They say I’m unapproachable.
They say I need to smile more.
They tell me my success is intimidating.
They say I need to learn how to submit.
They remind me that I am a NY chick not a Southern Belle.
They say I’m too intellectual.
They tell me I should get out more.
They are offended by my loyalty to the truth.
They tell me I’m unapproachable. Such an unsettling comment to make to a woman, as if to imply that I intend to be seen this way. I’ve been told this since I could remember. For the longest, it never bothered me. My “Innocence” and my “I Don’t Give A Fuck” attitude towards other people’s perception, never allowed me to fully process the statement. However, as I fully begin to digest my abilities as a woman, my responsibilities and priorities, when it comes to being successful for myself, and simply questioning the questions, I start to wonder whether or not this notion of being “Unapproachable” is valid, and if so then what. So let’s dip into few reasons I’ve explored with several men in my life on this topic, as well as my truths.
The basis of this conversation is not on whether or not a woman (or me) can keep a man around, I’m not even worried about that part. It simply is the issue of the initial reaction, interaction, conversation that is the deciding factor for something to turn into “Lets Talk Later, Call Me, or Can We Go Out . . . etc.” However, these factors still play a role after the initial meeting as well. They can either dictate the movement, pace, or connection between two individuals especially if one allows such to occur.
#1: Men want to be welcomed/invited (will be posted later today!)
#2: What can you do for me syndrome
#3: Let’s play house
#5: You can’t handle the truth
#1: Men want to be welcomed/invited:
They tell me I don’t smile enough. I have that NY Mean Mug (sometimes). They tell me I am not Southern enough; whatever that means. And all of this may be true . . . but my smiles are earned. My resting face is different from others, if that is a “Straight Face” compared to a smile, then one should accept that. Does one actually realize how many muscles it takes to smile, and yes it may take less to smile than to frown . . . but who really walks around frowning all day! And if I walked around with a huge smile on my face all the time then people will wonder why the hell I am smiling, especially those who may not have anything to smile about and those who know this is not me/my style. I refuse to fake to attract a man who is not willing to work to put a smile on my face. A cute remark, a smart comment, a comeback, a wink, a hug, a beautiful scent gliding across my nose, pretty teeth, eye contact, intelligence, poise . . . those are the small things that birth grins, smiles, smirks, and cute laughs. Not for attention, but simply based on genuine emotions/desires.
Since when has it been possible to be a afraid of thrills, temptation, and the misunderstood? We find ourselves chasing the unknown in other areas of our lives, yet expect things to be much easier/simpler when it comes to human interactions.
We all know that when one doesn’t fully earn the things they receive/have, they do not always appreciate them in the same light. This theory applies to everything . . . it is so easy to take existence for granted, smiles for granted, getting to know someone for granted:
Why not earn it all?
Or are we just to lazy as humans to conceptualize or process the thought of earning “Life” and not expecting too much of the same things from everyone?
#2: What can you do for me syndrome:
They tell me my success is intimidating. Their pride and ego hits the shredder in my presence. They contemplate what they can do for me if I already appear to not “need” anything.
Resume: I am 24 years old, only daughter of a Southern mother and Puerto Rican father. Both my brothers are currently incarcerated with children. I have none. I am the first and only person in my immediate family to graduate with Bachelor’s Degree in History/Educational Studies from Emory University. I completed two years with AmeriCorps Service Programs, living on a low income while giving back to my community through volunteering, teaching/tutoring students in math, and running an after school program. I have been writing poetry and prose for almost ten years. I love to read, and learn new things; my nickname is Wikipedia. I currently teach English, Math and Social Studies to a great group of middle schoolers (check the blog: www.wtnxt.blogspot.com). I can cook; very well if I may say so myself. I’m organized, have my own space, car, income, etc.
Now, on the outside (for a man who may have/or doesn’t have) this may seem like I’m set. As if I’m too independent and there is no “Need” for a man to fit into all of this. This is because our ideals of what a man is for has been simplified to financial status, sex, and in general some type of “Support” instead a mutual exchange of checks/balances, substance, existence, and compromise.
The concept of any union between individuals, whether from friendship, intimate partners, or companionship, must be rooted from a place where both are giving something.
And so we often hear men complain about how woman are too needy, that they always have their hands out or there are so many “Gold Diggers” in Atlanta. But isn’t it much easier when a woman has “Her Own” whether this means in terms of finances, education, motivational drive, or self worth. Essentially, her wants will not subtract from your needs as a man because she already has her own. The energy may just need to be shifted to other aspects.
