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Monday, May 27, 2013

What Defines You? By Bonnie R. Paulson

They give you surveys with questions like "What are your hobbies or interests?"  and "What is your favorite ____ (Fill in the blank)?"

They try to peg you into a demographic based on age, color of skin, gender, religion, shopping interests, and reading preferences.  They pinhole you into a tax bracket, a health rating, a job or career, education level, or worse.

Who is they, you ask? They is anyone trying to get to know you. When you sit down with a new person who doesn’t have a history with you, what do they ask? What do you ask?

The standards, right?

What do you do? Do you have kids? Siblings? Where are you from? Do you do anything for fun? Interests?

I know why people do this, why I do this, but I wonder if it’s really effective in getting to know the heart of a person – the soul.

Oh, sorry, I ask these questions because I’m looking for something in common, something interesting, something I can relate to. Because we all want to be alike somehow. It makes it easier to feel safe.

But do you want to know the man sitting across from you on the bus? Do you want to know his interests to know him or to know you’re safe?  Do you want to know he’s a vampire secretly plotting the devouring of the girl next to you? Or would you prefer to just know his favorite color, because that’s safe?

Better yet, let’s take the focus off others. What would you like people to know about you? Is it enough that they know your ethnicity? Is that you? Your favorite food? Color? Football team? What about the music you like or the movies you watch? Is that you?

In the comments, I’d like to know the three words (three words ONLY) that you feel define who you are. The three words that you would be comfortable having etched into your tombstone or your obituary. Three words that YOU define yourself with – not others. So no cheating and turning to your co-worker and asking what they think.

How do you define yourself? And, most importantly, would it make others feel safe? *wink*

My three words: Mom, wife, friend.   

I think they define me without extra words needed. But if I got a fourth, I’d claim dirt bike fan or food lover. Because that’s how I roll!

Thank you so much for having me today. Please do comment below. I would love to see how you see yourself.
Check out my back cover blurb from Out of the Ashes – the final book in my Into the End series. It’s crazily fun!
America can rise, but the cost is high.

Traumatized by previous exposure to her own tests, Dr. Rachel Parker has to complete the methodical steps she swore would never see the light of day… on herself. Her sister, Brenda Krous, may be the only one capable of pulling her through intact.

If they can accomplish the feat and find resolution together, the answers they discover can help the rest of America rise up and reclaim itself from the protection of destruction.

But a nation’s fall has a time frame and pride can get in the way. Rachel and Brenda must find what they need in each other to conquer the fear in others.


Diane Burton said...

Great post, Bonnie. Yes, we do ask superficial questions while trying to get to know each other. Could it be we reserve our "real" self for those closest to us? Experts say men define themselves by what they do; women by who they know. Relationships are important to us--that's why we try to find commonality when we ask those questions.

My 3 words: Nana, Mom, Honey (Wife)

Bonnie R. Paulson said...

Oh, Diane! Great response! Thank you. I'd never heard that about men. It makes perfect sense!

Rebekkah Niles said...

My three words:
Writer, friend, dragon.

Come to think of it, the last one may not make most people feel safe. Unless they're named George or Aerin, and then I'm the one who doesn't feel safe.

Melissa Keir said...

Dr. William Glasser has a wonderful amount of research on relationships and the importance of them in our lives.

I like your three words and would chose them as well...unless I went for funny :)