General Information   Who Are Shadow People?


I call these men “Shadow People.” A shadow person is mere façade of what an adult should be. This person can have all or NONE of the trappings of success. This person is usually charming and entertaining. Actually I am funny and entertaining, but I am an actual PERSON.

Shadow people reflect to you what YOU want to see in a relationship. At least that is how it starts. By reflecting your values back to you, they can worm their way into your life. It would be a bit harsh to say this is a soul-less person. We all have a soul. This person has sold/given his soul away in pursuit of (?). When you discover exactly WHAT they have sold out for, you may discover you are just a means to an end. This is not a relationship about you. It is not a relationship at all. It is a façade.

To understand shadow people, you have to be able to assess your romantic relationships. This requires a degree of honesty and self knowledge. This is not the time to beat yourself up or berate yourself for your poor choices. Even the worst choices serve a purpose if you learn the lesson of an ugly situation, grow and move on. What is needed is the ability to dissect a relationship with clinical precision. Emotions are not needed for this process – this requires cold, hard logic.

Michelle D. Smith
To begin, write down (yes WRITE down) your last 2-3 relationships over the past 10 years. If you have had only one, you may need to go back a little farther. This will be a comparison of relationships, good and bad and the qualities of the people involved in each.

While on the outside, the men or women involved may look very different. I invite you to list the qualities and characters of each person and start your comparison. This will take time. One reason it is not simple is because people appear so different, you will be tempted to believe they have nothing in common with each other. The lies we tell ourselves to stay in our comfort zone never end. Trust me – there will be some consistencies in the bad relationships as well as the great relationships.

I always felt every person I was with was different. On the outside they were. However, upon deep reflection after calling off my faux engagement – I really took a look at my husband and fake fiancé. While very different to outside eyes, they were both EXACTLY the same people on the inside. EXACTLY the same. Nothing about them compared. Their education, looks and how they dressed were totally different. As different as day and night. However, they both were shadow people.

When I compared the ways in which they ACTED, it took my breath away. These men were identical; they were exactly the same person in very different clothing. Before I go on to describe my “personal” shadow people, I really want you to make the list and start your comparisons. Nothing less than seeing facts in black and white will help break patterns of bad relationship and increase patterns of great relationships.

So, on to my personal shaming. Both of my shadow men were egotistical. Both had at least one thing to be egotistical about. My husband was gorgeous, charming, a great dancer, a hard worker but he was not a good friend. Not to me or anyone else.

Clue number one:
They will have acquaintances, but no TRUE friends. True friends – a person you can depend on who can also depend on YOU. My faux finance also had something to be egotistical about. He had his MD/PHD – actual a dual PHD. HE was very intelligent, articulate, funny and charming. Again, NO Friends, lots of acquaintances.

Clue number two:
The inability to accept responsibility for anything, EVER. Nothing is their fault. Not the fact that their phone is off or their car being booted. I actually was told that since he was a doctor, the city did not have the RIGHT to give him a ticket. I laughed, thinking he was joking until his mom had to pay over $700 to have the BOOT removed! WTF?

Clue number three:
They are not used to hearing the word NO!

Clue number four:
Inappropriate responses to what is deemed an insult – small or large, the response is over the top rage. Another red flag of an ABUSER!

Clue number five:
Control issues! They want to control all aspects of your life, from watching TV, to how your hair is done. From what clothes you wear to how long it takes to go to the store. No matter the relationship status, anyone who HAS to know where you are, with whom and doing what has control issues. This is also a major red flag of an ABUSER.

Clue number six:
Drug abuse. We could get into a long diatribe about drug use and abuse. I personally feel there is a difference. But putting that issue aside, drugs are ILLEGAL. This puts YOU in jeopardy.

Clue number seven:
He attempts to make you feel you are not good enough to be with him. I listened to stories of women who wanted to “keep” my husband (literally) and the woman who wanted to marry my faux fiancé, in spite of the fact that they were barely speaking. In fact, up until the day he moved out, she was still making wedding plans. Really? ANYTHING to marry a doctor? Get your own life, and don’t worry about the status quo! Just a few of my shadow people traits. These traits however, existed in both of these men. Neither education, upbringing nor work history (nor the lack thereof) changed who these men were at their core. I would go further to say these men were still mentally BOYS. Adults accept responsibility for their actions, even when it is painful and embarrassing to do so.

My husband, to his credit was open to attempting to change. He was not always successful, but he did his best. My fake fiancé- he never thought anything was wrong with him. He thought I should be HAPPY to have him. My husband thought that as well, but I quickly debased him of that idea. I never attempted to change the fake fiancé, it just was not worth the time or effort.

Clue Number 8
Both of these men were suck ups- and it showed in the most unexpected place. CHURCH! Fawning for FAVOR! If you have EVER seen a look of fawning servitude cross the face of a grown ass man, you might understand why this made my list. Don’t get me wrong, it is fine to admire your church leader. However, when that admiration turns into a sick need for constant approval, it is very disturbing. After all, our church leaders, no matter how “anointed” are still just HUMAN, just like you and just like me. Servitude is what Christianity is all about. That would be servitude to God and the teachings of Jesus Christ.

While my list is not complete, I have shared enough to get you to at least LOOK into your past relationships. If you are currently single and really, really want a viable, strong relationship, you have to be willing to address the lessons of your past relationships. Not just the negative qualities, the good qualities as well. The good qualities point you to what kind of person you are looking for. I am talking CHARACTER, not finance, nor title. A person’s character should be the foundation of all new relationships. Relationships based on honesty, support and respect. Isn’t that what you are really looking for? Thanks for reading!

Michelle D. Smith

Michelle D. Smith is a visionary who seeks to share her knowledge with others. Showing how to use both spiritual and social skills in being a better you is her goal. Acknowledging the fact that most are searching for both truth and companionship, she seeks to bridge those "needs" with honesty, humor and creativity. Join me on this quest for the "new". A new way of thinking, growing, loving and sharing.

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