I have read so many articles lately that deal with women believing they are not enough. However, what these articles seem to often not address is the woman who believes she is “too much.”
I am one of those women.
Too confident. Too outspoken. Too eager. Too committed. Too emotional. Too transparent. Too aggressive. Too energetic. Too much of a risk taker. Too intense — and the list goes on and on.
Often women with “too muchness” sometimes find it more difficult to find opportunities to identify with women on a more personal level. Women who are put in this category are often seen as a threat rather than a friend. A competitor rather than a comrade. Strong and fortified like the Rock of Gibraltar instead of delicate and fragile like a sandcastle on the beach.
It may actually surprise you the number of women in your circle who believe the lie that they are too much, unlikable, and worse, unlovable. Some have been told this by other women who don’t understand or value what they have to bring to a friendship.
It’s ironic, but by being told we are too much we are being led to believe we are not enough.
Not quiet enough. Not Meek enough. Not Wise enough. Not Humble enough. Not Nice enough. Not Kind enough. Not Approachable enough. Not likable enough — again, the list goes on and on.
I have been told these things by women I know. Once said directly to my face, but most often made known by how they interact with me. I have experienced being ignored because some women just don’t know how to handle me. I am ashamed to admit these circumstances have left me with some lingering trust issues with women in general.
Will You Risk Being a Friend?
Recently this topic of “too muchness” came up during conversation with several women in my sphere. One of the common thrusts of the conversation was the heavy disappointment of being passed over for social engagements and the reality that these social invitations were needed, longed for, and deeply desired.
Admittedly, it is not always easy to approach someone who might be labeled as “too much,” especially for women whom are more introverted and intimidated by another who seems more confident and assured. I have even heard that there is a phenomenon known as “RBF,” which seems to be common for many women and scares off potential friends. (You can find the definition of RBF and test if you have it here.)
That woman who sits by herself at church each Sunday morning may look a bit intimidating, but often wants more than anything for someone to come up to her and invite her to a conversation rather than being the one to bulldoze into other’s conversations. She may believe she is “too much,” yet not enough.
The typically labeled “too much” woman desires deep relationships. She wants a friend who will talk to her about deeper things in life, rather than fashion, hairstyles, and makeup. She doesn’t care much about coupons and crafts, but is excited and unafraid to dive into a conversation about religious beliefs and effects of culture.
She wants to leave the shallow end and create genuine friendships that can handle her “too muchness.” Personally for me small talk is not fulfilling and generally a chore, but if deeper conversation begins you’ve got me hooked — for life.
Women who are usually labeled “too something” want to live without competition, comparison, and condemnation for who God created her to be. She wants a close companion to be real with. She wants an authentic friend to accept her as she is.
Will you risk being her friend?
The Truth about Being “Too Much”
I am thirty-five years old. There is something magical about your thirties. They’re the beginning of the wiser, more experienced years. They also are the onset for genuine acceptance of who you are. You know what you like and don’t like. You are more settled in how you want your life to look and care much less about what others think about you.
Despite sometimes still succumbing to the comparison game that my twenties was rife with, it is much less prevalent in my thirties. I am much more confident in the decisions I make and comfortable with my softness and edges.
“You will always be too much of something for someone: too big, too loud, too soft, too edgy. If you round out your edges, you lose your edge.
Apologize for mistakes. Apologize for unintentionally hurting someone — profusely. But don’t apologize for being who you are.” –Danielle LaPorte
The truth is we don’t have to wait till we are thirty or forty-years-old to have self-acceptance. The truth is there will always be people who won’t like you, welcome you, or understand you — and that is okay.
The “too muchness” others point out about you is not really about you at all. Most of the time when a “too much” characteristic is pointed out it has more to do with the identifier’s belief in lack rather than your perceived excess.
Everyone falters at some point in being judgmental of differences not understood. Our differences can be the incitement for misunderstandings and conflict — or they can be the catalyst for refining and celebration.
The next time you begin to believe the lie that you are too much and not enough, know there are others out there who feel the same. Know you aren’t too much, you were made perfect for God’s purposes and he delights in you.
***Since the first publishing of this article, it has been picked up by the national publication, The Huffington Post.***
Questions to Ask Yourself:
Have I been accused or treated like I am too much? or not enough?
Do I have lingering trust issues with other women because of a hurt?
Have I mistakenly believed the lie that I am too much? or not enough?
Do I have community support that can remind me of who I am?
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