Would you describe yourself as lighthearted or intense?
When I first saw these kinds of questions on dating sites like OKCupid I got myself all worked up because either way, this is the kind of question that has me stumbling at first for two reasons.
The first reason is because I know that I am intense and I have a crazy immediate assumption that people are turned off by too much intensity. Is it because I am a Scorpio? Maybe it’s because I am a highly passionate artist with a voice who takes a stand and has probably missed a few occasions to keep her mouth shut. It’s got to be because I’ve heard it so often that being too intense can be a turn off in business. It’s written in one of those personality tests. In groups when there is a supposedly collective agreement about “WE,” I’ll be the one who isn’t looking at her shoes and say, “I’m not in the WE.” It hasn’t always earned me the Miss Popularity title, either, even if later at the coffee break people would whisper, “I’m so glad you said that. I didn’t agree either.”
This isn’t to say I can’t be lighthearted on many occasions. My friends call me “Funny Girl” because I can have people in stitches with my dry humor and off the cuff comments. However, if I answer that I am lighthearted then I feel like a fraud because I’m not that way all the time.
It really depends.
That answer gets the Assumption Activist and KPST, my petty tyrant together in my head, challenging me incessantly and reminding me of who I’m not!
Assumption Activist – “Men prefer lighthearted women who know how to have fun.”
“Yeah, who says so?”
KPST – “Well, that wouldn’t be you. You’re way too intense and that’s masculine energy and you don’t know how to tone it down.”
“Both of you can just stop! Assumption Activist, who says men only prefer light hearted women? KPST, I know you’re trying to help and trying to keep me teeny weenie and safe. Being intense has some great benefits.”
KPST – “Like what?”
“Well, intensity is a sign of motivation and desire to get what I want. That’s what has me arriving ahead of time for things I am curious about and intensely interested in. I don’t want to miss a beat so I sit in the front row at events and ask a gazillion questions. If no one else volunteers for an exercise, I look around and step right up.”
I attribute my intensity to being able to see things from different angles, those vast areas of grey instead of being in the extremes of black and white thinking. Because I listen intensely it’s easy to build rapport with people and be empathetic and compassionate to diverging points of view. That doesn’t mean I agree with everything or that I don’t have opinions. It means accepting and respecting another point of view without judging it as good or bad, right or wrong.