Open Letter: Still Waters Run Painfully Deep

melancholy letter enh

Dear You,

Yes, I realize that I can seem stand-offish and aloof, but please remember that appearances are often misleading. Don’t be fooled by my “still waters”…understand that they run deep. Painfully deep, at times.

Think about it this way: Whereas most people get fluttering butterflies in their stomachs when they get nervous, I have an entire flock of starlings darting all around my internal organs in a dance choreographed by anxiety. When others are happy, I’m overjoyed! And when other personality types merely get their feeling hurt, I’m devastated. My highs and lows may not always show externally, but they churn in an internal whirlpool with every beat of my heart. My still water flow deeply.

My tendency to internalize much of what I feel is what others tend to interpret as aloofness. But, if you can remember the depth of HOW if feel, it’ll help you better understand me and any other melancholy personalities you may encounter.

Another thing I implore you to understand about me, it that I often struggle with a never-ending pursuit of perfection. Oh how that divides me. I hate it, but I NEED it! I know, I know, it sounds nuts, but that’s how I’m made. I understand that my intense attention to detail can drive you crazy, but it drives me crazy too. It’s a love/hate relationship. It is a constant effort, no, make that FIGHT to relax my expectation of myself and others. It’s so hard, so forgive me and know how profoundly I appreciate your understanding when I tend to be overly critical of myself and others.

The upside to my relentless pursuit of  perfection is that my projects are done well and in an organized manner. Oh how that makes my heart sing! Any of my artistic endeavors are well crafted and tend to be bountiful feasts for the eyes of any beholder. My motto is, “If it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing right . . . and with beauty.” Perfection also drives my desire to BE ON TIME . . . to not deviate from my schedule. That’s good for you, unless you are the one causing me to be late.

Before I close, I want to let you in on a couple of secrets. 1) Oh how it soothes my anxious soul when someone assures me I’m okay just the way I am. I worry more than I should about that, but that’s just how I’m made. I constantly question myself (which stems from my overly active analytical skills, LOL). What a soothing balm encouraging words are to me. 2) If there is an area where I need improving, by all means, let me know, but be gentle and kind. It’s way to easy to stir up those sensitive waters flowing just beneath the surface. Remember, something that merely pricks most, cuts me deeply.

My sincere thanks to you for choosing to wade beyond my still waters and venture into the deep places that stir in my heart. By doing so, you have found the most loyal and caring of friends. I cherish you more than you will ever know.



(NOTE: I want to thank Elizabeth Avens and Kelley Pounds for sharing their hearts with me for this post. The melancholy personality is often the one I have the hardest time emulating since I don’t have any melancholy traits. Both these ladies are beautiful examples of this personality, and they bring different things to our friendship. Elizabeth makes me laugh and laugh with her wonderful humor, and Kelley makes me feel comfortable no matter how long it’s been since we’ve been together face-to-face. Also, I encourage to you visit Kelley’s website so you can view the beautiful wire-wrap jewelry she so painstakingly creates in classic melancholy style:  kell’s creations )

©2014 Shona Neff

Tags: , , , , , ,

This entry was posted on Saturday, March 1st, 2014 at 7:26 pm and is filed under Personalities: Four-Part Series, Personality Stories - Melancholy. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.


3 Responses to “Open Letter: Still Waters Run Painfully Deep”

  1. nascarccmgrlfan Says:

    My mom admits she’s a perfectionist.

  2. chinonye Says:

    Hi shona,
    Do phlegmatics suffer from personality disorders? I noticed that most personality disorders like bpd and dissiociative disorders are similar to the melancholy temperament. What do you think? Thanks!

  3. shona Says:

    Hi chinonye,

    Thanks for visiting my site, and I apologize for taking so long to get back with you. I do believe that all the personalities can suffer from personality disorders, although I am not an expert in that area.

    That is an interesting observation your share. I know that the melancholy tends to be the most sensitive of the four personality types, and maybe that makes them more susceptible to the disorders you mention. Other than that small bit of input, I really don’t have any specific information for you.

Leave a Reply