There’s nothing more un-masculine than self-pity.
It’s a dead giveaway that a guy has lost his way,
or at least on the brink of it, and needs reminding that to grow means to struggle. I’m writing about this because not only am I witnessing it around me more and more but it’s a creeping paralysis that’s affecting me personally more and more.
I’m over-worked, and because I put so much of my energy in the job (which I enjoy) I find that I get over-tired, then become irritable and, on a really bad day, something approaching peevish which – I’m not sure I dare to admit this – makes me feel like a female.
(Now there’s a bit of prejudice being exposed, inspired by this ‘Poor Me!’ syndrome; it slowly drains away my self respect to the point that I begin to deny to myself who and what I am.)
I become impervious to criticism even though
I’m perfectly aware it’s well meant; fear grips my nuts (I write metaphorically) as I suspect it’s as plain as a pikestaff I’m settling-for-less whereupon a subsequent (pathetic) ‘Poor Me!’ is waiting in the wings.
As a major part of my work is creative it’s relatively easy to get away with something that lacks excellence. Only the artist knows when there’s enough paint on the canvas (so to speak), so it’s easy to settle for mediocrity, seven-out-of-ten, and put the brushes away, but where’s the buzz in that, eh?
I particularly despise guys who are part of what the What Men Do Guide calls the ‘Settle for Less’ Brigade, those who only work on a level that is adequate for the task in hand rather than that at which they feel proud of their work.
There’s also a bit in the Guide that stresses the signs of decay we see everywhere – the dud light bulbs at the bus station; the unsold garments littering the floor of the department store; the inferior sandwich we hurriedly grab at lunchtime and for which we haven’t the time (or the
energy) to go back and complain.
Conversely, it’s great when you see a guy who’s on top of his job, obviously married to quality and excellence, relishing providing his customers with the best that he can. It happens so rarely these days that, when I witness it, I find it a real turn-on.
It makes me envious, and I feel guilty, not that I’m ripping off my employer, but ripping off myself.
Ok, I realise this probably reads like a personal gripe, but it’s more than that as I have a sense that it’s spreading. A lack of self-respect is the bottom line of what’s at stake, and that’s not good.