Monday, June 28, 2010

A Strong Personality

There has been a lot on my mind lately.

Things I want to talk about but don't want to talk about, to admit here because here makes it real in ways that it's not when I talk to Hubs and my amazing friends who live mere miles from me.

But Linda over at All & Sundry posted something recently and it made me cry. Straight up cry.

Then a few days later a friend told me I apologize too much and I didn't need to. That sent me on another crying jag while I stood in the shower and let the hot water wash away the chlorine my skin drank in during that morning's swim workout.

So I have been thinking about all this.

For as long as I can remember I've been labeled as "someone with a strong personality." And when it's brought up, it's always in a sort of negative way, explaining away why I am upset about a falling out with a friend, or why people react to me the way they do, why that bothers me, etc, etc. I'm tired of that being the only thing people see or talk about. There is more to me that a strong personality. And having a strong personality isn't always bad. That's what I keep telling myself anyways.

My friend telling me I apologize too much was... well, rough. But it forced me to think about it more, and I realized that I am always apologizing to people because saying I'm sorry often times disarms people. If I admit fault first, well, maybe then the person with whom I have an issue will, well, not hate me. Or dislike me. Or feel any sort of negative feelings towards me. I realize that a lot of people don't like me. And most of the time I'm ok with that. But when it's someone that *I* like and want to have a friendship with, well, that hurts. And I feel somehow responsible for the relationship not working out. You know, because of MY strong personality.

Never mind about the fact that other people have their own issues and personalities and I can't control that. That's the rational side of my brain trying to explain away everything because I'm supposed to be all mature and adult now that I have children and everything.

So when Linda posted again (Yes, I love her blog. No I am not stalking her, she just deserves some credit here for being awesome.) with a link to a Meyers-Briggs-type personality test, I clicked on over. Heck I know who I am but I needed to see if the INTERNET agreed with me. Because all things are validated on the internet, right?

And what did I come out as? ESFJ.I'm an slightly leaning extrovert with a borderline sensing, super strong feeling, evenly judging personality. How's that for strong?

ESFJs at their best are warm, sympathetic, helpful, cooperative, tactful, down-to-earth, practical, thorough, consistent, organized, enthusiastic, and energetic. They enjoy tradition and security, and will seek stable lives that are rich in contact with friends and family.

I'm so tired of being labeled negatively as having a strong personality. What about how much I love people? How much I truly want others to succeed at what they are doing? How I want them to be happy? How I genuinely seek to find the good in everyone, to the point where I rationalize away shortcomings? I am the biggest advocate for my loved ones.

I'm so tired of being sad when people I love and respect fail to see me for me. For all of me. For the bad parts AND the good parts. This is not my fault if their minds and hearts are not open. I'm tired of feeling empty when I am so richly blessed. I feel like such an ungrateful fool. I am tired of the people who don't matter still holding on to pieces of my heart, pulling me back down, making me question all the things I believed I was good at, making me doubt the person that I am.

I am a good person. I have integrity. I have a big heart. I am a good friend. I believe there is good in everyone.

And I have a strong personality.

I wish that didn't sound so negative.