back at the beginning of february, i was feeling the love. and i wrote a big post on communication.
how i personally communicate, and a brief explanation of the love languages and how they affect our relationships. if you don't know what the love languages are, visit that post, or google them. its a very simple concept to help us understand each other better.
i've been wanting to dive into that discussion a little big more, so here we go.
understanding that nothing really exists separate from everything else, especially emotions,
i'm going to delve into 3 different things (and i personally think they are the MAIN things)
that affect ourselves, how we relate to others, and how we handle our relationships.
and i'm talking ALL relationships. parents, kids, ourselves, friends, business, romantic, and other.
and those 3 things are:
- taking a personal inventory
- your personality type
- your love language
the Personal Inventory part
i am a BIG big big believer in the personal inventory thing.
i regularly do personal inventories. maybe it stems from my days in AA (going to support someone, not for me) or my days in NA (learning to support someone who is addicted), or my constant devouring of self help and psychology books, who knows. but personal inventories are a daily thing for me. i don't pour over every little detail anymore, though. that used to hang me up. i would get very lost in the details of what i did wrong and end up hating myself and missing the point and ultimately moving BACKWARDS - rather than focusing on the big picture, and seeing my actions as a "whole thing". seeing my day as one whole action- rather than a bunch of little actions. i'll explain that more, later.
when you start doing personal inventories, i would recommend starting where i eventually ended up. although, maybe getting hung up on your little actions is a good thing, in the beginning. it certainly helped me start changing things from a ground level. you might just not need as much changing as i did ;D
at the end of your day, simply take a few minutes to yourself.... and i mean A FEW.
for parents - this could be your "excuse me, i need to use the bathroom" 2 minutes. for commuters - your drive home, etc. MAKE the time, it's actually not that hard to squeeze two minutes in, somewhere.... if you're motivated. be in a quiet place by yourself, shut your eyes, and just quickly replay the day in your mind. pay attention to conversations, and if anything sticks out - go over it again. pay attention to what you said, what you did, how you handled certain situations, etc. and if you're happy with how you handled yourself - wonderful. say "well done", and move on.
if you're not - just take another minute to dissect what happened. were you MAD at someone? did you let someone MAKE you mad? were you hungry? were you tired? is THAT why you reacted that way or did what you did? or were you making problems where there weren't problems because you felt like you needed to fight? etc. do you need to swallow your pride and apologize to anyone at work tomorrow? or will it blow over by itself?
i will say this - to those of you who think apologizing for your actions is horrifying and undoable - just do it. just shut up and do it. once you apologize to someone ONCE - it becomes SO MUCH EASIER. it's really not as embarrassing as you think it's going to be. and usually ends with the other person respecting you a WHOLE lot more for being able to do it. i NEVER like being around people who owe me an apology but refuse to do it. it's the worst.... but i get it. i used to have a big problem with taking responsibility for myself. not anymore. i think it's probably just called being an adult - but i know a LOT of adults who STILL can't say a simple "i'm sorry", and it can be really devastating to their relationships. like i said - people just won't want to be around you. don't be that person.
once you've skimmed over the events of the day, you're done! you know what you have to do, and you need to do it. you will sleep so much better if you know you handled your day well, and you give yourself credit for it. and if you DIDN'T handle things exactly like you should have - make a little plan in your mind about how you're going to handle it tomorrow, or if you can - take care of it before bed. all your relationships will be SO much better, once you start taking personal inventories, and start taking responsibility for your actions.
be careful to NOT do this, though: don't get into stuff that doesn't need getting into. try to see your actions as a whole. did you behave as you should today? great. oh, you didn't? well, okay. fix it tomorrow. and then let it go. don't get hung up on hating yourself - you'll never get anywhere if you do that. the main goal with personal inventories is to behave better today than you did yesterday. if you keep doing that - you're moving in the right direction.
the Personality Type part
i've been wanting to do a whole post on The Wisdom of The Enneagram for quite a while now, but i haven't because it's so massive, and i don't want to start something i won't finish, and i don't think i could ever finish it! ha ha ha... what i CAN do, is direct you here and encourage you to delve as FAR AS YOU POSSIBLY CAN into this personality study. especially if you're like me and want to make the best impact on the people around you as you can. it will help you understand yourself more, it will help you understand ALL the people in your life more, and really lift a lot of weight off your shoulders due to misunderstanding. buy the books, go to the seminars - just do it. you'll love it. that link above is just to the personality types, but look through the whole website and find out more about it. the personality types won't be enough to understand yourself.
with THAT said, i will get back to MY personal personality type, which is No. 8: "The Challenger".
"The Powerful, Dominating Type: Self-Confident, Decisive, Willful, and Confrontational". that's me, for sure. i have always been a strong personality. and that has caused me a lot of problems. especially before i knew how to properly handle myself in the world, which i'll be honest about - has really only been probably the past maybe 3 years. up until then - i didn't properly understand why i was the way i was, so i couldn't properly handle it... personally, professionally, and definitely within romantic relationships. i didn't understand why i felt so forceful and could never stop myself. it's because i was an "unhealthy 8". that's what the enneagram calls you at your basest (i promise this is not a cult - it's a psychology study.... when i first started this i was like "TOM CRUISE! THIS IS WITCHCRAFT!" but it's not. it's awesome.) your "unhealthy" number is just what you are before you understand yourself fully. so you give in to your impulses because you don't understand where they are coming from, so you can't figure out how to control them.
some control comes with age, but not all control. full control comes from UNDERSTANDING. and once i understood my personality type, it REALLY helped me see things from a WHOLLLEEEEEEE new perspective. it gave me the tools to REALLY dial my controlling nature back.... being controlling is the worst part of my personality type. a lot of cult leaders are 8's. those are unhealthy 8's who need attention and praise from all the wrong places. they are 8's who's healthy and natural God-given self-confidence has gotten WAYYYY out of control. they are power hungry, greedy, manipulative, and egotistical, and that quickly lends itself to mania. also - a lot of people are just plain insane, which helps. but a lot of scary people throughout history are also 8's. which was very scary to me.
i used to look for attention in the wrong places, but not like in a cultish fashion. just like, from people who were bad for me. i used to try to force people to stay in my life, whilst pushing them away to prove the point that everyone always leaves me. once i understood why i was doing what i was doing, i was able to get control of my "self-confidence, my decisiveness, my willful nature", and most importantly - my "confrontational" nature. oof. boy do i love a good confrontation. i used to confront people about ALLLLLLLLL the wrong stuff, and wondered why i couldn't sleep at night, and why my stomach was always in knots. now i confront people about the good stuff. about resolving things. about helping out. and i can do it productively, and kindly. i don't have a mean bone left in my body... THANK YOU, GOD. oh, i used to be SO mean... i learned some really good stuff from the bullies who used to pick on me... and i'd pick on everyone weaker than me. being a kid is hard. i grew out of that by high school, but some of those destructive tendencies hung on wayyyy into adulthood.
and now i'm happy to say, at the end of the day when i take my personal inventory - thanks to the wisdom the enneagram has given me, and because i understand love languages - my actions as a whole are ALWAYS something i am proud of, and okay with.
guess what? there are way more AMAZING 8's throughout history than there are horrible ones. if you get a handle on your impulses, you can really make a beautiful impact on the world with your God-given talents.
the Love Language part
i wrote here for about 2 hours, and unfortunately when i published the blog - it erased the whole thing.
GRRRRR WEEBLY. WHY DO YOU KEEP DOING THIS. GET IT TOGETHER.
i will rewrite it later, i have to run to rehearsal :D