Positive Character: ‘PERSONALITY’

the better my relationships

Previous: Char. Traits & Contrasts

See ACRONYM Page for abbrev.


“Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm,” Ralph Waldo Emerson.
This is having enthusiasm about performing all types of jobs (large or small), because it generates a lot of energy, & make us far more likely to succeed. When we believe in what we’re doing, we’re excited & look forward to achieving a goal. It’s about keeping a good attitude (thoughts), even when faced with unpleasant conditions, & expressing joy in each task as we give it our best effort.

We humorcan help people smile & feel relaxed by seeing the lighter side of things. Humor can help to better cope with pain, which enhances our immune system & reduces stress. Laughter is an essential part of a healthy, happy life.  EXP:
• be an energy-giver to others  • treat every job as important  • see the foolishness of human self-importance  • take some time every day to laugh, be playful  • don’t stay discouraged but find what’s already positive in your life

The ability to respond easily & appropriately to new or changing emotional moods or physical conditions in our environment – by changing or modifying our actions & beliefs when needed, without flexiblegreat agitation or drama. Willing to shift plans or ideas given by authority figures who we need to deal with.  Flexible thinking : Consider new or different explanations for an event or a chain of events (reframing).
• don’t get upset when plans change • respect the decisions of others • don’t be stubborn • look for the good in changes • don’t compromise what’s right

“Earning future trust by accurately reporting past facts.” It means to act according to the values, beliefs & principles we claim to hold (internally consistent, opposite of hypocrisy) Proof: being the same when alone as we are when around others. It’s to always speak the truth, & generally – show up in a genuine way, without pretense. Be honest & accurate in our actions, not hiding something in order to ‘get over’.  Take responsibility for our feelings & actions.

Being honest eliminates guilt & shame, while increasing our self-confidence & sense of inner peace. Only do or say things we believe in our heart, &honesty
go after what you want – fairly. Be honorable in intentions & actions, which makes us trustworthy. Being considerate comes from respecting oneself & others
• able to admit to making a mistake • return items that don’t belong to us • not be manipulative  • be fair in our dealing with others • be true to our deepest self  • be able to tolerate disagreements  • don’t exaggerate to make ourselves or things seem bigger or better than they are

HUMILITY/ MODESTY (unpretentious)
Modesty is an expression of self-confidence that helps make a balanced & fair assessment of our abilities & character. It encourages collaboration, since modest people have nothing to gain from bragging & nothing to lose by being vulnerable. 
It’s letting one’s accomplishments speak for themselves – being free from vanity, egotism, boastfulness, or great pretensions (not having to show off). POST: ACoAs – Arrogance vs Humility humility
Having an inflated self-concept actually hinders achievement, because it ignores the possibility of self-improvement, sacrifice & hard work. Humility does NOT mean being self-deprecating or hiding ones talents. But it’s a necessary control on the natural human tendency to think of ourselves more highly than is good either for ourselves or our community. It means not always having to be right or prove our point.
• respect ourselves & others  • appreciate how others have helped us  • be thankful  • don’t need to out-do others by making ourselves look better or smarter • value what we have & all the good around us  • listen at least as much as we speak  • being ‘grounded’ (humus = earth – Latin)Positive Character:

NEXT: Positive Character – Knowledge #2

ACoAs Acting Controlling (Part 2)

look at me 

See how important I am!

PREVIOUS: Acting controlling – # 1

SITES: Take Control in Recovery
Recognizing a Manipulative Relationship

REVIEW: The 5 LOVE Languages


LOVE vs. Control

✳️ Genuine love is concerned with the welfare of others, especially those we have a personal connection to
👺 Controlling is all about us – what we can get, how we can change someone, how we can feel better…..

EXP: A woman married a genuinely good man, who lets her to be herself. She knows he loves her but it doesn’t fe-e-el right – for the very reason that he’s not controlling, the way her family was.
The connection between love & control was originally wired into her emotional brain, becoming the image of how relationships are supposed to be. Her WIC says “He doesn’t tell me what to do, so he must not care!” Fortunately her Adult self knows better!

BELIEFS of people who use Emotional Power over others:control
About Oneself
• My feelings come first. I need to convert everyone to my way
• I’ll always have to pay an emotional price if I open myself up to others, so I keep them at an arm’s length
• If I’m open to their point of view they’ll try to mislead me
• I have to make them see it my way or they’ll have an edge on me
• Because everyone is out to take advantage of everyone else (me), the best defense is a good offense

About Othersarogance
• Dump on them before they dump on you
• Take control of them before they take control of you
• If you keep them busy enough they’ll ignore you
• There’s only one way for people in your life to think & feel – your way
• It doesn’t matter how they feel or react, as long as you keep emotional control over them

