Friday, September 23, 2011

My Faults

Blast from the past: this post should have been written and published about a year ago.

To my benefit (I think), I'm acutely self-aware - I know my strengths and weaknesses, and I'm a pretty good judge of my own capabilities. So sometimes, if I want to check my motives for a particular choice I chose, I do a little lay-person self-psycho-analysis. (admitting my conclusions to anyone else is an entirely different matter :)

As I see it, this is a complete, comprehensive list of my faults.

Absolutely kidding. But it is a list of what I consider 'areas for improvement' in my life. If you're a friend, I'd ask and encourage you to help keep me in check.

When I start on a project, a friendship, a relationship, a hobby, I have a tendency to go overboard. When I bought my first guitar effects pedal, I didn't stop there, I ended up with an expensive pedal board and enough shiny toys to fill it. When I discovered mixed drinks I ended up buying a rather large supply of alcohol to stock a home bar. And this inability to say "no" is probably why I own three acoustic guitars and a bunch of other instruments. Knowing when to stop is difficult for me.

Probably the reason I did well in high school Debate, I almost enjoy arguing. Or rather, I enjoy proving that I'm right and you're wrong. This likely speaks to a deeper issue of self-confidence. Oddly, I'd much rather avoid conflict, but once I'm in the conflict, I have a hard time backing down. Especially because I'm always right. It's a difficult burden to bear.

I know my own expertise, and I expect everyone else to excel in exactly the same areas in which I excel. When they don't, it's obviously because I’m a better person. Nevermind that the other person excels at different skills, skills for which, very likely, I have no clue or abilities. That's totally irrelevant.

Relatedly, being a religion major, I have a propensity to assume I know more about theology than I actually do. This does not always lead to arrogance, but certainly has more than a handful of times.

Having authority, even if imagined, plays to my ego, and my ego enjoys that. Also, I have issues with authorities over me - rather than "obey" an order, my gut reaction is to question it. Sometimes that's appropriate, but usually it's not.


I'm working hard on listening more than talking, but let's face it, I enjoy attention, and sometimes find myself being an attention hog. My friend Ben has called me on this at least once. Usually this only happens if I'm very comfortable around the people I'm with.

I've been an overachiever most of my life. Not 2nd or 3rd grade, I remember being an academically "bad" student then, but shortly thereafter I changed, and most definitely by 9th grade perfectionism had taken over. This is because I know my best, I know what I'm capable of accomplishing, and so I set my standards for myself ridiculously high.

Shoot, I had to break my chain of words starting with A.

Either by nature or cultural influence, I rarely feel guilt. I can feign it, but feeling it, for whatever reason (privileged American mentality?) is difficult.

In summary, I'm human, and I have faults. For clarity's sake: I've published this list not because I have a low-self-esteem, but the exact opposite. I know my self-worth, my esteem is quite high, and at the same time I know there are areas in my life that need work. So this list exists in the *hopes* that my friends can continue pushing me forward.

PS: and I slouch a lot.

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