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My worst trait.........

6366 Views 44 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  Janinebaker
....was in the subject line of an e-mail I recently received. I won't read the e-message (for reasons detailed below), but it got me to thinking about my own worst traits.
I figure everyone has pretty much the same personality traits - there really is nothing new under the sun. It's the degree to and manner in which those traits are expressed that make us the unique individuals we are. As far as what is a "worst trait", well, that's more in the eye of the beholder than anything else. Everyone is different, and everything is relative. For instance, I have typically been attracted to bitchy women. What one person may see as a flaw, another may see as a strength.

So, with those disclaimers, here are some "worst flaws" of mine, as seen through my eyes.......

I tend to dress like I did when in high school. Always have. Jeans, t-shirt and a pair of white Nikes are, to me, good enough for pretty much any occasion. People around me know when summer has arrived, as I reduce that wardrobe to simply jeans and tennies. Actually this is a "worst trait" mostly to my wife. She has recently purchased me my first suit, foolishly believing I will ever actually wear it.

I am always, always late for work. Sometimes a few minutes sometimes a couple of hours. My reasons for my tardiness vary from sleeping in too late to simply being bored. I don't even know how I manage to stay employed.

I tend to think I am much smarter than I actually am. I don't recall being this way before the DP hit, but I am most definitely this way now. Again, there is nothing new under the sun here. There's enough narcissim in this group to choke an entire herd of elephants. I may take things to the extreme in this area, however. Also, I tend to expect others to be pretty much perfect. Doesn't take a Board certified shrink to see all I'm doing is transferring my own hopelesssly high expectations of myself onto others.

I have the gift of being able to rationalize most any type of behaviour. Again, everyone does this to some degree, I just think I do it a bit more than average. This particular trait tends to land me in trouble from time to time.

I tend to............."play" with people. Although that word makes it sound worse than it is (he rationalizes). This is something I've always done, with a marked increase since becoming DP. Each of you, in your own way, will attempt to "sound out" another person. Try to find out what they've got, both in positive and negative terms. You try to get to know them, in part because you don't like to be surprised later. This behaviour is most evident in romantic situations, but applies to a lesser degree in most any interaction between human critters.
I do the same, but again, maybe a bit (alot) more than average. And to be completely honest, I make a game out of it sometimes. And sometimes it is a serious game. Since becoming DP, I do not like being surprised. By anything - or anybody. When first meeting someone, I begin the process of determining if they are able to hurt me, help me, etc. I have a real need to find out their strengths, and weaknesses. All so I am not surprised later. All part of the pathetic control issues I have.
And it is typically very easy to do. Just apply the right amount of pressure in the right area........and you can pretty much find out what a person is made of. The approach I use is different for different people, and it can be interesting. My problem, or my "worst trait" I guess, is that I tend to take things too far in this area. I seem to enjoy exposing people. I play them, as if they are a puppet and I the marionette. Pulling strings pushing buttons to get them to do what I want them to do. Sometimes I do this for a specific purpose - I have been playing one particular person for over seven years now, because knowing her caused me pain. I am trying to get back at her, simple as that. Pulling strings, pushing buttons. Getting her to react the way I want her to react.
I am disgusted with myself for it.
Recently I have done something similar here. Though disappointed with how easy it was - I caused another member to react EXACTLY the way I wanted them to react. Pulled the strings just right. Cause I'm quite good at it.
A pitiful little triumph for sc........

Some people are harder to play than others, though it doesn't seem to be a matter of relative intelligence. able they are to hide their flaws. Or how willing maybe. The person I just referenced - clearly above average intelligence, yet gave up their secrets quite easily.

Another "worst trait" - when first meeting someone I start from the position that I can trust them completely, then start subtracting from that. Once I start exposing their flaws, THEIR worst traits, that level of trust diminishes. And I can never seem to get it back up to perfect trust again. Basically put - you are my friend until you screw me. Once that happens, we can no longer be friends. Whether or not it was me who caused you to show your hand doesn't matter.

I do not enjoy conflict. And, in fact, will go to great lengths to avoid it. I am afraid of finality. Ending of relationships, etc. The "My Worst Trait" e-mail will go unread. It comes from a person who I have tried my best not to play. A person with definite flaws, someone I could have been having a blast with as far as pulling strings, just for the challenge if nothing else.........but also someone whom I have needed to hold above that. Needed to think they are above "worst traits."
Everybody needs a hero I guess.

