I have this tendency to get easily emotional to the point where rational thought gives way to raw feelings. Some have said that I'm much too sensitive, that I'm not ready nor strong enough to endure life's cruelties. Perhaps, but I've also defended this trait by explaining how it helps me connect with others, how it allows me to really feel for those going through a hard time. I actually like that aspect of my personality even if I sometimes allow it to permeate too far.
Last week, A. and I encountered a difficult moment in the relationship, one that turned quite scary for me at least. And while I was busy freaking out and experiencing one anxiety attack after the other, he was off being too practical about it - almost mechanical. I needed him to see the situation through my eyes and panic along with me. Instead, he kept his cool and continued on as if nothing were wrong while I let this hypothetical weigh me down day and night. "He simply doesn't give a crap," I'd decided without stopping to consider his end of the spectrum.
See what I keep failing to accept time after time is that we each respond to the same situation in our own way. When things get tough, my sensibilities shut down and I sound the alarms full force. A., on the other hand, quickly shifts into Mr. Fix-It mode and refuses to let emotions get in his way. Once a clear solution has been uncovered, he moves on and fast. I wrap myself in it and dwell.
He's worried about my ability to come around on my own strength rather than relying heavily on those around me to help me through a crisis (as well as my habit to deem everything a crisis). Meanwhile, I'm concerned about his inability to intuitively provide comfort without my asking for it.
"Baby, we're so different on the emotional scale," he finally offered after hours of explaining our sides.
"So what are we to make of that?" I asked. "Meet somewhere in the middle or find others who are closer to us on the scale?"
"Or...we could adapt?"
It's frustrating when the other person doesn't see things from your perspective or when both are too stubborn to admit that your way is not the only way. We're simply two individuals who've grown up to view the world before us through two completely different lens forged by our past experiences. Perhaps for us the answer lies in patience, acceptance, figuring out how to work around the other person's limitations and learning that when a woman is upset, the last thing you should say is, "Relax."