|Other Self Portraits|
I really believe everything happens for a reason, to everybody. I’m a human being, there are other human beings around me, and each of us is unique. I trust when something is going to take me to a higher level and I’ll bring lots of people along with me— a constant quest of building a strong foundation of self and others from everything I learn. Relationships are about the higher purpose—there is a deep level that needs to be satisfied or there is no point—I need a unique connection or I am unsatisfied. I feel a responsibility to make a difference.
I am empathic. I just get a feeling about people. It’s difficult to explain. I have the gift of being able to relate and meaningful communication is a major piece of my life and a major vehicle for growth. I’m good at working with people to improve their behavior and their lives. I’m described as someone who cares, who has an uncanny sense for knowing what others need or what they are about. When I talk to people I’m listening for their stories and their concerns and I experience the joy or stress with them. I remember what’s uniquely descriptive of that individual, and I am good at giving praise and pointing out the gifts they bring to their world. If I get vibes that they are not comfortable developing the relationship the way I think it should be, I will back off, but I look for another clue to come back and develop it. What matters is working at making the relationship the best that it can be at whatever level it is, building depth into it.
Honesty is very important. Even if the truth is bad it adds to the depth of the relationship.
I hate unresolved conflict—it makes me sick and can stay with me until it’s resolved—and I hate it when people are demeaned or mistreated. My heart goes out to them so I feel it’s my responsibility to help, and I will fight on their behalf. It’s just something I do, but it hasn’t always worked. I end up telling the person what to do and then they do what they want regardless. If I’m really upset, I’ll let myself calm down, figure out what I’m going to say, and then confront the situation. I am very careful and aware of my actions or words and what effect they will have on another person, and I am thankful to have learned to take the time to envision various interactions before they happen. I used to push, but now I’m more patient. I’m usually fair, open, and unbiased. I don’t understand people who are insensitive to others needs or issues or thoughts or feelings. Either I don’t want them in my life or I want to teach them how to care. It bugs me when people don’t take the time to understand each other.
I usually put the relationship ahead of tasks I have to do, but I don’t have unlimited energy. When I can just be who I am and in a sharing mode and when there is not a task-oriented pressure, that flows better. I try hard to “be there” emotionally for those in my life so I have to constantly set up boundaries so I don’t take on their problems. I usually work overtime to make sure I am understood. It is also very important to me for others’ to be properly understood, and I expend a lot of time and energy making sure they are understood and comfortable. Being unable to build relationships with those who need it is frustrating.
It’s particularly difficult when my needs aren’t being met. Sometimes I can’t even feel good about myself because I worry that others did not get what they needed. In a group, I need to separate my interests from others or I’ll be easily swayed by what they want and how they behave. I can’t be successful for myself if I’m trying to fit into someone else’s idea of me.
I also tend to take a leadership position—not a strong one always but I’m looked at as a leader. Others having genuine confidence in me is almost as good as having the confidence myself. When someone comes for help, it’s a compliment. I listen and feed some things back that maybe they haven’t thought about, something that’s profound for them. Often people will disregard the information I give them as unimportant only to later request the same information. That energizes me. I try to be a thoughtful good listener, interested, fun, and someone to come up with ideas. Humor is a great teacher and great healer. My favorite thing is to watch someone have an "aha" experience, and I really admire people who have been through something and learned.