Monday, November 24, 2008

War and Please

Do you remember the episode of I Love Lucy in which the gang bets Lucy that she can't keep from telling a lie for a certain period of time? At first it is difficult for her but then she gets used to it, telling people what's really on her mind and not mincing words. Naturally, the script plays up the comic aspect by having Lucy tell everyone around her exactly what's on her mind in the most insulting, but funny way.

What kind of person are you? Are you the type that tells it like it is, or do you hold back?

The other day I was reading Frank's Xanga blog (called NVRSAD_DAY - I mentioned this one here a while ago) and he mentioned he had been a bad boy because instead of doing what The Disease to Please told him to do, he'd gone back to his own detrimental "people pleasing" ways.

After reading his blog entry I looked up the book on and checked it out from the library. I already know I am afflicted with the same disease as Frank so I was interested in reading about it.

For example, here's one of the self-assessment quizzes from the book. You can take a look and see how you score on it (click on the image for a larger version).

How'd you do? I have too many "yes" answers on there for my own good. I knew I would. I don't mind arguing with people and in fact I can be quite argumentative and enjoy being so (probably to my own detriment as well) but when it comes to reproofing, reprimanding or meting out punishment, I definitely do not like that sort of conflict. For me it all stems from a fear of being unpopular.

I don't mean to put myself on the couch and expose all my neuroses and all to you, but that's what is on my mind today so I figured I'd write about it. That's why I really don't like managing people. Most of the time it is very clear to me what needs to be done in any given situation but I don't want to be the "bad guy." Sometimes I wish I could be like Lucy in that episode I mentioned to you at the beginning of this entry and just say what's on my mind, without caring or worrying about it but I realize that's just not me. Instead I keep it all in, but sometimes that leads to exploding - that's not good either!

Well gee, uh, I hope I didn't bore or offend any of you by today's blog entry and that you still like me.. haha, nervous laughter.. Actually, I do indeed recognize this trait that I have had for a long time, and it's something I am working on but it's not easy.

Meanwhile, that episode of Lucy blurs the distinction between tact and diplomacy versus telling the truth, i.e., telling the truth doesn't necessarily mean you have to say everything that you are thinking. But it made for a pretty funny episode.

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