Someone wrote (publicly):
“I’m requesting that if you know me, you be straight with me about how I’m being. I’m a big girl and I’m digging deep right now shedding old conversations. Please don’t hold back. Thank you.”
My reply (sent privately to her):
I consider it “being courageous” to make the request you made. As you know, my experience with you is mostly a year or more old.
You specifically asked for feedback about “how you’re BEING.” Here it is. Obviously, these are my conversations about my *experience* of you, my stories about you, etc…. Fair warning: below, I make reference to you as sexy. 🙂
In summary, I can think of you as someone who has been being “good-intentioned but reactive… waiting to happen.” By reactive, I mean in particular that I have had the experience of you as being “a conversation for frustration” as in “yeah, but no one really GETS me (and they should- life should be easier)! Aren’t my good *intentions* enough? I *meant* well, though!?!? What the hell! Why don’t they CO-OPERATE?!?!”
I can relate to that entire conversation, by the way. (In fact, it may be mine more than yours….)
What I imagine is that you have had a pre-existing concern that “no one gets me” or “I am so different” or something like that.
Beginning with idealistic expectations of others (plus a background of anxiety and “it’s all so difficult”), then arises “look, I do everything right… however, those other people are frustrating *my* expectations! How **dare** them?!?!”
An element of rage can burst through, covering a sense of being exposed/ unsupported and, ultimately, intense grief /stress. There can be a sense of “if only I could _______, then I would be alright!!!”
In the background of that would be “but I’m not alright yet!” Another way of saying that is “something is wrong, specifically, with me. Uh oh!?!?”
I think to note that in regard to my references to these various speculated conversations, none of these things are in the realm of “fundamentally true or false”, but just possible valid interpretations. Further, they may or may not be recognized by you as “familiar.”
I also imagine for you a conversation like “My life would be better IF other people would acknowledge me for ______.” Rather than you being a creator of acknowledgement, there may be have been a conversation for “what I need is outside authority/credit to give me the validation I *deserve*.”
I tend to think that when people do something “selfless” or “great” and then draw attention to it, that there is a pattern of avoidance in the background. To make up what I think you may be avoiding, I think of….
1) “I’m avoiding my disappointment in regard to men in general.”
2) “I’m avoiding my fear of being embarrassed / humiliated / awkward AGAIN.” (References to past events could be part of the avoidance.)
3) “I wish for people to perceive me as independent and brave and strong, rather than overwhelmed or vulnerable. I am very sensitive to any ‘accusation’ of ever experiencing ‘human frailty’ or ‘naivete’.”
I find it notable (to me) that I wrote “I wish for people to PERCEIVE…” rather than “I wish to be….” My sense of you is that “deep down” you would prefer being “connected” and “resourceful” rather than just to actually be truly “independent.” To me, being “independent” is often about avoiding “the troubling realm of relationships” and “trusting others.”
I think you even told me once that “I do not like most women. I typically get along better with men.” As a man, my typical reaction to that was “she is probably not comfortable with her femininity. She may easily get jealous of women and flip out. Therefore, she is bad news.”
So, regarding the subject of independence, to “seem independent to other people” is very distinct from simply being “innovative” or “creative” or “powerful.” For instance, when you experience life as “grateful for my perceptiveness and my intuitive ability to connect with people easily,” then is “being independent” a priority at all?
Again, I think that you would rather be “connected” and “in partnership” than really “independent.” (Being independent can SUCK.) Also, when you experience life as “full of opportunities for learning,” then I imagine a dissolving of any tension about “why aren’t my familiar methods working well?!?!”
Next, I presume that you have had a habit of using intoxication as a coping mechanism and “liquid courage.” You can present yourself as “wild” and “unpredictable” and even “erratic” or “chaotic.” I think that in fact you were in the mode of “people will not like me as I am unless I exhibit unusual playfulness and/or sexiness.”
Note: as a man, I am very aware that you have boobs etc. You do not need to flaunt your sexiness. You are sexy. Deal with it. Also, some women *will* be jealous of you. Deal with it.
In fact, extremes of modesty might be more effective at allowing “the typical man” to connect with you without being overwhelmed by your physical attractiveness. Also, women who may be intimidated by your beauty may respond better to you if you present modesty.
I have told a few women that “most other women are easily intimidated/ scared of you.” Perhaps all of the women that I have delivered that message to have expressed skepticism about the idea.
Take my word for it. I have stood in front of two women and watched them react to each other. Many women ARE intimidated by someone as attractive as you.
Any conversation you may have of “but I am really not *that* attractive” is a DEFENSE. You have never looked through the eyes of a male. I do every day.
I can tell you how attractive you are from my perspective. Respect what I say if you are open to accurate feedback. Ready?
You are *quite* attractive. Deal with it.
As a reminder, men are machines. (So are women.) If you trigger “sexual arousal” hormones in a man, their brain function alters. BAM!
Cognitive function turns off (or way down). Seductive function turns on (or way up). So, if you are ever disappointed by what you have been attracting (like in men), consider *changing your presentation.*
Sexual interest is powerful. It also has a tendency to be fleeting.
If you feel a deep respect or trust for a particular man, you *COULD* choose to create connection and sexual attraction etc.
(Women tend to be very unreceptive to / disturbed by other women who “do not know how to *stop* turning on” any man that is heterosexually operational.)
If you are not already, I recommend exploring the “romantic” perspective of “I am already a prize. You either get that or not. I respond to respect (and maturity etc). Show me that you are a prize and then maybe I will let you prize me.”
Anyway, regarding beauty and so on, as time goes on, you are getting older like everyone else- then even older than that.
If you live graciously and with dignity, then other people will be DRAWN to your maturity and “real-world experience.”
I also think you may have used some pretenses of “damsel in distress” to attract attention. One the one hand, I am certain that you have experienced real distress. On the other hand, I think you got familiar with distress and may actually have been scared of “things settling down smoothly.”
Maybe you did not want to be “too settled” (whatever that means). I imagine a concern with “I don’t want to be boring (AKA lonely).” If relevant, I invite you to let any such concerns evolve in to an active commitment regarding what you value most.
Again, I do *not* consider any “being independent” thing to have been authentic for you. I think of you as committed to respect, connection, and, yes, playfulness and fun and even silliness.
So, that is who you are for me! Deal with it. 😉