I found myself on Wikipedia, researching the patterns for codependency, when I made a most interesting discovery. As an Alpha Male Life Coach, I basically teach the opposite of codependency. I teach inner-dependency (better known as independence). Here’s where I took an interesting leap in logic. If a codependent person meets everyone else’s needs at the exclusion of their own, wouldn’t the opposite of this be a person who meets their needs to the exclusion of everyone else’s? I had a huge problem with that conclusion because I don’t consider being independent to go hand in hand with being a narcissist, a sociopath, or simply just not caring about others.
So let’s start at the beginning. If I read the patterns for codependency, as listed in Wikipedia, and reverse them to reflect what I teach, I come up with the following list:
I easily identify how I am feeling and have no issue letting others know exactly how I feel.
I do not think it is selfish to take care of my needs. I know that my basic needs must be met before I will have the resources to help others.
I make quick decisions based on the best information I have available to me in that moment. I live without regret, because I know I made the best decision I could have at the time, even though new information after the fact may show my errors. I accept and value my failures as learning experiences.
I have no problem accepting praise for a job well done, but I don’t let my ego distract me from getting back to work and making future advances.
I have no problem asking others for help. Only an idiot would drown rather than admit he doesn’t know how to swim by asking for a life raft.
I have a list of people whose opinions I value based on past experience with them. I welcome their advice and criticism as a path to better my work and myself. The opinions of those whom I have not preselected are irrelevant and do not affect my mood or decisions. The things the average person will say about me reflect more on them than on me.
I am worthy of love, friendship, and enjoyable social interaction. My true value is in my ability to manage my emotional state and positively affect the emotional states of others.
I am open to explore the possibility that I may be wrong. I have no problem quickly letting go of incorrect concepts that I had previously been using to guide my actions. At the same time, I never compromise my integrity. I believe that those who don’t have the balls to be hated don’t deserve to be loved.
I place everything second to my life mission. A person aimlessly wandering around is not attractive to women or worthy of high-value male friends.
I know when to hold on to value that others don’t see and when to let go of something that isn’t enjoyable or moving me towards my goal. I am very loyal, but only to those who have shown themselves to deserve it.
I believe that no one cares about my goals as much as I do, nor should they, but I know when to call a specialist who will do a better job than I can.
It is easier to find people I resonate with rather than trying to convince others to see things my way. I understand the huge difference between letting go and giving up.
The best relationships are when neither person needs the other for anything. They are both completely independent. This leaves both people sure that the other person is with them just because they enjoy spending time together. The perfect romantic relationship is defined as two people accomplishing separate goals, together.
This list is interesting to me, because I have never categorized the results of what I teach in this way before. As I go though this little exercise, I am reminded what I think about the question if the human population is inherently good or inherently evil. I think that answer changes based on whether a person’s self-perceived needs are being met or not. This is the outdated “moral” question of, “Is it ok for a man to steal bread to feed his family?” I remember back in my psychology 101 class answering that question with another question, “Is his family fat?”
I think that in general the human population will help its fellow man in a time of need. I think in times of crisis, we see those with resources helping those who truly need it. Hearing these stories makes us feel good to be part of the human race. I also think that if a man has to choose between letting his family suffer or hurting someone else to alleviate the suffering of his family, you will be amazed at what he will do. Nietzsche once said that the character of a man is not built out of the experiences he has had, but rather because of the experiences he has not had. He may be completely correct.
I think what it comes down to is simply this. When I travel by airplane, they always tell me to “secure my oxygen mask before helping secure the oxygen masks of others.” I have never bothered to ask them why they say this. As an alpha male, I understand that if I pass out from lack of oxygen, I’m not going to be able to help very many people.
I’m honest with myself. I know that self preservation will always be top of the list. After that, though, life is a party, and a party without any guests is very boring. Treat your guests the same way you would want to be treated if you were at their party. True happiness is nothing more than your happiness reflected back to you through others.
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