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My Arrogant Family Members
Hi Dr Paul, My relatives are visiting. I've seen them at regular intervals since they were young and are now young men. As such, its been interesting to see their childhood and how the various parenting figures have interacted with them and how it has effected them. As many of you will know, I have a very complicated family dynamic and it's of no surprise that my mothers siblings and parents have a similarly dysfunctional dynamic.
The elder of the two was held in very high esteem from a young age. One of my aunts and grandmother indulged his every whim, doted on him and for want of a better phrase spoiled him rotten. At a young age the kid was incredibly clever and had our aunt and grandmother chasing after him. Any bad behaviour was defended and excused promptly.
In contrast his young brother was largely ignored, ridiculed and generally given a rough time. He'd see the older brother behave poorly and be rewarded and so started to do similar. Except his behaviour would be excessively punished. Both brothers have consistently argued and resented when the other gets attention
Fast forward to now and the elder of the two has a massively arrogant streak. He feels work is beneath him and won't be told on any matters. He feels like he is beyond reproach and can carry on as he pleases. He has a massive sense of entitlement and is incredibly lazy. This is exacerbated by the fact he is quite Kingly in personality style anyway. In some respects this is no different of many young men but he is a bit of a special case.
The younger though, he is very keen to please. He generally does what he is told and wants to be praised for his good deeds. On occasions where attention is away he will be loud and distracting so the family's eyes fall upon him again (not sure on his KWML). He isn't as clever and can't be so articulate in trying to get his way.
Its a massive indication of how our earliest interactions can help to shape our psyche and have potentially life long influences. It's also a great indication of the importance of boundaries and when they are too loose and when they are too enclosing. Neither is healthy in the development of children into healthy adults.
What of my relatives? They are still young and have lots of growing up to do. It's very possible that they will shed these behaviors and thought processes in years to come. That said, staying in the environment they do when they at their family home will make this very difficult for them to do so.
Think of a negative (unwitting as it may be) influence that's repetitive at a young age.
It will seem to have lasting effects, but only because our Right Brain works like a pile of data of a similar type, or like a file cabinet that papers of a similar type are thrown into but not separated or organized, with ONE label on the drawer.
Then think of a new, purposeful, positive influence. Depending on the former "pile" of collected negative influential data, one new experience will not seem to budge it.
However, with repetition (such as from mature teachers, coaches, and a particular relative), more attention gets paid to the small but growing pile of POSITIVE influential data, which does TWO things:
- It starts to STARVE the size and additions to the old negative "pile"
- It accelerates building of the new positive pile.
Until it overtakes the old one which by the way, the larger it was, was SELF-REINFORCING by artificially reinterpreting neutral data as fitting the mold of whatever was negative (I'm the best, I'm the King, etc, leading to arrogance)
When you both interrupt it but patiently keep feeding the new and positive pile, MOMENTUM is built, analogous to that in physics, and acceleration occurs.
You might then say that like a fire, the "accelerant" is called "attention."
Observing Ego is highlighted in MindOS Mastery at:
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