I was scrolling through Facebook last night and I came upon an article by Marc Chernoff entitled “12 Toxic Behaviors that Push People Away from You”. Well I was intrigued, of course. I was sure I was guilty of a few. Imagine my dismay when I realized I was guilty of pretty much every one! Let me take a moment to paraphrase the article and list them:
•Being envious of everyone else. Please, I’m jealous of the characters in the Nora Roberts novel I’m reading. Don’t get me started on other real people.
•Taking everything personally. I was told once by a friend that I was the most self-absorbed person she knew. Well, isn’t it all about me?
•Acting like you are always the victim. Nothing is ever my fault. The universe has conspired against me. I could, if only…I would, if only…if I was richer, thinner, prettier, had more time. You know what, I’m just gonna watch a little TV until I lose that last 20 pounds.
•Hoarding pain and loss. See previous behavior. Those slights, losses, hurts, both real and imagined, are very handy when one needs to play the victim. I always keep a few on hand in case of unexpected guests.
•Obsessive negative thinking. Do I really need to say anything here?
•Lack of Emotional Self-Control. The title of this post was a constant, albeit affectionate quote from my friend, Tony Ferrieri. In the seven years I spent in Pittsburgh, he must have said it a thousand times. To me. He loved me anyway. Several years ago my husband and I were in New Orleans for a dear friends wedding. We were with another couple, two of our best friends and we were supposed to meet at our hotel, so I called them but there was no answer. I immediately went on this rant, about how inconsiderate it was if we made plans and we couldn’t get in touch with them, blah, blah, blah. Meanwhile, I had neglected to turn my phone off and this whole rant was on their voice mail. They laughed their heads off and played it back for me. It still makes them laugh and makes me cringe. They love me anyway. Not an isolated incident. I’ve had work acquaintances not speak to me for months because I mouthed off too often. People who love me, do so in spite of my tantrums. People who don’t probably never will.
•Superficial judgements of other people. I never do this. Which you’d know if you didn’t have a mullet. And who in their right mind would wear those pants? Seriously, I never do this.
•Cruelty, Lack of Empathy. In all seriousness, this is probably the only one I am not guilty of. Whatever else I am, I am not a cruel person. I do believe I am basically a kind person. I can be selfish and greedy, but not cruel and if you don’t believe me, I don’t really give a @&#%} what you think!
•Cheating, cutting corners. Hmm. This might need a blog of its own. When one is always the victim, one starts to believe that they deserve whatever they want, even when it doesn’t belong to them. Let’s just say my past is full of both, but I have been working very hard and I can honestly say that I don’t do that anymore. For now. It’s a daily struggle for me. It always will be.
•Needing constant validation. Enough about me. What do you think about me? Seriously, would you all please read this and tell me how much you love it and how wonderful I am. So wish I was kidding.
•Stubborn Perfectionist. This is a tough one. On the one hand, I am the most imperfect person I know. On the other, I’m pretty much sure that if I want something done right, I’d rather do it myself, than try to explain it to someone else. This is especially tough when you’re married to a man whose English is about as good as your Spanish.
•Hiding your Truth. Well, I’m still not sure what my truth is. But when I figure it out, you’ll be the first to know. In the meantime, I may be a little radioactive, so come closer at your own risk.
Artists Series. Works in Progress