My Greatest Flaw, and How I'll Break Up With It

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by AlteredEgo, Feb 10, 2007.

  1. AlteredEgo

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    I am too impatient to suffer fools. That is my greatest flaw.

    On the one hand, I think, "Why should I? The universe takes care of idiots and children. Let morons manage on their own." On the other hand, even the very, very stupid deserve a little bit of patience from me. Deaf people too! Sometimes I mistake them for jackasses, but it turns out we just haven't properly communicated. This too is my fault.

    I cannot control other people. I want to. Desperately. You would all be perfect if you just gave me my way. I am a petulant child. :biggrin1: Alas, I cannot control any of you, even though I make a very good living controling some people. I have long-since accepted that I generally cannot manipulate the thoughts, actions and reactions of others. With that acceptance comes a certain amount of responsibility. It relieves me of responsibility for everything you do, and simultaneously reinforces that I AM responsible for everything I do. I am, and I alone. So when you say or do something dumb, or participate in asshattery, I am not responsible for that, but I alone act out my response, and for my response I alone am culpable. Me.

    Diamonds to doughnuts, if you are a dipshit in my presence, I am going to be angry. If you ask a stupid question, I'm going to be very, irate.
    <tangent> Everyone seems to think there's no such thing as a stupid question. I disagree. A stupid question is a question to which you already have the answers, or a question which is just beneath your intelligence or dignity. </tangent> However, I should not be irate about someone else's stupidity. It has nothing to do with me. That person over there is the jerk. I can just keep on keeping on. Unfortunately, I don't.

    I have no poker face. So, when Asshat says some asshat thing or other, and I get annoyed, the contempt is instantly (if only for an instant) splashed accross my face. Face to face, I am utterly guileless. I say something sarcastic, snide,or just plain rude. This reaction is immediate, and I'll do it with friend and stranger alike. I have surrounded myself with brilliant and dynamic men and women, so it doesn't happen too often with friends, but sometimes, and sometimes with family. I LOVE these people! I don't want to hurt them. My reaction is my responsibility. And, if it is my responsibility, then it is also my choice, and I can choose differently.

    I have a relationship with this flaw of mine. It is that of habit, and the addicted. Intolerance of stupidity is the habit, and I am the one who must be broken from it. It's time for a break up. I want a divorce.

    To that end I wondered what the root might be. I assume the root is arrogance. Does that sound right to any of you? Arrogance? Snobbery? Do I think I'm better than people or actions I perceive as stupid? Is there fear?

    I am arrogant, and kind of a snob. And I am afraid of stupidity. So I must, if success will be had, become less arrogant, and less afraid. And I must practice first not reacting with anger. Second, I must practice a patient and understanding response. I hope I can do it. It's kind of a lot to ask of myself all at once.

    What about you? What's your greatest flaw? Are you interested in dumping it? How do you think you should go about that? Maybe, as we get insight into ourselves, we can help each other out. What say you?
     
  2. madame_zora

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    I share this flaw, and you described it with perfection.

    While I have not yet arrived at being able to control it, to ANY degree, I do think I know its origin, and it is fear. Not fear of other people's stupidity, but fear of our own. No amount of testing, scholastic performance or job performance can seem to assuage our fear that we may look as stupid as Asshat to another onlooker.

    When someone vomits out some of the most retarded, illogical bile at our feet, we recoil with a vengance, in hopes of distancing ourselves from the Stupid at hand. We go read a book, or a series of articles from the Economist, thus reassuring ourselves that WE are not as stupid as Asshat.
    We call our enlightened friends and laugh about Asshat's idiocies, we are safe for another day.

    Shit splatters, and so (we perceive) does stupidity. Yes, it's partially self-preservation, but we do often miss the larger point, that no one other than ourselves defines who we are. You rightly said that you (nor I) can't really control another person, so we can't possibly be held accountable for what they do. The same cannot be said of ourselves.

