Questions heard at meetings.

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Brock
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Questions heard at meetings.

Post by Brock » Sat Sep 21, 2019 7:05 am

The topic was defects of character, and someone said their worse defect is isolating, and being hurt by the words and actions of those close to them.

This caused much debate, but the question remained - is wanting to be alone, (isolating), and being easily hurt by the actions and words of others, a defect of character?
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Re: Questions heard at meetings.

Post by Layne » Sat Sep 21, 2019 9:09 am

To me it would depend upon the dictionary in the mind of the person doing the inventory.

Defects of character is a rather ubiquitous phrase implying moral and psychological flaws and failings. The problem is that it is often to refer to natural human emotions and experiences that are unavoidable.

I believe in the philosophy of personal growth through self-reflection. Part of that is looking at the imperfections I have as a valuable tool for self-growth.

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PaigeB
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Re: Questions heard at meetings.

Post by PaigeB » Sat Sep 21, 2019 10:25 am

Wanting to isolate might be EGO for me and feeling hurt by others probably falls under EGO and Lack of Perspective.

We stepped on the toes of our fellows and they retaliated, seemingly without provocation. (ad lib'd that quote)
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Re: Questions heard at meetings.

Post by ebear » Sun Sep 22, 2019 8:31 am

Hi, Brock. To me, wanting to be alone is more of a personality element than a character defect--until indulging that desire prevents us from "being there" for others when we can be useful.

Likewise, some people are more sensitive than others to hurtful words and acts. It seems a natural human gradient. But hanging onto the hurt, allowing it to morph into a resentment, and sliding into self-centered absorption--that at least deserves consideration as a defect to be lifted.
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Re: Questions heard at meetings.

Post by innermost » Sun Sep 22, 2019 9:10 am

Isolating.
If someone inventories their isolation as defective then it is.
Same with being hurt by others.
This come through a personal inventory and I would never pretend to assume I
relate to ( ALL ) others situations and experiences.

I can see isolation as healthy or unhealthy. It all depends on reasons and results.
Same with being hurt by others.

Isolation and being hurt are situations which can trigger certain character flaws.
Or a character defect may trigger the situation of isolation or being hurt.
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Brock
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Re: Questions heard at meetings.

Post by Brock » Sun Sep 22, 2019 10:33 am

Interesting and informative replies, I particularly like this - “I can see isolation as healthy or unhealthy. It all depends on reasons and results. Same with being hurt by others.”

I always hope that those who sponsor others will think like this, seen too many people, (myself included before I knew better), judge the traits of others as defective, because they are different from the majority, and therefore not considered ‘normal.’ It is tempting to try to change others behavior, to act as amateur psychologists, when often the person may simply have a different personality type. We saw it in a post here a while back, when a sponsor was trying to change someone whose therapist had diagnosed as introverted, instructing them to do things, to work what the sponsor considered a defect, out of their system.

Spiritual books speak of learning to sit alone happily in isolation as a goal to be achieved, and it therefore can be spiritual. I feel sorry for those overly sensitive to the words or deeds of others, and believe learning to be less sensitive leads to a happier life. One of my theories is that it’s a byproduct of the times, in my day young people learned to brush these things off, sticks and stones etc, now we have youngsters thinking it’s the end of the world if someone unfriends them on face book.
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Re: Questions heard at meetings.

Post by PaigeB » Sun Sep 22, 2019 11:48 am

Brock wrote:
Sat Sep 21, 2019 7:05 am
This caused much debate, but the question remained - ... and being easily hurt by the actions and words of others, a defect of character?
FYI - Here's a quote from the 12&12 Step Four, p.47 - After we pass Step 3, turning our will and our lives over - or our thoughts and our actions if you like, we can move onto Step 4. The Steps are in order for a reason. I am repeating myself but we cannot blame others if we are hurt. I am victimizing myself if I do!
Where other people were concerned, we had to drop the word "blame" from our speech and thought.
I spent all my drinking years blaming this that and the other thing... but I was always wrong.

12&12 Step Four, p.47 "We had to see that when we harbored grudges and planned revenge for such defeats, we were really beating ourselves with the club of anger we had intended to use on others." I need to look at my own defects here.
12&12 Step Five, p.59 ~ Or anger and hurt pride might be the smoke screen under which we were hiding some of our defects while we blamed others for them.
12&12 Step Ten, p.90
It is a spiritual axiom that every time we are disturbed, no matter what the cause, there is something wrong with us. If somebody hurts us and we are sore, we are in the wrong also. But are there no exceptions to this rule? What about “justifiable” anger? If somebody cheats us, aren’t we entitled to be mad? Can’t we be properly angry with self-righteous folk? For us of A.A. these are dangerous exceptions. We have found that justified anger ought to be left to those better qualified to handle it.
We simply HAVE to look to our own defects. Lack of perspective means if I feel hurt I am not looking in the right spot place the blame. I am the only one who suffers when I blame others. And in the 12&12 Step Ten, p.90, it says ~ Anger, that occasional luxury of more balanced people, could keep us on an emotional jag indefinitely. If I wallow in anger or self pity I WILL DRINK AGAIN - I have no doubt.
Step 6 is "AA's way of stating, the best possible attitude one can take in order to make a beginning on this lifetime job... with most of them we shall have to be content with patient improvement." 12&12 Step Six, p.65

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Brock
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Re: Questions heard at meetings.