WAYS to be Controlling:
Greedy – insist others provide things you need in the world, even if you can, but want to be taken care of – finally!
— are afraid to try, can’t ask for directly, don’t have permission ….
— OR not sure how to provide for yourself & don’t want to learn
Manipulative – try to coerce others into being Good Parent substitutes, instead of developing your ownUNIT’
Over-giving – Love-Buying : compensates for being in a rage at all abandoners, or feel unworthy unless you pay for love / respect
Powerless – take advantage of someone who’s needy or ‘easy’, to feel one-up, wanting to make up for being helpless as a kid
Rigid – have a hard time with negotiation & compromise. Insist on Perfection
Self-Pitying – constant whining about how your life is so hard, you can’t do anything right, people are unfair & mean – to force others to join icontrol freakn your misery (bring them down, to not feel alone)
Sickly – sick, needy, playing dumb… so people feel sorry for you
Stubborn – can’t see anyone else’s point of view – fear of losing yourself, instead of having real boundaries
Superiority – over-inflated sense of your own importance, being detached & above everyone, being a know-it-all — making others feel stupid, vulnerable, insecure & worthless
Values – C. is sometimes justified by claiming it’s simply wanting to do things the right way, having high standards, being helpful …..
Victim – constantly: asking to be approved of, saying you’re sorry,  asking for permission to do anything…. (to rescue you)

EMPATHY vs Control
Empathy is the ability to identify with another person’s emotions, to put ourselves in their place. This comes from the compassionate Healthy Parent ego state. 
This should not be confused with symbiotic fusing, which is from the WIC or PP.

Controlling is when our needs, requirements, feelings…. infringe on the rights of others. When we let our needs step on someone’s boundaries, they are under no obligation to accommodate or empathize with us, since we’re being disrespectful & inappropriate.
⚠︎ This equally applies to ACoAs when we encounter someone trying to control us!  C. are not in touch with their own Es, so can’t ‘understand’ the pain they cause others.

NEXT: ACTING Controlling, Part 2

ACoAs : OVER-Controlling Ourselves (Part 1)

bad voice
doesn’t want me to outgrow it

PREVIOUS: Self-Care around Controllers #3

SEE:  Toxic Family Roles

❖ S-C = self-control



Normal / Healthy: since children are not born with boundaries it’s a parent’s job to help them learn self-control (S-C), which is about setting limits for oneself & with others, but forming then is a long process. S-C is closely linked to:
• how children feels about themselves, which comes from unconditional love, stability & guidance
• being taught how to deal with everyday frustrations & practicing those skills by making their own age-appropriate choices & decisions

To DEVELOP healthy S-C people need 2 mental ABILITIES :
a. To estimate time, in order to make reasonable decisions, based on immediate as well as future outcomes. ❖ Young children cannot do this because they live completely ‘in the present’, so it’s not rational to expect them to have the same S-C as older kids & adults (post: ACoAs & TIME)

b. To direct one’s attention away from a current event. This is required  in order to evaluate situations, make better choices & weigh possible consequences. Although young children’s attention can be easily distracted, they aren’t able to consider alternatives or potential outcomes, so it’s inappropriate to demand it of them

• Children do best when discipline (boundary setting) is given with consistent, age-appropriate expectations & realistic consequences, but without constant punishment or power-conflicts with parents.
They need the security of knowing the rules & limits of behavior – otherwise they feel uncared for & at a loss. The healthy goal is to guide & nurture them so they feel supported & valued, rather than judged or rejected

Alcoholic PARENTING extremes
In most cases, ACoAs had to be totally obedient to survive & later to fit in – first with parents, then in school, a religious community & work.
(Posts:  Parenting styles & Results)

OVER: Most of us were given too many rules, assumed to be ‘little adults’, demanded that we be competent & self-sufficient way beyond our years.
We were bullied & manipulated into being compliant on pain of suffering & death. There was no fairness, or leeway for our individuality. We submitted – or else.

This created great anxiety, knowing we couldn’t fulfill their spoken & implied expectations, but desperately trying to please.
— For some of us the rules kept changing, arbitrarily.
— For others they were rigid & unrealistic.
— For all of us, no matter what we did, it was never good enough!
Eventually we either rebelled or caved.

UNDER: Others of us received little or no guidance – left too much on our own, so that we basically raised ourselves, which also created great anxiety. It left us:
• without knowing how to pay attention to other people
• with no respect for -or- need to obey legitimate authority
• with no sense of boundaries, limits, discipline or self-trust
• not knowing what was expected of us or how to function in the world.

This may seem heavenly – to a teen – but a neglectchild without rules or expectations not only is being severely neglected – but will likely suffer from lack of motivation & direction for years to come!

EITHER WAY – we were deprived of the opportunity to learn healthy self-control – which requires a SELF to implement! The only thing we could do was to over-control ourselves – hide our true emotions, needs, even our intelligence, competence & talents – except as those gifts were needed to take care of sick, abusive, depressed & crazy parents &/or siblings – but never for ourselves!

▶︎ Since over-controlled people are generally responsible & reserved, they don’t get much attention, suffering loneliness & chronic depression in silence, & may include anorexia, or being obsessive-compulsive.
Radically Open Dialectical Behavior Therapy (RO DBT), a new evidence-based therapy was developed to help “over-controllers” activate neurologically based systems that regulate smoother ways of interacting with others. SKILLS include:
social spontaneity, taking it easy, make true friendships, correcting rigid thinking & minimizing perfectionism. (MORE….)

NEXT: O-C Ourselves – Part 2