About My Behaviour

In some of my posts of late, “What is a Glass Half Empty?” and “Chill Out, You Don’t Matter”, I have talked about other persons’ behaviours. After a few days, I felt that I have given an impression that I place mine above others and that I’m faultless. I’m not.

I broke a vertebra in my neck in a car accident and inherited a chronic headache. I can also be a pain the neck. The latter is more painful.

Let’s agree that I am not Mahatma Gandhi but I’m all for non-violence. I’m even studying non-violent communication. If you’re a new blogger, you may now doubt if this is a safe blog to read, as it looks like I’m making you think otherwise. The answer is simple, and my ‘older’ readers can guarantee you: this is not a hate blog by a troll, and you won’t read “fake-anything” here.

I’m actually a platinum member of the ‘self-effacing’ club, although ‘I’ is the subject I’m most knowledgeable, it’s not the one I’m the most comfortable with.

Today I’m going to face this fear. Of course, I fear every time I write about my personal experiences. I fear your judgment. Judgement is a monster that eats you for breakfast, lunch, and dinner if you put yourself in the menu.

Ironically, I became good in that too. And I don’t wish for mine being around when I (or others) do something that goes, say, slightly not right. I may become that said ‘pain in the neck’ referee.

On the bright side, good judgments come from sound critical thinking, and for that are a precious and needed skill. Whenever I made a psychological test for work, or out of curiosity, I learned that my analytical and critical thinking scored very high, and that was a good skill to have.

You’re familiar with the street wisdom that any alcoholic beverage may bring you from happiness to embarrassment and land in a hangover. The quality experience with the drink you love goes hand in hand with a simple self-control’s formula: when you reach your limit of pleasure, but you’re either too funny or too talkative (whatever your ‘too much’ button fancies), stop. Anything you drink in excess, after that, will give you instant gratification but become an eternal regret. Very simple, isn’t it?

Paradoxically, the so-called analytical and critical thinking process works exactly like that.

As I’m a self-aware person, I noticed that I had accumulated some judgment’s hangovers that could teach me a few lessons towards my self-improvement.

A throwback was all I needed. I went about observing my past experiences like a pseudo-scientific researcher. I created a statistical method measured in a number of “Gandhi” points.

The object of my research is to find and measure my self-control when exposed to situations that may trigger my beautiful critical thinking ability, but instead get me drunk of judgmental cocktails.

To make it simple, I set three levels of achieving Gandhi points:

  • Low self-control: 4-5 points
  • Medium self-control: 2-3 points
  • High self-control: 0-1 points

Are you ready? Let’s revisit two samples.

Sample one – The Comma who went in comatose

I asked my husband to read one of my blog posts and criticize it. He has outstanding critical thinking skills. He made a few suggestions and we changed a few things in the text.

I pushed publish and read the post again. “Did you remove the “comma” I had here?” I asked him and heard: “It was not needed”. My reply: “A lack of comma changes the meaning of a sentence, and that is what may have happened here”. He contests: “I am not sure. Maybe.” I asked him to google. He started his search, concludes it and turns back to me reassured: “I found no comma with that verb.” That answer made me go from mildly uneasy to lightly irritated. I went for the contest: “If you look for a comma, it is like looking for a needle in a haystack, you won’t find it. I had suggested that you check the specific verb I used, as it used a preposition. That is where the problem might be.” He looked at me undisturbed and said: “I just don’t think it makes sense”, and stopped the search. I became heavily uneasy and heavily irritated. “You don’t know grammar so well, as I do! Ouch!

Now let’s go to the results of the Gandhi test: 1 point.

My judgment cocktail brought my comma to comatose.

We are still married, though.

I broke a vertebra in my neck in a car accident and inherited a chronic headache. I can also be a pain the neck. The latter is more painful.

Sample Two – Short people have the right to live

He was known for his short temper. People were afraid of having business meetings or make presentations to him. The problem is that he was the company’s CEO! I joined this company some years ago, reporting directly to him. I wasn’t lured to believe that he was an easy personality, and appreciated his honesty about his temperament. I thought I could deal with that. Once we had a heated discussion about a short-sighted decision he had taken, and when couldn’t convince me otherwise, he smiled and said: “You are stubborn and tough to convince. You should listen to the song from Randy Newman, about short people like you.” I asked what was it all about. He sang the refrain: “Short people have no right to live.”  I didn’t know the song, but there, without thinking much, I said with a sarcastic smile: “That serves the two of us.”

Now let’s go to the results of Gandhi test: 3 points.

My judgment cocktail let my anger speak.

I wasn’t fired but I don’t work there anymore.

I broke a vertebra in my neck in a car accident and inherited a chronic headache. I can also be a pain the neck. The latter is more painful.

I didn’t pass the Gandhi test. My research has proven that if I loose my self-control, it renders no value to my critical thinking.

If I’m either the ingredient (bartender) or the object (ingredient) of judgemental cocktails, I sometimes get drunk anyways.

I can be a pain in the neck.


Day Eigtheen of Everyday Inspiration course was is about composing anecdotes. I had other options though and went for this: Build a narrative of your own personal growth (or your attempts at achieving it)

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Sharing my views and experiences with words and photos - taken with diverse angles - influenced by the multicultural countries I have lived and worked. I studied Psychology and have an MBA. After working for corporates, I became an entrepreneur and consultant. Cycling, hiking, windsurfing, cooking, reading, yoga, writing and photographing, are no longer just hobbies listed in a resume.

