There was no yelling or shouting, only disbelief.
The first and only fight me and my OG best mate ever found ourselves in. Well, a fight by the loose definition of the word, we didn’t throw hands and the whole scenario involved little more than an exacerbated discussion.
Oh, and me spitting the dummy and refusing a lift home from the gym.
The situation blew up following a sweat inducing gym session where it was likely a tie between who looked at themselves in the mirror more. I turned to ask him for a lift to my car which I’d left 40 minutes away. I’d been a responsible drunk the night before ubering home, leaving my car at the party.
To my shock, he refused to give me a ride.
You may be thinking I’m a sensitive bastard if this is all it takes for me to go off my rocker. For a long time that’s how it likely appeared to him (sorry mate).
However, twelve months later the real reason was unearthed in a coaching session.
It wasn’t the fact that he refused to give me a lift. It was the reason (or the lack of). As the 20 year olds we were, we were
highly never busy. Our days revolved around partying, girls and recovering. If he said he was seeing a girl or partying, fair enough, duty calls. However, today was a recovery day and my mate was going home to watch TV.
I felt betrayed. I’m the type of person who would do anything for a friend if circumstances allowed it. I’d drive to the Blue Mountains if he told me he was too hungover but he needed to go because he’d heard the bacon and egg McMuffins from Maccas tasted better out there.
I learnt strong emotional responses of this nature became a flashlight for what my core drivers were. The needs that are interwoven into my being.
This experience taught me that (like most people) I have a core driver that craves love.
When my mate said no because “he didn’t feel like it”. What I really heard was “I don’t love you”.
With this perspective my emotional outburst changes from irrational to understandable.
Discovering this as a core driver blew my mind. I gained clarity on the ‘why’ that sat underneath all my behaviours.
I realised my reckless behaviour in my early 20s wasn’t only due to excessive alcohol consumption (even though it certainly played a factor). I found all the jumping off things and naked stunts led to laughter from friends which equated to greater acceptance in my mind.
It explained why, despite building an impressive portfolio of Jackass-like stunts, I tried to hide it away from my parents. It wasn’t that I didn’t want them involved in my life, I was secretly insecure that I wasn’t making them proud.
And why at work, despite my reputation as a larikin socially, I became a quiet, hard worker.
It’s so obvious now that this need for love tied a consistent thread under the range of my personas. However, in the moment I would have sworn I was just having fun with my friends, my parents were judgemental and I wanted a good career.
So what’s driving you?
Reflect on a time where you had a strong emotional reaction. Why did you feel this way?
The answer may provide you with greater self-understanding than any self-help book ever will.
It certainly did for me.
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