I recently read about a book called Positive Intelligence. (Clearly if I were more of a stickler, I would have actually read the book and not just about it.) For those of you familiar with Emotional Intelligence, this is a slightly more accessible related assessment, one that has more to do with identifying the self-sabotaging behaviours you habitually resort to that undermine your well-being. The free assessment only takes 5 minutes and is found here.
My top 3 were: Restless (hence the blogging and globe-trotting), Hyper-achiever (ahem, high powered career), and Hyper-rational (hence the use of the word “hence”). Click on the link to see what yours are.
As I thought about how people behave in relation to the church, these self-sabotaging behaviours definitely manifest in some unique ways. Here are a few I have seen:
- Stickler. These are the perfectionists. They stress over being perfect parents, perfect church members, doing their callings well, and checking all the Mormon boxes. They don’t want to go to hell for driving 56 in a 55 speed limit zone, but alas, they fear they might.
- Matthew 5:48. “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.”
- Others may find these people exhausting, too critical or impossible to please.
- Their underlying need is to quiet their own fear of judgment from others by being perfect.
- Pleaser. These are the people who want to be liked and want approval from others, especially authority figures. They worry about what people think of them, and eventually can become resentful or as though they have lost their sense of self.
- Psalms 12:2. “They speak vanity every one with his neighbour: with flattering lips and with a double heart do they speak.”
- Others may become dependent on being rescued by these folks.
- Their underlying need is to earn love through their self-imposed sacrifices because they don’t feel worthy of love.
- Hyper-vigilant. Paranoid? Perhaps. These are worrywarts who are always on the look for danger, assuming people can see right through them.
- D&C 88:81. “Behold, I sent you out to testify and warn the people, and it becometh every man who hath been warned to warn his neighbor.”
- Others may consider these people to be crackpots or cranks who cry wolf.
- Their underlying need is to ward off danger and be safe. Life has taught them that security is fleeting and the world is a dangerous place. But you should see their food storage!
- Restless. These people get bored when there is repetition or too much sitting still. The three hour block is like a prison sentence, but their trusty iPad or perhaps a calling in nursery keeps them engaged.
- Exodus 23:12. “Six days thou shalt do thy work, and on the seventh day thou shalt rest.”
- Others may say these people have ADHD or a short attention span.
- Their underlying need is to escape the present reality which lets them avoid unpleasant things and nurture themselves by finding excitement.
- Controller. Unrighteous dominion, anyone? These folks are pushy, direct and will tell you exactly how it should be. Even when they delegate, they do so with very clear instructions so that they are still in control of what others do.
- Psalm 55:22. “Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee.”
- Others may find these people to be impatient micro-managers who create anxiety in the people around them.
- Their underlying need is a fear of being controlled by others or by circumstances.
- Avoider. These people procrastinate. They might be interested in church history, but that Rough Stone Rolling book is just so long. Maybe later. What? It’s the end of the month already? Didn’t get to my home teaching, again. Oh well, that gives me another month. These folks also don’t want to confront a bad situation and will instead be superficial to avoid unpleasantness.
- Alma 34:33. “I beseech of you that ye do not procrastinate the day of your repentance until the end.”
- Others may find these people unreliable and indirect.
- Their underlying need is to avoid conflict and unpleasant emotions. They want to keep the peace at all costs.
- Hyper-achiever. These people don’t want to fail at whatever they set their mind to.
- Ecclesiastes 9:11. “I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all.”
- Others may find this person too focused on their goals or success or too selfish.
- Their underlying need is to prove to themselves through constant achievement that they are worthy of love.
- Victim. When things get tough, life is really unfair, and these guys can tell you why.
- 1 Nephi 16:1. “Thou hast declared unto us hard things, more than we are able to bear.”
- Others may find this person negative or whiny; they may feel powerless to help them.
- Their underlying need is to be seen, to get attention.
- Hyper-rational. The classic gospel doctrine teacher. Well-researched, skeptical, and logical. Professorial even. These folks don’t like emotions and are more comfortable analysing relationships than being in them.
- 2 Nephi 9:29. “But to be learned is good if they hearken unto the counsels of God.”
- Others may find this person to be too intellectual, arrogant or cold.
- Their underlying need is to prove their competence or to create order in a chaotic environment.
Do you sabotage yourself in any of these ways in your church life? How about at work and in your personal life? Do you think some of these contribute more closely with church disaffection or difficulty fitting in?