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Ben30 aged 32
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My fatal weakness


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I can be demanding. There, I said it, it’s out, out there for everyone to read and remember, in print and committed to history in the form of prose. Of course, I knew this. I would like to think that self-awareness is actually one of my more positive characteristics, and so I have always known that I can be pushy. The whys and the wherefores of this personality trait are probably a little too convoluted to discuss within a word limit – and I’d probably be doing a Psychologist out of a few sessions if I did – but I think I can manage a few paragraphs on living with my fatal weakness.

I don’t think that being in the military helped. I mean, wearing rank and being able to shout at people isn’t exactly a salve for that kind of thing. In some parts of my career it has been a help, in fact it has been positively encouraged, and so the flame was fanned. A few more insightful officers have recognised the signs, and commented on them, but mostly it has gone under the radar. An attribute, and not an Achilles Heel.

Now though, I live in the real world. People smile. I don’t go to work in my pyjamas. I don’t eat supper to the sound of Bag Pipes, dressed in a dinner jacket like some sort of gastronomic James Bond. I can wear jeans. And so, along with many other former Army Officers, I have attempted to adapt to my new environment. Unfortunately, I followed the Army with Amazon, Google’s ugly older brother, and here too my imperious tone resonated with my bosses. Once again I was rewarded. Surely my dirty little secret couldn’t be a good thing?

The answer is probably a yes, it can, but a yes with a small ‘y’. It turns out that my biggest driver isn’t ‘be strong’ – I am as surprised as you are – it’s actually ‘be nice’. Perhaps it’s this sensitivity that makes me so aware of my demon, and makes me wish so deeply It would go away. I would like to think that a touch of bossiness can go a long way, but just a touch. It is the rallying cry of the doer, the organiser and the go getter, and I like that. Right now my evil ‘be strong’ monkey is locked up, fat on a 10-year diet of Army and Amazon bananas. I plan to keep him that way.

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