The Unpredictable Me

personsuit

There’s a moment in an episode of Hannibal where his therapist says, “You’re wearing a very well tailored person suit… more of a human veil.” She admires its “meticulous construction,” but it is a constant reminder that he isn’t completely honest with her, and the version of Hannibal she sees isn’t the truth.

I wear a person suit, too. Some of it is constructed, and some of it is just… me. I psych people out. Sometimes, it’s because I mean to, and sometimes it’s just because the sheer “me-ness” of being me makes me hard to read and impossible to predict. I instinctively mess with some people and ignore others. I’m impossibly ornery yet very kind. Neither one is a put on. I really am unpredictable. One day, I might get up and be in a Lady Gaga, sci-fi movie mood, and the next I’ll listen to Josh Groban on repeat and watch six solid hours of a costume drama. I’ll like things no one thinks I will, and hate things everyone thinks I’ll love.

My nature is to be quiet, so that makes people think I’m shy until I open my mouth and either sheer sarcasm or shocking observations about human nature comes out of it. I’m the girl who can write and understand a complex, truly evil villain that makes your skin crawl, or a devotional that touches your heart. My kitchen might be a mess, but I’ll also line up pencils on my desk and it drives me nuts if a photograph hangs crooked… except when I hang it that way on purpose. I’m not bipolar but I am changeable. I’m soft on some issues, and hard on others. Some things bother me, others don’t and I can’t predict either one.

The person suit I wear isn’t necessarily to keep people at a distance, except when it is. People don’t know me as well as they think, in part because I’m not very know-able, and I don’t even truly know myself. I can’t tell you why I like some people right off the bat and not others. I can’t tell you why some people drive me nuts and others don’t. I can’t tell you why I love some things and not other things similar to it. I’m not very personable but I can be charming. I can make you feel at home and welcome or I can freak the hell out of you. I’m baffled when people like me. Do they like my unpredictability? Do they like me messing with them? Or do they like the person suit I wore that day?

I think in some ways, I simply challenge people… will they stick around long enough to watch the person suit shift between different behaviors or will they give up? Men in particular find me mystifying, because I’m not like anyone they’ve ever met before. I’m not a girly-girl, except when I am. I eat my meat medium-well done but carry bugs outside instead of smashing them. I know I’m a walking pile of contradictions and am un-phased by it. I have a sneaking feeling I’ll either never get married, or someday will find someone who just happens to love my unpredictability, raging contradictions, and ever-changeable person suit.

26 Replies to “The Unpredictable Me”

  1. Sometimes I like this, full of contradictions. You’re certainly not boring. 😀 And now that I know you better, I’m not as intimidated by you anymore. 😉

  2. Charity, I am going to keep this short. YOU ARE NOT ALONE… Most of what you describe is in me also. I am trying to fix certain traits, that I feel are bad for me. We have a lot in common. I don’t know if it’s scary or good. I don’t kill bugs, I let them go outside. I do test people. I see if people stay or go. It’s hard to open up to certain people but when we do we pour our souls.

    I don’t think you’re evil not at all. I think you’re in the same boat as I am. I am search for my soul-mate. I can assure you, you’re a carrying and loving person. I speak for myself also, when I write this. You can be misunderstood Charity… This is what makes you so genuine. When we care deeply about people we cherish them. Sometimes it is hard for us to show affection. Feeling we will not want to show the weakness that shows our emotions. Unpredictability is human…

    My personal opinion, you should let go of the past. That stuff will kill you inside. You helped me to wake up and see there are people like me. From what you wrote makes perfect sense. What you describe is like me. Except I am outgoing around the right kind of people. I love you’re blogs… Charity you are great;
    1. You partially describe me (I am)
    2. You can be misunderstood (I am)
    3. You are unpredictable (I am)
    4. You will cherish people you know are loyal (I will)
    5. You don’t like certain people off the bat (I do the same)

    This is great what you wrote. I am amazed because you wrote someone who shares close relations with me. You are great Charity… I didn’t know if I should write anything because this is rare. The rareness of having similar traits. So your blog opened my eyes – I thought I was alone…

    1. Letting bugs to outside is logical — they have a function in nature, so why not let them do it? I see no point in killing them — if there’s a point in death, so be it. But if you can avoid it, avoid it.

      Very good thoughts, overall. We do love deeply — and feel deeply, just on a different level than most people. I’ve had a problem in the past of revisiting old wounds, because I’m still trying to use logic to find out what happened in that relationship. Slowly, you realize that not everything is logical and move on from it.

