Blame, lies and negativity

Round spec

I have never been a great fan of people who just, almost habitually use quotes in lieu of any real thought. I wouldn’t mind so much if I thought that they had thought about these quotes, discovered some relevance and meaning in them, but this seldom seems to be the case.

Behind my desk in the office are two quotes:

“Being honest may not get you a lot of friends but it’ll always get you the right ones”
– John Lennon

“First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.”
– Mahatma Gandhi

They are there for very good reason.  They remind me to stay true to myself and to be brave. It is all a part of me rising greatly.

They hold the key to ridding myself of so much of the negativity that has been invading my thinking.

When I had lost all of my confidence, what other people thought suddenly became so much more important to me. This is why the ‘Man in the arena’ quote resonates so strongly for me:

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better …

I stopped standing up for myself.

… The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds …
– Theodore Roosevelt

So I need to be strong, not worry so much what other people think and I know that I need to stop being so hard on myself. All this just makes me more human I guess.

Strange, I never used to really care what other people thought of me.

So here was I, once arrogant and not caring what others thought, and then scared and caring too much what others thought.

People have always told me that I’m too much of a perfectionist, but I never understood why they would say that. I’m lazy and untidy.  But when I came to understand what a perfectionist really is, I began to understand.  Perfectionism is a belief in an ‘ideal’ and that you are capable of and somehow obliged to meet that ideal. It is a self-held belief of what you should be.

I lie to cover up a failing and I blame to conceal a fault, a crack in my perfect self. I would lie and blame, not to appease others but to fool myself.

My ideal was a faultless person, who could provide the answers to everything and that was well organised. Someone who always followed through on a commitment and never ever let anyone down.

The reality was that I was always disorganised and lazy. Yes, I did hate to be wrong and I cannot tolerate people who do not follow through with their commitments, not matter how trivial that commitment may be.

When I make a commitment I have every intention of following it through and my memory should see to it that I don’t forget. It’s my lazy and disorganised nature that lets me down.

I need to clarify something at this point. The lies that I write about here are not those lies about important things or other people. Its those little white lies. If someone asked me about something that I ought to have done, I would lie to cover up the fact that I hadn’t done it and to block the disappointment I felt with myself for having not done it when I know I should have. Covering up a failing to maintain the image of an ideal.

If someone asked me something that implied that I had let someone down, made an error, my instinct was always to, first of all, blame someone else. Again protecting my own ideal image of myself as knowledgeable and reliable.

But there is another lying that we all do ….. the lies that we tell in order to not upset or offend someone, and it is so easy to offend someone these days. I used to be told-off for saying inappropriate stuff to or about someone , like .. “gee you’re getting fat …. ” or ” you look terrible …..”. Well guess what, after my heart attack, so many people told me how much better I was looking, that I really hadn’t been looking too well for quite a while. Why the f@#k did no one tell me this before I had my heart attack?

I now try to be brave and say things that ought to be said. People may not like it at first but you have to believe the eventually something good will come from it.

“Being honest may not get you a lot of friends but it’ll always get you the right ones”
– John Lennon

Dealing to the instinctive lying has been easy. All I have to do is accept that I am enough and that I do not have to be ‘perfect’. I have to also remember that it is only me that is fooled by my lies.

Always telling the truth has been a little more difficult and something that I tend to lapse on more easily. I  still find myself toiling with the thought of whether or not someone deserves to hear the truth I have to tell them. Will the good that the truth brings out-weigh the hurt that it may cause? What if I’m wrong?

Surely if the boot was on the other foot, I would want someone to tell me the truth, or would I? If someone had told me before my heart-attack how bad I looked, would I have listened? I think that some people did try to tell me and I didn’t listen. Scream at me louder next time people!

There have been many times that I have been honest with people or groups and they have listened to and accepted what I have to tell them. In fact if I am strong in my conviction on a matter, I find that people will more often accept what I tell them and will act upon my advice. There are other times when people don’t listen. I then get to make a choice; I’m either committed to the importance of the truth that I have to tell and will pursue it to the end, or if I’m not motivated I simply let it drop. These days the latter option is just so much easier, if somewhat less rewarding.

Perhaps the only truth that really matters is the truth that you are willing to fight for.

“First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.”
– Mahatma Gandhi

It would feel great to fight for a cause again!

I am not sure why I included ‘blame’ as a part of this post. Blame is not something that I have dealt with yet, but I know that I have to.

The instinct to blame is nasty and one that remains strong in me. The only way I know how to deal with it is to slow down, not be so quick to respond and think before I do speak. Not easy for a ‘Smart Alec’.

I do know that like lying, blame is connected to my ‘perfectionism’. The stupid thing is, that when I do slow down and think, I am more willing than most to accept responsibility for my own actions. I even get carried away with myself and accept responsibility when I am not to blame.

I know that ridding myself of the blame instinct would deal to much of the negativity in my thoughts.

So ……………….  I am asking you ….. how am I to deal with this instinctive blaming?

There is a space for your responses below ….


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