So I wonder if this is intimidating for those who need the ego feeder of being “Needed” as a man because we have confused ourselves to misinterpret what “Need” means or requires. Too long have we played into the stereotypical gender roles society has created and we continue to perpetuate them.this point will continue in part #3: Lets Play House.
And then you have the man who confuses his reality for an image that he thinks will acquire women. Living a “Pretend/Fake lifestyle and still stuck on impressing a woman through the wrong means will only acquire the “Wrong” type of individual. Pretending to be something you are not insinuates that you are either not comfortable with your reality or afraid to let others see your truths. In terms of men, this is a possibility when one doesn’t feel like they are meeting the woman at her level. In terms of woman, we usually question ourselves when another female is involved.
Nonetheless, the desire is still present, whether met with presence or presents. I have yet to meet anyone who doesn’t desire human contact, interaction, or companionship at some point in their life. So to assume that because everything seems right isn’t always correct. Even more so, with respect to a woman “Having” this places her in the proper position to “Give” whether through conversation, cooking, having appropriate living quarters to entertain company, a stable income or a car for outings.
In terms of initial interactions, these things may/shouldn’t come up. But in the conversations following there should be a discussion of ones profession, personal hobbies/likes, and goals in hope of understanding each other better. The reaction/result after these conversation can/will determine the intent of both individuals.
#3: Let’s Play House:
They tell me I need to be submissive.
They tell me I’m too dominant, too strong, too forward.
Their actions show me they assumed that I’m something I’m not.
The idea of gender roles is not just held by sex, but the social and behavioral norms that are influenced or composed through attire, gender, profession, culture, and style linked to that specific gender. We have used gender roles to create an image of idealistic, socially created traits making our expectations/judgments of individuals and relationships change.
It’s proven, that many of the traditional, feminine gender roles have become less relevant especially in terms of woman in politics, professional environments, business, medicine, and other areas that would normally seem unorthodox. Most people assume that gender roles have become irrelevant when it comes to interactions, friendships, and especially relationships. I think otherwise. Or simply, gender roles have fluctuated but society fails to publicly acknowledge it. Individualism has become more and more apparent at all levels of society. However, even with this, we subconsciously continue to entertain stereotypical gender roles.
The typical gender role for a male highlights their masculinity, dominance, and simplicity. These three areas describe every aspect of an individual. In society, we think men should be strong, handy, able, willing to fix things, and simply come to a woman’s rescue. We expect a man to be stable, mentally, financially and physically, taking control and establishing some type of order over things. We desire strength in silence, compassion through presence, and joy in their existence. Yet all that we expect, desire, and want sometimes becomes dreams, when we fail to accept reality.
The Magic Wish List:
A rough around the edges kind of man,
A street smart, but not in the street kind of man,
A been there and done that kind of man,
The intellectually stimulating man,
The I’m not afraid to protect you kind of man,
By any means necessary man,
Quiet, shy, low key eyes on the prize kind of man,
Keep a job no matter what man,
Just wants a hot meal kind of man,
Always meeting me half way man,
Keeps me smiling at the oddest times kind of man,
Young yet wise,
Mature yet playful,
A easy mystery,
A difficult to keep away kind of man,
Reminds me of my brothers man,
Honest for every reason kind of man,
In tune with himself man,
Knowing the meaning of compromise, complacent, and contentment,
More important understanding the difference man . . .
While the typical woman is expected to be a silent thunder, strong at all times but only visible when necessary. The mother, the protector, the matriarch, the glue behind the seams of everything. She is domesticated, able to whip up a full course meal from random items in the house, having super powers to heal any wound, and comfort any sad moment. She keeps daddy happy and the kids content. She knows how to take orders, and politely give them, often seen as docile, yet overly misunderstood. A bundle of emotions, bottled by curves, hips, and hugs. She is desired by many. A silent blanket of hope, passion, and determination yet molded with spunk, and modified by moods.
The Magic Wish List:
She is the fantasy in your reality kind of woman,
Your little secret type woman,
Cooks like grandma and cleans like a maid
She knows she is a queen,
Yet, she’s not conceited
Would be a great mother,
But for now she is the best lover,
Keeps you balanced kind of woman,
Knows how to curse you out with style type of woman,
A gem, diamond, pearl, and sometimes a unpolished kind of woman,
A female MacGyver,
Manipulating the impossible,
Flying fairy dust of miracles,
Her love is solid as a rock,
There’s no distance in between her love,
Your image is enough.
