Posts Tagged ‘contact’

Smart Woman Syndrome


Ancient Map courtesy of aopsan/

How do you make a community? That is the question, isn’t it? At least here, it is.

For some people it seems so easy. I know, the popular have their insecurities, too, and I know (first hand, even) that it is possible to feel alone in a crowd, but some people do just have that uncanny knack for drawing people to them. For the rest of us, it can seem daunting.

I personally find it difficult, not only to make friends, but to keep them. And on more than one occasion I have lost close friends because a boy (who I brought into the circle) and I broke up, and my friends liked him better. Or maybe he was just better at staying in contact. Maybe he bribed them with chocolate and puppies…

Chances are, it’s the second, with maybe a dash of the first.

See, I suffer from what I call Smart Woman Syndrome (or Smart Girl Syndrome, whatever floats…). I made this up years ago, from observing that the smart women around me have a hard time coming-off as likable a fair amount of the time.

My high school boasted a generous amount of smart and fun teachers, both male and female. The student population was in fairly good consensus about the top 5 male teachers, but if you asked about the top female teachers – well, that was a much more difficult conversation. Any one female teacher nominated generated dissent. You ended up with a dozen nominations, and no actual frontrunners.

My female professors in university similarly seemed to have a harder time generating respect from the populous and in convincing their students that the subject matter was not only important, but interesting, and that classes and discussions could be fun and engaging.

I noticed my step-mother, who is smart, and professionally successful, was having a hard time getting promoted past a certain point – because she was over-qualified.

And then there was me. I’ve told you I’m too smart for my own good. And I’ve always had trouble making, and more importantly, keeping friends.

Now I’m not saying that in my case all of the issue is this Smart Woman Syndrome (honestly, it could be a real thing!) but it does seem to me that society wants us to believe that smart women are intimidating, aloof, and, generally, not in need of friendship.


Seriously, though, I’ve met smart women who have bought into this harmful propaganda. And end up hating themselves for being so smart and driving people away. What? I know!

Now I’m not saying that all smart women suffer from this issue all the time, or that if you haven’t suffered, that you’re not a smart woman, it’s just my way of simplifying a very complex issue.

Very complex. So back to the much more concrete (though still very tricksy) issue of me and friendlessness (because it’s all about me, clearly!).

Part of it is, I have the darnedest time staying in touch with people. Honestly, they should still teach correspondence in school. I hate the phone (it rings, people!), and I try not to use it unless I have something to say, or unless someone calls me. The idea of calling someone just because is weird to me. I’ve had to get over it, in my various long-distance relationships, but it’s hard.

I don’t email much, because frankly, I spend all day staring at a computer screen corporately, and it’s hard to come home and want to look at another one – which makes Facebook difficult, too.

I could write letters – I should write letters, but it seems a little weird. Not to mention outside the instant gratification methods our society values and encourages.

Which leaves face-to-face interaction.

So either you create the face-to-face time, by organizing get-togethers and events, or you only consider friends those people you naturally see regularly. Or something’s gotta give.

Comments? What do you think? How do you stay in touch?



Growing Pains: Breaking the Fight or Fighting the Break

Fighter? Me?Growing pains. They hurt, no?

So this break thing is hard. Honestly, I really didn’t expect it to be a romp through the daisies, but it is hard.

And I thought this break thing was all for him, he needed space and time, he needed to figure out what he wanted, he needed to be a whole person before being a twosome…

And I need to learn to let go.

Seriously. Because what I’ve learned in these three days (yes, it has only been three days) is that night-time is the hardest because I don’t get to say goodnight, and morning is the hardest because I don’t know if he’ll call or not and I wake up to the lack of him, and afternoons are the hardest because I can’t pick up the phone and tell him about my day, and what I learned, and felt, and dreamed.

I’ve learned that I’m a fighter. I’ve described my self as a woman of extremes, a control freak, and someone who takes on too many projects at once, and I’ve been described as a go-getter, and impatient, but never a fighter.

Oh, I like a good debate, and I’ve been known to pick a few fights in my time, but I’m not competitive. And I’ve quit every relationship I’ve ever had – because I knew they weren’t going anywhere, and a few times, because I knew the guy wouldn’t fight for me to stay.

I guess I never figured out that I wouldn’t fight for them to stay either.

Now I’ve found someone who I would fight for, who I desperately want to fight to be with me, and my instincts are telling me to do more, to say more, to compile mixed CDs of songs that are poignant to this situation and mail them to him so that he will know that I love him, that I’m still here, still wanting to be with him, but that I get it, I understand, and I want him to be ready.

And I have to remind myself that it’s not about me. That I have made my position clear. I need to trust that he understands how I feel, that he knows I am here whenever he is ready, and I need to have faith that this will be good in the long run – and I have to realize that it may be a long run.

I have to believe that he will want me again. Or still. Or something.

But it is hard, oh so very hard. I have debates every few minutes about texting, or calling, or emailing, or just driving to his home or job, about breaking down to mutual friends and hoping the sentiment gets passed on to him… And then I remember that I am an adult, and not in sixth grade, and that I made this choice with him and we decided it was best, and part of that means I need to uphold my end of the bargain and let him make the first move. It is not my turn yet. I have had my say, and he is still thinking of the right words. I have to let him think.

I just miss being able to reach out and touch him with text or a phone call. I miss knowing that he’s missing me, too.

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