02 października 2023

Let’s start from what do we mean by complex personality?  And why are we so easily misjudged


Well, it means that you operate on many levels.

There is a depth to your character, and that depth incorporates many different rich elements.


You may be:

  • Very sensitive

  • A deep thinker

  • Highly creative

  • Very intelligent

  • Incredibly curious


But with every yin, there is a yang, and complex personalities also have their challenges along with their blessings.

They are often a consequence of the exact same traits that make them so interesting and profound.

At times you might fall into overthinking things, which can bring anxiety or worry. Perhaps you feel things too deeply and can become overwhelmed by emotions.

In fact, these occasionally contradictory qualities can be one of the things that others don’t get.


Reasons why people with complex personalities are so easily misjudged


1) Because you can seem like a contradiction


Here’s the thing:  Life itself is often a bit of a contradiction.

There’s a whole wide range of things that co-exist together, sometimes that seem at odds with one another. And complex people are sort of like that.

I may crave deep connection, whilst seeking solitude at the same time.

You may be loud and the life and soul of the party one day, and quiet and reserved the next.

I may be a stickler for the rules over some things, and then show their rebellious streak over other things.

In short: complex personalities are complicated and that can feel like a contradiction.

Not everyone is going to understand that. It can mean you’re misjudged as people struggle to get their heads around what makes you tick.

Just when they think they have you figured out, you seem to change.


2) You’re a puzzle they can’t figure out


It’s a reality that anything that people don’t understand may end up being misjudged.

We’ve actually evolved to quickly judge one another.

Human beings are experts at trying to get a read on each other.

It was a survival tactic that helped keep us safe to make split decisions about who we can trust. Unfortunately, you only get one chance to make a first impression. You can blame our cognitive biases for that one.

Considering that complex people aren’t so easy to get an instant read on, people’s first impressions of you might be not accurate or true to your full character.


3) Your introversion can be misread as standoffish


You’re not aloof, you are simply introverted. And introversion does not mean that you are anti-social. It simply refers to people who tend to be more inward-focused.

As a consequence, introverts often need a lot of alone time. They enjoy being with their thoughts and contemplations.

They also need more time to process social interactions, because an introvert’s brain is actually wired differently. Sadly, it’s not something people always understand when they aren’t introverts themselves.

I’ve often been misread as being rude because of my introversion.

Especially as I don’t fit the stereotypical image people can have of how an introvert behaves.

So because I’m chatty and can be outspoken, people assume I am extroverted.

But that means when my battery runs out and I shut down in social situations, I’m viewed as being impolite or closed off.

The bottom line is that we don’t know how people are really feeling inside, and that causes us to make assumptions about them.


4) You can be emotionally and intellectually intense


I’m not going to sugarcoat it: Complex personalities can be intense.

That’s sort of the deal. You cannot have depth without intensity.

You feel a varied range of rich emotions and thoughts when you have a complex personality.

At times you might notice that’s a lot to handle, even for you. Well, it can be a lot to handle for others too. That certainly doesn’t mean it’s wrong.

The truth is that the most fascinating people in life can be the most challenging at times.

Personally, I find it difficult to connect with people if they’re not a complex mess of mixed emotions and thoughts — because I most certainly am. So I seek fellow complex characters out. That way we can sit around together contemplating the meaning of life and watching scientific documentaries. But I’m aware that for some people I’m just “too much”.

Anyway, my point is that it’s less about wrong or right and more about us finding like-minded people who we click with.


5) You are on a different wavelength from some people


The reality is that in such a diverse world, we’re not going to get everyone.

People not from our tribe may find difficult understanding your experiences, or our story.

And that’s a recipe for misjudging one another.


6) You suck at small talk so might seem socially awkward at times


It’s actually pretty common for complex people to feel like they don’t fit in.

When you operate in a different way, have different interests, and a different focus you may feel like you’re misunderstood.

Meeting lots of people at once can be overwhelming to your senses, and you might struggle with small talk.

Most certainly however you are a master of having long and in-depth conversations about things that interest you, making polite chit-chat can feel almost painful. Because it doesn’t light you up.


7) People mistake your independence for being a loner


Complex people are often incredibly autonomous.

They’re naturally inward-focused as we’ve seen. They’re independent thinkers. And they enjoy spending time alone and doing their own thing.

Even independence, whilst being generally valued by society, can still be disparaged.

Too much independence can be seen as being awkward or selfish — particularly when you don’t automatically go along with everyone else.

If you are the independent type then you may be seen as a bit of a loner, when really you’re just not a sheep.

Maybe you don’t feel as though you need company in quite the same way as others crave it. 

But that certainly doesn’t mean you don’t value strong and deep connections.

You just prefer not to waste your time on shallow or superficial relationships.


8) What you present to the outside world, doesn’t always accurately reflect what’s going on inside


The contradictions of a complex personality can make you appear a bit like Jekyll and Hyde at times.

But what’s also true is that the image you present at any given time to someone isn’t necessarily going to be a full reflection of what’s going on for you underneath the surface.

Complex personalities can be more naturally prone to mental health struggles. They can overanalyse the smallest of details. Let’s face it: our thoughts can be overwhelming at times.

And someone looking from the outside isn’t going to see all of that. They’re misjudging you on very limited information.

I’ve learned to seek out people who value my complexities

The fact of life is: You’re not going to be everyone’s cup of tea.

Sometimes that can feel painful. But the truth is that I wouldn’t wish away the complexities that make me who I am.

I value those things about me, even if they do present their own challenges occasionally.

And what I’ve learned is that there are plenty of others who value it just as much.

They don’t like me in spite of my complex character but because of it.


Does it resonate?

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