One of the things that I occasionally do is call my really good single guy friend and complain about being single. TOTALLY ironic I know, but it always helps to put my life into perspective and it’s actually quite therapeutic. In doing this, I avoid the inevitable cliche’s and words of sympathy that others give me and I get a cold hard dose of reality. Much needed and well deserved. One thing that happens around this time of year is what I call “The Winter Feeling (TWF).” The Winter Feeling is similar to Seasonal Affective Disorder in that it’s seasonal. In my experience it goes from about mid-October to early-March. Now, The Winter Feeling is almost totally the opposite of the Summer Feeling–which I’ll dedicate another blog post to. The Winter Feeling tends to become more prominent as temperatures in the environment start dipping lower. You start thinking about how cold your bed is, you buy an electric blanket and name it, you look for alternative sources of heat such as a cat or dog. Some people even have a Winter Feeling designated individual who they would never see themselves with long term, but who could serve as a “filler-person” for the time being. The Winter Feeling involves increased levels of self awareness as you get colder. The trick is to not let it get to you because before you know it, you’ll just appear thirsty, desperate, and somewhat mentally unstable. The Winter Feeling will have you seeking companionship of any type because it’s cold outside and it gets dark early. Plus, loads of people get engaged in order to plan awesome spring and summer weddings. It’s the time of year when being alone is not the cool thing to be. There’s some unspoken expectation that everyone needs to have SOMEONE around this time of year. However, that’s not the case. The Winter Feeling can take a lot of people by surprise but when you know it’s coming it can be similar to the difference between riding a roller coaster with your eyes closed and your teeth clenched or just enjoying the ride because you know that it won’t last forever but will have ups and downs. One thing I like to remember is to not take myself too seriously. After all, it’s just the winter feeling. Spring will be here soon.
I’ve always respected people who could openly show emotions like sadness or happiness in a demonstrative or vocal way in public settings. That’s never been me. There was a time where I would start to become uncomfortable or feel awkward when someone around me would start to cry loudly. However, I have become much more comfortable with emotion as I have done more crisis work. There’s no more awkwardness because I know where the tissues are located and I’m comfortable with giving people some time to cry it out. But when it comes to me, I’m totally different. I’m not the kind of person that will burst into tears in a large group of people. HOWEVER, as much as I can’t cry for myself in those type of situations, I can just as easily cry at the drop of the hat for someone around me that I know is experiencing. It’s something that I’ve been able to do since I was little. I can easily “tune in” to the emotions of other people and that’s probably one of the reasons why I decided to be a therapist. Sometimes it’s helpful to talk to someone who can both empathize but can also challenge you to see things from a different perspective. And honestly, sometimes when someone is going through a really rough or stressful time, they don’t want mountains of advice. They want to feel heard and for someone to cry with them.
I’ve never been 100% down with the I’m-good-by-myself-and-I-don’t-need-a-man movement. However, I think that hanging your entire life on the idea that one day you’ll meet someone who fulfills your every want and need and will love you unconditionally forever is incredibly stupid. Notice I said ENTIRE life. We all have dreams and goals and having a significant other is likely to be one of them. I have heard numerous women talk about “him.” How “he” is going to find them and pay for everything, put them in a Benz or a Beamer, and love them. This picture made me laugh but also made me think at the same time. It’s important to know who you are and what you like. That way, if you get screwed over in a relationship and find yourself single again, you won’t have to start from scratch and re-find your identity. Just saying….
Lately, I’ve been working on becoming more self aware. One part of this process was taking a personality test. I had to take about 4 of them in my undergraduate program because it was required and my teachers wanted us to all be aware of our various personalities and how it would affect our careers. Since then, I haven’t taken other test except for one that told you what your personality was after you picked colors in a certain sequence. That being said, this new test that I took really was eye-opening. It was called the DISC assessment and I had never heard of it before but apparently it’s pretty popular. Scoring the test after I took it was pretty intense but I was somewhat surprised with the results. I scored almost exactly the same for two of the personality types. I was a “C” for conscientious and “D” for dominance. And while these personality types were both task oriented, the “C” was more analytical and methodical in finding information. In contrast the “D” was more dominant and more likely to act out of impulse when making decision and was also more ego-centric. The test was actually pretty accurate and I could see situations where both personality traits were used. I was somewhat surprised at the Dominant aspect because I’m not someone who has to always be applauded. Sure, I like power and influence, but who doesn’t? I do love a good challenge and if I don’t think that I can do it, I’m always going to push myself to the limit to see if it’s possible. I like to work independently and I’m pretty decent at managing troubles. In fact, I once was able to convince a stranger over the phone not to press legal action on the place where I was working. I really feel as if my personality is a mixture of my environment and social interactions and I’ve noticed that I’m somewhat of a chameleon and I can easily blend in when I’m with groups of people. If you haven’t taken a personality test, I’d definitely recommend it. You’ll learn a lot. Guaranteed.