In the spirit of Tinder marketing myself, and for the sake of our internet brains, included throughout this PDS are pictorial summaries of my lots of words via some visually grabbing plumage and reductive statements…
External package description, superficial features:
Likes include kind and quirky people, googling everything, talking about and exploring ideas, others’ inquisitive minds, learning, people watching. Not the gym. Life includes meaningful relationships with family, friends, exploring new things, a thought-expanding past working in the disability sector, back at uni studying cognitive and brain science.
The stuff that actually matters between people (according to me), but often remains unperceived as humanity confusedly fumbles along seeking other people to customise to their own specifications:
The most fulfilling relationships I have in my life are those in which myself and the other people seem to share values in:
- Curiosity about and interest in other people;
- Continually developing self-awareness;
- Taking responsibility for the impact on others of our own emotions, thoughts and actions;
- The importance of the experience of others;
- Learning to like ourselves, accept ourselves and…
- … Paying attention to opportunities for this in what we see in others,
- A felt, motivating desire (not simply an intellectual, stated intention) to understand the differences between people.
The ‘good’ in our relationships seems paradoxically dependent upon how we work together to learn and grow from and with each other’s imperfections rather than two ‘good’ people being perpetually ‘good’ and always pleasing to one another. To me, my role and responsibility in fostering these relationships is equal in priority to their responsibility, and these other people also hold this same balanced priority and act in attempt to live by it- as do I.
I’m very grateful to have these relationships, but the experience of this means I feel confident about what I need in my life, I trust myself and I won’t force or seek it where I notice it’s not naturally forthcoming (e.g. If this long, meaningful passage scares people off, or they’ve zoned out already, it possibly indicates we’d relate better to different people anyway and that is just neutral, useful information).
That is, my individual life has given me the skills to perceive, understand and communicate underlying dynamics between people. How I work and how human relationships work is not frequently confusing, or mysterious, or the product of cosmic stardust to me. This is an unusual strength, not one that can be expected from all people because its existence is explained by my unique life experience- also not some innate talent that the universe has magically infused me with. This is just a strength I recognise in myself, not a point of superiority.
In response to similar expressions of self-assurance regarding needs, I’ve noticed it can feel intimidating or confusing for people less knowing of or secure in their needs, or less practiced at talking about them. A very normal, understandable occurrence in this world in which we’re discouraged from exploring, expressing or validating our emotional needs. Someone talking frankly about their needs can feel weird and abnormal, socially unacceptable even.
The flip side of my felt self-assurance in my needs is that it enables me to behave consistently, predictably, in what other people experience as ‘kindness’, ‘caring’, ‘niceness’, ‘understanding’, ‘interest’ in others, ‘warmth’, ‘reasonableness’, ‘rationality’, ‘fairness’, ‘honesty’ etc and these qualities can make people feel safe, comfortable, accepted. Understandably. I also feel safe, comfortable and accepted in response to these qualities, even when I know a person may not directly like or approve of some things about me.
The intimidation is very normal, a human response to normal human insecurity. I get it. I’m very familiar with these feelings myself.
However, I’ve realised that this intimidation is not a property of someone else’s self-assurance- as long as they’re doing the hard work to act kindly rather than impose superiority– it’s just a natural property of our own human feelings of insecurity which can begin to be resolved once we identify having the feelings and what the trigger is. Something I also work to take responsibility for when I’m feeling it, which I do at times, because I’m a very, very normal person.
Likewise, the personal feelings others experience of safety, comfort, acceptance do not automatically translate to a mutual feeling for me. The mutuality of those feelings for me are dependent upon another’s reciprocity in the kindness, understanding, niceness and warmth, interest, honesty etc as I perceive of it and experience it. The differing perceptions and experiences of these qualities is something I like to talk about with people, something important to talk about.
If this honest, pragmatic outline of what to expect from me scares the shit out of you and makes you wary of engaging- I approve of that decision. Human intimacy is vulnerable and scary and therefore requires courage. It’s important to recognise when something’s not right for us.
If you’re curious or confused or sceptical about anything I’ve written- feel free to ask me about it! I love questions and love open, exploratory conversations. I prefer to openly address difference or confusion for the sake of understanding rather than have it manifest insidiously as avoidance, withdrawal, dismissal, passive-aggressiveness etc… It feels hurtful and unpleasant to experience these things, and I’ve learnt for myself that they’re unnecessary reactions if I can learn to discuss the root of my own reactions.
If you feel like sharing your own perspectives- tell me! I very much love hearing about how others see and experience the world.
Apart from the words I’ve formulated, I’m sure you’ll be able to derive clues about me from what I’ve focused on, what I’ve omitted, my choice of words, my phrasing and my choice to present all of this from the perspective of my own values rather than directives for what others ‘should’ be or an objective ‘right’ or ‘wrong’.