Rip off the mask, tear down the walls. Show the world your beautiful self!

Archive for the ‘attraction’ Category

The Comfort of Familiarity

Understanding the Attraction of Certain Types

Years ago, I embarked on a friendship with a woman who I’ve come to realize has certain characteristics she shares with an unusually large cross section of females. She isn’t stunningly gorgeous, nor does she stand out in a crowd. In fact, over the years, I’ve seen many who remind me of her. The similarities are really rather striking when observed from a distance.

These women are attractive and take care with their appearance. They tend to dress a bit more conservatively than those around them. They all seem to wear their hair in what we used to call a flip, or other basically straight but casual looking style: one which looks like they just pulled a quick brush through it, but in reality probably took them an hour in front of the mirror with curling iron and blow dryer. They’re typically found with two or three other women, none of whom seems interested in anything but the conversation between each other.

But here’s where things change. No matter where they are or how many women they’re standing with, the men in the clubs I’ve frequented always single them out. First, they ask them to dance. Then, they continue their conversation off the dance floor, often culling this woman from her pack. Even so, she’ll often be found in a circle of men, buzzing around her like she’s the Queen Bee. It’s gotten to the point where I can accurately predict who will approach her and who will be one of the hoverers.

For years, this puzzled me. What was it that these almost cookie cutter women had which caused the men to approach with confidence and interest? Tonight, after watching one such woman dance with several of the men, eventually leave her pack to stand alone, and even attract the attention of a man who is more of a loner, I had one of those ‘Aha moments’.

Birds of a Feather May Flock Together, But They Also Flock to What they Believe to be Safe

Because this type of woman is so common, men have come to believe they’re safe to approach. They represent a type from whom they can expect predictable and familiar behavior. They aren’t likely to be outrageous until they know him well. They are well-behaved and attentive. They are always well groomed and rarely break a sweat. They are also not the ones the men watch when they’re enjoying the free show being staged on the dance floor.

I used to dismiss as wishful thinking the feeling that someone was watching me dance. I’d give the usual excuses: “There are younger, prettier women than me out here.” “They’re not asking me to dance, so there’s no reason to be watching me.” “They’re probably watching the really good dancers.” The usual, self-effacing crap so many of us use to explain our single state.

I realized tonight that they are watching those of us who dance with unbridled passion and utter joy in the music and the steps. They watch as we laugh at something a dance partner said, or play off of the other dancers. But it’s that same passion and differentness which prevents them from approaching, from asking for a dance or just introducing themselves. Just as the women I described were a familiar type with whom they feel safe, I belong to the group who is unashamedly, unabashedly unique and isn’t afraid to flaunt it. And because I’m not afraid to be different, I terrify people who like their world to be neat and orderly.

What Price, Conformity?

This revelation does, of course, beg the question: Do I want or need to conform? In this case, the answer is clear and comes without thought or hesitation. Some people are meant to conform, to fit in, to be Corporate, if you will. And some of us are not. We are not meant to be gay and witty on the outside, nor match a particular theme. But we also don’t hold deep, dark shadows inside our bland, conformist selves. We wear our blazing reds and glaring neon pinks, greens and oranges on the outside for all the world to see. We are rainbows and fireworks, knowing not everyone will be comfortable around us, but in the end, we don’t care.

Tonight I came to the realization that I am, indeed, the one who’s meant to be watched; the one who exudes joy for anyone to grab a piece of and share. But I’m not comfortable or easy to approach. Only those who are strong and comfortable with themselves; who relish the hot pink Gerbera Daisy in the bowl of white chrysanthemums; who are disinclined to follow the flock, who will have what it takes to approach the passionately non-conforming, dare-to-be-different types like me. And I’m learning I like it that way.

My gratitudes tonight are:
1. I am grateful I’ve learned to appreciate and love who I am.
2. I am grateful to be rid of some of my self-effacing ways.
3. I am grateful for revelations which alter my outlook for the better.
4. I am grateful to be one who approaches whatever I do with passion, joy and wonder.
5. I am grateful for abundance: love, joy, differences, health, hope, happiness, peace, harmony, motivation, inspiration, friendship, philanthropy and prosperity.

Blessed Be

I invite you to visit my Facebook pages at https://www.facebook.com/SheriLevensteinConawayAuthor?ref=aymt_homepage_panel and https://www.facebook.com/HLWTAccounting . Please also drop by my website, http://www.shericonaway.com and check out my Hire Me Page. I’ve created these pages as a means of positive affirmation and would be very grateful if you’d “like” them or leave a comment! Thank you!

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Why I Write: Version 957 (or something like that)

I Feel so Blessed if I Touch But a Single Heart

I try to be as open and honest as possible here when sharing my own hopes, dreams, successes and tragedies. I know that though my experiences may be unique to me in how all of the pieces come together, the basic framework; the components which join together to create my personal mosaic are shared by many. They may put the pieces together in different patterns, add a few I missed, delete a few which don’t fit the picture they’re portraying. But in the end, we share a common bond.

Especially in tragedy or in the things over which we struggle, it is somehow comforting to know we aren’t alone and that there is someone out there who understands. For some, even those day to day struggles can become overwhelming, and a tiny glimmer of hope might be enough to open up a window in their dark room.

