Hi, I’m Niall, And I Will Eventually Disappoint You

 

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.

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75 Comments

  1. You are becoming more and more alive my friend… I can feel the fire. Fuckin’ awesome!!!

    It is important to care about others, but in the context of this point, and in what you wrote, it is FAR more important to be okay with disappointing others, rather than disappointing ourselves.

    Sometimes we have to say fuck what others think – and then live our dreams!

    Always a fan.

  2. Hi Niall,

    I resonated with what you said about alcohol and as it warmed my heart. When I read what your friend had said previously – i.e. needing to drink to make your moves. I was nearly going to respond, and say don’t listen to him Niall! Then I told myself I better get a life, I’m not this guy’s mother, what’s happening to me!! Change the channel and I clicked away into the sunset, I wont unsubscribe, as I may need your help (paid of course) in the near future. Thanks – hang in there

  3. Keep ‘em coming just the way they are! :-)
    Cheers from Amsterdam (where the weather keeps on disappointing me! ;-))

  4. Well said! I love that moment when you/I just stand up and say This is Me – no apologies. Wish I could get there more often:( but you are an inspiration as usual.

    All the best Kate x

  5. Nial, I don’t like the way you’re drinking milk like that. It’s really irresponsible to the cows and your gas is offensive.

    Sarcastically,

    Raphael

    p.s. – I enjoy your headstrong independent thinking. I recently quit a job I hated, sold all my “things” that really owned me and am getting off the damn carousel. I feel so relieved to have stopped considering the expectations of anyone but myself. I am working up the courage to start my own business, I have anxiety about it but I feel like I’m so close to completely being myself finally. You inspire me. Thank you.

  6. Haha, best title I’ve read. I’ve ignored your last 3 or so weeks of posts but this title got me back in and read your previous post. Loved it, love this. Though I am saddened that I am one who relies on alcohol to be social. Give me titles like this so I notice your posts more in my mess of a daily inbox.

  7. Boom. Take that readers.

    Take the offended as a sign of success. When people start to be disappointed it’s because you are making a mark that they can only dream of.

  8. Lets be honest – you’re obviously a huge narcissist. I mean not many people decide that their lifestyle is superior to the extent that they need to preach the Gospel of themselves to the world. I don’t think even Christ, Buddha, or Ghandi were that arrogant.

    But fair game to you – narcissism is entertaining. Its why rooshv and your site are so high on my list – its why I go to the gym and juice every day. Its good to love yourself – just realize that its a lonely road and people who aren’t interested in living a bold and amazing life (some would say a hedonistic life) will mock you behind your back and try to tear you down.

  9. The world is made up mostly of people who are in love with that which they hate. You can love or hate that fact or both, but there it is.

  10. “Using alcohol to get laid” is a bit harsh – especially from an Irishman! Were talking a buzz to strip away some inhibitions – something that’s been around for as long as bottles of wine have been shared with a meal! Trying to hook up on the first date without alcohol is about as efficient as refusing to use a match to light your candles (or trying to improve your body while spending only an hour a week in the gym)!

    • You misquoted me. Using alcohol is fine. Relying on it is the problem. One of the main reasons I don’t drink is because I don’t want to rely on it to be at my best socially. Cool if you want to hook up with drunk chicks at the club, but I’d rather hit it off with that cute girl in the supermarket at 4pm.

      • I merely suggested you and your date have some drinks when you’re already on your date, not when you’re trying to pick up girls initially. You’re so vehement against alcohol that you’re injecting your own context into what I said.

        • Not against alcohol, just prefer not to drink it myself. Sure, I miss out on some things, but on the whole I feel my life is better without it.

          I tried the “drinking in moderation” thing before too and that never worked very well for me. Abstaining is the best of everything I’ve tried, at least for now.

          But I won’t rule out drinking again someday, and I’ve no problem with other people drinking as long as they’re comfortable with it themselves.

      • Not relying on alcohol is key. Sure, have some wine with someone you are dating, but initially, or on a date early on… it’s a weak move.

        I’ve overcome those fears of thinking “we should have a glass or wine, or I should have a beer”, and have had much deeper and much more fun initial dates and interactions.

        Alcohol is often times used because we are too afraid and uncomfortable with ourselves. It’s a suppressor. I’m not saying I don’t drink, but it the context of dating, it does not help for personal growth.

        • LOL okay I’ll remember that I’m “weak” when I’m taking a girl’s panties off with my teeth because we each had 4 drinks over the course of two hours.

          You guys have the moral high ground somehow as you’re meekly and awkwardly knocking on the door of a girl who told you good night an hour earlier.

  11. Hey Niall,

    you know I have been around long enough and we have shared a great time in a little helo, so I am far from unsubscribing.