      Gosh, some people drive me nuts… and I don’t know why. It may be as simple as the tone in their voice! 🙂

      1. I use to kill bugs. I use to think snakes, scorpions, frog, and my favorite of all sharks were evil. I almost forgot any animal that eats meat. When we understand them they are fascinating. You got to love them, at least I do… Further, in point INTJ are misunderstood. So when I started to understand it all makes sense, we all have a certain function. Although, I am a naturalist…

        Slowly we do realize that things are not logical. First, we have people who think of past. Second, we have people who think of the present. Third, we have people who think of the future. Most of us are mixed bags. I live for the future but plan in the present.

        My advice to you is -do what you have too do-. Don’t worry about other people are doing or saying. That’s not logical to think of others thoughts that are not good or benefit; yet, that’s my point of view. I came here to learn my own personality; plus, to love myself. I got to say thanks. I am finally understand my own self and loving it… Plus, we have some similar traits.

        People do drive other people nuts. I don’t let that bother me anymore. I ask you, how is there tone of voice? Are they negative or positive people? Do they have a good among of money or not? Write them down and write back to me why? I want to know because ran into one girl whom didn’t like my voice. Yet, I know most people enjoy it…

        All in all thank you for you blogs. I find them interesting. Yet, I try to write all time on your blog. Sometimes I overlook it. Yet, I think about what you wrote in through certain periods of the day. I am a thinker. Plus, contradiction are in my nature. The greats were contradictors, they were all killed….

        Again great work…

        P.S. I eat like a caveman “rave meat.” 🙂

  3. Female ENTP here. So, while I’m neither quiet (most of the time), nor meticulous about just about anything, I very, very much get the unpredictable, people-freaking mass of walking contradictions. Mine is more of a supernova, plasma-ejecting variety, rather than a people suit. I’m all me all the time. How much of which part are you going to see at the moment? Depends on how the magnetic fields are arrayed. How’s that? {shrug} Who knows? Keep blogging, NT sister!

  4. I enjoyed this terribly much. The contradictions and paradoxes of humans and of God fascinate me, particularly as I tend to find myself a series of walking contradictions (and enjoy it, and enjoy analyzing them).

    1. I think it’s best just to accept that we’re all a pile of walking contradictions, otherwise we’ll go nuts trying to figure out why some things bug us, and other, almost identical things, don’t! 😀

  5. Unpredictable or not, you’re a lovely person, Charity, and I can honestly say, I’m glad we met. This post is fun and “so you” (;)); thank *you* for being you – because you being anything else just wouldn’t be the same.

    Hugs to you friend.

        1. Shhh! Never let an INTJ know you’ve caught on to their game! They’re hard enough to outsmart as it is! If they know you know–that makes it downright impossible!

  6. I like the way you shared about contradictions. Sometimes I feel it’s hard to explain the existence of conflicting- but somehow not inconsistent – traits of one’s character. For example, I can be dreadfully shy but am also a sociable people-person and love acting/public speaking. I have been called “girly”, but I am more willing to play sports (even if I get hurt) than most girls. It’s interesting to read about your own contradictions.. somehow knowing others have them can help you to feel more free about owning your own.

    And as to Hannibal. 0.o I haven’t even seen the show, and I got a nightmare about the main character just from watching a TV trailer. Bleh! That’s another contradiction – being ‘mentally strong’ and able to stomach some things in the medicine field, but then being emotionally weak in other ways and screaming just if I see a bug on the wall. =P
    Oh, the strangeness of it all..

    1. People tend to be walking contradictions — we are complex characters. I think in some ways, that’s how we reflect our creator. You can’t simply define God. He’s complicated. He’s all-encompassing yet surprises us. He’s easy to know and hard to define. Yet, He’s probably the only one who will ever entirely see us for who we truly are. He’s the only one who can see through our person suits.

      Oh, dear! If it makes you feel better, I can watch just about anything on a serial killer without nightmares but show me one movie with a ghost in it and I’m freaked out for weeks! Ironic considering one (murderers) is real and should be more disturbing, while the other (ghosts) aren’t real and can’t creep up on me and yank me under the bed!

      1. Exactly. ^_^ And as much as I love things like personality theory, I think people use it too much to define themselves as ‘this’ or ‘that’ – and forget that personality can be much more fluid and changeable.

