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Lisa Cuddy is a very head-strong woman. Ambition is her number one drive; she is a very hard worker and is very dedicated to her job. On the surface, she appears to be cold and very confident in herself. It's a persona she's had to take on in the face of having to work in a heavily male-dominated work environment, constantly pressured and criticised by arrogant male executives.
Underneath that facade, however, is a sensitive woman who struggles hugely with the fact that she has never held down a relationship and has no children. She is diplomatic in the face of difficult situations and decisions - if they're not personal ones. Unfortunately, though she has keen sight when it comes to professional agenda, her decision-making in her personal life can be marred by emotional influence. As a result, her choices in partners have a history of not being the best. She can be too quick and eager to seize opportunities with partners, often foregoing objectivity until it's too late. Each time, she swears to herself that she'll never be so eager and trusting again… only to fall back on her own promise when loneliness becomes a driving motivator again.
Her feelings of inadequacy with regards to personal relationships stem from her mother. Her mother, Arlene, was very hard on Cuddy after Cuddy's father died and Cuddy found herself competing for her mother's affection and attention, only to never receive it. She never felt good enough as a result. This damaged upbringing ended up becoming a default reaction whenever she found herself in a relationship with a person who fitted her ideals and desires - she's ended up fleeing from such relationships instead of embracing it. Experience has taught her that if something's too good to be true, it usually is, and she'll never be good enough for it. She loves the idea of commitment but is terrified of it when confronted with it.
She buries herself in work to escape these facts as a result. She is a very lonely woman and she often mistakes her loneliness for personal failure. She sets unrealistically high expectations for herself and takes it very hard when those expectations - particularly personal ones - fail to come to fruition. She doesn't truly realise it, but part of her desire to want a relationship and a family so badly is to prove to her mother that she is good enough. If challenged on this, she would refute it instantly. Of course she desires those things simply for herself, too - but she doesn't realise just how messed up her psychology is when it comes to personal endeavours and relationships.
Outside of her brokenness, however, she has many other qualities (both good and flawed). She has a sharp wit and a good, if not sardonic sense of humour. She always holds true to her promises for her loved ones and close friends. She is extremely loyal - to the point of her own downfall sometimes. She is very caring, generous and a good listener. She enjoys helping those in need and takes pride in how far she will go to make sure everyone gets fair treatment. Her politics are sound and her job as Dean Of Medicine has taught her many lessons in treating people equally.
She is very stubborn - which again can lead to her own downfall, though her stubbornness has also won her a great deal of success in her professional life. Cuddy can be quite hot-headed when confronted with emotional disputes or triggers. She has very few close friends; the close friends she does have she only sees sporadically, and has found herself drifting apart from them more and more over the years as she remained a dedicated career woman while her friends have gotten married and had children.