Competent Person’s Disease (Transcription)
Hi this is Dr. Ron Kaiser reading you with a new podcast. Today’s we’re going to be talking about competent person’s disease. This is a disease that you’re not likely to hear about in places unless you’ve been following my website or if you had a chance to look at my eBook, what can go right. But it’s a disease nonetheless and one that may surprise you a bit. First surprise is why we discuss competent person’s and disease in the same sentence. Well I do think that it’s important to recognize that a lot of people grow up with sense of competence.
They don’t see themselves as being losers in any way but rather they feel very capable of doing things. Perhaps in their home they were the child who took on all the responsibilities sometimes acting parent like. As they grew up, they found that, you know, doing things well was quite rewarding, but problem is that many of them never learn to quite differentiate between doing well and having to do well all the time.
That’s what I’m talking about. Competent person’s disease requires a mindset that says you must do well all the time and you must save others from testing things out because they can’t do quite as well as you can. So let’s talk a little bit about how we can avoid making your own competence into a disease. First of all it’s important to recognize that the process of growth and change and development involves lots of things including doing things well and having some fun, whether we do things well or not. And so we have to be able to differentiate to some extent between when the times call for us to do what we alone can do and the times when others can do things even though it may not be quite as good as we could do. For example, I’ve known people who take all their mail to the post office not trusting somebody else somebody else to do that.
Know people who can take over the loading of the dishwasher because they’re critical of the fact that other people may have the dishes aiming the wrong way so that they don’t get maximum exposure to the spray and thinks of this nature. The fact is a lot of the stuff doesn’t make that much difference. Most people will be able to get the mail to the post office whether they get there as quickly as you can or not.
Most people can load the dishwasher in a way that the dishes will get clean. So it becomes important to start now, what things we can allow other people to do even though they can’t do them as well as we can. Now part of that process is the recognition of the fact that not everything is equally important to us and that in the most situations we’ll be able to survive regardless of the fact that somebody may get to place a little later or do things a little more slowly, a little more grueling and even make some mistakes that we wouldn’t have made. So being able to sort out what’s really important from what’s kind of important.
One of the problems with having competent person’s disease is that it may cause the person to become addicted to second place. That means that very often you save other people and put their own need first while never really considering your own particular needs. People who have a second place addiction kind of seek out the opportunity to overload themselves to do menial tasks that can be done by others and to not let others grow, until they’ve grown past, so that while you’re loading dishwashers, putting stamps on envelopes and so on, your spouse or child may advance within their particular career, your coworker may jump over you because they’re doing projects that you don’t have time to do while you’re attending to the menial tasks.
An addiction to second place is essentially a bad habit and its very important to try to not get hung up on bad habits, because once you’re addicted to second place, it’s the same place as being addicted to drugs or alcohol or cigarettes or food in excess quantities. It become a habit, it becomes difficult to break. So if you experience competent person’s disease it’s important to recognize that there may be some discomfort about trusting others. discomfort is not a terrible emotion to feel and you may find that it’ll be quite rewarding when you see other people do things well and when you find that it’ s you’re enjoying life a little bit more. I’ve identified the five P’s of a healthy personality. Among them are being personally goal driven, being proactive, being positive, being persistent and also being playful. A person with competent person’s disease tends to not be very playful because they can’t relax and be able to enjoy situations and enable other people to share in the tasks of living.
So learn to be able to enjoy what other people are doing. Learn to be able to laugh at the fact that some mistakes are relatively innocuous even though you might have been able to do it better and learn to have fun. Its very difficult to have playfulness as one of your goals and to become addicted to second place because that requires a sense of feeling and control of the process that doesn’t really permit playfulness, so enjoying accomplishments of others, experiencing playfulness and becoming comfortable with the fact that other people can do things well even though it may not be quite as good as you can,can be very very enjoyable part of living.
That’s about it for now, be glad to hear from any of you with any comments that you have and I hope if you recognize the onset or the intensity of competent person’s disease in yourself, hopefully this podcast will give you some incentive to change. Thank you this is Dr. Ron Kaiser and we’ll be back with you in the future.