|Don't ask to ask, just ask|
jcwren, I think your point on people often misunderstanding your intentions, that is thinking you are arrogant when you are either being pragmatic or jovial, is often the case in any work environment (and real life as well). And I also think that joee's comment about forklifts is revealing that you can be misunderstood in the opposite manner as well (presenting a good side, being turned into a bad side instead of vice versa).
But, while this affects all people, I don't think it concerns me in the slightest. Hmm let me explain :) , I mean that for me personally I do not look at work or other social environments as places of competition. I also do not choose to make many friends, both at work and otherwise (which is entirely separate from being friendly). My goal is to satisfy my responsibilities to people, especially my friends. But foremost, I wish to enjoy it.
I do not find worrying about what other people think or mis-think about me enjoyable. Nor do I worry what my boss thinks, in terms of promotion, etc. . For those who are my friends I would like them to understand me in this way, so that when I do make a sarcastic comment (such as crazyinsomniac's "I am God, muwahahaha!"), -they- will not misunderstand me.
I can only hope that my general attitude will not be misunderstood by all others, but this does not restrain me much -- especially in the goal of enjoyment :) (for example, at our cubic-farm office, I enjoy facilitating inter-office communication by jumping on top of desks, regardless of whom is present).
Hmm, for some reason I feel I haven't explained myself properly, so please excuse me. (My only excuse is that I have just woken up, a very poor one).
Welp, take care in anycase.