As usual I am wandering. DP you know. I think this post belongs in the main discussion forum, however. While I honestly believe much of the reason I am screwed up came from dying in a car accident, at least some of the reason I am in this mess is because of personality traits, and how those have played into things.
It think I'll stop here. If it goes anywhere I may chime back in. Time to go back to work now though............
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exactly Terri,it's one thing to think it but to actually say it to your cyber face.......well that's another.
Ok,now I'm confused did I some how call person a "bigger idiot",my apologies if I did :?:

As for the cartoon,my very last assumption would be that somebody is staring at me because they think I'm stare worthy.
I'd most likely run the full of gament from spinach in my teeth,to nutter on the loose who has strong resentment toward blonde women who remind them of mummy dearest.

In fact in reality there is a strong suspicion that I have a stalker.
This odd ball seems to have an interest in me.I'm convinced he has a mother thing going on,even though I doubt that I'd be in the age range possible to be his mother.
He's creepy and I can't figure out what the hell he wants.I'm afraid to confront him.
The other day he whispered something as I walked by.

Sc,thanks for being honest but honestly I feel nervous when I know people play mind games.I'm not saying I never have,don't make a career out of it though.
Understand wanting to avoid conflict,it's big on my list too,not that I always manage it.
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"bombastic" is a pretty cool word, too.

Shelly - I am relentlessly honest. I have to be. Truth, what is something I consider extremely important. May be the only thing keeping me sane. My "worst trait" of playing with people may or may not be any more or less than what most other people do. Everyone does it to one degree or another. I see it happening all around me, including here. It may be that I am simply more aware of it.
Regardless, it is not a trait I am particularly proud of.

edit - turns out it's not true. Honesty is NOT always the best policy. Sometimes you get punished for it.
In the interest of decency, and strength of character, I think I'll stick with it though. Better to sink knowing you're doing the right thing, than to swim with lies. Hopefully that is a legacy I will pass on to my boys. Make the world just a little bit better place than it would be otherwise.........
Want to add something to what Ive said here, because it didnt sit right with me:

That I can cut people, when they hurt me, out of my life in an instant.
It takes me quite some work to NOT do it eventually (when I decide I do wanna keep them).

I think thats my worst.
Im not the kind of person to cut out people when there is no reason, even if there is only little bit of hurt or things go wrong or other stuff. Im flexible.
But when someone hurts me over and over again (like happened with two people in my life), I cut them out forgood. And I realize thats healthy behavior, not a bad trait. Just wanted to put a bit of perspective here :)
I (can) take a lot from people (mostly I take too much at my own expense), but not when they mess around or fuck around or play with my honesty, good nature and intentions and love/care on more than one occasion. If they do, they are out! Ive learned that lesson.

Sc in all honesty, I dont like people playing games, or have some hidden agenda in trying to push my buttons to see if I can be trusted or can be played in order for the other to find some gratification or for whatever purpose. I CAN be trusted and feel no need to proove it or be subject to other peoples insecurities who cannot deal with their own issues.
Your post is very honest.

Wanted to clarify.
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Wendy be honest,you can be so tough, one wrong word and it's off with your head lol it's ok my good Dutch friend has learnt to accept my cheeky Aussie humour.
It's true Wendy is so wonderfully patient :),it's a lovely trait.

Sc,honesty has got me into hot water more than once.
I've learnt it's ok to try and be honest with yourself but not always with others.
I'm still learning to bite my tongue and I have not always gained from opening up about myself to others.In fact there have been times I've found that my honesty has been used against me.
I have often not gained from telling somebody what my real thoughts are.
It's like that line from the movie a few good men,"they can't handle the truth" .lol
This is just my experience.I've found that there is often a fine line when it comes to being honest.
I guess what we call honesty can sometimes be our perceptions.The truth can come in different shapes and sizes.
A wise man once said "it's only a lie if you believe it is" lol that was
George Costanza...........ok a neurotic man.
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"George Costanza". Still more favorite words of mine. I consider his character one of my heros.

