• John

    This week I was reminded of an ongoing personal conflict that I have. I just want to preface by saying I don’t think having a personal conflict is bad, I just think I need to define the conflict more and how to act in certain situations. Nevertheless, I saw an old friend who came to town, and it just reminded me of my upbringing. I grew up with a lot of go-getters and people who get what they want in life almost at any cost. It is usually little things like sneaking into a club for free or talking your way out of paying for something or cutting people in a long line. I definitely have made the effort to be more like this in my life and continually do. However, this reminds me of an ongoing internal conflict. On the one hand, many go-getters argue and make a fuss and become very aggressive until they get what they want. This is definitely something that I have learned to do and even do from time to time. I have even become able to handle quite awkward situations that it comes with. Often times, this very quality differentiates successful people from unsuccessful people. However, the other part of me keeps thinking “am I becoming that guy who bitches and moans at every little thing till he gets what he wants?” I am definitely socially aware, and don’t take these situations absurdly far. I may push people’s buttons in the meantime. To be honest, I even know this thinking is even partially an excuse to not face uncomfortable situations with the fear that friends will judge me for acting like this. Moreover, I sometimes think back, “was it really worth yelling at that person and making them feel uncomfortable to save a $5 fee?” Like I prefaced with, I don’t think this conflict is bad to have. I just need to define situations when this is acceptable and when it isn’t because I feel this quality is often times the key to becoming successful, yet I don’t want to go around ruining everyone’s day just to get things in my life-that quite frankly most do not matter.

    There are a couple principles that I have noticed I do so far. I have noticed that I will be more confrontational to someone who I don’t know, especially if I am not with anyone who I am afraid of judging me. Furthermore, if I am with someone, like one of my really good buddies, who encourages this behavior, I will be more likely to behave like this. I also try to make a distinction before the fact if I actually care about what I’m arguing about. Is it $5 or is it $200? I am definitely more likely to argue over something that is a $200 difference. If it is worth $5, my time is better spent elsewhere.

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