I would be a psychological profiling dream. “Single parent only child, experienced very little nurturing and guidance and has an overwhelming need for attention and views authority with a great deal of contempt” I give you a self centred idiom……..Me. Case closed.
I guess I have always been very self sufficient and self focused, I have always taken full credit for my successes and blamed others my my downfalls. By taking credit for my own success I have built a egotistical shell around my more vulnerable self. however my more vulnerable self is in complete denial when something unfortunate happens and quickly seeks to find a scapegoat on which to pin my downfall.
This approach has more or less been my mantra and guilt effacing method for years and I am sure this has resulted in my forming a completely different personality which now I do not know how to pull the plug on.
So why do I choose to write about this subject today? I have recently been analysing my relationship with as much intricacy as a brain surgeon would apply in theatre only to come out with the conclusion that we are both completely different characters. OK so no real revelation there and I guess most couples have this to a certain degree.
I sought council with a very old wise and dear friend of mine. I asked him the following question;
How do two very different people live in a relationship with a certain degree of success?
His answer was this;
Step 1: Understand who you really are first and foremost (the true you)
Step 2: Decide what your fundamental needs are as a person
Step 3: Sit down with your partner and explain step one and two.
Step 4: If they don’t kill you initially and they show some form of understanding, then and only then do you have the makings of a solid relationship underpinned by a clear charter of what you and to the same effect what they need. However this may be the point at which you need to be honest with one another and decide whether you can or cannot accept this.
The above will certainly give both of you an opportunity to start a new chapter. The point I try to make here is that for some people, selfishness comes easy, however I know for others this can be a challenge. trying to change a blue print of unselfishness into selfishness is a real shift in wired circuits likewise for those that are selfish trying to be more unselfish is equally challenging.
I guess there comes a point in a persons life where you stop looking inwardly and start looking outwardly at the world that lies before you and it is your own responsibility to go get what it is you want and fundamentally need to become the best version of you.
I sat with an acquaintance just the other day and we had discussion about personalities and the people who we like to surround ourselves with. It turned out that both of us were pretty aligned in terms of who we like to invest our time with. I have written previously about personal standards and how I believe we can make a strong case for compatibility based on ones standards. I have also spoken about being driven and about how I believe there are no barriers other than the resistance that we allow ourselves to succumb to. I want to surround myself with like minded people and those who add value to my life. If you don’t sing from my hymn sheet I don’t want to form a relationship. Quite a strong statement to make I know, the statement resonated with me for a day or two until I finally decided to seek confirmation of my philosophy by turning to TED talks and a very interesting talk by a Harvard Professor discussing the ingredients to a happy and fulfilled life. In summary the talk surrounded a 75 year study of hundreds of men from different backgrounds and those who were happiest overall are the ones who had formed meaningful and deep friendships. Those in the study who alienated themselves from people and relationships lived fewer years and a higher percentage suffered mental illness.
I have always found it difficult to build relationships and more importantly service the relationship, why ? well because I am to selfish and don’t really care to much about others and do not have the time to invest in these relationships, hell…I even find it hard enough servicing my marriage. Does this then mean I will die early and suffer mental illness (already ticked that box). I have recently been described as an alpha male on more than one occasion, I can honestly say that I have never labelled myself as such and do not play this egotistical role consciously. I remember reading the book ” A Brave New World” by the author Aldous Huxley. His book portrays a world of a class of intelligence and operational hierarchy where people are placed into a role in life because that’s all that those people will ever be designed for. (this is a good read and recommend this to everyone) Aldous Huxley also said “there is only one corner of the universe you can be certain of improving, and that’s your own self” the truth is I just know what I want and generally go and get it not always successfully but I do try.
Sometimes the hardest part is allowing ourselves to be selfish for a moment to understand exactly what our fundamental needs are. Once we figure this out we need to learn how to be selfish more regularly. I promote selfishness pretty much all the way up to life or death situations because I have learned that when it comes down to it most of the population don’t actually give a fuck about you or what you do. Take Facebook for example it is a platform for telling people what you are up to. Consider this; Facebook is a 21st century face to face conversation which removes the sometimes embarrassing moments where you start to yawn because you are bored with the other person or in fact what the other person is speaking about is utter nonsense and you just want to walk away. Facebook removes that and you can either chose to interact with the persons life or not and I bet you nine times out of ten people are not that interested and if they are its because there fundamental needs are not being met and they seek enjoyment through your life experience.
I encourage you to use Facebook and at the very least send people “likes” because it is good for them (people like to be recognised and acknowledged). Facebook is your opportunity to brag and be selfish. However do not use it as a basis for social acceptance (very dangerous) its merely a e-conversation without the eye contact. Facebook and social media is very important, because we need this social interaction, it becomes your voice and identity for you and only you, the fact you receive 20 likes is a bonus.
I write these blogs only as an outlet, if they are read and they somehow create an interaction or change in someones life then this is great. I want to be true to me and I want to do what I want and everyone should consider this approach. It is important to keep as social as possible whether it is online or with friends because research shows that healthy relationships are good for us but remember you must get out of the relationship what you need and be prepared to give something back ……………………………… Its not all about you! (but it really is)