        Really? That’s amusing, haha.. though while I’m not a believer in ghosts, I believe that demons are real, and I think it’s possible they could spook people the way a ghost could (even if they couldn’t necessarily harm you, depending on your spiritual situation). Let’s just say I have 3 (honest, mentally stable) family members that swore that one particular house they lived in was “haunted” – though being Christians, they don’t believe it was ghosts, but something else- even though they believed it couldn’t hurt them (due to weirdness like a lampshade flying off of a lamp and hitting a wall, a door locking itself, and other such creepy things).
        (and I promise I’m not one of those weird conspiracy theorists, lol..)

        The weird thing is that it’s not the violence of serial killer characters that scares me, as much as their lack of things like empathy. It frightens me more if someone were to say that they ‘could not feel’, versus if they had a hot temper, for example (even though I’m not fan of angry company, either).

        1. There’s a lot of things that go into personality — much more than four letters! Your experiences, your first reactions (fear? courage?), your religious beliefs… the four letters are just the beginning. Plus, you can change as you get older and interact with other people!

          Oh, I absolutely believe some houses are demon-possessed — I had British friends who had all sorts of things go on in their old house, from lamps flying across rooms to people falling down stairs. They even brought in an Anglican exorcist, but she left without doing anything — she was afraid! So yes, part of my freaked out reaction to ghost stories is because my spiritual radar goes off and screams DEMONS. 😀

          That’s a true point — a lack of empathy is terrifying, because empathy is what stays our hand from violence. Someone with no empathy could turn on you in an instant, and feel no remorse in doing it. That’s why serial killers fascinate so many people so much… we can’t (thankfully) fathom being that way.

  7. Eeek! Person-suit makes me think of the Aztec story of a man who flayed off a woman’s skin and then wore it….then again Hannibal probably approves of Aztec cuisine 😛

    On a more serious note, I think everybody dons a person suit from time to time, it’s just that some are more elaborate than others. There’s nothing wrong with it, unless you’re putting on a person with the intent to deceive. But in other cases, our “person suit” might just be the more polite version of ourselves, one we even use to spare others’ feelings!

    I think problems only arise when we won’t let others, even those we claim to love and trust most, see us without the suit. Or when we get so used to putting on one guise after another, we can hardly claim to know ourselves, and grow too detached from our own feelings.

    I have never heard that metaphor before, (is it in the books?) but it’s really a very apt one, maybe even more so than the idea of a mask, or assumed name. A mask provides coverage, but we’re constantly aware of its presence. An false name temporarily hides our identity, but doesn’t radically change how others perceive us. But a suit, ah, that can make all the difference in the world.

    Men in particular find me mystifying, because I’m not like anyone they’ve ever met before. Well now, we all know that people are often mystified because something is too grand for their minds to grasp 😉

    Totally awesome entry–as always, and I second the above commenter, keep on with the INTJ rants, your reflections on personalities have given me so much insight into my own, and I’m sure others would say much the same.

    PS
    Besides, it’s cheaper, (and safer) than hiring Hannibal as one’s therapist 😛 …

    1. Actually, that sounds more like The Silence of the Lambs… in which Hannibal helped Clarice Starling catch a man who was literally wearing a woman’s suit.

      Yeah… don’t even ask. You don’t want to know.

      Generally yes, my person suit is used to spare others’ feelings… and if I’m stressed, or upset, or extra tired that day, the suit slips and the real thoughts come out and shock people because it seems so “unlike me” to be mean. The truth is — I have mean thoughts all the time, it’s just usually I keep them to myself!

      Sometimes we hide ourselves from even those we love out of fear that they won’t like the true us. Or they might bundle us off into therapy — which as we all know, can be dangerous! (My pastor’s wife, when hearing my distress that I had to have a centipede crushed since I couldn’t get it to crawl in a jar so I could take it outside, said, “Get this girl some therapy.” She was kidding but… well, I’m sure you know where my mind went. Heh. 😉 )

      My rants are few and far between because all of them require extensive thought before being put into words. I was encouraged to put up a profile on Spock, comparing his ISTJ/INTJ tendencies, though, so at least I have something to mentally chew on for awhile!

  8. Hey, I’ve never given up on you. You never cease to amuse me with your consistent inconsistencies. I’m still sticking around to listen to your INTJ rants and movie observations (especially those). Sarcasm and all.

    1. This merely proves you enjoy high-quality entertainment. Either that, or you enjoy watching me tear apart what others think is high-quality entertainment…

  9. You’re awesome, you know that? And I have managed to love you and stay your friend through your unpredictableness 😉

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