That has it all
Something like this kind of woman.
And what does this have to do with playing house?
I don’t have a great memory of my childhood, but one thing I do remember is playing house in first grade with my peers. The young ladies would pretend to cook at the stove while the little boys were either hard at work or heading home. We would simulate roles of typical scenarios based off the images we saw at home, on TV, in society, or were being taught. Even before I realized it, I placed everyone in magic boxes of constraints based on society’s desires and unwritten rules. These constraints were glamorized with words such as individualism, freedoms, and self identity. The concept of personality desires were molded into character needs for those around us. And the observations of others slowly turn into judgments and critical analysis. All of this is from a continued cycle of playing house, perpetuating gender roles, and allowing these concepts to control our relationship with those around us creates a path of searching for that perfect scenario.
Far too long have we allowed (whether subconsciously or purposely) gender roles to perpetuate different ideas, alter our perceptions and dictate what we expect from others. Most woman are taught at an early age to be submissive, domesticated, and supportive. Most males are taught to be strong, fearless, dominant and a provider. This is what we are bred to desire in people.
My personality traits of being independent, dominant, a “go-getter”, forward, and simply not stuck in the typically ideals of what a lady, woman, or female should do is considered unattractive by most males (whether they admit it or not). There is an innate imaginary superiority complex between male dominance and female submissiveness that I do not always adhere to. In other words, I can often hold my own when compared to a man, which is against popular expectations and desires.
Ultimately, it is okay to have a concept of qualities, characteristics, goals, and preferences you want to see in those around you. However, these ideas shouldn’t be a make or break deal on whether or not you interact with an individual or be based of what is considered the “norm” within our society. We must be realistic with what people come to the table with, your expectations of them, and whether or not the two balance with your own standards and goals of yourself. Before you hold others to such a high standard and rule book, make sure you are holding yourself to that same light.
#4: Too Analytical
They tell me I am too analytical.
They tell me I think too much, over-analyze, and that I am too complicated.
Their simplicity compliments me.
But they don’t see this.
I am a natural learner. I love to read about new things, digest material, store it for later, and regurgitated it for others. I was never been good at spitting out random dates or the chronological order of events, but if you need concepts, theories, and how to’s, then I have plenty.
I have always had a fascination with words. From the simplicity of creating metaphors for emotions, memories and explanations, to the complex thought that every letter is predestined to be placed next to another letter, in order to create what I wish/need. If everything happens for a reason, then everything that is said, written, and visualized is for a reason as well. The birth of my creations are valuable moments alone. And should be celebrated as such.
I have always been opinionated. And yes, some things should be left unsaid, but sometimes you feel better remaining true to your language, which happens to be the only way you express yourself.
I don’t consider myself smart or even educated because of my degrees; but from my outside readings, understandings, and overall thought process that allows me to question everything. This has caused others to label me as being,
I believe . . .
Everything has a reason, despite the simple things in life. I would rather know the context, reason, justification, or supportive thoughts/concepts on something.
Why not dig deeper than the surface?
A question is just a question when asked without context. When context and reason is added, the question now becomes a supported statement of thought. This thought can either lead to conversation, investigation, or simply an informative finding.
If you are asking me my views on something, I would like to know your intent. I don’t believe that we just ask questions for the sake of asking. Everything is relative, but not everyone wants to disclose their relativity. It would be, “Too Open.” And of course there are situations where relativity should not be known, because the answer to a question will alter/change your response, placement, focus, and objective. But with some instances, relativity is equally as important in forming the question as it is in answering it.
We generally seek out answers in hopes of direction, confirmation, counsel, or context.
I was talking to someone, and he tried to guess my age. I asked him why is that relevant to the first thing you say to someone, as if to place me in a box based on your assumptions from knowing my age. So he then made a smart comment,
“Oh, you’re a THINKER! I never would have thought from looking at you. Let me leave and come back with my “Thinking” cap on! ”
Now as he attempted to put on an imaginary “Thinking Cap” this confirmed my thoughts on men being intimidated by my “Thoughtfulness” because its an extra task for them. Most males do not INTEND to do work when it comes to a lady, but yet they speak about how something that is easy is not wanted.
A women who thinks is a threat!
A women who asks questions is considered nosey, snooping, or overly curious.
A woman who is always inquisitive is looking for something.
A woman asking questions shouldn’t be trusted, and most likely doesn’t trust the man.
A woman who would rather know than not has a trick up her sleeve.
