Pushing Buttons

I'm an ornery fucker who purposely chooses to push others' buttons just for a reaction. I do this early in the acquaintance because I fully believe their reaction is more truthful than a conversation at times. Rarely does time allow me, a true wallflower, to make up my mind over a multitude of observational and conversational hours and determine who a person truly is. We all wear masks, but pushing boundaries rips those masks off, albeit briefly, providing a viewing window. I use sarcasm often (when I'm playing nice) and their reaction, or lack thereof, immediately can lead me down one path, or no path. Then my dynamite word choice blows the dead end up and I start dangling a carrot (or whiskey) in front of the person to pull him or her in another direction, looking for answers. I do this to protect myself, for I am a sensitive individual. You can only be charred so many times before the white coals engulf your self-esteem. Perhaps I'm giving another too much power, and the weight of their judgement is hard to carry, but I have a difficult path to navigate with my own troubling thoughts that tend to negate my soul.