Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The Type of Person Who....

I tend to be a bit wary of people compelled to begin sentences with “I’m the type of person who…”, for it’s been my experience that they’re usually way off the mark when describing themselves.  I also find it a bit strange because they seem to be opening up a dialogue in which they’re the star attraction.  As we all learned in our high school speech classes, communication is a two-way street.  As we learn from self-improvement gurus, it’s better to listen rather than to speak.  So I find it baffling that even though we’ve been taught not ramble on about ourselves, so many of us spend a great amount of time doing it.

And doing it poorly.

Madonna encouraged us years ago to ‘express ourselves,’ and following her lead, we did it.  Madonna is a self-promoting genius; we commoners – not so much.

In an age in which our personal revelations can be, well, revealed, by the click of a button, many people assume that the general public gives a hoot-and-a-half about what sort of person we are.  We’re much too busy talking the talk and not walking the walk. 

I expect the spiritually in-tune woman who starts her day with some sort of uplifting New Age-y thought to remain there, and not tell me through her late night tweets how drunk she is.

I expect the man who proclaims to love and support women to actually love and support women, and not belittle and yell at them in the office.

I expect people who turn their bodies into walking billboards to come from some sort of hard-core place, not the PTA meeting.

It’s attention these folks are after, but what they don’t realize is that they’re getting it for the wrong reasons:  many of us are bemused, really, by your seemingly duplicitous lifestyle.  You say you’re this, but you turn out to be that. 

We know who you are, not what you are, because of your actions.  Maybe you want to be the person you’re describing, but you’re not, darling.

Self-expression is important, don’t get me wrong.  There exists, however, more sophisticated and elegant ways of doing it.  Living what you’re expounding – that’s a start.  Getting to truly know who you really are – always a crowd-pleaser. Experiencing real interactions with real people rather than by electronic means – why not give it a try? Focusing on others rather than yourself – bingo! Reaching out in love and compassion in order to help others – right on!

At the end of the day, we’re remembered for what we did, rather than for what we said.

Beth Newman
Image Consultant, Mentor, Author
Look, feel, and LIVE your absolute best!