Thursday, July 3, 2014
The Full Monty of Emotions
Once upon a time, I was the sort of person who would fly off the handle if you told me to chill out or stop overreacting. That was my instant cue to go into orbit, and there was no stopping me. If you wanted to see a real overreaction, by golly you were going to get one now! As I went through more and more of these experiences, I started to feel like I was just too big, too dramatic, too crazy for people to understand. People only seemed to like my emotional passion when it involved emotions that were pretty or acceptable to them.
So I set about to try to suppress my big nature, to be more emotionally conservative and appealing to a wider range of people. And in the end, that's exactly what I attracted: a wide range of people who weren't at all right for me. I found chemistry with some of them, but the compatibility just wasn't there, mostly because I was pretending to be someone I wasn't. Inevitably, my true big self would slip out more and more frequently, and my emotionally conservative friends and dates would not know what to make of it, or would take it as a sign that something was wrong with me.
One day, many years ago, I was in the car with my boyfriend at the time, and while we were stopped at a light he turned to me and asked, "why do you have to be so dramatic all the time?" That was the final straw for me, and I went completely nuts. I told him that yes, I do experience emotions deeply and intensely, and I express them just as intensely, whether they're emotions he likes dealing with or not. If he found that kind of "drama" unpleasant, then why was he with me? I told him he must like it, or we wouldn't be dating.
He sat there and stared blankly at me. He probably didn't even really hear what I said, except for the part where I kept ranting on and vaguely blaming him for not "getting it."
This was a perfect example of a relationship where there was plenty of chemistry, but no compatibility. I thought I could be more appealing if I could pretend to be less high-maintenance, more easygoing and less expressive of my emotions. In the end, though, the real me finally won over, and I was less appealing than ever because I was all over the place.
This taught me one of the most important lessons ever. I stopped trying to hide and suppress my real nature, and I stopped dumbing it down in an effort to please others. Instead, I decided to concentrate my efforts on attracting someone who would appreciate and love me for who I really am, including the big gestures, passionate emotions, and assertive expressions. I didn't want to have to fight myself anymore, nor fight the people I was with. Opposites can attract, but in my case I was attracting situations where the combination of me and them brought out the worst in both of us, mostly because I was starting from a place of spite and resentment.
Once I decided to attract a relationship with someone who would love me with all my big, intense passion, things changed. When my husband showed up, I finally found the perfect fit, because I had become a magnet from a place of self-acceptance, not from a place of self-loathing. Because in the end, it doesn't matter if you're dramatic or laid back, or whether you and your partner have similar personalities. What matters is that you're both being true to yourselves, and that you've come to each other by being the magnets that are attracting what you really want. After all, Great Relationships Begin Within!
by Maryanne Comaroto of Maryanne Live
*The magnet is the second tool in my relationship tool belt. Get a copy of Hindsight: What You Need to Know Before You Drop Your Drawers!.