This is another therapist-inspired essay of sorts. i have a variety of ways i interact with/react to others, and she asked me to write some of them down.
Suspicion. Meeting new people, my foremost emotion tends to be a mixture of caution and suspicion - i don't open up completely until i've formed a mental image of who someone is, what they want, and what motivates them. Often i don't open up even then. i tend to pick and choose who i let see anything beyond my cheerful, competent surface self. This doesn't apply as much in "safe" spaces - SCA events, conventions (specifically other volunteers; i view convention-goers as a whole as a loud bunch of scary people xD), small groups where i'm completely comfortable.
Wariness. If someone acts very familiar with me when they haven't interacted with me much, haven't actually gotten to know who i am, i stare from my corner and often wind up backing the hell away as fast as my legs will carry me.
Adult-to-adult. If i open up to someone else, it's generally on an adult level. Potential friends get the adult me, the me that acknowledges that yes, the clinical depression and anxiety exist, they're hellish some days, and DO NOT fucking call them cute, PLEASE - but i still often restrain the unbridled squealing that happens whenever i see something i love, the goofiness, and the child side.
Trust and safety. Once i've opened up completely, i will trust absolutely and feel completely safe until or unless i am shown that i'm not safe/shouldn't trust someone else. Generally the guaranteed way to completely destroy my trust and sense of safety is to lie to me. Confusing me, not being clear with me, can cause issues as well, but i tend to be a lot more understanding of confusion than of being lied to.
Child. If i hit emotional extremes - confusion, hurt, trying to figure out dichotomies in words vs. actions or some such, the child side comes out. i can go from adorable to annoying without realizing i've done so, and if i'm gently but firmly informed that no, that isn't okay, i'll generally be able to pull myself back together and recognize when i hit the edge of annoying. If i'm shoved away, i go into a spiral and end up afraid to do or say ANYTHING because something might be bad. It's exhausting and i really hate that my brain does this, but thanks to the anxiety and depression i can't always control it.
Reactions: i generally end up with people hitting several specific areas in the back of my brain upon either first meeting, or as we interact and build some sort of relationship or another.
There are people who hit my brain as "this is someone i am not sure of." Those people may see glimpses of me but won't see all of me, ever.
There are people who hit my brain as "this is a potential friend, but there's no chemistry whatsoever otherwise." Those i tend to interact with on varying levels, depending on how close we get, how often we spend time together, and what the time we spend together is like.
There are people who hit my brain as "this is a potential friend, and there's potential for chemistry/a relationship/etc there too." They see just about everything, eventually, if we become close or if other levels start to develop.
Finally, in a nod to my kink side: there are people who hit my brain as "this is someone who deserves submission and trust." These people tend to see every single aspect of me quickly, if/when i get to know them and open up. The cute brat, the bitchy brat, the childlike squealing in excitement, the adult, the comforter, the caretaker, the needy girl, all of it.
i think the point of this particular exercise was to have me consciously recognize the different ways i do or don't connect with others, and the positive sides of every way that i connect. i'm still looking for positives in the bitchy brat/neediness, but i figure i'll eventually find some.