Do you ever catch yourself identifying qualities in people that you hate, to later realize you possess them yourself? I know what you're thinking - that I am professing my own hypocrisy here. You'd be right, kind of. I don't mean that I knowingly hate qualities in other people I know myself to possess. What I mean is, sometimes when I'm around people I realize something I find to be a horrifically unattractive trait in a person and then I go home and lose sleep over whether I could be identified as the same.
Am I rambling?
Let me break em down for ya...
I hate whining. There are few things that sound more like nails on a chalkboard to me than whiners. You know the people I'm talking about. You have at least one friend who does this. Nothing ever goes right for this friend. They're never happy, they never have enough, life never treats them fairly, and they can't help but tell you ALL about it EVERY time you're around them. These people are exhausting. These people make you bite your tongue 'til it bleeds not to snap 'you're life isn't that hard, everyone has their own baggage, and I'm sick to death of your playing the victim in your own life'. Yes, whining.
So after I realized I hate this I thought - do I do this? Am I whiny? Do I complain? Do I play the victim in any areas of my own life as if life is happening to me and I don't have any say? After which I promptly started clamping my mouth shut every time I felt a whine coming up. While I can tell you with honesty that sometimes my life IS hard, sometimes things DO go wrong, and sometimes I'm in a craptastic mood ...I do not desire to be whiny, ever. What I have learned to watch in myself is that sometimes I hide my whining in a funny, snarky rant and think it's cute. This is a trap.
The Gimmes. I have recently come to realize that something that grates on my nerves are people who constantly want something they don't have. This is increased by the addition of the attitude that they DESERVE everything they want in addition to everything they already have or their friends have. Are you catching my drift? Are you picturing this person? Are you secretly afraid I'm talking about you? (I'm not, this isn't about any one person) I find this to be an undesirable quality in a person that shows them ungrateful and ungracious.
This one, has the stink of me in it. I have the great potential to be a gimme. I've always had a bit of 'if I want it, I'll work for it until I get it'. While you might think this is better than expecting it will be given to be because I'm 'just that awesome' - it's not any less annoying. I have an incredible life and more 'stuff' than any one person could ever 'need'. But sometimes I catch myself with a big, fat, ugly case of the gimmes and I'm disgusted with myself. This year I have really fought this inclination, hard. I desire to be a person with a grateful heart and more than that to be a person who seeks to be generous - giving away more than I 'take'. I also hope to be someone who trades an attitude of entitlement for one of serving those I love. I am confessing here that my grimy hands and selfish heart have unlimited potential to make me a gimme, but I'm aware of it and I'm fighting back.
The Flake. Anyone else have a friend you consider 'the flake'? This is the friend you'll never really count on because let's be real, they could come up with a head cold, an emergency, a better party they 'forgot' about, or just plain not show up. These people, I'm convinced, have journals full of excuses and sometimes even just say they're 'too tired' to follow through on what they've promised. These people also tend to be untimely, having little to no respect for the value of your time while you wait. Does ANYONE love this quality in a friend? No? I didn't think so.
While I'm not flaky by nature, I do tend to be highly committed. My schedule is frequently full of back-to-back-to-back appointments and I do recognize this can have an equally negative effect. When I'm with you, I should be there. 100% present, and not mentally checked into my last or next appointment. Friendships aren't things you check off a to do list and I admit that I have to watch myself on this one.
Showing up where you say you will, when you say you will be there is important. When you commit to people, that is your word and as they say 'you're only as good as your word'. Value the time that people carve out for you and respect their time by not wasting it. These are qualities that I think everyone appreciates in a relationship. But if you're rigid like me, also watch that the time you spend with people is quality and that you are there for them, to enjoy the moment not just because it's on the calender.
I'm sure there are a few other categories this 'I hate that but maybe I do it' relates too but since I've beat myself up enough for today, we'll call it quits at three. I have plenty to work on. I hope today's post didn't make you like me less and that you're able to come away from it making sure you're not living like a hypocrite either.