So remember that super RED hair I posted about? Well, against my prediction, in two week it has not turned pink but it's instead turned a blond/orange color. All the red has washed out. Eventually I bet it will just be blond. It's pretty nice I guess. Once it's blond again I will find a regular dark auburn for it and do it again. I don't use very harsh dye so my hair will be OK with being dyed again.
Meanwhile, I am still in happy happy joy joy mode, kind of the reverse of PMS, very cheery, loving the fall weather, pleased with the cake I made, thrilled with my contract meeting today, just generally UP.
Tonight I got to thinking about something that explains a behavior I have which has frequently embarrasses me, especially in relation to dealing with people I respect who have strong personalities and high confidence level. The issue is that while I tend to intimidate a lot of people, both in person and online, and therefore am seen as this inapproachable, unassailable force, the fact is, when I am actually approached and assailed, my defenses are remarkably weak. I often do not, for example, take criticism very well, nor do I handle challenges to my opinions as gracefully as I might. This is not a universal description of my behavior, as I frequently deal with supervisors and bosses and friends quite readily in this fashion, but for me the default mode always seems to be to react badly to any challenges to my authority, knowledge, opinion. I think the reason for this is the very fact that I have spent so much of my life being seen as that inapproachable, unassailable force, held up by everyone as too smart to question or challenge. I enjoyed a feeling of superiority because I didn't deal with many rivals. And while I tell myself I am bored with people who are sheep, when people come to me and challenge me, I frequently get very uptight about it. Sometimes I can be gracious and accept that the other person is right, while other times, even if I secretly agree with them, I will get so frustrated that I am being called wrong (and thus inferior) that I throw up a whole line of ridiculous defenses that make me look like a brat.
On a related note, I also do not react to compliments well. I have no IDEA what to do. This is despite the fact that I get compliments all the time. Like I'll be at a meeting of our neighborhood association and the president or someone will introduce me and sing my praises and I'll have 50 people give me a huge round of applause, and I can't really do anything but look down away from the crowd and nod. My looks/clothes are a whole other matter; I get a lot of compliments on that, from strangers and neighbors and co-workers and friends, and a lot of the time my reaction is just not what I would like. I mean, if somebody tells me they love my coat, my first impulse is to say "Thanks, and only $5 at Goodwill." Not that I always do that, since I've got more practice there, but it's an example of how I deflect the compliments away from myself. I guess when the compliments come directly AT me is when I really don't know what to do. Like if somebody is telling me super nice things, like how invaluable or smart or pretty or thoughtful I am, I don't know what to say. Saying thank you seems very difficult. I mean, I think part of it is that I had so many people say horrible things to me growing up (my work was praised, I personally was villified) that I have no practice with those sort of compliments and sort of freeze up when they are offered.