Someone I work with used the word “demeanor” yesterday and I’ve thought about this a lot. The gal that used it is a super sweet person. Almost always smiling, unless deep in thought and is just very willing to do whatever to help someone. She has told me that she’s like this with her spouse all of the time, too which of course I was like “what? how?” because let’s be straight here people….typically no one can frustrate or anger us more than our spouses, right? (Please tell me that my husband and I are not alone in this.
Jen Hatmaker talks about people who are sweet and people who are spicy in her latest book, For the Love: Fighting for Grace in a World of Impossible Standards. The lady I am referencing definitely fits the sweet category. I wonder if she ever raises her voice at her children or tells her husband to stop being a slob or rolls her eyes or gets frustrated. I wonder if she ever uses sarcasm or wit to get the point across or if sometimes, she just says what is on her mind, no matter the delivery.
I know for certain that I am not in the sweet category. I “can” be sweet and can be smiley and can be always positive and uplighting and “bless your heart” and offer constant words of encouragement.
But my ~demeanor~ is to more shoot straight, tell it like it is and sometimes worry about the delivery later, especially in a high stress moment where action is key. (Like in the restaurant business.)
I use sarcasm and wit, I am big on common sense and I’m strong and authoritative. In a man, those qualities make for a good leader. In a woman they are considered bossy and bitchy. So. Not. Right.
I’ve been in situations in jobs and church ministries where I know I can do the job as well as a man. Recently, I was in a meeting and it was asked in the room, “which man would be willing to lead?” and I thought how interesting that it’s thought that only a man could lead this when there are many women, myself included who would be more than capable but it wasn’t even a thought. Do we still discriminate in this day and age? Absolutely! And it’s just not based on color or religion. Sex is still up there. Thankfully not as much but it’s still lurking. (As a side note, I know that it wasn’t the intention to exclude women. I think it’s just that natural tendency to assume that a guy will be in charge!)
Back to demeanor, I know I come across strongly at times. I’ve tried to lighten that up. But in doing so, I don’t want to minimize who I am that God created me to be. He made me with a strong personality. He made me to take charge. He made me to think of the big picture in things. He made me to be able to analyze a situation and come up with a sometimes easier, better way to do things. He made me spicy!
I need to make me a little nicer in the delivery, but trust me when I say that it’ll probably still contain some spice! If we have to accept and learn to live with the perky and overly sweet and who they are, then we also need to accept and learn to live with the spicy and sometimes not-so-sweet! And that’s an order! ~wink~