I don’t think I have ever, nor will I ever be described in any of these following words; Demure, Meek, Quiet, Unassuming, Wallflower or Ordinary. That’s a good thing. But along with that are descriptions that at times I do wish could be used about me; Sweet, Patient, Easy-Going, Laid-Back. It’s a double edged sword to want to be the delicate daisy flower, when in reality you’re the crazy over-blooming bougainvillea. I like who I am, I just wish I could grab hold of the volume control of life when I am ramped up.
My cousin was in therapy many years ago, and one of the laments she had with her therapist was how she didn’t like how loud she was. Her therapist asked her, “Who said loud is bad?” That’s always stuck with me, because beyond my literal loudness is my loud personality. Not obnoxious, but there. No matter how much I try and tamper it down, to become the daisy I so want to be, my vividly bright flowers come poking out, giving away my true persona.
I love everything with a very hearty passion. My friends. My loves. My sex life. My food. Very little of me is done in a half-ass manner, and I pour my heart into it all. I can be the person you have a blast with. Flip side, when I’m irritated, frustrated, angry, or impatient, it’s about 5X more intense than it is with most people. I make people nervous when I’m feeling those negative sides, no matter how hard I try not. You can only imagine what it’s like when I am not trying to tamper it down. I even do Silence loudly.
While I like the aggressive & straight-to-the-point person I am, I don’t like when that aspect of my personality brings forth the unintentionally rude person I can be.
I’ve been having this … issue … at work. Semi-new position. I have to learn to walk the line between Lion and Lamb and I feel sometimes I am failing miserably. I am wooly and soft like a Lamb, but if you tread around me with stupidity, the Lion comes roaring out and BOOM, I’ve given up my disguise.
Being a woman in a managerial position of nearly all men, in a very male dominated industry is difficult. The worst thing you want is to fulfil that asinine stereotype of women losing it. And it happened yesterday. The details are moot, except to say that myself and another female manager got into it. In a room full of male managers. My bad choice of words ignited what must have been a ball of pressure for her and BOOM the yelling started. Moreso her than me, but the shock of how much pressure I had placed on her, and the true way she felt about me came spilling out quickly. Before she could scoop up the words and swallow them I heard things like, “I’ve had it with the way you treat me… You should read some of her emails …” Eh there was more, but you get the very angry jist.
I was shocked. And then — ashamed? Hurt? I never realized that my oh-so-assertive ways, that my cut-to-the-chase was coming across so slashing. So pressurizing. I really felt near to tears that I had treated someone(s) with such a lack of dignity. That I had become that manager.
Things calmed down and I was able to explain what I meant, to detangle the miscommunication, but the men in the room — Oh were they treating the two of us like 15-year PMS’ing girls who would tear their heads off at any moment. Delicacy would be to put it mildly.
I stuck around at the end of the meeting to sincerely apologize. I really did feel miserable that I would make any co-worker – any human, feel the way she expressed. As both of us bumbled our way around apologies, she said to me in a laughing manner, “Gina, you’re just so, .. so …. Passionate!!” and I knew. Hey, I speak it.
Passionate was girl-speak for Bitch.
Well played fellow passionate manager lady, well played.