Men are active, assertive, strong, determined, out in the world. Women are passive, gentle, fragile, flexible, nourishing, soft, caring.
Since I was a teenager, generalizations fire me up as much as injustice and mediocrity. Bulgarians are thick. The French are arrogant. “A”- students are nerds. Beautiful women are stupid. Men are providers, women are caretakers. Women cook at home, but men are better chefs. Men are good at Maths; women are humanitarian. Men are knights. Women – damsels in distress. Men are the head of the family, women are the neck. The list goes on and on.
Just typing these cliches is making me shiver. How about you?
Can men be caregivers? Can they be nurses? What about strong women? Career focused women? Women who have deliberately chosen to not have children? Is this against nature? Against their main mission in life – to reproduce and to raise the next generation?
When I set out on the path to self-exploration, I realized I was most interested in people’s personalities, and started researching various systems. Psychology. Personality tests. Neurolinguistic programming (NLP). Turns out each of these approaches prefers to label us:
- Extrovert or introvert.
- Red or yellow.
- Thinker or emotional.
- Visual or aural.
- Tiger or elephant.
Most techniques incorporate some grayness in their labeling – I can be introverted in 80% of the cases and show some extrovert qualities in the other 20%, depending on the situation and the environment.
So far so good. However, there are still finite qualities and profiles that I can use to label myself. Therefore, as a woman, besides the mandatory “beautiful, tender, and nurturing”, I can be a red visual introvert. What about my skills to handle stressful situations? My competitiveness? The way I act to avoid conflict? My intuition as to which battle is worth fighting for? My flexible mind? Are they female? Are they mine? Am I allowed to express them? To love them? To be proud of them?
Most of you have probably experienced – or may still be – in a similar predicament. You are aware you have qualities not usually associated with your gender and are unsure how to treat them. Is it ok to be strong and female at the same time? Is this really me – when according to the female generalization standards – I should be soft and gentle and caring? Waiting for my knight in shining armor to rescue me. Is it ok to be nurturing and male at the same time? To prefer spending quality time with my children instead of providing for them? Is this really me – when according to the male generalization standards – I should be active and strong and bold? To be that knight in shining armor and go and save my lady.
And then I came across human design – the science of differentiation. The approach that takes us out of the generalization illusions and welcomes us to a world of uniqueness. Human design reveals our true nature and doesn’t label strengths and receptivity as male of female. It shows our decision-making process and how we communicate. We learn about the costumes we put on playing our life roles. And are invited to be ourselves. To break free from the generalizations and labels and their chains.
Getting to know myself, I realized that I am ambitious and caring at the same time. I am an empath – and at the same time – I fulfil my purpose through the mind. That I am influential in large groups of people I don’t necessarily know – and – it’s better for me to wait for an invitation before speaking. That my mind is flexible and has various methods to conceptualization and rationalization – and – I can be scattered. That – even though I am female – it will never be enough for me to just take care of my home and children. That – even though I am female – in some respects, I am not receptive, flexible, or humble.
Don’t let generalizations and labeling ьdrag you into a life that’s not yours. Get to know who you really are and allow yourself to live your true nature. It’s an exciting adventure.