What do my manners say about who I am?
I don’t have good manners on accident. Early on in life, whether it was my father or mother, I remember being corrected for having poor manners. It wasn’t until years later that I understood why manners are so important. Fast forward 20 years and people will say that I am one of the most respectful people they know. But why is this so important.
In today’s reading of The Love Dare, Kendrick emphasizes that if we don’t have enough respect for our spouse to practice good manners, then how can we truly say we love them? Since my go around this time is all about showing love to myself, then we must flip this a bit and ask to see how I can show manners even to myself. I tweaked the questions from this chapter a little bit to get a better application.
- How do I feel about the way I speak and act in public and private?
- How does my behavior affect my self-esteem?
- Would I say I am a blessing, or that I am condescending and embarrassing?
To start, I am incredibly proud of how I speak and act in both public and private. That is except for one habit that sparks this challenge. When I lose my cool, I also lose all respect and love for the others around me. I do not save it for private, but I let the world know my frustration. Just two days ago, my frustration levels boiled over and I threw my adult temper tantrum right there in the park.
The next question is the one I worry about the most. My negative self-talk is a constant battle and some days I win, while other days it is a massacre. I am currently working through a mediation series to improve my self-esteem through Headspace. Several times the host mentions that most of our self-destructiveness that leads to low self-esteem is due to a lack of respect for who we are. To answer the above question, my poor behavior is often the number one driving factor to my low self-esteem.
Lastly, I would have to say that I am all three, a blessing, condescending, and at times embarrassing. In none of these areas am I consistent, but
How are my manners?
“Love is not rude, but lifts you to a higher standard,” Kendrick.
The challenge this time is to understand what irritates me about me. I am not allowed to argue or defend myself, but to simply make a list. So here it is folks…
- I allow myself to be mentally, physically, and emotionally impacted by the negative aspects of life to a degree that I let the boiling pot spill over in an embarrassing temper tantrum that I would not tolerate of my 4-year-old son.
- I ignore my needs regardless of the consequences. No matter the want, I put my family’s wants before my own needs.
- My posture plays an important role in my chronic back pain, but I let it slide within seconds of sitting or standing.
So I guess I am rude…to myself…so now what?
My counselor once told me that if I talked to him like I talk to myself then he would hate being around me. In a way, I am an asshole to myself. I hated hearing that, but I know it is true, especially after this exercise! So there it is, I am not kind to myself and my rude habits disrupt my love. To work on my self-manners, the book recommends thinking about the following guidelines.
- Golden Rule
- Double Standards
- Honor Requests
I am sure most of you know the Golden Rule. But to put a twist on it, I am going to look at it from this lens. Do unto myself that which I wish others would do for me. If my behavior will be rejected if someone else projected it on me, then I must stop that behavior. After all, I am worth it
Oh man, double standards! I live in a world of double standards. As I mentioned earlier, I treat most people I know with an overwhelming amount of love and respect and I save the nasty stuff for my own consumption. I think I will focus on this particular part for the future and not lower my standards for the way I treat others but increase my own standards. If it is good for them, then I am good enough for it.
After I take a look at the journal from years ago performing this challenge on Jess, I feel proud. The things I list that she told me that year are no longer an issue in our relationship. I am hopeful that next year I will feel the same about my list above. Over the years I work to show her honor through those actions and more I can think of. This year, without letting that slip, I will focus on honoring myself.
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