24 thoughts on “About My Behaviour

  1. Whether I get but a sip of the drink, half a glass, or a full glass, thank you for listing the ingredients. If I need help in my use of commas,,, I will ask you to ask yet your husband; music matters, not so much/not at all.

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        1. Well, in all of these professions, we can talk about precision, which is not perfection. I know I use the word too and try my best in whatever I do, but not perfection. It’s a maddening goal. What’s the measure?

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  2. Personal growth is an illusion. We just go round and round the same set of neurotic anguish moments, imagining each is a New Insight.

    Comma use, is very, important. Better to have, too many commas, than none at, all. Every, word, can, use, a, comma and exclamation mark!

    I came from the COmmunity Pool, but your link could not be found. I stayed to explore. See my staying power! A like, and a comment, too! Would you not love to win me as a follower?

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    1. Your opinion on personal growth could inspire a new blog post. Let’s settle, for now, with agreeing to disagree. I will live in denial. 😉

      Thank you so much for your persistence and interest. That’s a lot of staying power! I’m flattered with the like and comment but it was you and what you write that made me one of your new followers.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Commas aren’t comma-n enough, Lucile. 🙂 I once wrote an entire post on using commas to separate the name of a person addressed directly, as in the previous sentence. I had lots of positive responses, but too many that said “Great post Janet.” Sigh. 🙂

    Sorry to read about your neck. A literal pain in the neck is not at all fun and I imagine the pain can sometimes make you a figurative pain in the neck. I’m glad I don’t apply a Gandhi scale to all my interactions. My neck might hurt, too…although not nearly so much as it would have years ago. I HAVE progressed! There IS hope! 🙂

    janet

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    1. Janet, so funny, that they still didn’t get the use of the comma right.

      I broke my neck many years ago and have been lucky to only have a headache. It could have been worse.
      My Gandhi scale is just a good self-reminder that not every fight is relevant and may open a can of worms. There is hope! 😉
      Lucile

      Liked by 1 person

  4. As a fellow self-examiner, I applaud the idea of continued self-improvement. People often despair in their search for a “meaning” to life, but my answer is simple . . . Kaizen.

    When I came across the term — kaizen — I took it to heart. The general definition is “continuous improvement” but I interpreted it as “small improvements every day.”

    Taking that to heart many years ago helped me deal with some of my less-than-stellar moments as far as personal behavior goes (and learning from them). It doesn’t excuse the actual behavior, of course, but as long as I learn from the self-examination and don’t repeat the same behavioral mistakes (and try to make amends), I see it as just part of a learning process. The recognition that I could have done better is a big part of that continuous improvement process.

    I also found that strict evaluation of one’s actions like you describe can be a bit of a trap. In some cases, things I beat myself up for at the time turned out to have been the better course of action. A simple example are the tough-love situations we occasionally face. The converse is also true; some things I rated as the right things to do, in time proved wrong.

    That’s where intent comes into play. There is a huge difference between knowingly doing something versus actions borne of ignorance. Only the first merits self-flagellation.

    And, of course, wisdom. Really, more like experience. Every day adds to our database of actions and consequences; both our actions and those we observe in others. The more data one has, the more accurate the analysis, the better the decisions.

    Really, it’s simply as easy as asking if we like ourselves as persons. If something leans the answer toward “no” we work to change it rather than rationalize it and excuse it. Not an easy thing, for sure.

    Anyway, interesting read.

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    1. I remember well Kaizen from my first job, in an Engineering of Energy company that ranged from generation, transformation, distribution and services. I learned to appreciate the methodology. At that time, being too young, I didn’t think of its relationship with self-improvement, which as you well pointed out, a life-long process.
      I don’t disagree that strict evaluation can be a trap, however, the way I wrote here is a bit anecdotal. In reality, what I want to avoid is to justify poor judgement with the lazy conclusion that ‘I’m who am”. As long as I’m not “drunk”, I still have a fully functional rational mind and should make more than an effort to judge what fights are worth to pick, instead of overreacting.
      Self-flagellation is never an option but one should recognise its own mistakes. That is wiser.
      You added very insightful ideas to the conversation and made it much more interesting; I enjoyed reading your comment.
      Thank you.

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    2. You are welcome and thank you again for providing the opportunity to express my own thoughts.

      Few blog posts these days dwell in introspection about the self and life in general. It’s always interesting reading about how others approach their own journeys.

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      1. You can always share your opinion here. I appreciate to hear diverse viewpoints and learn from them.

        Dwelling in introspection about the self and life in general is something I love to do. I may not be a good writer, let alone using a non-native language, but talking about my writing my self is the only expertise I have.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. I would not easily pass that Gandhi test of yours…even if I too studied non-violent communication. Interesting post as usual. I believe people should be more aware of how they really work…self – criticism and self – evaluation should be at least every week on every agenda. Parents should teach their kids from the start… And parents would need it just as much.

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  6. Lucile–your husband is a pain in the neck, in my neck, and in your neck. And, I hope he notices that I started this sentence with a conjunction, which I know I should not. I am glad you responded to your idiot CEO with a sarcastic smile. I would have done the same. Now, let’s have a cocktail…. 🙂
    Gosh, I enjoyed this post!

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    1. Lois, he sends the very best regards to you. 🙂 He didn’t notice the conjunction; reminding you that I am the grammar freak in our house! haha.
      Let’s have a cocktail, dear!
      Thanks for joining the conversation and for your kind comment.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Self-control and grammar – two subjects near and dear to me! I examine the former on many occasions, but have also learned that what bothers me in retrospect about some of my behavior was never even noticed by others.

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