Maybe a politician’s special gift to humanity is to serve as a bad example.
The U.S. presidential debate this week was like basic training for showing you what not to do in your relationship.
Now, in defense of the politicians, I must acknowledge they have a very different motivation than you do.
Their behavior is driven solely by one critical imperative.
They want to be liked. They need to be liked. They hate the idea of not being liked.
Yes, they also want to win an election.
But, in their list of emotional priorities, I think their desire to be liked and feel significant is at the very top.
What would it look like if a person did this inside their romantic relationship?
What if they were more motivated by the fear of not being liked than they were by the desire to be a good person and partner?
That wouldn’t be pretty, would it?
They would be acting out of desperation and dependency instead of love and self-confidence.
They would see the relationship as a competition.
They would do and say a lot of stupid things that would leave them looking silly, smug, superior, condescending, immature and unattractive.
They would look a lot like a politician.
The Perfect Four Point Plan for Acting Like a Politician
- Be Unaccountable as a 4th Grader: Refuse to be upfront and honest about yourself until other people do the same. Refuse to acknowledge any weakness or mistake you’ve made until he/she goes first.
- Bring up Irrelevant Crap: Distract attention away from yourself by moving the conversation to something totally off point. Pretend you didn’t even hear the last thing your partner said so you don’t need to address their concern. Pretend you’re taking a higher road.
- Find Blame Instead of Owning Your Sh*t: Use anything negative thing you can think about him/her to justify or minimize your own behavior. Blame them for “making you that way”.
- Interrupt Constantly: Be sure to dominate the conversation at all times so you don’t lose control and give them a chance to make you look stupid. Don’t listen because that will only get in the way of you thinking about your next counterpoint.
These 4 lessons are the perfect plan for anyone who wants to appear insecure, afraid and about as romantically appealing as a 4th grader.
These tactics are born out of a basic unmet childhood need to be liked.
We act like we’re in a competition for external approval and validation. We won’t give them anything until we feel like we’re getting something first.
By making them look worse…we just might be able to lift our own image.
Then we can feel like we’re a better person!
Wouldn’t be easier to just actually BE a good person?
How to Be a Good Person Who Doesn’t Need External Approval and Validation
The first step to becoming a good person who doesn’t need external approval and validation is to be clear on who you don’t want to be.
Watching our politicians is good place to start. Who else do you know who represents the mindset and behaviors that disgust you? Get a crystal clear scene in your head of the actors and the script – the actions and the words.
But, that’s not enough yet. You can’t just think of what you don’t want. That will not drive you toward action and real change.
You have to know deeply and clearly in your heart what kind of person you do want to be.
You must have role models to refer to. You must have a vivid picture of the actions and the words you want to embody – for you – and nobody else.
The only way you will ever lose the childhood need of external approval and validation is to learn how to self-approve and self-validate.
And that will happen when you learn to develop a clear sense of who you really are, what values drive you and where you intend to travel in this life.
When you like who you are when nobody is watching you won’t need them to like you. When your decisions align with your values you won’t need anyone to approve them for you.
When you are operating from a place of confidence and sense of purpose you will be a person who has no need to interrupt, blame or compete with those who challenge you. Your responses come from a calm confidence supported by your values.
You’ve set a high bar for what you expect of yourself no matter what is going on around you.
And your future is so compelling that challenges and attacks from others are seen simply as curious opportunities for growth and understanding.
Nothing for a person like you to get rattled about.
Now if we can only get someone like that to run for President.
Operating from self-doubt and fear will make you crazy. I wrote this free ebook for men who want to feel more confident, clear and purposeful about the life they are living. Download “The Hard-to-Swallow Secret to Saving Your Marriage” HERE.
Photo: Thava Raj/Flickr