This thing has had nearly 400 reads in just two days. However, and I'm sure this is my fault due to choice of semantics - nobody seems to be getting my point.
As mentioned, it was directed at two people in particular. Things have gone pretty much as predicted there. But nobody else seems to understand what I'm trying to say.
Maybe it's my use of the word "play", and how I play with people. Perhaps I should have used a different word, although for me that one works. I "play people" to figure out who they are. Sometimes I go farther than other times.
Another way to say it is that what I can to understand another person. To "suss them out."
Somebody here mentioned mind games. That, to me, is a much less favorable way of putting it, but probably means the same thing.

My point here is this - we all have faults, things about ourselves that we don't like. The number of possible faults is limited, in that people are people. Things then become a matter of degree.
So, and using different words, one of my "faults" is the desire to understand other people. To suss them out. To get them to show their hand, for the single purpose of not being surprised by this person later. I want to know who they really are. Like I said earlier, this has become more evident to me since becoming DP.
On the other hand, many, many things have become more evident to me since I became DP. Many faults. That's due to my constant introspection - I am much more aware of some things now than I was before.
Everybody, every single person out there, plays "mind games", depending on how you define the term. Whether I play people more than anyone else, I don't know. What I do know is that, since becoming more aware of doing it myself I have also become more aware of others doing it. And I like I said, it happens everywhere - definitely including here.
You put a bunch of passive-agressive types together, people who almost by definition play with others, and you've got all sort of games going on. I'll even admit I get some kind of perverse pleasure out of watching some of you do it with each other.
THAT is why I started this post. By admitting to people that I play games, I was hoping to start others thinking they may in fact do the same thing.
The person who can look in the mirror and honestly believe they do not "play games" as I define the phrase is, to me, one of two things: 1) a rather accomplished liar, or 2) not human.
Because it is human nature to do our best to understand our fellow inhabitants. Not only is it in our nature, it is one of our strongest, most basic needs.

Also, and (honestly) trying my best not to be repetitive - I am relentlessly, hopelessly honest. I drive people away from me in real life due to this particular trait. Sure, "honesty" can take as many forms as "truth", but bottom line is I just about drive people nuts being both so honest, and open (yes, this immediately brings up the question as to how I've managed to stay married, but that's for a different thread.....)

terri" mentioned something about it being brave for me to be open enough to even start this thread. Courageous I think she said.
After thinking about it I guess I would agree, to some extent. That extent being the point at which courage, and masochism begin to blur into a single concept. Which can happen very quickly at times I've found. point with the original post - the game I was playing if you'd rather, was to find out a little more about a couple of people in particular. Find out a little more about who they are. The way I did that was to admit to playing games, to see if either of them are strong enough, courageous enough to admit to the same.
I was successful in that goal.
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Sc,Mr Honesty to a fault,no point in being secretive now.......who are these two unsuspecting people who admitted to this trait of mind games.

I doubt if it was me,as we don't communicate often.
Besides if you wanted to know if I played mind games,why not just ask.
As I said yes,I've done it.I don't put a lot of energy into it and it's not a big part of who I am.
I think must people would say pretty much the same........yes?

Maybe you are good at being honest,what about being direct.
I don't know,I'm not a major player but isn't it easier to just ask?doesn't mean you will always get your answer I will admit.

Oh well Sc,each to their own,I'm just avoiding doing my banking.

by the way if it sounds like I think I was one of the people,I realise I'm not ............if you know what I mean?just using myself as an example
I'm very dp'd lately and for some reason my brain gets extra mushy
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Maybe you are good at being honest,what about being direct.
out of the mouths of Aussie oragutans, lol..(Ms. Shelly). Brilliant.

We're ALL likely to exhibit parts of ourselves here that is somewhat reminiscent of group therapy - sometimes I've had other members (even the illusive Mr. sc) see things in me that are SO accurate other friends of mine have missed.

This is a fantastic forum not only for dp sharing, but to really have ourselves SEEN in some odd internet kind of way....yet in many ways, it can be highly useful.

I like this group so much....and I respect nearly all of you (please don't now start PMing me asking if you're one of the ones I don't respect, lol)

Insecurity, thy name is human.

sooo, now i is talking behind my back and playing games with my oh so fragile ego and Janine doesn't respect me. ( Yes, this was kiddingly written. )

Yes, Shell is quite the brillant Aussie orangutan...mushy brain and all.

