When Did I Become a Robot?

What determines the traits or characteristics that come to define us? Why is it that one characteristic of an individual always seems to become dominant? For example, we often describe friends or coworkers as “the funny one” or “the smart one” or “the athletic one.”

I’ve become known amongst my friends and peers as “the quiet guy who’s really funny once you get to know him.” I don’t think I’m overly quiet. I’m just deliberate when I speak and tend not to ramble. Funny, yes. Recently, someone who I highly respect and trust compared me to Zach Braff’s character in Garden State. At the beginning of the movie the character’s on lithium and doesn’t express any emotion. No smiles, frowns or tears, just a blank stare. So, when and how did I become a robot?

Was it that my parents didn’t show much emotion or affection when I was a child? Maybe.

Was it a past relationship that was emotionally unhealthy? Partially.

Is it due to my managerial status at work? I do tend to repress certain feelings at work because as a manager I have to treat my employees fairly and consistently. If I let my emotions interfere it could create a lot of unnecessary conflict.

No matter what the cause, how did it become my dominant characteristic? And now, how do I reverse this robot-like state? Any suggestions?


2 thoughts on “When Did I Become a Robot?

  1. You’re not a robot, you’re Jeff! Every single moment of ourlives determines who we are and who we will become. Luckily, as adults, and being from a democratic society, we’re allowed to change things about ourselves we might not like so much. But, Jeff, do you really want to go from being “the good guy that everyone likes once they get to know” (this is a good thing for you as it proves you’re worth the time and effort of getting to know in the first place), or would you rather be that loud and obnoxious dude that annoys the crap out of everyone…but “means well”. If you want to change, just get out there and do it, but only if it’s something you really want. Okay, enough mental stimulation. Blond brain starting to hurt…too much summer sun and surf and sand in New Zealand slowing the thinking process. Hahaha…

  2. I can totally relate to this as a young manager. I think that being a 20-something in a position of status puts you up to so much more scrutiny, because people are expecting you to be a power tripper or just plain dumb. Just let a little bit out at a time and test the waters.. like a little jokey comment or something. It will help people around you to relax a little, and let them know that even the quiet ones have a little personality lurking.

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