The topic came up while exchangig comments with a fellow bloggeress, about whether there were too many persoality traits two people could have in common. I realized that there was one personality trait that I don’t like about myself too often, especially when I encounter someone who shares this trait.
Always having to be right, having the last word. It’s not really uncommen. It’s also not always bad to have the last word. He who laughs last, laughs best, they say. He who has the last word, has it right, we feel. This feeling of justification that we get when someone else backs down is part of our wiring. I don’t mean our wiring as in men, but as in humans; men just have a physical advantage, a greater ability to inflict pain, which doesn’t count much more in our civilized world – luckily. I digress.
Some people have it more than others, the need for the last word. I have it very bad, and I hope my activity as a blogger can shift it into a more positive direction. And I got that need from someone else, I’ve inherited it. In my childhood, this led to terrible tantrums with breaking objects and the occasional slap, which isn’t that unusual; but backing down never really became my strong suit. The harder the fight I won in these battles of will, the greater my satisfaction was.
What turned me around? I couldn’t pin it on one event or person. I like to think it was the rain check reality put on my life plans in Uni, when I realized I wasn’t as smart or good as I had always thought. Realizing that all those wins were an illusion, a delusion of grandeur in the most literal sense, made me look for truth in a different direction.
I still need to have the last word in many cases, don’t get me wrong. These emotional triggers are very hard to override permanently, and beating down people verbally when they oppose my opinion is still very tempting.