Recently at work my manager asked me to take the “Strengths Finder” test to help with some career development and planning. The results were pretty spot-on in my opinion. My top strength? Being able to sense the emotions of those around me.
I’ve always considered myself a “flexible” person, in that I can flex my personality and communication to better fit with whomever I’m interacting with. Someone outgoing – I become more of a listener and passive participant. Someone who is shy – I tend to lead the conversation and make an effort to make that person comfortable. I’m always adjusting to those around me, but this has caused some problems for me.
Sometimes, I forget what the difference is between what I am really feeling and what he/she is feeling. The two get confused and mixed and I end up feeling conflicted and confused. I also tend to take a huge emotional burden for those who are struggling or upset; it automatically ties into my emotions and I can have difficulty separating myself from what they are feeling vs what I am feeling.
Even with that, I have a big heart that genuinely wants to help/love/be friends with pretty much anyone I meet. I really try, at least.
Part of this empathic trait is the reaction it creates in others, which I find fascinating. Essentially, my empathy naturally encourages people to make me their confidant and trust me with information they normally may not share. Normally I don’t put a lot of stock in psychological/skill tests, but this is so accurate I had to stop for a moment to reflect on it.
As early as high school, I had friends telling me about how they survived sexual abuse and their struggles with suicide and self-mutilation. I talked with friends doubting their faith, friends struggling with sexual temptation (pure little Christians that we were). More friends opened up in college, and then after college friends started coming out. to me.
Then it was tales of sexual adventures, exploration, relationship problems, confusion about religious beliefs, sexual advice…you name it, I’ve probably talked with someone about it.
I love that. I love being trusted by all these people. I’m so glad that they can have someone to talk to – and I will keep their secrets. With a lot of them, I’m not even really close in life, but when they need to talk about something, they have me. I’m the safe zone for whatever thoughts – no matter how outrageous – can be shared without fear of retaliation or judgement.
It’s why I love it when people talk to me on twitter, leave a blog comment, or send me a message on my tumblr. I love it when people share with me. It doesn’t have to be anything about me – just sharing something personal about you with me is what I like.
I never really thought about how much people share with me, nor how much I valued that action. If someone can’t share with me, I wonder what’s wrong or why not. I know that I’m trustworthy and open-minded, but they do not. I won’t push; its their life and the last thing I want to do is make them uncomfortable (especially since I’ll sense it and realize I did it and then implode with feelings of guilt and so on).
So, share, if you can, want, or need to. I’ll always be on your side – even if I’d prefer a different outcome, I’ll always want whats best for you.
Oh, and the people sharing? It’s awesome what they share with a blogger like me. Thank you to all who have shared with me and appreciated the ability to share the kinky thoughts of your life.