Underneath my yellow skin

Tag Archives: being done

When I’m done, I’m done

I am pretty patient in general. With people, I mean. Wait. That’s not true. I am impatient in my brain, but outwardly, I’m patient. I understand people’s foibles because I know the reasoning behind it. I’m not an empath for no reason.

Side note: There was someone at Ask A Manager (a commenter) who wrote, “Of course, there is no such thing as an empath.” She dropped it in like everyone knew this to be a fact.” I did not say but should have, “Just because YOU don’t believe in them, it doesn’t mean it’s not true.” But I didn’t because I know what people think of empaths. I don’t even really like the word, but I accept it’s the common nomeclature. I can understand why she did not want it to be true.

I have known since I was in college that people don’t like being told about themselves. I mean, I knew it before that, but it was when I was studying psychology that I realized that most people don’t know themselves and more to the point, don’t want to know themselves. Jung was spot on when he said that people didn’t want to see their shadow sides.

It’s funny to me because I’m all about my shadow side. For most of my life, I have freely admitted my flaws. I’m a slob and a procrastinator. I am quick to take offense being very thin-skinned and quicker to anger. I am sarcastic and I see the negative in people much more easily than I see the positive. I’m sarcastic, snide, and will always find the fault in everything.

For decades, I refused to look at any of my positives. I liked to joke that my shadow side comprised my positive aspects. This was collateral damage from a childhood in which I could not do anything right. I got it in my head that I would be punished if I said anything at all positive about myself. This was my Taiwanese culture at work, but it was also my parents being overwhelmingly negative people.

Other people, though, cannot bear to face their own flaws. In fact, many of them will go to any lengths not to acknowledge them. And then act up because they’re so ashamed of them. It’s fascinating as a student of psych to watch the defense mechanisms people use. There’s a saying in psychology. You don’t take away someone’s defense mechanism without giving them something to replace it with.


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