Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Self-sabotage

 

Have you ever gotten yourself all worked up, agitated, full of righteous anger, and in a general dither over something, only to get another piece of information that just completely took the wind out of your sails?

Over the years, I tried to avoid doing that, but it still stung me once in a while. I learned to try to reconstruct the "scene of the crime," figure it out, deduce what might have taken place, and sometimes concluded that someone just dropped the ball and didn't do their job. After the usual sputtering and bitching and moaning, I'd find another piece of the puzzle, or someone would say, "Oh, I know about that!" and then I'd have...the rest of the story. Usually it was okay, everyone had done what they were supposed to do, except for maybe documenting it in the right place.

Whenever this happened, I inevitably had a feeling of, "Oh. My bad." I felt foolish for getting all worked up (especially when I always do my best to keep my cool), and I was always sorry that I'd let my emotions get the better of me.

To me, this is a form of self-sabotage, or self-defeating behavior. I know it's not that easy to control, because even when I knew better, there were times that it still got a hold of me. The root of the problem was usually a lack of communication, sometimes on the part of the person doing the original troubleshooting, but sometimes on my part as well, for not following through and gathering all the information, or sometimes for not communicating as well as I should.

When we do this to ourselves, whether at our jobs or in our personal lives, we are doing nothing but setting ourselves up for failure. I believe that some self-destructive behavior is deep-seated and has its roots in past events, but I also believe that we know deep down when this is happening and that we must work to solve the problems we know are there. Recognizing the problem is only the beginning--if we don't take steps to change our behavior, we are simply allowing ourselves to be the perpetual victim. I also think there are times when people purposefully play that card, and through their own ignorance or inattention, they create situations that set them up for appearing even more foolish. A simple example: if you're going to accuse someone of not calling, it's probably best to make sure that your phone is turned on.

I also think that anger can cloud one's judgement and short-circuit our normal reasoning abilities. Yet another lesson learned from "Star Trek." Remember the alien that fed off of violent emotions and almost took over the Enterprise? Don't let this happen to you. While there is nothing wrong with strong feelings, when negative emotions get the better of us, WE are the ones who end up losing. And more often that not, we end up dragging down those around us. Save the Enterprise...save its crew...and stop shooting yourself in the foot.

 

 

She said, "Man, there's really something wrong with you.
One day you're gonna self-destruct.
You're up, you're down, I can't work you out
You get a good thing goin' then you blow yourself out."

Silly boy ya self-destroyer.

Silly boy, you got so much to live for
So much to aim for, so much to try for
You blowing it all with paranoia
You're so insecure you self-destroyer

Self-destroyer, wreck your health
Destroy your friends, destroy yourself
The time device of self-destruction
Light the fuse and start eruptin'...

                    "Destroyer"

                            The Kinks

 

4 comments:

pchilcoat1 said...

It is a funny poster ad for the "Australia Post Office" description is now on my blog.
I know it's not 4 in the morning but I couldn't pass adding this evening.

Paul C

buckoclown said...

I recently gave a draft document to my manager for peer review, he thought it was final review, and thrashed it.  He was gone on Friday, so I stewed all weekend about his comments.  On Monday, we discussed the communication aspect, and I spent time updating the document.  I was sure it was in good shape, and then we found an error, plus some format issues.  Deflating - but my choice is how I react.  Next month - it will be perfect, and I will find a true peer reviewer to make sure :o)

bgilmore725 said...

So very true, and well said. Like you, I try to see it from all angles, and give the other person the benefit of the doubt. Generally, just waiting for the passage of time often solves the confusion, and if not, softens the impact. Good entry. bea

aimer said...

Yes, I have and you are so right that it's self-defeating behavior. I often think that if we listened to each other more and jumped to conclusions less, than we could eradicate war.--Sheria