writing

The hidden message

Try as I might, I struggle to hide my emotions. I have dimples and I blush like nobody’s business. My cheeks give everything away.

At this morning’s monthly videoconference, a beloved colleague hailed me via instant message. It lightened my mood considerably. “I SEE YOUR DIMPLES!” she wrote.

We were both onscreen with about 39 other people. I’m sure no one else was looking at me except her. But I still tried to keep a poker face. No dice.

I abhor videoconferencing. I don’t usually look at people, and I have to force myself to scroll down to hide my own picture-in-picture. Otherwise, I can’t pay attention. Compulsive narcissism, you might call it.

“Don’t hold your head that way, Jabba,” I scolded myself. Ugh. Not flattering. I picked up my fluffy white cat and put him between me and the camera. Then I realized, “Better not; he’ll just distract people from the wonders of PowerPoint. I’ll adjust my scarf. There, that’s better. Neck problem, gone.”

Finally, we got to the good stuff. My grandboss gave us all the lowdown on a personality profiling framework I’ve been interested in since forever, called The Enneagram. It was the one thing that got me through the lowest points of being a fish out of water on my old team.

Being overlooked is often a source of a deep sadness in Nines, a sadness that they scarcely ever give voice to.

I’m not overlooked these days. My buddies notice my dimples, say hello, and make me feel loved and like my contributions matter. No more hiding.

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