I’m hearing that transparency is a good thing, and that it helps people and inspires them. So before anyone starts to think I’ve got it all worked out, I’ll drop my trousers again and tell you about some persistent patterns that keep cropping up.
I don’t make a stand against people I love until my back is against a wall
I’m opinionated as all hell. At least that’s how it seems. It even seems that way to me, most of the time. But I have a very sneaky, unconscious tendency not to fight for what matters to me when my desires aren’t the same as those of my loved ones. If they not mutually exclusive, compromise is possible. But if they are, I give mine up, no questions asked. Because they’re not really needs, right? It’s not like I would die, okay?
I have a pathological need for people not to find me bossy or authoritarian
We’ve already covered that I have strong opinions, right? And I’m confident. I like to take charge. However, I get a little freaked out when you just let me take over. Who does that? I would never do that. Don’t you even want to know why I have that opinion? What my reasoning process is? If I’ve examined all the pros and cons? Are you sure you aren’t just agreeing with me to shut me up?
I have a tendency to choose the hardest path
I have the tiniest tendency towards machismo. Or masochism, whichever. This tendency has gotten better in recent years, but whenever I don’t take the most grueling path to my goals (it’s the journey that teaches, not the destination, dontchaknow?) I always quiz myself ruthlessly: Is it cuz you’re scared? Don’t have what it takes? Can’t handle it, sweetheart?
Even though I’ve recognized it, and hardly ever fall for it, it’s still my preset.
I have a tendency to overextend
And offshoot of the last item, but a separate pattern with its own motivations. I tend to fill space up. Not physical space, but mental space. I always want to be doing, building, learning. Those are all well and good in and of themselves, but the inability to sit and just be argues that I’m covering for a perceived inadequacy — what am I am without my achievements?
They say that when he was young, Benjamin Franklin sat down and made a list of his faults, and worked, systematically, to overcome them. I think keeping trade of these sorts of patterns works the same way.
What do you think? How are you doing with tackling your own recurrent patterns?