    Nevertheless, I find your post a little harsh sometimes. Which might be exactly what you wanted, so it’s okay referring to your own judgement. By allowing comments, however, you ask your clients’ judgement and I simply prefer another side of yourself – a softer one, a more caring one. Somebody once said that independence has to be fully established before the person will consider interdependence to be of any value. I do think you already value interdependence in general; maybe not too much in this post.

    As always, keep going and although you will disappoint me and I will disappoint you at some time, this does not mean that I will cut off our connection – mutual development will not only take place in soft talk.

    Sabine

  12. This is a very disappointing post, could you tell me how to unsubscribe?
    Bahahahahaa

    It’s an intense freedom when you are outside of what your peers and family need to you to be…..dig it.

    There’s a new album out by an old Texas songwriter named Ray Wylie Hubbard. There is a line of lyrics that blew me away….

    “The days that my gratitude exceeds my expectations, I have a pretty good day.”

    Beauty. Go, man, go.

  13. Did you noticed that your ego is growing allong with the audience? No i’m not dissapointed, because I had no expectations.
    :)

    Stay true and take care!

  14. Niall, I am disappoint.

    But seriously … I admire your candor and your willingness to air your inner thoughts. The blogosphere is a great way to build your confidence in “being yourself” (god, how I hate that cliched phrase, but there isn’t really a better one).

    Testing yourself against critics and haters is a great way to realize that (a) they aren’t living in your shoes (b) their input is worth its weight in manure.

  15. Well, if you plan on disappointing me, you’re going to need to believe in creationism, oversee a human trafficking ring, and club baby seals. You ready for that ride? Otherwise, I think we’re good.

    Fair winds and following seas.

  16. Oh Niall, I think your sexy self just got sexier! We should all learn to stop giving two flying f*ks about what anyone thinks about us!

  17. Niall, I love you even MORE after this post. And for the record, I thought your last post was amusingly self-deprecating and very refreshing. No ‘wahey, look at the notches on my bedpost!’ – more ‘I just got a door shut in my face. But that’s okay’.

    It was also a fantastic example of what you’ve talked about before – about how laying out your foibles, weaknesses and less-than-fine moments are what MAKE a friendship, a relationship, a REAL PERSON of any kind. You rock.

  18. Hi Niall, I just found your blog through some tweet on Twitter…

    Anyway, you’ve just gotten a new reader.

    I’ve been thinking about moving to Nepal for a few months, plus I love Brian Regan :)

    You seem like a cool and interesting guy…

  19. What other people think of you, is none of your business.

    It really is that simple. Once you let yourself be guided by the opinions of others then you stop being you.

  20. I am indeed disappointed – I’m disappointed that some in your audience actually wrote silly things from you sharing an honest and very open anecdote.

    Anyway, annoyed people on the Internet is fun. My article on why I won’t live in America still gives me several comments a day long after I’ve written it, varying between the extremes of “such incredible wisdom and insight, you’re amazing!!” to “f*$king douchebag Eurotrash, get the hell out back to the third world and never come back”.

    My proudest moment on Youtube was when someone called me “your soooo gay”, in a purely derogatory sense with no sexual implications. I felt like my channel had reached a whole new level for getting that level of trolling. You gotta laugh :D

    I see this as good news! The fact that you are starting to get people nitpicking such ridiculous things and feeling the need to inform you of your “wrongness”, tells me that you’ve expanded your audience well! May much more people be disappointed by you in future my friend ;) I won’t be among them btw!

    • Hey Benny, thanks for the comment. Glad to get your 2 cents on this as I know you get bashed a ton online. I could learn a thing or two from you about handling it all.

      Keep doing what you do.

  21. I’ve been reading your blog for awhile and I’ve had my doubts about a non-drinking Irishman, but you’ve certainly been worth the ride.

    Thanks for your writings, Niall. Sometimes brilliant, sometimes mundane, but always real.

    Keep up the great work!

  22. Hi Niall,

    I read the last post and was surprised by some of the comments people left. Not surprised by this post though, it is clearly a response to some of the vitriol that was posted in the last one. I for one won’t be unsubscribing for two reasons. You are the first blogger I ever thought I wanted to follow and second you’re the one who made me want to start my own blog. Truth is this is your blog to take in whatever direction you wish and personally although I have not always agreed with the points you make I respect your right to make them. I love nothing more than a good debate, life would be so dull if we all agreed on everything. So as long as your posts don’t drift into the realms of white supremacy or advocating NAMBLA then we should be good.

    As for disappointing people; you can never go through life without disappointing someone.

    Until next time.

