Archive for May, 2017|Monthly archive page

Stop thinking of yourself as a good person.

I’m serious.

If you think of yourself as a good person, if you think that’s part of what you are, then it becomes part of your self-image. And your natural tendency is to defend your self-image. You’ll move heaven and earth to deny, dispute, and ignore anything that challenges your self-image. You’ll project, you’ll deflect, you’ll do whatever mental backflips it takes to throw out any evidence that challenges your self-image of “I am good”.

And that keeps you from taking responsibilities for your mistakes. And you will make mistakes. If you insist of making “I am good” part of your self-image, your choices are (a) never make mistakes, good luck with that, or (b) go right down to the mat, screaming and kicking, to defend yourself against any charge that you’ve made a mistake, ever.

Or (c) let your self-image be shattered when you really hurt someone and can’t defend yourself any longer.

Instead, think of yourself as a person who tries to do good. Even better, be a person who tries to do good. Make it something you do, not something you think you are. Because then making a mistake does contradict your view of yourself, and doesn’t have to shatter your self-image. You just take responsibility for your mistake, and keep trying.

Venting. Deal with it.

I’m honestly not having a great time at work. I’m having a difficult time on the new project, and I’m additionally having a hard time distinguishing how much of that is me and how much is interacting with people who want nothing more than to tell me I’m doing it wrong, when secretly the only way I could possibly be doing it right is if I weren’t doing it at all and they were doing it instead.

Plus, there’s the whole “new project” in the first place. I was re-org’ed for the first time this past February, along with about a quarter of the people in my office. It was nothing to do with our work, we were told repeatedly. Over and over we were told that. The Quality of Your Work is Exceptional, But. We’ve Never Been Anything But Happy With Your Team, But.

But headcount. But some VP found it easier not to think about us. But the company gives enough of a damn about us not to fire us (after much fighting from our local site leads) but not enough of a damn about us to treat as anything other than disposable and interchangeable.

And meanwhile, there’s the news.

I do honestly feel like I’ve been on a journey of self-discovery for several years but right now it’s at an impasse. The necessity of compassion feels so obvious to me, but I don’t know what to do with that realization. And meanwhile the world gets kicked on its side and set on fire by selfish, terrified narcissists who’d rather cause themselves pain than let anyone else feel joy, as if joy had to be hoarded.

And I don’t know what to do except shout into the void. Clearly “same old, same old” isn’t working, but as of yet I’m still too scared to do anything else.

Alright, pity party’s over for now.