the following, this morning’s post on my personal site journal. reposted here for archival purposes.
i freely admit that i have flaws. figure that since most of this place tends toward pretending perfection (or denial), i’d be an ice breaker. 🙂
i find it interesting that these sites always want to match you on your positive qualities and never bother matching or balancing your negative ones.
isn’t it your negative qualities that tend to blow most of your relationships out of the water? honestly, where’s the logic?
that said, one of the things i like about the OKC system is that it at least NODS to this by including the ‘enemy’ factor…. the closest thing to a negative matching system i’ve yet seen.
anyway… this point of this post (and it’s likely to be a long one) is ‘my most glaring flaws’; i am going to show off my horns.
i’ll talk about the flaw and about why i see it as such. i’ll also talk about what this usually means in relation to personal interaction (you know, the part you might be interested in if you want to get to know me).
you don’t like them? i strongly suggest you move along. they’re part of me, they’re not changing, and not only am i not willing to pretend they don’t exist, i’m not willing to pretend you don’t have any OR that you have control or the right thereto over mine.
at the same time, i’m going to admit that i don’t know ALL my flaws. some of them are ‘blind spots’ and by definition, are unknowable to me. you’re the only one with any potential at all to see or experience them and it’s pretty much required that you be able to handle or remain unaffected by them.
i mention this for several reasons… (1) that there be no doubt i have flaws that are not on this list, (2) that most such are invisible to me, (3) so anyone who wants to pop off with the old saw ‘wow, that’s an arrogantly short list’ knows in advance how deep and long they can BITE ME. (grin)
still with me? alright, here we go.
(1) willingness to compromise
among my most glaring flaws is that i tend to be more willing to compromise for others than i should.
perhaps that doesn’t sound like a very big deal until you realize that it means you’re putting what you want and need in the corner so that someone else can have what they want and need.
perhaps THAT doesn’t sound like a very big deal until you realize that it means you’re not getting what you want and need.
there are some contexts in which this simply should never happen or, if it does, it should be very clear, very early that it is a temporary situation.
i’m very bad at doing this. i don’t expect it’s going to change without having someone in the frame who is (a) very willing to understand it, (b) able to be excruciating gentle in relation to it, (c) insightful enough to recognize it and adjust for it.
i wish i could say that one word is sufficient to describe things. i wish this because it is kind of squirmy painful to talk about…. but i suspect that’s rather the point, isn’t it?
i am ultra sensitive to pricks on my intellect, rationality, or ability to take care of myself. this is mostly the result of a rather intense history of emotional neglect and abuse (i do not use these terms loosely or lightly).
i have worked very, very hard to dredge up and then repair myself and part of that process has been figuring out ways to truly accept and embrace the reality that yes, i am a good person, i am capable, i am smart, i am many, many, many things and most of them are beneficial to others.
i am not willing to put up with attacks in these areas. not disguised as humor, not ever, no, never, not anyhow.
in fact, if you’re someone who thinks “joking around” (or being serious) in poking someone in these areas is ever ok, you’re in for a very, very rude awakening/surprise when you try it with me. if you don’t wind up bleeding, you’ll damn sure wind up outside looking in and wondering how you got there.
am i going to run around warning people? actually, no. if you don’t have sense enough to realize and understand why playing around with traits that are a direct contributing factor to people’s self-esteem is “A bad idea” you don’t get a chance to be close enough to me to “learn” on me, period.
my pride in relation to what i have endured, what i have overcome, and my abilities as a person is big, prickly, and prone to flashpoint. i advise you not to touch it. in fact, i advise you not to breathe on it until i develop a reliable trust with and in you.
oy. where to start? admissions:
– most people have never seen me angry.
– most people would say they have seen me angry.
– most people think i’m angry when i’m merely annoyed.
my temper is NOT hair-triggered unless you’re messing with my pride, close to my wounds, or calling me dishonest.
on the other hand, my temper is fucking thermo-nuclear and if it does get loose from me, whomever set it off better hope they’re wrapped in Nomex and wearing Kevlar and even then, i’m not sure they’re going to be safe.
the good news is, i realize that anger is an exchange of power and i’m just not willing to hand that over to someone lightly. the bad news is, most people think my annoyance is anger and this is usually the wick to set things off as it seems folks have a very bad habit of insisting they know i’m angry until they succeed in setting me off.
most people won’t consider this one a bad thing, but in my experience it is because people react so poorly to it. i do realize that is not ‘my fault’, but to the extent that being a human tends to mean you want others to interact well with you, think well of you, etc…. doing something that seems to consistently impede this could legitimately been seen as ‘a flaw’.
let it be known by all that i have no issue with asserting myself. you will never feel doubt as to where i stand. you will never be able to say you didn’t know something bothered me.
well, ok, you might manage this if you’re not paying attention. what i’m saying here is that if you are, you really can’t miss it.
i am going to ask for what i want.
i am going to demand what i need.
if you get offended or are otherwise perturbed by a woman who has a mind, isn’t afraid to speak it, is direct-bordering-on-blunt, and will damn well make it clear what’s necessary to her, please, for both our sakes, pass me by.
there are a few things that the world seems to hold as axiomatically true that i have never found so. this often proves difficult or downright uncomfortable for those with whom i interact.
no, you do not automatically get ‘respect’ here. you get the ‘given’ that, because you’re human, you have certain natural rights with which i’ll not interfere. anything beyond that, you earn.
no, you do not automatically get access to my tender spots. you don’t get to know right away how to hurt me. you don’t get to walk around inside the museum of me and take notes for later use. admission here has a cover of trust and mutual respect and by cracky, you’re going to earn it just like i must with you.
i reserve the right to be as open or as aloof with you as i feel the need to be in any moment. i reserve the right to be utterly contradictory and inconsistent as i require to feel comfortable.
(6) sharpness, harshness, coldness
i possess the ability to deduce or induce your soft spots. i am very, very, very good at it. you do not want to know how i got so good at it. you especially do not want to motivate me to demonstrate how good i am at it.
i try very hard not to engage this aspect of myself. that said, it is the defense system around which any insecurity present will huddle and the weapon of choice when the ol’ emotional defense network is activated.
make no mistake — when i am hurt, threatened, or fearful of either, i can be as sharp as a razor, as harsh as solar wind, and as cold as the brass fittings of an outhouse in Antarctica. maybe colder, actually.
i can peel paint from a wall at 100 yards with nothing but words. i can flay skin with the same. it’s not pretty, i don’t like it about myself, but it’s definitely true.
in most cases, i will clearly indicate that there is some danger of you encountering this of me when such danger is present. ignore that warning at your own risk.
if you ever succeed in seriously injuring me, particularly if the doing was deliberate or in any manner possessed of forethought and we have not reconciled with one another, let there be no mistake, your name is on my list.
it’s a stupid and likely pointless list. i never act on it. i don’t ‘go looking’ for people or for trouble. i don’t and won’t do more on a proactive basis than have/maintain the list.
that said, if you’re on the list, you better hope you never naturally come into my sphere of reach or control. or, if you do, you better hope you make up with me before i realize it.
for the gamer’s out there, just consider me a dwarf in this respect. my memory is old as stone and about as forgiving if you’ve committed the above acts in relation to me.
so… there you have it. the horns hiding under the halos. don’t say you weren’t warned.