Getting from where I am to where I want to be.
February 14, 2011 12:55 PM Subscribe
You know those people whom you admire - those people who are confident, smart, funny, humble, kind and a gazillion other qualities besides? Those people who have had a lifetime of experience and are sagely, and take troubles in their stride calmly. Those people who have fortitude and courage. Those people whom others wish to emulate. I want to know how I can be like them.
Where I am at right now (21yo, male, about to enter college soon):
I'm impatient, short-tempered, judgmental and critical, frequently have mood swings (going from happy one moment and suddenly becoming quiet), am easily irritable, and have a million other flaws that are just too exhausting to list out.
But the major ones are these: I'm easily irritable. I (might) have slight OCD, and sometimes when things don't go the way I intended because someone doesn't agree with me, I will become very irritated inside, yet not say anything because I don't want to ruffle any feathers. Yet people can still see that there is something bothering me, though they don't know what. In a related vein, prolonged teasing can suddenly (not always though) make my mood turn, even though this ribbing is nothing new to me. I want to know how I can become more accepting and less inflexible, to be more open to change.
I'm often too proud. Because of the way that I obsessively research and work, I am often the go-to guy for many things. This bloats up my ego, and I can be an insufferable prick at times. Other times I bury my head in the sand and refuse to take advice, or treat people in an abrasive manner. This hubris and arrogance has been my downfall more than once. I think this might in part stem from my desire to impress others. I've always hungered to excel, to shine, and so I feel as though this need to prove myself is the direct cause of my attitude of superiority.
Too, because of my insecurity, I have always resorted to a shield of snark and sarcasm to hide my insecurities. I can be very hurting, even towards the people I care about. This insecurity also cripples me at times. Some times I stop to wonder if I truly am good enough, if I can match up to other people. It seems weird, because I have a superiority complex and an inferiority complex at the same time. When I put myself up against the standards set by others, I'm paralyzed by this fear that I can never achieve those standards.
So here's where I want to be:
Confidence without hubris
Intelligence without being condescending
Funny without being cutting
Humble and kind without being a doormat
Competent without needing to be showy (think speak softly, but carry a big stick)
I've been lucky to have friends to help me along the way, who put up with my flaws and accept me for who I am. But it's not fair to them to have to deal with this shit all the time. Over the last 2 years, I took a working sabbatical off school to re-center myself, and I've made some progress to correct my flaws. I've become a little more willing to listen to others, a little less cutting. It has been a good break, but what little progress I've had isn't enough. Not by far. And this is where I need your help to be a better person.
I'm sorry for the mental verbiage, but I'm trying to cover all the main points, as I see them. Any advice is gratefully accepted, and thank you for your time!
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