The first thing I have to do right away is confess: my low self-esteem has resulted in the building of great, thick walls of false bravado. People who know me superficially - the way the VAST majority of people do know the folks around them - may say that I am confident (those who like me) or that I'm a snob (everyone else). But the truth is that I'm neither confident nor snobbish. I often avoid social settings because I believe other people are annoyed by me. I don't trust myself to know and apply the rules of social etiquette.
But, I do have other reasons for disliking other people: they're fake (myself included). It's just too much work to make small talk with perfect, plastic, always-cheerful people. I'm sorry, but they're just not interesting.
The people I respect are unafraid to be real.
I don't like perfect people. I don't need someone to tell me all the platitudes and wisdom that pop into their heads unless it's in the CONTEXT of a hard-earned personal narrative.
I want to surround myself with people who have had real, imperfect lives, and have learned from their mistakes - or are in the process of learning/growing. I want to spend time with folks who are willing to be real about the ugliness of humanity and their less-than-stellar moments/days/years.