Me & the Family

Me & the Family

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Clash of the Personas!

Most of you who know me from reading my can wrap up my personality from those blogs.  I write from myself, by myself with every personal flaw out there.

I am me.

In my life I have been blessed with many many friends.  In high school I did not hang out with the cheerleaders but I did know them.  I had no desire to be anything other than myself and I felt that to be friends with them...well I would no longer be me.  I may have put that judgement on them myself, but that is how I felt.  They were in a class all their own and quite frankly...they could remain there.

Even though I am somewhat quiet and reserved (until you know me, that is) my best friend in high school would tell anyone whatever she needed to.  If she was mad, she'd let you know what you did to get her there.  I look at that as not being over powering, but rather being completely honest with herself and others.

Something that I may not always been.

Be it my personality...or inherited insanity...I have battled being honest with myself or others, especially when it comes to a clash in personalities.  I am an anti-confrontation kinda girl.


Ignore it and maybe the problem will go away?

For the most part, personalities concerned, this has worked pretty good for me.  If someone rubs me wrong well, I just steer clear of them.  I'm nice to all I meet I just know who not to get into bed with.  My personality will not compete with another and I will not get into a position in which I am run over.

Honestly, it's never really been a concern.
Until recently.

Be it that God is trying to teach me another lesson in life, I still have not quite figured out how he wants me to handle this one?  

You see, I have told you the love I have for my neighbors.  Our group has been growing in love and experiences over the past several years.  Family trials.  Hugs.  Parties.  We have become a really close group of friends that are more like family than neighbors.  

Well, our group has grown.  

A neighbor that I did not know due to working etc, made her way down to our end of the block a while back.  She was amazed at how fun we were, how honest we were with one another, and how we encouraged and supported each other.  She wanted a piece of the pie.

And so here she is.

Now this neighbor is a good woman.  She has a great heart and cares deeply about all of us.  She has us in mind wherever and whatever she is doing and will surprise each of us with a find (like plastic kid cups)...just like we all do for one another.  If you find something your sister loves well you just buy it!  She calls and checks up on us, hugs us at the bus stop, etc.

Based on what I wrote it seems she needs an award, right?

This is my problem...

I feel as though I have been steamrolled by her friendship.  You see, our relationships as neighbors into friends and then further into a "sister" type relationship was gradual.  We waded into this pool and it grew and grew.  Even though we do not know every detail of our lives we know a lot.  We also, I truly believe, know the heart of one another.  Even with skeletons, tragedies, mistakes and lessons learned we trust each other with our lives, with our children's lives...

I know that God loves all of us.  I know that God wants us to love others even if they are not like us.  I know this.  I really do.  I know that I need to embrace this neighbor but for whatever reason I get all stressed out instead.  

I have questioned myself...

Can I say something to help her understand it's too much too fast?

Should I say anything at all?

Do I just continue to love and embrace her and on the inside feel attacked?

It's just the weirdest thing for me to ever experience.  This is the first time I have encountered someone like this.  Maybe it was her upbringing as a navy daughter or the fact that she's Italian.  I guess it does not matter the WHY.

You see, if my Spanish family stresses me out, which they can, I know that eventually they will go home.  As much as I love them they are not living with me NOR do I have to deal with them on a daily/friendship level.  I do not come to them with problems because I do not need them to solve them for me.  I can distance myself from them...

And the stress they create within me.

But this is my neighbor.  This is the first time that she will not be moving because of the military.  Her husband has finished up his time and this is their house forever.  This is the first time that they get permanent friends and neighbors.  It's good to be there for them.  To be there friend...

But I have to learn how to deal with...
the personality.

I was reading an article by Rick Warren in which he talks about clashing personalities and trouble makers...

THE SHERMAN TANK - will run over you if you let him.
THE MEGAPHONE - will talk your ear off.
THE BUBBLE BUSTER - deflates everyone's enthusiasm.
THE VOLCANO - has a temper like Mt. St. Helens.
THE CRY BABY - is a chronic complainer.
THE NIT PICKER - is the unpleasable perfectionist. 
THE SPACE CADET - is on a different wavelength.  

God says to love your neighbors.  He does not say love your neighbors IF they have a good personality.  I should not love any neighbor any LESS then another, right?  It is not as though my neighbor is trying to stress us out.  She's trying to love we love one another.

So...what does one do?

Let's here it peeeps.  Have you had to deal with a clashing personality that you knew you had to learn how to love?  How did you do it?


Stephanie K said...

Sometimes honesty can be the best policy. With the military history and moving around a lot she probably didn't get to (or want to) make a lot of close friends due to the constant uprooting. This is new to her also. For the first time she may finally feel grounded, like she has a chance to make a real home and have real friends. I don't know what to tell you to do or what to say to her. It's a difficult situation and no matter how easy you try to make it, it could turn out bad.

I hope you can find the right words and the right way to talk to her. Out of all my friends, I would have the most confidence in you and your ability to express yourself without offending her. Love ya!

Stephanie Faris said...

I'm not one hundred percent sure about what particular behavior she is it's hard to say. I'm going to assume (and I could be wrong?) that she's the type of person who comes in and takes over everything, pushing herself on you without noticing if she's welcome or not. Have you spoken to the other neighbors about her?

Here's the thing...if this is something that is integral to her personality, even if she's aware of the problem, it's doubtful she can fix it. All you'd end up doing is alienating her. Can you assert yourself more without offending her? I think even though we're taught to always be polite, when someone is crossing your personal boundaries, you have every right to speak up for yourself. At worst you'll scare her off and she'll tell all the neighbors what a meanie you are, but they know you better than that... I say, no matter what, do NOT let her trample your boundaries.

I'm thinking of an old episode of the sitcom Ellen, where she told her annoying friend Audrey that 'I like you, Audrey, but there's a wall. I like you, but there's a wall.' Audrey never got it!

peacegirl said...

Yes...I do have a girl -friend with whom I attend church. We are friends...but our personalities clash. I often feel so fake because outwardly I am maintaining the friendship but inwardly it stresses me to do so. I really do not like the way I feel...I almost feel ashamed that I am not being true to my feelings.

But I am a firm believer that everyone who is in our lives is placed there for a purpose....and a season...however long that shall be.

I can only look for what "I" am to receive from the friendship. And in my case, I feel like the lesson is to learn to love the unlovable. Not that she is unlovable, but due to our different personalities it is hard for me to really give my all the friendship.

But I pray about it. Not for the situation to be removed but for God to expose my heart in the situation and to help me exhibit true traits and motives.

BUT we are not neighbors ;) I do not struggle on a daily basis with face to face encounters. I do not mean to sound cliche' in any way....but prayer makes me conscious of who I am and who I need to be. And who I need to be is not something I can obtain on my own.

I agree with Stephanie about personal boundaries too. I don't think you so much have to identify them to her but you do need to think on these things and establish them for yourself.

It may be well to let her know how thankful you are for someone near who cares and to ask her to forgive you if you sometimes shy away and need space. You are indeed still in a grieving and reflecting time of your life. I would hope that she could understand that simple and straightforward tone. I hope anyway.

Sounds like she is more in need of your friendship and stability and it is not so much for you as for her.

Hi, Jane....good to read you again :)))