A fire alarm goes off. No one moves. There is no sense of urgency. Why isn’t anyone reacting? They all just keep working out like they don’t hear anything.

Had I been paying attention earlier I would have heard the statement “This is only a test”.

My lack of attention and the distractions in my own head almost had me running out the gym taking anyone who wanted to live with me. Thankfully before I made a scene I turned to the person on the elliptical next to me and she said “Yeah they said it’s just a test.”

One of my biggest challenges in life is being present – can you relate? I’m an introverted thinker and often live my life in my head. I like it there!

I have learned to love this very dominate part of myself. This is also the part of my personality that led to a decent amount of teasing growing up. I was often called helium head (because it’s less dense then air). I was told that I lived in “Mary’s World”. I was always in a hurry often tripping up the stairs and running into things. I even bought an orange car to help me remember where I parked…yep true story.

Over the years I learned to ignore these messages. I didn’t like being made fun of – who does? Yet when I was going through my own transformation I looked back at WHY I was being teased and I uncovered some very positive things. Below is what I learned from being teased that has helped me in my own self discovery process:

When you are teased its often for something that comes naturally. For example, I never had to think about thinking or creating. I just did it. What do you do naturally without thinking about it?

You are often teased for the side effects of what you’re doing. In my case it was not paying attention to my outer world because I was enjoying being in my inner world. I have since learned that this means that I am an introvert. I love new ideas, to think and to write. What about you? What has been a side effect of things you do with ease?

People tease you when they don’t understand you –  it’s their way of trying to connect. When I think back to some of the teasing I see good natured people trying to connect with me but not knowing how. Humor is disarming and levels the playing field. I learned a lot about myself by reflecting on the personality of those who teased me. Where I was introverted they were extroverted. While I liked to talk about ideas they liked to talk about people and things. How are those who teased you different from you? What does this reveal to you about yourself?

What have you learned about yourself from being teased?

Copyright 2015, Mary R. Miller