I am always perceived as a mean, intimidating, or ruthless woman–it’s partially because I look like a Disney villainess (I’ve been told, specifically, Vanessa from The Little Mermaid), and also because I’m not a mushy gushy emotional kind of woman. Not that there is anything wrong with being mushy, gushy, emotional.
We as women are looked at as if we are weak if we express emotion, yet if you choose to keep to yourself you are perceived as a stone cold individual with a heart colder than Elsa from Frozen. It’s a stupid double standard, because no matter how a man acts, society looks at him as if he is that…a man. It’s perfectly acceptable behavior either way for the other gender, yet a woman gets shit no matter how she chooses to act.
But that’s a larger social issue/debate/potential Millennial Roundtable.
I used to be pretty damn emotional when I was younger–I would react to EVERYTHING and ANYTHING that happened. Nowadays, something has to be pretty damn spectacular to garner an emotional response from me. I think it’s from years of being perceived weaker for expressing my emotions, and looked at like I was a weak woman. Which obviously, is not the case.
I remember the most emotional I’ve ever been (recentlyish) was about a year ago, at Friendsgiving, when my ex boyfriend and his friends completely disrespected me. I don’t like talking about what happened that night, or delving into that part of my past, but I was completely disrespected, hurt, and upset. I freaked out, as individuals who have had their heart and hopes smashed to pieces do, and everyone thought I was crazy.
And maybe, just maybe I was. But I was having an emotional response to what had happened to me, and everyone treated me like I was overreacting and as if I was completely wrong.
I had been hurt, I had been disrespected, and I had been treated poorly. And after YEARS of dealing with this nonsense from my ex and his friends, I had snapped. And I had a perfectly normal, human response to that.
I won’t forget how he reacted that night, instead of understanding, he punished me for what happened. He told me that I was being unfair to him and his friends, and told me that I was “bitchy, manipulative, selfish, and immature.” Those four words haunted me for a tremendously long time, until I came to the realization that I should not have felt ashamed for reacted. I was upset, it happens.
(And also, I am a boss ass lady and he was wrong. lol)
I wish I reacted in a more tasteful and mature way, but I should not have been ashamed for REACTING. And he should not have punished me, or shamed me for REACTING.
Because I was a human with emotions.
That whole experience definitely made my non-reacting much worse, as I remember after that I was indifferent to everything.
But you know, I grew up, and got over it.
As more and more things happen (cough, like this), I find myself reacting emotionally more often (not necessarily being sad or upset, but also being happy and excited), and in the beginning, I’m not going to lie, I felt like it was embarrassing. I felt like I should not have been showing how I felt, and as if this made me a weaker person. I was under the belief that my feelings and emotions were something that needed to be controlled, hidden, and forgotten.
But that is not the case. Feeling something definitely does not mean that you are a weaker person or that you’re reckless. Feeling something means that you were lucky enough to have something in your life that made you react so powerfully. Caring a lot, or having hope and faith in something does not make you weaker, it proves that you are a living, functioning human being, with a functioning heart.
Although society may say otherwise, having no butterflies inside of you is not a way to live. Feelings are some of the most magical things in the world, whether you are reacting to a passion, a purpose, or even a person. They mean that you are living, loving, and laughing, and should always be expressed.
Even if it’s a little hard sometimes.