See yourself through self-evaluation, reflection

Columnist and Columnist

Many people celebrate their relationships with their Valentine in February.

Unfortunately, like many single people, I don’t have that luxury. Many single people may not know what they want in a romantic partner because they struggle with their own character flaws.

I feel these character flaws are most likely why relationships elude us. I feel this way after finding a Bible study activity difficult a few weeks ago.

We were all encouraged to write down attractive traits we seek in a future spouse. Sitting at my table, I stared at my blank piece of paper. I started to realize that I probably don’t know what I want in my future wife.

Later, we separated into smaller groups after the activity. We were encouraged to discuss each other’s attractive and unattractive personality traits.

I found it difficult to share my attractive traits when it was my turn to speak. I usually go off praises people give me, seldom do I have enough confidence to make a case for myself.

However, I often dwell on my unattractive qualities. I infer some negatives from myself and from what I project from other people. Other times, people tell me directly, and they are accurate.

For example, I feel certain people may say I clearly lack emotional and social stability. They are right. I have been volatile due to being hurt in the past. It’s hard for me to imagine ever fully correcting this character flaw.

My instability occurs somewhat in a vicious cycle:

Event happens. Phil feels a familiar hurt. Phil projects the hurt on people disconnected from his past. Phil gets upset. People feel offended. Phil says sorry. People don’t know how to respond, and they take a step back.

Another event occurs. Phil feels hurt. Phil lashes out. People freak out again. Phil apologizes. People take another step back…

As the cycle continues, I inadvertently push people away. But I want friends. So, I fight for people, forcing them into my inner circle. Then, people get turned off and flee. Eventually, people drift further out of my life, and I’m left feeling more embarrassed, lonelier and worse about myself.

Another way you can visualize my instability is by comparing a grizzly bear to a cub. While I can be like an innocent cub, a friend described me as being a nasty grizzly at times.

Another flaw I feel I have is that I treat women more like objects than people. Initially, I wasn’t sure what someone meant when they said I was treating them “sub-human.” Now, I think I may understand a little better.

Instead of waiting to get to know young women for their character, I’ve historically had a crush on them based on physical appearance. I might feel they are important to me, but I tend to neglect treating them as a person – an autonomous living thing – like myself. As I get so fixated on my child-like crush for them, I become obsessive.

Finally, I have other important flaws:

I dwell too much on what people think of me. I read into things too seriously. I also come off as odd unintentionally from the way I speak, think or behave.

After looking inside myself, I don’t realistically see myself ever getting into a serious relationship. I’m upset at myself for having these unflattering flaws.

Although I want to share my life with someone really special someday, I feel incapable of giving them true love. I don’t feel that I am considered a friendly person. I wish I were a better man. I have little hope for myself.

As I conclude, I leave you with a challenge from Psalm 139. Examine yourself. Allow God to search your heart and know your thoughts. See if there is any grievous way in you – and if so, ask him to help you fight it.

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