Saturday, August 14, 2010

Are You a Hoarder?

Today, friends, we are going a little deep. Emotionally-deep. Friendship-deep. Things Betties typically don't divulge to the willing public, as these topics can easily be used as societal-ammo in another situation. 

But before we go there, let's consider for a moment, if you will, the stereotypical persona of the true "Buckhead Betty," this blog's inspiration at heart. Who is she?

To start, she is a socialite lady in town. She knows everyone, and everyone knows her. If you need a connection to a business or a person, she can put you in touch. A professional volunteer and networker, this gal never fails to know where she stands in the ranks of others around her. Don't be fooled -- those pearls = power.

Ok I realize that this is a fake person I am describing. I promise this is leading somewhere.

How does she handle herself? Who does she align herself with professionally and personally? How does she manage crisis with others? Some might think of cat-fights from the Betty-wannabes on Real Housewives; others may recall Mad Men's very own Betty Draper, who chose to fling aside her friendly neighbor at the news of her recent divorce, knowing if she did not, her own social status might be at stake.

But what I want to know is how do these ladies, these "Betty" power females, handle the underlying emotion that results from these relationship crises?

Enter an otherwise-fluff quiz featured last week on iVIllage, "Are You an Emotional Hoarder?"

I can't help but take quizzes like these. I know they are meaningless. Yes, I know they are based on eight ridiculous questions attempting to summarize my enter personality through my answers. It's the underlying meaning of these quizzes that grabs my attention. Thus why I am still thinking about that quiz today.

According to that quiz, an emotional hoarder "collects grudges and has trouble letting go of negative emotions. The resulting emotional clutter may not be outwardly visible, but it can also have a detrimental effect on their life."

Are you an emotional hoarder? Do you hold on to negative things that happened a long time ago? 

Underneath my Betty (ok fine, Betty-wannabe) exterior -- and despite the tough-girl New Jersey bloodline that one would think would buoy me up a bit -- I really, really, REALLY care how people feel about me. 

People don't have to love me. I just don't like people to dislike me.

My brother pointed something out to me once and it really hit home. He says that if both he and I talk to the same person in a conversation, my brother walks away thinking about the points of the discussion, but that I walk away thinking about "did you see how that person was looking at me, or how they used a certain tone on those particular words?" I observe a completely different world, one built highly on interpersonal details. Betty? Yes. Good for office and personal politics? Def. Helpful to my mental zen in the end? Probably not. It torments me, actually.

I scored as a "Low" on that quiz -- thank goodness right? Haha -- but I know, deep down, that some friendship scuffles here and there have really marked me. Some things, I just can't let go. There are people I have cut out of my life altogether, rather than even begin to think about maintaining civility.

Avoidance? Perhaps. Ultimately attempting to just sustain my already-emotionally-touchy mental balance? Absolutely.

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