A woman who poses her responses in complex phrases, is not easy to read.
A woman who thinks is not to be trusted, because she can use her mind to get in and out of everything.
A mind is more powerful than an elite system, any monetary amount, any blackmail rumor, any level of trust, because neither would exist without creation from thought.
We forget out existence alone is a beautiful, but our ability to think, act, speak, and do for ourselves pays worship to that beauty.
Why not use the great thing you will ever own?
Why not read?
Why not educate yourself on all levels of truth, hypocrisy, history, philosophy, theories, and the concrete?
Why not speak in question, and look a little inside yourself for something more than the visible?
#5: Loyalty To The Truth:
I was having a conversation with a man the other week and I told him about this series ( same man mentioned in #4). Of course, he insisted I blog about our meeting, as if to imply that he is something spectacular (Kanye Shrug). Anyways, the main thing that stuck out in the conversation was when he asked me:
“What is the ultimate question to ask someone the first time you meet them?”
And I replied,
“What are your truths?”
As he hesitated, with a surprised look on his face . . .
It seemed like he was telling me what he thought I wanted to hear, instead of what actually are his truths.
Then he asked why not ask someone
“What are your falsehoods?”
The worst move!
Essentially, the word “False” implies negative things. When you’re meeting someone for the first time, you shouldn’t start a conversation off with a laundry list of negative things about yourself. How many people are actually willing to divulge this information? And what judgments or assumptions would you make about them after they’re done?
The question, “What are your truths” is simply wondering what do “YOU” hold true to yourself. This can be a confirmation of your positive or negative acts, emotions, ideals, theories, etc. The fact that one is willing and able to admit their “Negative” truths, shows that they’re in tune with themselves, comfortable enough to admit them, and they understand the value of truth, honesty, and disclosure.
This question is no different from asking,
“Who are you?”
But it is rested on the basis of honesty, which isn’t/should everything?
Controlling sometimes ( I like order and organization so this can be tuned into taking control.)
I like order and precision
Aquarius, in every sense
Learning how to say NO
Horrible with grammar (Thankful for my Editor!)
Believe I can save one and many
Textaholic (I need help!)
Cut people off mid sentence without realizing it at times (sorry!)
Learning: What’s best for me is not best for you
People are for a purpose
Everything is disposable.
Now . . . was that difficult.
It seems like we hide ourselves behind the concept of truth so much that we lose site of its worth. Why run from what you already are? Are you not human enough to look into the mirror, face what you see, and accept what you can change?
There is nothing wrong with being you, even if that “You” is not who you desire to be. Its much easier to allow nature to take course first, then to make any changes you may want to improve, alter, or change the person you “Are”.
The concept of getting to know someone is unconsciously rested on the idea that both parties are speaking about their experiences, lifestyle, goals, and wants from a place of honesty. But this is not a realistic statement these days, and it seems more like a idealistic connection. It’s sad that individuals are not accepting of themselves and they fear that others will not be as well. This is what lying to yourself implies in these instances. We are all works in progress, essentially only if we are working on ourselves, otherwise we have become content with our position which should render no problem in being upfront with others you may meet.
Now of course not all information about yourself should be disclosed immediately, depending on the person and the connection you want to establish. But those truths do not take away from you. And are still these truths.
An example of this:
You meet a nice gentleman. You exchange information with him, hang out a few times, enjoy each other’s company. You have friendly conversations about work, likes, dislikes, hobbies, etc. But when do you find out their living situation, their REAL work situation, their transportation situation, you idea of the truth is transformed. Since everything that appeared during those interactions seemed “Truthful” but you didn’t have all the facts. And so now those truths become lies.
I try my best not to expect much out of others simply because it causes room for being let down, but also it decreases space for assumptions and error. While other people may believe if you do not expect things to get done, then they wont, I would rather do it myself. Just in the same sense, I don’t like to leave room for a guessing game, assumptions, or a wandering mind. I have no problem answering questions upfront and honestly, a person just needs to take the time to ask them.
I am an open book that is closed.
First I must be spotted on the book shelf.
Admired from a far either from my title, description, or context.
Then I need to be opened, my pages need to be flipped, skimmed, read, and explored.
My chapters will soon come alive, and the sequel will slowly begin to write itself in your existence.
This is my metaphor for disclosure.
We are all books.
Not all of us are open for sharing simply because we fail to see the power in truth and how valuable it is to begin everything and end everything within its realms.
Embrace the truth, your truths, and reality for what it is.
* Thanks for reading this series. *