Public speaking is my kryptonite; I avoid it as much as I possibly can. When I was in community college, it was a requirement to take a communications class in order to eventually transfer to a California State university. While many of my fellow friends and students took public speaking, because they thought there weren’t any other options, I thought I had outsmarted them by taking interpersonal communications. I loved this class because we only had to make one speech throughout the entire semester and we frequently had small group exercises that were fun and lighthearted. It was in this class that I learned that my conflict spirit animal was the turtle. Let me explain…
I Hate Conflict
It was in this class where we had to fill out a series of questions based on how we behave during situations involving conflict. After tallying up my answers I found out that my primary conflict animal was the turtle. A turtle?!? I was embarrassed to say the least. We then had to sit in a circle and read our animal out loud. A few people were foxes, some were owls, many were bears, and the really confident people were sharks. Only me and one other 6 foot 4 guy in the class were turtles. We both nervously laughed and looked empathetically at each other. Apparently the turtle avoids conflict at all costs and will result to hiding in its shell at the mere mention of possible tension. Once I read the description, I realized that this exercise was pretty accurate. This was the defining moment of me embracing my inner-turtle.
I Like to be Alone
If you have ever seen a turtle at the pet store or tortoises at the zoo, they generally hang out by themselves. They might have a friend or two, but you never see them in large groups. I don’t even know what a group of turtles is referred to as. Is it a flock, herd, squad, gang, or team? I honestly have no clue. I think most people don’t know, because you never see huge groups of turtles interacting with each other. They’re lone rangers who enjoy occasional solitude. I definitely can relate.
I Tend to Be Taken Advantage of
Many of you don’t realize this, but they used to let small children ride the large tortoises at the zoo. I wish I was kidding! I could only find one picture that I could reuse without infringing on copyright laws (pictured below), but click here for a google search of all the images (old & new) of kids riding tortoises that obviously hate it.
Photo cred: dogonews.com
Think about it. This poor animal can only go negative five miles per hour, has a heavy shell it has to carry on its back, lives for 200 years, and now has to carry an obnoxious screaming human child on its back. The turtle family is full of enablers and push-overs. I personally tend to try my hardest, even when it means letting others not pull their weight. I’m sure many other hard-working people can relate to this.
I’m an “Old Soul”
According to the Turtle Conservation Society, a pet turtle can live to be 80 years old and a tortoise can live to be over 100 years old. When you really think about it, many species of turtle embody the old soul mentality. They like to sleep, everything they do is really slow, and they seem perfectly content with doing absolutely nothing. I’ve met my animal soulmate just by re-reading that last sentence.
Turtles can be calm, majestic creatures, but just remember that everyone has the capability to snap. Get it? You know… snapping turtles? Never mind.
Phot cred: commons.wikimedia.org
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Question of the Week:
What’s your spirit animal?