    Slanje va

    Gary

  23. Cheers to that!
    I, for one of apparently many ^, am inspired and challenged by your candor — why I read blogs to begin with. I found this Shaw quote recently: “Liberty also means responsibility. This is why most men dread it.” You take responsibility for your actions and that is commendable. It also makes others who aren’t willing to do the same very, very uncomfortable. Such is the “pice” of freedom, but only if we allow others to have that power over us. Kudos for having the better, harder, righter attitude and continuing along your own path.
    Keep on rocking your badass self.

  24. Niall!
    First off, you could never disappoint me because I have no expectations for you.
    But, I will say this.. perhaps instead of taking some comments personally or getting defensive.. you should just be honored that people are reading and feeling comfortable enough to comment? If you’re doing things right, people should be getting upset. Strong opinions are bound to piss some people off!

    With all do respect, kind of sounds like this time you’re the one who got offended easily, yeah? I have no idea what the comments said that upset you.. but you know as the old addage goes, fuck em if they can’t take a joke!

    • I hear ya, Sean. I won’t dwell on the negative comments, just felt like getting this view out there. I’ll be able to link to it in future in response to other negative/disappointed comments (I’m sure they’ll keep coming).

  25. Niall – I’m glad to hear that you are not afraid of disappointing others in order to stay true to yourself and who you are intrinsically. People are entitled to their own opinions – but the only one that matters is your own. Kudos to you for respecting who you are and honouring yourself!

    Big hugs,

    Patricia

  26. Like a lot of peeps, I was also puzzled by the comments on the last post. You’re a man. It’s called “biology”. Duh.

    The only thing that disturbs me is that I subscribed to the comments, and every time there is a follow-up, I think it’s about my dog whose name is the most common name in female dogdom: “Bella”. :-D

    Keep rockin’ on to your own drum, Niall. We salute you! (I think I just aged myself, and that sounds really dorky, but I’m leaving it. :-p )

  27. I’ll admit I stopped following along after a while, and I have no idea what you may have gotten by email, but to tell you the truth I didn’t see anything that was truly disrespectful on the Bella post. Unless you’re saying I was the culprit?

    I don’t think sparking debate on a blog means you’re disappointing anybody, and it certainly doesn’t mean I want to unsubscribe. It just means “OK, I like your writing and I share your worldview on certain things, but here is where we diverge and I want to tell you how I see it.”

    I think what you’re doing and your seize the day approach are awesome, and I’m thrilled to read about your adventures and efforts to fulfill your dreams. But you should recognize that many people, I hate to say this but especially women, have had the experience of being used for casual sex by emotionally unavailable people who habitually use women to stroke their egos. So if you want to have a truly mixed audience, controversy over a post like the last one should simply be expected, and you should also perhaps expect to be called out if it seems like you’re just looking to score. To me, saying you adore Bella or had a deep connection with her doesn’t change the fact that that’s what you were trying to do, which she obviously knew, as well.

    So to put what you said back in the other direction, if you want me to stop reading, if I am not the audience you want, let me know and I’ll be happy to unsubscribe. Otherwise, I’ll stick around, but from time to time, you can expect to hear what I think.

    • Hey Jennie,

      Nothing personal aimed at you here. I did receive several remarks between email, comments and Facebook questioning my morals and saying I was close to becoming a sex pest, which I found a bit much. Hence this post.

      As regards looking to score, I don’t deny that I was trying to do that with Bella, and I’ve tried to do it with other girls in the past with whom I’ve had much less of an intellectual/emotional connection. I don’t believe there’s anything wrong with that. As long as both parties get what they want out of the interaction, it’s all good.

      You’re right though that controversy should be expected, and I’ll try do a better job of welcoming it in future.

  28. Loved this post, Niall! (So much that I originally read it on my phone last night, and proceeded to mark it as unread so that I could come back and comment when I got back to my computer. So yeah.)

    Reading your blog the past few months, I’ve laughed, and cried, and cheered for you (a la the hero, wanting you to get the girl). I love what Benny said about hoping that you piss off and/or disappoint many more people along the way – may you continue to find your true audience, and may your travels and your life continue to be true (to you, and no one else)!

  29. I have been following your blog for a few months and have read your manifesto. So much of what you write resonates with me, though we have very little in common. I am a non risk taking(socially and otherwise)married mother of three, who has traveled very little. I admire your ability to be true to yourself and to always be open to learning more and trying new things. You inspire me to do the same.

  30. I don’t know how people can label you a sex pest. Personally I wouldn’t condone sex with random strangers but to each his own. Choices you make are your choices alone. They are neither right nor wrong. They are simply your choices.
    I applaud you for doing what you are doing and it takes courage to walk away from the materialistic world we live in and travel vagabond. Kudos to you.
    I have enjoyed reading your posts and living vicariously through you. It has been a great pleasure. I enjoy your robust take on life. Trolls will be trolls. Negative people radiate negative energy. Don’t allow their toxic vibes to infect you. You’re better than that!