My current boss, AwesomeSauce, is amazing and deserves endless praise for turning me into a good manager. She basically gives me therapy during our bi-weekly supervision and it has helped me in more areas of my life than work. But she is not perfect and I have to remind myself of that constantly because I tend to put people on pedestals that they inevitably come crashing down from. It’s probably a trait that many introverts have in common because it seems to happen mostly for people I meet with huge, confident personalities and I envy them.
The first person I placed on a pedestal was an instructor I met when I was 20. He was happy, enigmatic and exotic. His energy just oozed out of him and people were drawn to him like crazy. I became a part of his inner circle and eventually slept with him. He was married. I was a very innocent 25 year old (it’s a terrible excuse, I know). It didn’t end with a bang, he moved on to other girls in the group and I got a boyfriend. Not terribly exciting, but later on he lent money to someone he knew owed me a huge some of money and I can still feel that burn.
The last person I had on a pedestal was Samantha, my grandiose first boss from my current company. She could never lose an argument and had an opinion about everything. And her opinions were usually different from anything I had previously experienced. Romance was anathema to her. Men were to be used and thrown away. In fairness, she told them ahead of time that she would do this but none of the men seemed to care. I think it probably made her more attractive to them. One year, she showed up to our company holiday party with one date and another boyfriend showed up later on. Her magic was losing its grip on me by that point though.
I think it helps that as I get older and more confident I am less likely sucked into the spell of charming people. This is one of the blessings of getting older and I am grateful for it. Life doesn’t hurt like it constantly seemed to when I was younger and one of the reasons is that I see people differently – as complicated, flawed but amazing beings.