Some memories stick with you forever, and you can recall them as if they happened yesterday. It’s not always clear why, but ofter these vivid recollections are a reminder of pivotal times that helped shaped you into who you are today. I remember one such time when I was sitting in traffic with my then-boyfriend, and in blatant disregard for his personal safety, he turned to me and asked, “why do you always have to turn everything into a huge drama?”
What Do Emotional Outbursts Accomplish?
Oh, well, that did it. The trigger was pulled, and there was no turning back. I went straight into orbit. At that time, I was the kind of person who could be thrown over the edge just by hearing the phrase “why don’t you calm down” or “just get a hold of yourself and relax.” For me, that was my cue to pull out all the stops, to give whichever unlucky recipient the full force of my big, full-on nature.
So for him to ask me a question like that was pretty much asking for it, as far as I was concerned. I quick-fired point after point at him, punctuating each sentence with a full complement of flailing arms and strewn spittle. He sat there frozen, like a deer in the headlights, and made an effort not to make any sudden moves.
I pointed out to him that what he was referring to as “huge drama” was actually just me being able to access a full range of human emotions, and that I knew he must like it, because otherwise why was he going out with me if he couldn’t handle it? After dropping that bomb, I let the debris settle a little bit, waiting for his response. But he didn’t have a response. How could he? He probably hadn’t even heard anything I said after he blocked me out from boredom.
Chemistry vs. Compatibility
It’s amazing how we confuse chemistry with compatibility. That instant spark you feel is not necessarily an indicator of how things will be on a day-to-day basis. Think of it in terms of analog versus digital – these are two different ways that people deal with emotional responses. Me, I’m more digital, absorbing and conveying a large range and depth of emotions. Analog people are not necessarily less capable of expressing themselves, but they tend to do so in a more controlled and laid-back way.
When I was younger, I deducted from other people’s horrified responses to my large nature that they found digitally emotional people unacceptable. I wanted to be accepted, so I would try my best to be more analog, with smaller, more calculated responses. I thought people would like me better if I didn’t seem so high-maintenance to them.
I finally learned my lesson, that ultimately there is no mileage in trying to deny who I really am, or to modify my true nature to try to impress others. There’s also no point in trying to place blame, or think that other people are wrong if they handle emotion differently. My ex was simply more reserved and easygoing that I was, and we weren’t compatible, and I couldn’t see that fundamental difference at the time. Opposites can certainly attract, but you always want to attract the kind of opposite that will bring out the best in you, which was not the case in that relationship.
What Kind Of Relationship Do You Want To Attract?
After that nightmare was over, I decided I wanted to attract a relationship with someone who could take my big self as-is, and indeed would thrive on the energy and high emotional response that I experience. I feel very intensely, and I have strong passions that bubble up and outward. I wanted to be with someone who wasn’t put off or intimidated by that, but would embrace and love it! Then, boom, my husband showed up, and there it was. I had managed to be a magnet from a place of truth and self-love, not repression or resentment. No matter what kind of emotional processing you do, Great Relationships Begin Within!