    There's no real need to accept stupidity when it's presented, but there's also not much to be gained by engaging the Asshat in argument. If they truly are what we've diagnosed them as being, then we are only wasting our time. Actually, we ARE being stupid when we expect the stupid to suddenly become intelligent and "get it" just because of our snide and oh-so-insightful remarks.:rolleyes:

    "The great thing about making mistakes is that tomorrow you get to wake up and make a whole lot more. Some of the same ones, if our day goes as usual. On great days, we get to make new ones!"

    -loosely paraphrased from Steve Sjogren, pastor of the Vineyard Community Church where I attended through most of the 90s. I'll never be able to pay enough homage to what this man added to my life.
     
  3. meatpackingbubba

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    Asshat...I like that.
     
  4. madame_zora

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  5. rawbone8

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    Regrettably some of my fiercest, most compassionless criticisms have been toward close family members — and it's usually nailing those traits of weakness or stupidity I admonish myself for. It's like they are outing me by association, exposing my weaknesses to the world. I've mellowed a lot.

    Familiarity does breed contempt. When it's family, they'll either forgive or plot their revenge.
     
  6. naughty

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    Workin&#039; up a good pot of mad!

    Ah that proverb is so true. I can see it played out in friendships as well. WHy as human beings are we like that? I may err a bit to the opposite side of things. I have been told that I can be a bit too accepting of others flaws. I just remember all of the things about me that people see on a daily basis that irritate them and try to see why someone would do what they do. I think we all have our own personal pet peeve. In my 6th grade year the school only held 6th graders. We were divided as children usually are scholastically and I do remember many of my classmates being cruel to kids in the lower level classes. I also remember feeling their ire on the bus home. I had become guilty by association. I have never liked seeing people use their intelligence as a weapon against others. I think there is a difference between intelligence and deliberate ignorance. Perhaps that is what bothers you, Altered and Mme? I could see that being irritating considering something can be done to alter it.
     
  7. madame_zora

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    Naughty, you actually hit on something that I did neglect- the difference between stupidity and willful ignorance. Those who actually do not have an astronomical iq don't bother me nearly so much as those who probably do, but fail to use it. Thanks for the clarification, see these talks are useful!
     
  8. madame_zora

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    My daughter and I just did this this week. Because we love each other so much, we are hesitant to check each other on bad behavior, so when we finally do, we've been stewing on it for a while. We both pulled out some gems, and it took a day or two to come back and say "I said that badly, but it needed to be said. Let's talk about things in the future when they're fresh and not let them ferment so long". I was nowhere near the adult she is at 21, I barely am now.

    My own mother died when my daughter was only two, so between that and also going through a divorce from her father just before my mother died, I've just had nowhere to go for parenting advice. I really just had to muddle through until I was old enough and stable enough to try to parent myself. It ain't easy, and I am often ungraceful.
     
  9. B_NineInchCock_160IQ

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    I agree with your position on stupid questions. My father is a master at crafting these.
     
  10. Lex

    Lex
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    AlteredEgo -- I am SO muthafucking with you, babe.

    What kills me is how when you say something sharp, how much easier it is for people to dismiss you as stressed or arrogant or whatever than to actually consider that what you are saying has merit, even as it disproves their stance and behavior.

    Whatever.


    Lex, who does not suffer fools lightly, either.
     
  11. rawbone8

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    There's no boot camp for parenting generally, though it seems like a good idea. From the occasions I've seen when Absinthium's actually engaged on this site she's refreshingly honest and forthright, as well as cogent. Must have some things right.
     
  12. Xavian

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    My greatest flaw, eh? I don't know about greatest but definitely a greater flaw of mine is my insecurity. I don't cling to people -- I consider myself stronger than that. I don't take advice from many -- I tell myself I know better than they. I usually know what you're going to say before you begin to stimulate your vocal cords...or at least I think I do.

