jeudi, décembre 15, 2011

Docility in relationships: a fatal flaw?

Know how you are positive that you "aren't" something -- but you aren't sure what that "something" is?

As a child, I was a voracious reader (back when reading was actually practiced by more than a small number of Luddites).

So I'd figure out what a word meant in context -- which meant that I often got it slightly wrong. Often, now, when my son asks me what a word means (he's the same type of reader) I am curious as to what it actually means -- so I go look it up.

Here's a great definition for docility -- "the trait of being agreeably submissive and manageable."

Could this definition in any way be construed to apply to me?

I guess I could, under certain circumstances, be agreeably submissive.

But manageable? Heck no.

We carry certain traits from our past, certain habits that crop up again and again in multiple relationships.

If we had a critical parent, say, we might have found that being meek kept us out of the way of his or her anger.

We might have tried to blend into the walls, so that we might not be noticed.

Possibly we might find ourselves expecting that our children will also be docile.

I was a well-behaved child (which doesn't help me much in today's more open society). But I was also a quiet subversive.

If you were one of those kids, you know that with a little intelligence, you can get around the system.

The feisty females who were so much a part of my upbringing were strikingly intellectually independent of male influence.

Well, of anybody's influence.

It's not that we didn't have men around. My dad, for example, was a very strong character. It's just that we didn't think they got to make all the rules.

That leads to, shall we say, a certain eccentricity of mind.

Being kind can open doors.

Being meek? Not so much.

If you have found meekness adaptive, I am willing to admit that docility may benefit you. In fact, I can see many situations where it may pay dividends. I just can't see it working as a ploy forever.

Maybe it's because I'm just so damned bad at it.

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