Me and my over thinking mind. To some in my world, it makes no sense. They fuss and say, “You think too much.” And maybe I do, I don’t know. But I have nothing by which to compare. It is like seeing part of the color spectrum that the majority of people do not see or hearing frequency or tone that falls on the deaf ears of others. I admit, I think a lot about a lot a lot of the time. But one ruler of maturity is recognizing when others do not think as you. I am not talking about consensus opinion or like-minded ethics. I am talking about the rate, speed and depth of thought. The magnitude of thought. The range of ideas and the complexity of thinking. There are layers and layers of meaning. Dr. Seuss knew this. Horton hears a Who. Some of us just don’t stop at the surface, face value or the propaganda poster.
But with maturity I learned. I detect the glazing of eyes and the pinched, fake smile-nod of a person who humors me but doesn’t “get it”. When I was younger, I thought the reason people in my world didn’t “get it” or didn’t understand the gist of what I meant was due to my inability to explain myself properly. Lord, I might not have been such a jabberjaws or so in need of the gold star had you sent a little bird to tell me that it wasn’t me. Back then, I felt I just needed to try a better angle, find the right words….apply myself. Talk louder around the deaf people, right? But talking louder around blind people just makes the loud mouth look dumb or ridiculous.And the loud talker KNOWS everyone thinks they are ridiculous.
Ask most people who know me and they would protest the notion that I score as an introvert on a Myers-Briggs personality test. The irony is if given the test multiple times and I score multiple ways. I fall right down the middle except in the perceiving vs judging part. While I can be judgmental, I am not judging. This is what makes me a really good doctor, my perceptiveness. So, if you ask about my dominant personality trait, the one solid answer is my perceptiveness.
And it is what makes me keenly aware of judgment. I see and sense other peoples’ opinions, especially the non-verbal cues. This is not the fine art of reading tea leaves. This is neon sign worthy, Vegas strip glaring displays…..at least to me. It is what makes me so “sensitive”….it is like someone shouting at me. Over my lifetime, my “self-awareness” has been collected through the mirrored responses I “pick up” from other people. It is the one thing only a close friend can explain. A few years ago, I was given homework by a therapist: go ask your three closest friends to describe how they see you to you. It was a painful assignment and cost me a friendship with a woman to whom I thought was my BFF. One of the other women, the one friend that was brave enough to say the truth to me….knowing full well my response….told me that she could give me a mountain of praise and all I would hear is the grain of sand size of criticism. “And that,” my friend said, “is a super sensitive perceptiveness that is immune to the positive polarity in life.” And therein lies the source to a pessimistic, cynical, self-doubting life. And like any deficit, you compensate. So the negative receiver became overly sensitive……trying to hear in Dolby but mechanically incapable of picking up the positive.
It takes a true friend…a friend with courage (or pure insanity)….the have the nerve to remove a blinder, like a mouse that pulls the thorn from the lion’s paw. You risk the beast mauling you. It is the nature of a wounded animal. But compassion and steadfast courage from a friend and well…….LOVE….saves the day and finally allows the beast to see clearly. See the genuine truth.