Wendy, I am like you are about the repeated hurts. It took me a long time to come to the conclusion that cutting toxic people out of your life is an okay thing to do. At least you and I think it's okay. :wink:
Interesting SC. I too have recently gone through a period of introspection...coming to terms with some home truths about myself. But is too short to worry.
Hi sc - I reread your posts in this thread, and am still unsure what do you exactly mean by playing people/mind games. If I have understood it right, you mean by it purposefully acting in certain ways (e.g. saying certain things) toward the other person in order to know, how the person will react in response. Trying to get that other person show one's flaws in that kind of way sounds like manipulation to me (sorry, I don't want to sound offensive in any way, but can't find a better word to describe it).

Does it not lead to untrue connection with the other person, I think it does? I mean that by trying to get that other person to react in certain ways, for me it feels like that one doesn't interact with her/him being simply oneself, but rather is like a scientist doing a psychological experiment with a guinea pig. In that way I feel the connection with the other person can't be honest, as the player isn't truly oneself in that situation, trying really to connect with the other person, but is just playing games with her/him in order to see how she/he would react. I can't see it as honesty at all.

However, I am a person who dislikes all social games, indeed I have never even learned to play them well, as I can't see the point. Would it not be easier to get to know the other person by simply being oneself, as truly as possible, I mean trying to really connect/communicate/interact with that other person - and by doing that one could learn to know who she/he is, naturally without games? One will nevertheless learn to know the person and her/his flaws, but it may take some time. But in that way building trust toward her/him might be a lot easier, as one learns to be only oneself with the other person without the shameful secret of playing with her/him. At least that's how I believe it to be.

I hope you won't consider my questions and thoughts disrespectful. I just don't like playing games, and prefer avoiding them indeed. If I would know someone had been playing with me like that, I would feel hurt. I believe I would find it very hard to trust that person again - perhaps never, as I couldn't know whether she/he would start playing with me again. Could you clarify what do you mean by playing people, sc - if I have understood your thoughts wrong, please try to explain to me what you meant.

(I guess there probably are people who play mind games in Finland too, so I can't say that I don't understand the point just because I am a Finn. Maybe it is just because I am me, who has never learned what's the point in doing that. And saying this - I believe I'm honest, not a liar, and still human too. Maybe I just didn't understand what you meant by playing people, but for me it sounds like deliberate manipulation. :shock:)
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Janine, you say:

sometimes I've had other members see things in me that are SO accurate other friends of mine have missed.
I think that just happened here with me:

Wendy be honest,you can be so tough, one wrong word and it's off with your head lol it's ok my good Dutch friend has learnt to accept my cheeky Aussie humour.
It's true Wendy is so wonderfully patient ,it's a lovely trait.
LOLOL. Its TRUE! Took me a long time to accept this aspect from myself. And Shelly, thanks for reminding me. Im amazed you see it, I thought I kept it hidden very well :? lol

I just don't like playing games, and prefer avoiding them indeed. If I would know someone had been playing with me like that, I would feel hurt. I believe I would find it very hard to trust that person again - perhaps never, as I couldn't know whether she/he would start playing with me again.
Ninnu, its my WORST WORST WORST fear that people will do this with me.

I guess there probably are people who play mind games in Finland too, so I can't say that I don't understand the point just because I am a Finn.
Also in Holland people play mind games. That was just too funny you said that. :p
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Yep, Wendy, I totally hear you,'s amazing what we can learn about Self without ever even laying eyes on these people!

Ninnu and sc: I think it's important for anyone to be able to admit if/when they've been manipulative.....that honesty is vital. But I do agree that it is NOT a good way to be - for anyone concerned.

The sad part is that when folks do it, they do so because of massive fear of rejection - it's a way of striking first, fooling before BEING fooled, always comes from a dark place of pain.

I am not manipulative in the mind game sense...I hate it, used to be somewhat that way DECADES ago, but I no longer need it or tolerate it. I DO however, have an intense social facade, can charm the pants off most people...but I am not pretending to be something other than "on" in the star sort of way. I try too hard, that's one game I play...I do so much more than I'd need to do. Then I'm enraged if I don't get my way, lol.

