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?