Enigmatic: Why They Can’t Read Us

“Sometimes I feel like I just can’t read you.”

Weirdly enough, as I grow and become more in touch with who I am than I ever was before, I still here this phrase. And not just from new people I meet. I heard this from my mom only a month ago.

Wouldn’t it make more sense that everyone else would also understand me since I really understand me now? Well it doesn’t seem to work that way. And the weird thing is, from my perspective it seems like I get along fairly well with most of the people I associate with! Does this ever happen to you? Maybe people like us unconsciously put up some facade that we’ve become accustomed to donning around everyone. Our personality: oh no, it can’t be…fake?! I want to delve into this idea of the enigma. Maybe after much rumination in the meadow of thoughts we can come to a conclusion about why people know us, but don’t think they really know us.

Let’s Begin.


Personality Type

You’re chill. You’re very outgoing. You’re shy. Wow you are very animated. Where’s you’re emotion? Quiet. Random much? Homebody. Party animal.

I feel like all of these “labels” could apply to me. I guess that’s the problem with us ambiverts. Although personality types are all theoretical, I really believe this type is very accurate in describing the enigmatic characters parading (or sneaking) around the world’s stage. We love being around people and then we have days where we wished we lived on the top of Mt. Fuji; in the wintertime. We can socialize, be loud and ego crazy. And then an hour later transform into the soft-spoken listener posted up on the wall with a close friend, or even a random stranger.

Do you ever feel like your attitude seems to change based on the social circle you’re in? And I’m not talking about code-switching. My catalog of eloquent vocabulary doesn’t magically increase when I’m talking with my boss. I’m saying that the way I act really changes a few degrees depending on who I am around. I sort of try to meet people where they’re at.

If I’m around chill people, I tend to be around their level of communication, sometimes just above in terms of energy.

If I’m around high energy or loud people I tend to hover just below their vibration.

And when it’s a mixed bag I tend to be all over the place.

It’s like I have a personality lever built right into me. Are you the same? That might be one reason why you’re the enigma of your friends and family members.


Onion Theory

It’ really quite simple: we’re all onions. We were all born and raised in different gardens. We all experienced different climates in life and learned to adapt to them. No one is the same as the other. We all have layers created from our experiences. This has made us exactly who we are today.

There’s really always more to the story than people show on the outside. I think that’s what’s so great about every human being: that we all have these layers, these stories we keep telling ourselves, about ourselves. So when I meet people, and as I get to know them over time, I don’t expect that I’ll just get them (as in understand them) right away. I keep an open mind and sort of expect people to do the same for me.

But maybe due to the fact that we are evolutionarily built to make snap judgements about our surroundings, others may have a hard time making those quick reactions around us. It’s pretty cool right? We have this mechanism built-in, to help us categorize everything; even people. Yet how useful will this (for lack of better word) “stereotyping” be as our individual life experiences become increasingly diverse. Hmm…we might all be becoming enigmatic.


Projection Theory

Maybe you can always go into work with a huge smile on your face; even on the same day your dog died. Maybe you’re so deadpan no one can ever tell if you’re sarcastic or serious. Maybe you got an angry face, or even worse. Dare I say it? RBF.

If what you project is not always perfectly aligned with what you feel, then you just upped the ante on your mysterious persona. Now go join a poker tournament you sly devil! I realized this was a bit of a problem for me when I would tell others how I feel (about them, a current event, etc.). I would get so offended when they would say I was all talk. But now I understand what they meant. The words I was voicing didn’t match up with the emotions I was projecting. A frustrating feeling for both me and whoever I might have been talking to at the time. Facial expressions speak just as loud as actions it seems.

So you just might be an ambiverted onion with projection problems. Congratulations, you’re unique! Nothing wrong with not fitting easily into societal stereotypes. But just keep in mind these things I talked about when communicating with others. And remember to:

Be a bit more frank with others

Express yourself a bit more

And go easy on the sarcasm

Any suggestions on dealing with this “problem”? Add them in the comments.


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