“Too much food, and too much family!” That’s what a friend from exercise class said about her upcoming plans for the Fourth of July. She laughed and said she enjoys most of her husband’s family - but one sister-in-law is loud and boisterous, monopolizing every conversation - talking non-stop about herself and her life.
Have you ever heard of Aggressive Female Syndrome (AFS)? I had it once too. It wasn’t so much because I was self-centered, it was simply my insecurities kicking in. You know, that feeling when you get when you feel you need to impress someone.
I’d meet someone and immediately tell them about some aspect of my personality that I thought they would like. If they looked athletic, I emphasized my collegiate golf career. If they looked studious, I’d chatter away about my college degrees. If they looked like they were a Christian; well….you get the idea. I wanted them to like me so much that I tailored my personality, putting on my false self and telling them what I thought they wanted to hear.
I was especially insecure with guys. I’d overwhelm them with information, hoping that if I talked enough, they’d find something about me they liked. A few years ago, I told my entire life story to a guy I’d just met on an 18-hour plane ride to South Africa. I can’t believe we are still friends!
Aggressive Female Syndrome (AFS) is also found in nature. Biology researchers Sih, Bell and Johnson noted that some female fishing spiders attack every male they encounter, killing them, and therefore never mating.
Modern medicine hasn’t discovered a cure for female fishing spiders, but there’s only one cure for human females with AFS: we have to completely trust God. We have to trust that God loves us, that He made us in His image and that He is proud of us. We don’t have to convince others to love us, because God loves us first. When we really trust God and His goodness, we don’t have to be aggressive with others. We can relax and enjoy being ourselves and delight in getting to know others. We don’t have to try to impress anyone else; God is already impressed with us!
A good male friend advised, “Stop talking and listen to me. Don’t just listen to figure out when I am going to take a breath so you can jump in again. Listen and hear what I am saying. Be present in the conversation. It is not all about you.”
I was cured of AFS by dwelling on becoming the woman of Proverbs 31: 26, 30 (ESV): “She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.”
Do you have a friend with AFS? Share this post so that she can be cured, too.
Blessings, my friend,