character flaws

Karyn’s patiently pointed out to me that something in my character can make me overly controlling. I’ll sometimes seek ways to establish the order necessary to suit my own established view of how things out to be, and when I don’t have that much control or capacity, I’m just frustrated with the state of disarray as I see it.

Of course, I see it differently. To me, none of this would be an issue if people would just do things right.

And therein lies the problem.

The diagnosis is something that could benefit from hours of counseling, in the form of a credentialed professional, a patient partner, or occasional pints shared at the bar. Regardless, part of the issue would reveal itself as we uncover a certain correlation. I get most frustrated with the messy state of the girls’ room when I haven’t finished accounting or reports. I get over electrified with small inaccuracies stated in social settings if I’ve been spending the day (week / month) trying to get people to come to correct conclusions with limited success. I hold the dog’s leash that much shorter when the organization of events and programs doesn’t go the way I envision in the hands of others.

My problem, as I see it, is an issue of control, yes. I’ve found that there are only a few I can team teach with, plan conferences with, or be married to (and each of this successive list requires a more rarified person). For so many other things, I’d just rather do the thing myself and do it my way. It’s my charm; and, it’s my potential undoing.

I take some solace in the fact that, when I know things are well outside the realm of my control, I’m generally easy going about what takes place. A group of crazed dancers from out of the blue, running up the street, in distasteful clown outfits and sequins, would be a welcome distraction. But if I spent the day arguing/reasoning with a PhD. recipient about the cause of Earth’s seasons and my child started using a funny voice at the dinner table, the fuse of my patience frays. Still, most of my job is centered on a classroom, and in those situations I make people figure out the static charge left over on pieces of peeled sticky tape. Even when I turn the classroom into chaos, I am still in control, I’m realizing. I know where we’re headed and what the goal is, and I even suspect how we’re going to get there in spite of all the confusions and inaccuracies along the way. In my world of fluctuating markets, puppies, and budget shortfalls, I’m glad I have a playground where I know things will go my way. I’m just sorry that others have to suffer when this expectation spills over into my other, more messy, more real life.

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