Post by Brock » Mon Sep 23, 2019 6:30 am

PaigeB wrote:
Sun Sep 22, 2019 11:48 am
We simply HAVE to look to our own defects. Lack of perspective means if I feel hurt I am not looking in the right spot place the blame. I am the only one who suffers when I blame others.
I don’t think the person was speaking about the sort of hurt that can be covered by suggestions like this, although there are many instances when this is good and vital advise. There are some types of personalities who feel hurt easier than others, and types of people who say hurtful things without much thought for those peoples feelings. Is being overly sensitive a defect? It’s not about looking for where to place the blame.

Over the years right here, I have witnessed certain posters who wrote things about other peoples posts, and caused those persons to express how hurt they were by these comments, I myself have let loose at some who I thought were giving a 'wrong' message. One member I remember, as the moderators would warm him to be more thoughtful of others feelings, and publicly say ‘never mind what he says he is a jerk,’ or words like that. It didn’t trouble me too much when he put some of my ideas down, or said I was talking rubbish, I had better words in mind than jerk for him. But others didn’t take it well, I remember a lady saying his comments made her cry, and I have witnessed people like him in meetings as well. We can’t very well quote some spiritual axiom to someone hurt in these situations, and say they are in the wrong also!

The original post said- “someone said their worse defect is isolating, and being hurt by the words and actions of those close to them.” The question is whether being very sensitive to the words or actions of others is a defect of character. My answer was, as is, NO, but that learning to grow a ‘thicker skin,’ which can help brush off the hurtful remarks of some people, will lead to a more serene and happy life.
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Re: Questions heard at meetings.

Post by Layne » Mon Sep 23, 2019 8:24 am

Being overly sensitive to the words of others blocks me from the sunlight light of the spirit. I strive to maximize my time in the sunlight as part of improving my conscious contact with my higher power. When the words of others bother me, I need to focus why they bother me. While reflecting on that I need to discard any value judgements based on emotions because they will deter me from getting to the root of why. When I do that and arrive at the root cause, I will have a much better idea of what I can change about me to remove what is blocking me from the sunlight of the spirit.

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Re: Questions heard at meetings.

Post by innermost » Tue Sep 24, 2019 7:14 am

Layne

I enjoyed reading your post.
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Re: Questions heard at meetings.

Post by Layne » Tue Sep 24, 2019 4:23 pm

innermost wrote:
Tue Sep 24, 2019 7:14 am
Layne

I enjoyed reading your post.
Thanks. i can take no credit though as i was merely passing along what I have heard in the rooms of AA. Nothing original. Nothing from my brain. :~)

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Re: Questions heard at meetings.

Post by BA Lodi » Thu Sep 26, 2019 3:36 pm

It wasn't until I read about them in the 12 & 12 that character defects finally made sense to me without the religious concept of sin interfering with my mindset.

Now, I believe that I have personality traits, basic instincts, and depending on whether I use them rightly or wrongly, they become destructive defects or constructive assets. This means that I think ego and self-centeredness, for example, can be good or bad for me. If they turn into "self will run riot," I am in trouble, of course. It's all about internal balance.

I am an only child. Given a choice, I am a loner. During my drinking, I had an attitude of "Who needs you?" and tried to be self-sufficient. My mantra was "I am a rock, I am an island..." sung strongly, not with a whimper. I never had drinking buddies.

Now I know I am not in charge, that I need people, but it's okay that I am comfortable with a lot more private time than most people can stand. I spent years trying to emulate "normal" AAers who needed a crowd to run around with. Participating in my Home Group, going for coffee after the meeting was enough for me. Why do women go to the bathroom in pairs? And I was keeping an eye on the men after my divorce, too, but I did not want a roommate! Later on, I had an awful time with sponsees who wanted to talk for hours every day and see me 4 or 5 times a week. It felt like I was being absorbed. I learned to be specific about expectations with sponsors and sponsees. Being social drains me. I re energize alone.

Sometimes, I forget I need people. Sometimes, I deny hurt feelings which can turn into anger, and, if allowed to simmer, will become a resentment. I am anti-conflict. I had to learn to vent, to be honest with myself and others.

These days, I usually know when I've reverted to an old pattern almost immediately. Thankfully, I have a tool box and a Creator, family, and friends to help me along the way!

Thanks for listening. Barbara D., alcoholic

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Re: Questions heard at meetings.

Post by PaigeB » Fri Sep 27, 2019 9:33 am

BA Lodi wrote:
Thu Sep 26, 2019 3:36 pm
Sometimes, I forget I need people. Sometimes, I deny hurt feelings which can turn into anger, and, if allowed to simmer, will become a resentment.
Hi Barbara!
Step 6 is "AA's way of stating, the best possible attitude one can take in order to make a beginning on this lifetime job... with most of them we shall have to be content with patient improvement." 12&12 Step Six, p.65

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