To honesty. IF it's intended as communication, not more manipulation.

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Wendy said:
Ninnu, its my WORST WORST WORST fear that people will do this with me.
I may be lucky or then people in Finland really are more direct and honest than some other nationalities, cuz I have never experienced being played (thank God). Or perhaps it is not the question of being lucky at all, but rather me having this kind of personality - hating even social games; e.g. flirting just for the sake of it, without really meaning anything * - have always naturally been drawn to "like-minded" people. Even the violent ex-boyfriend of mine, who is the worst of all people I have ever met, was never manipulative. He could be really nasty toward me, afterwards being sorry for his behaviour, but I believe he was totally honest when he said he was sorry - he just repeated the same cycle of abuse cuz he didn't have the strength to cut it.

Wendy said:
Also in Holland people play mind games. That was just too funny you said that. :p
You're welcome! :) By the way, because of the fact that I have never met any grown-up Finn playing mind games and bc of another fact that I have never ** played games with anyone else I cannot say, whether any players of mind games exist or not in Finland. However, just because I haven't met one doesn't necessarily mean they are non-existent. So I decided to not mention my nationality as the reason for my character...

* Well, flirting is pretty alien to Finns anyway. I guess Finns are generally quite direct and honest, and if they can't say something in order to not hurt someone, they do not say anything. Thus flirting is considered as a way of cheating.

** Except in my early childhood somewhere under the age 10, when I was too little and stupid, I used to cheat my littlebrother to join me in an "icecream eating competition". My poor littlebrother devoured his icecream as fast as he could, of course - after that I started enjoying my icecream, eating it veeeeery sloooowly in front of my littlebrother, showing him how heavenly tasty it is. Fortunately my brother learned his lesson soon, and refused to join in the contest since that. However - he has mentioned while we have been chatting about our childhood time, that he used the same trick with our littlesister later... Small children can be soooo stupid and cruel sometimes! :wink:
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I would like to thank sc again for bringing such an interesting and useful topic to our attention even if in the process you have copped some flack.
Now who's manipulating who? really no mind games here,I'm not bright enough.

As for Janine's social facade according to my main source of information on communication,Dr Phil,lol.
He says everybody wears a social mask.........everybody.
I know I do,even though it may seem unnecessary I even wear it here sometimes.
I went to a party the other night and noticed that the wealthy wife hostess(ex international flight attendant).
I'd seen the same smile and polite attitude every time I'd been to a gathering there.
It was like she was back doing her old job but dressed in versace.
I wondered what the real person was really like and wished I could have an opportunity to find out...........I'd puke if she really is that nice.

I also wore my mask to the ball.I tried extra hard to be agreeable,even told one man I liked Rhubarb pie too :roll:

I have a retail fashion shop,talk about a mask and manipulation........ladies if you don't already know it,shop assistants do not care if your ass looks big,they are just trying to reach a target.
Not entirely true,sometimes caring happens,not to divas though.Oh it's a cold,cruel world.
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JanineBaker said:
I DO however, have an intense social facade, can charm the pants off most people...but I am not pretending to be something other than "on" in the star sort of way.
Oh I wish I could do the same! The uni will arrange an excursion to two pulp mills of Finland in the near future, and I will go to see the mills too - and I'm already afraid that I won't have noone to talk to during the excursion, cuz somehow I have difficulties in joining in a strange company. I'm really not very social at all, and that is a drawback in those kind of situations - at uni I use to talk to those students only, who start chatting with me first. Yet I am not shy, it is not because of that - I just find the small talk part too difficult. If there was a shop, which would sell social skills, I'd go there and buy some indeed. :p
Remember people - this is a "worst traits" thread. Also remember, I'm not at all sure I do the "playing" thing any more than anyone else. I have simply become more aware of it since becoming DP, don't consider it a good thing, and have to watch myself to avoid it.