    The truth is I am insecure. So insecure that I've built up walls and block out other people. So I'll have a caustic retort ready for whatever dumbshit you say...but it's only because of my insecurity surrounding my own intellect or what others may think of me. I guess in the effort of self preservation I do a lot of asshatty stuff :p.

    People have told me I have an intimidating demeanor when they first meet me....That's not it. I was talking with my mom about it and what she said shocked me. Even though I think I can read how I'm feeling most of the time, it never occured to me that maybe I'm just uncomfortable in my own skin. I had to take a while to process it, but I really AM uncomfortable in my own skin. All that time I thought I was so in touch with myself. I was in tune with most everyone else's bullshit...except my own. Whoops?

    I am neither a rock nor an island. I don't want to come across as one. How the hell do you start deconstructing those walls you put up?

    @Mme: You do what you can when you can..and that's all you can realisticly expect from yourself. You know I think you're the shit :).
     
  13. meatpackingbubba

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    The problem stems from labeling eveyone that one happens to disagree with a fool or fucktard or worse.

    Open minded consideration of issues is more productive and thought provoking than is personal attack, which is offensive, hurtful, and tiresome.
     
  14. Lex

    Lex
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    Handsome, as you mature, you will become more comfy in your own skin. You are ALREADY more comfortable than most gay men your age.
     
  15. Xavian

    Xavian New Member

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    Funny how my first response was to want to post "i'm not gay...yet"
     
  16. Lex

    Lex
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    When you're ready, you will be able to fag out with the best of us. We'll stil be here.
     
  17. B_big dirigible

    B_big dirigible New Member

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    What a load of tripe. Obviously the OPs greatest flaw is his excessive modesty.
     
  18. madame_zora

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    He is pretty modest, for a woman.
     
  19. madame_zora

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    I think you're the shit too, young grasshoppa.:biggrin1:

    You asked a question though, how do we begin to change? We deconstruct our walls by tearing them down, that's really all there is to it. We start "telling on ourselves" and letting people see us as the flawed, vulnerable human beings we really are. I've made a lifelong career of telling people I'm fine when they ask and never letting anyone see me in a jam. Not anymore, because I found that people stopped seeing me as a human being and just as an archetype. I'm NOT a fucking archetype, but a flesh and blood person with feelings, strengths AND weaknesses.

    I saw a talk show last week about this very thing. We are the ones who teach people how to treat us, and if we're always dismissing ourselves, then it's no wonder other people will follow suit. It's unrealistic and unfair to expect others to treat us better than we treat ourselves- it just ain't gonna happen. Whining about our problems isn't the solution either, but letting people, at least our friends, have a turn to be the giver is a good thing. I can't just sit in my ivory tower dispensing advice and then wonder why no one asks ME how I'm doing- why would they? When I open up, I find that people do care, because there's something to care about. When I'm aloof, no one gives a fuck about how I'm doing personally, but they're always there demanding attention from me anyway. It's draining, and it's taken me a long time to understand why it keeps happening. Other people's patterns are so much easier to see than my own!

    So my best advice is to start younger, and I envy you that opportunity. You have a lot to give, but others will have a lot to give you too. You're one of the good ones, man.
     
  20. Lex

    Lex
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    Honesty is when you choose what people see of you and when. I believe in transparency (I have talked about this before).

    I try to live my life with tranparency. Transparency is not honesty; it is more than honesty. Tranparency lives on the far side of honesty. When we are honest, we choose what and when and with whom we share. When we are transparent, we allow those we care about to see us fully without guard or reservations.

    It's not easy to be tranparent. It takes strength to stand every moment exposed in the blazing light knowing that the people you care about see you fully--flaws and all. You often feel like running. Bit don't. Stand there on the thin ice in the blazing melting light, knowing that the sun is your enemy and persevere.

    One day, I hope to partner with a man who trusts me enough, who loves me enough, who is strong enough, to stand there with me--transparent to each other always.


    Julian--You're gonna be fine, handsome.
     
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