I am confrontational. I posture. I can be combative. None are things that I like about myself and all are things that I’m going to be working on lessening as character traits. To be able to *do* those things is not a bad characteristic but when they’ve become a large part of my personality, that’s not good.
I had an inkling that they were there but it took the observation of my roommate to bring them to my attention. Her description: “You stand up with the guys. You interact with all guys the way that you do the guys at your work.” And she’s right. I developed a machismo, of sorts. Just as boys and men will inherently engage in a “who’s the got the biggest…” challenge, so do I. And I, in all my righteousness, would win. Cause I’m the biggest and the baddest. The toughest. I show no vulnerability but I sure as hell show weakness by displaying such a high level of “tough as nails” when I don’t need to.
I’m going to blame the development of it on the male dominated career that I’ve been a part of for nearly two decades. I can’t let it continue though. Thankfully, there’s only 11 months of that career left. I can, then, truly let go of a good portion of the armor that I applied, link by link, during my time working with too much testosterone. I didn’t choose this career, not really. It’s hard to make an educated decision, at 20, about what field to choose when the job description is so glowing. All I know: If you don’t like to get a mechanical kind of dirty do NOT choose a 2A career field in the Air Force.
So…back to the character traits…You know how Alpha males tend to put each other down as a show of force? Yep, I do that. You know how Alpha males tend to try to make the not-Alpha males feel or look stupid? Yep, I do that. I don’t call them stupid but I sure as hell ask a lot of loaded questions. That can’t be a good way to teach someone; to train them to be better at their jobs. I *know* there’s a better way and I’m going to work on finding and using it.
Thank you, roomie, for holding up that “mirror”. I appreciate it more than you know.