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It's Okay If You're (Not) Soft

Sometimes I can be a little heartless.

Now, I don’t think I’m actually heartless. I don’t not care. (In fact, I care a lot about lots of things.) I’m not cold. Hopefully not calculating. I’m just your average Slytherin ESTP (for those of you with Myers-Briggs knowledge) who, when it comes to emotions...has a little bit of a harder time than some people.

The internet is flooded with things like “it’s okay to be soft” “I just cry really easily” “it’s okay to care about everything” “you care so much, and that’s why you hurt so deeply” and a thousand other quotes along those lines. Which...is good! Deep empathy and a strong emotional connection to others and the world around you is a good thing, and not everyone is that way. We need people like that or we become a world full of Sherlocks and that’s no good for anyone.

It’s just never been the case for me.

In Myers-Briggs terms: I rank very high on the Thinker side of things. I’m a very visual, practical, logical person. I’m a creative, a writer, but I don’t think I have my head in the clouds, or I often spend all my time daydreaming. Getting me to cry over anything, real-life-related or otherwise, is a miracle and probably just means I’m too tired and I started thinking about a book again.

I spent a long time feeling like I was broken, especially after I got on things like Pinterest.

But I’m not emotional, I would think. I don’t feel for all the people around me. When everyone is crying or upset, I feel awkward. I am not soft. I don’t know how to connect to this. I almost never cry. Most hurtful words roll off my shoulders and I don’t think about it again unless it really matters.
I spent a long time wondering if I shouldn’t get my act together, stop being a sociopath, and start being soft.

The thing is...I’m not soft. Many of my friends are, and that’s a good thing. I’m just...I’m not.

And I don’t believe that’s bad.

I don’t believe I’m broken.

I don’t believe my tendency to shun feelings instead of logic is a bad thing (all the time). I don’t believe it’s wrong that I don’t take everything to heart. (Although sometimes I don’t take things to heart when I really should, which can be a problem.)

It’s not bad to be soft. It’s not bad to be empathetic. It’s the opposite of bad to be soft, in fact, to feel the people around you, to take things to heart and feel them deeply.

But it’s also not bad to be hard. To focus on the logic of the situation rather than how you feel about it. To be able to think clearly in a situation when everyone else is panicking.

It’s okay to not cry often. (Although crying isn’t weak, and sometimes it helps more than it hurts.)

It’s okay to be practical, to not be a daydreamer, to have your feet on solid ground and your head set firmly on your shoulders.

We need soft people.

We need logical people.

Without that balance, we’re pretty much screwed. And either way...you are not broken.

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