Seeing ourselves in others.

Scary, intimidating, strong, independent, formidable.

These are all words used to describe me recently. Now, I have a rule. If something pops up, I take note but throw it out, until I am given it 3 times. Well this makes 3 so here we are, having a look at this little issue of words used to describe a person. Words that frankly, upset me.

Why do those words upset me? Well that’s what I’m currently sitting with.

When I look at the words ‘strong’ & ‘independent’ I feel really positive. Strength is a good quality to hold and to be independent is I guess, what all of us strive for on some level? Independent but able to know how to reach out for help when needed yeah?

I guess it’s all about context. Because when the word ‘strong’ is used in a sentence such as: ‘you’re one of those strong independent scary women’ it suddenly loses its positive vibe and becomes something very different.

I know that what others think of you is none of your business but it’s a hard concept to grasp isn’t it!! Especially when how you perceive yourself is worlds away from how you are being perceived.

The last thing I feel I am is scary. In fact I am scared, of almost everything! Scared to walk into a bar that I know my friends are sat in, because I’d have to walk in alone and there is just too many variables of nightmare things to go wrong. Scared to drive anywhere I’ve never been. So scared to drive that it took me until age 30 to learn. I am terrified of answering my phone, when I don’t know who’s on the other end. Sometimes I’m scared to answer when I DO know who on the other end! I go to sleep worrying about any number of things and wake up worrying about something different. So for me to be seen by others as scary strikes me as totally weird.

Intimidating. Now there’s a word!! By definition it means:
1. to make timid; fill with fear.
2. to overawe or cow, as through the force of personality or by superior display of wealth, talent, etc.

Well! Again I struggle with this word too! I am filled with fear everytime I open my mouth to speak. Sometimes the words literally do not come out and I end up in a crumpled mess of embarrassment. I have been intimidated a lot throughout my adult life by others. Men and women alike, but mainly men. But I struggle to see what people would find intimidating about me? I guess I do have a mouth that speaks my opinions and I lack tact but I never realised my personality strikes fear into others.

Formidable. I actually love this word. It’s powerful and strong and just means ‘don’t mess with me’ again, not a word I associate with myself. But others seem to?

What I do know about myself is that I am opinionated, I am loud in new situations because I am terrified and that’s just how I cope. I have no confidence in myself, in how I look, how I speak or how I am viewed by others, but I refuse to show that in case it is seen as a weakness. I guess that could be seen as a strength? I don’t think it is. I have a public mask screwed on so tight that others perceive me to be scary and that worries me immensely!

First impressions are so important as they shape your view of a person as a whole, before you get to know them and realise how much of a fragile, scared, wounded & gentle person lies under the cover.
A person who will over analyse everything she says or does, in fear of someone thinking badly of her. A person who is just like you and lacks inner faith in herself.

Next time you are about to use a word to describe a person, hold off. Take a moment to think, especially if you are about to say it to them!
Am I seeing the real them?
Are they scared and putting on a brave face?
Look into the eyes of that person and you will see what you truly need to know. That inside is a beautiful, kind, loving soul hoping you will see them for who they really are.

Masks aren’t easy to remove and I am working on mine. I thought I had been working quite hard, but it seems I have a lot more work to do before others will see me for who I truly am…..

Wait. Maybe it’s that eventually I will see myself for the strong, independent, formidable but kind and clever, passionate woman I really am…

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