Sometimes when I share, I strike a note and people say Oh, yeah! I can relate. I’ve been there too. Other times, like with my last post, one of the people who inspire and support me turns around and challenges me.

Getting in Touch with Ourselves

Essentially, I was challenged to investigate my own particular perceptions. I was asked whether I knew when I saw someone that I would be attracted to them, whether or not getting to know them better furthered the attraction or not, didn’t I at least know if I had a smidgen of interest?

Let me preface my answer by saying that I’ve learned to fight back those niggling little attraction gremlins for a couple of reasons. First, the last time I allowed myself to let them have their way, I was in a mucked up emotional place. I was unhappy, angry, negative and a bit self-destructive. Needless to say, I wasn’t attracted to anyone who might actually be good for me. Or if I was, my interest wasn’t returned because they only saw the broken, messy part of me I was showing the world at the time. Second, I have a terrible history of making an ass of myself over someone to whom I was attracted. As a result, I’ve taught myself to discount the feelings and run the other way before I once again embarrass myself.

Being the friend and the strong honest woman she is, I wasn’t allowed to prevaricate. With each lame answer I gave, another question, another challenge came. So this post is for Lorna who has, on more than one occasion, forced me to take a good, hard look at who I am, what I’m doing and what I truly want. I am so grateful for her tenacity even when she makes me look at a part of myself that isn’t very pretty. She is truly in my life for a reason because, left to my own devices, I’d probably just allow those hard truths to molder inside me, tainting everything good I’ve managed to accomplish.

Her first comment about my post was:

So this made for interesting reading but was safe and “over there”. My question is do either of the last two men interest you personally?

I’m not going to include the entire conversation here, but you’re welcome to follow it on my Author page on Facebook (referenced below) if you’re interested in all the gory details. Suffice it to say, I sidestepped her question a couple of times, but like a bulldog, she wasn’t about to allow me to get off that easily. I admit, I never completely answered her question, nor her later remark: I bet you know what you like.

Knowing When it’s Time to Face Our Fears

I know a lot of my lack of response has to do with fear: fear of making the same mistakes, fear of rejection, fear of making a fool of myself…and the list goes on. But as was pointed out by another friend recently, we cannot let fear control us or keep us from doing the things we want to do like completing projects or developing deep, enduring friendships.

In order to face those fears, I’m going to answer her question here. Without further ado, here are the things I like and which would lead me to feel attracted to someone. This applies to both men and women as they are things I find attractive in my friends. I also believe that to have a strong, healthy relationship of the romantic kind, friendship is essential, and must be there before anything else can develop.

  • Sense of Humor
  • Wit
  • Positive attitude
  • Comfortable in their own skin
  • Humble
  • Intelligent
  • Supportive
  • Strong-willed but not dictatorial. Someone who has an opinion and won’t let go of it just to please someone else.
  • Young at heart
  • Responsible
  • Dances
  • Compassionate

I could add a lot more to this list, but I think this covers most of it. Anything else would just be overly picky or icing on the cake. I’ve heard different points of view about making lists of the character traits of someone you’d like to attract. That’s not my purpose here. I’m simply answering a question and maybe, just a little, giving myself permission to find someone with a few of these traits attractive, if only on a visceral level. Whether or not I’d act on my own feelings of attraction would depend on whether I manage to overcome those fears and manage to keep the attraction at level where there are no expectations other than a new friend/acquaintance and someone I might dance with now and again.

I’ve learned that sometimes, putting my fears down in black and white somehow takes some of the power out of them. Looking at them as the formless, insubstantial beings they are makes me realize they are no more than a figment of my imagination anyway; even those I’ve experienced at some distant point in my life. I just have to keep reminding myself: that was then, this is now. I’m not the same person I was 10 years ago. I’ve grown, I’ve developed, I’ve made changes and I’ve done a whole lot of soul searching. With other people, I give credit where credit is due. But with myself, I have a bad habit of minimizing my accomplishments. I think the cold, hard truth is that we have to learn to love ourselves but we also have to learn to treat ourselves like our own best friend.

What Fears Are Holding You Back?

We all have them. A part of our life where we aren’t giving ourselves the chance to be everything we could be. A place where we’re allowing misplaced fears to call the shots. Sometimes, it’s cathartic to share them with others, so feel free to do so in the comments. When all is said and done, we’re in this together; we’re all a part of the same whole.

My gratitudes tonight are:
1. I am grateful for friends who expect me to be honest with them and myself.
2. I am grateful for the challenges in my life and the fears I’ve already let go.
3. I am grateful for the gift of writing which has, so many times, allowed me to work through a problem, a fear, a trauma…and come out whole and stronger on the other side.
4. I am grateful for perseverance. Each day, I get more and more accomplished and each day, I feel that much better about myself.
5. I am grateful for abundance: friendship, lessons, challenges, productivity, intelligence, imagination, love, joy, harmony, peace, health, philanthropy and prosperity.

Blessed Be

I invite you to visit my Facebook pages at https://www.facebook.com/SheriLevensteinConawayAuthor?ref=aymt_homepage_panel and https://www.facebook.com/HLWTAccounting . Please also drop by my website, http://www.shericonaway.com and check out my Hire Me Page. I’ve created these pages as a means of positive affirmation and would be very grateful if you’d “like” them or leave a comment! Thank you!

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