Ninnu, you provide an example, though not the most obvious, of what I'm trying to discuss in this thead. You had a response earlier up where you were typing about how you think playing mind games is not a good thing. By the way you were saying it, I felt you were taking time to choose your words carefully. Rather than saying.......well gee clay, I think it's total bullshit that you would play games with people, you toned it down, you adapted your response to better fit the way the thread was going. That, to me, is an example of adapting to, and trying to fit in to a social situation. Essential for effective communication.
Is that part of the game playing I'm discussing? Yes.
A more extreme example would be what I have been doing with my ex-girlfriend. Knowing this woman has just about destroyed me. I can't directly blame her - I was the fool that fell in love. However, I feel she lied to me, over and over and over again. I also think she purposely, maliciously tried to cause me pain. Human nature, human weakness caused me to want to strike back. To defend myself. I have been purposely messing with her for just that purpose. To strike back. As I said much earlier in this thread - I am disgusted with myself for doing it.

Then there are the infinite shades of grey between those two extremes. I firmly believe that everyone here, and anywhere else, will, at times, use psychological game playing to their advantage. Whether it's batting your eyes to attract the guy at the end of the bar, or sucking up to your boss to get that raise; being extra nice to someone in the hopes they like you, to being extra nice to someone in the hopes they don't hurt you; pretending you enjoy being with your mother-in-law just to please your wife (something else I have to be good at), to fending off your sister-in-law (who is playing bigtime games with her sister); laughing and joking with someone you don't like just because your friend does, to smiling sweetly at the bratty neighbor kid; posing questions, presenting scenarious......sounding out a potential lover in order to find out more about them..............everybody does it.
I understand that I will continue to do that sort of thing. As a human, and as magnified by my experience of DP, I have a need to know who people are, and what they are might do. Not everyone is forthcoming - in fact nobody is TOTALLY forthcoming, and in order to truly know someone, sometimes you need to take a more roundabout way. Oh, and before i forget - somebody mentioned flirting. An obvious game, and one which I will happily admit to engaging in. Even at my age, a little harmless flirting is fun. I'm constantly doing it here with Janine, for instance. Sure, she rarely dignifies it with a response, but I will continue on until she asks me to stop - or I have achieved my goal :)

On the other hand, I also am aware that I am capable of doing it - whether you want to call it playing, manipulating, whatever- consciously, to harm another person. And I do not like that about myself. That's why I think it's my worst trait. But sorry, I just can't get myself to believe that I'm the only one who's ever done it.

Maybe someone should start a "BEST traits" thread. If for no other reason than to allow me a chance to pull myself up out of the mud.

edited by sc - took out an unnecessary reference to something Ninnu brought up in a different thread.
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Even at my age, a little harmless flirting is fun. I'm constantly doing it here with Janine, for instance. Sure, she rarely dignifies it with a response, but I will continue on until she asks me to stop - or I have achieved my goal
dump that ex girlfriend who doesn't appreciate you, and I'll take you places Klonopin has only hinted at.

:lol: :lol: 8)
first real smile of the day. Thanks JB :D
Haha....that was really funny. I dont think I've ever seen Janine respond like that to you, Sc. I think she's jealous.

I can relate to your problem of messing with people and finding their weaknesses, well, just for the heck of it. Honestly, I think its a power trip for intelligent people with too much time on their hands. I havent had a whole lot lately, so that kind of helped me to give it up. But you ARE backpedaling quite a bit in your threads, here, Sc. You've spent a good bit of time in the last day or so writing rationalizations for your behaviors and rebuttals to, well, yourself. Denial aint just a river in Egypt. :wink: Dont worry about what the people on here think about you. I know you do alot. But dont. Maybe you think thats the only way you really matter, since, after all, you dont exist in your own mind. Well, in the end, your the person who has to live with Clay. So convince yourself that you exist so you can stop convincing others that you have the right to. Later!

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thanks for the comments HS. It does seem I have been backpedaling a bit........... Although, and to continue my rationalization (also something I listed as a "worst trait), I'd like to think it's been more in an attempt to clear up the semantics than anything else. I wish I wouldn't have used the phrase "play with people." I think I include much more in that than some others do.
I appreciate your candor regarding doing it simply because you can.
I do as well. And (here comes Mr. Rationalization again) so do lots and lots of other people.
Again, this is something that's become more apparent to me since I've been DP, and likely mostly because I have become so introspective. I notice all sorts of things about myself now that I didn't before. I didn't know I was attracted to older women before the DP hit, for instance (hi Janine). A shame I didn't know earlier really, because at my age women, or men for that matter older than me are becoming much less numerous.
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