I was once told by a clergyman, with whom I was having a discussion, that my mere presence was a demand. He did not like my “look” either, since it also was a demanding look.
That was a revelation to me, since up until that time (my mid-late 30’s) I had never heard anyone espouse such an opinion. It did clarify many things that had heretofore been perplexing to me, and enabled me from that point forward to try and mitigate that effect I had on people. It was not intentional. I had never set out to present myself in that way and the clergyman told me that was just who I was and he didn’t like it.
I have learned over the years that it is part of who I am, not an affectation or persona, but the deep down me. It has made life hard for my family, especially my daughter, but fortunately she has also had an abundance of love and affection to mitigate the ongoing sense of demand.
I am not sure where it came from, from what well it sprang. I am not sure when it first manifested itself. It can make people think I am talking down to them, when that is not my intention and it has reduced the number of my acquaintances, since it takes a true friend to walk along side me for very long.
I have long ago given up trying to change it. What I have tried to learn to do is to control its intensity. That way, I would only express that sense of demand in a situationally appropriate amount, but even that is hard.
So, in my picture below, in the update to the previous post on Action Heroes, I hope you do not see too heavy of a demand emanating from those deep set blue-green eyes.
Grace and peace to you and may the only demands you feel on your life come from the God who loves you, and who sent his son to die for you that he might call you his own.