Over the last couple of weeks, there seems to have been a theme surfacing in several conversations. Personalities.
Have you ever been around people that make you feel inadequate? Have you ever sensed judgment coming your way from other people? Have you ever felt like other people are disappointed with you because you don’t behave, react, or respond in a certain way?
The problem most likely isn’t yours. Sometimes people judge us harshly because we are not exactly like them. They want us to be louder, more jubilant, carefree, or maybe even the opposite. Perhaps they want us to be more rigid, quieter, and more responsible. Basically, they want us to be more like them because they feel like whoever they happen to be is “right.”
“One of the greatest regrets in life is being what others would want you to be, rather than being yourself.” – Shannon L. Adler
God didn’t make us all the same. We don’t come from a cookie cutter mold in looks, personality, or ability. We don’t have the same life experiences. We don’t have the same religious upbringing. We don’t all hold the same values.
How boring life would be if every single one of us was the same.
One of my friends, a counselor, was talking about a personality test that categorizes people in colors by orange, green, blue, and gold. It was fascinating.
There are bold, loud, aggressive personalities who want everything done immediately, with passion, and want everyone to be loud and boisterous like they are. When they meet someone who is the same, they usually but heads!
On the other end are the meek and mild, quiet, introverts who would rather be left alone. In between is an array of people and personalities with all kinds of different traits. Most of us have a wide range of gifts, likes and dislikes, and interests that make up who we are.
Here’s a thought for all of us. One is not superior to another. Because of our personalities we find the place where we fit in our world most comfortably. Most of us have a combination of personality traits. Some of the ways we behave are learned and some things seem to be born in us when we come out of the womb.
Sometimes I’d just like to be invisible – a worker bee. But I can lead if I need to. I can take authority if it becomes necessary. I never pass up an open door to speak or write or participate in anything I believe God has set before me. But I am not hungry for the attention or the “look at me” kind of situations some people crave.
I’ve been guilty of wishing other people were more like me in some ways.
I am a very responsible person. When I give my word about something, I will fulfill it if at all possible. I don’t understand people who don’t. I wish everyone was more careful about making promises. But that’s my personality.
In the big picture, I am so glad that God didn’t create us all the same.
In the book, Anne of Green Gables, written by L.M. Montgomery, Anne (one of my favorite literary characters) says, “There’s such a lot of different Anne’s in me. I sometimes think that is why I’m such a troublesome person. If I was just the one Anne it would be ever so much more comfortable, but then it wouldn’t be half so interesting.”
Reach Judith Victoria Hensley at [email protected] or on Facebook. Check out her blog: One Step Beyond the Door.