criticism and surround myself with a bunch of yes-men. I actually love when folks challenge my worldview and get me thinking about things I hadn’t considered before. Those of you who can do that in a mature and respectful way, without projecting your own morals and/or insecurities onto me, are more than welcome to stick around. I look forward to hearing from you.

If I may wrap this up with a toast (I’m sure you won’t mind that my drink is non-alcoholic):

Here’s to disappointing others rather than yourself.