Defiance, a habitual reaction against perceived authority, comes in degrees. It often comes from a childhood pattern of seeking negative stimulation. It also has a productive side “You may not think I can do it, but I’ll show you.” An excess of defiance — too many “You can’t make,” or “I’ll do it may way,” feelings can be counterproductive.
- People who exhibit defiant behavior continually struggle against structure in their lives. They view lists, calendars, and deadlines as objects to defy. Grabbing for the challenge is what triggers their enthusiasm. This can be positive or negative, depending on the circumstances.
- “Just One More Thing” Syndrome – is a form of defiance which is common to procrastination. This person says, “I have to do just one more thing, and then I’ll be ready to leave.” And so he’s late. He is in control of others and gets negative stimulation from that last minute rush.
- The Double Bind, or “That sounds good, but….” – You may be in this position right now. Time management is something positive; you are motivated to learn, but ….If every concept presented makes you stop and think: “It’s not easy,” or “Are you trying to tell me this will work?” you may have conflicting motivations. Part of you may want to improve your time use and part of you–defiantly–may cause you to find reasons to resist all of it.
- Defiance, then, can be used positively to help you overcome obstacles with your “I’ll show them” attitude, or it can be used negatively in rigid behavior problems which make every aspect of life a personal contest, robbing you of quality time in important areas of your life.
If you have seen yourself in some of the areas listed, you might now understand why you seek negative stimulation and excitement. Your job is to find ways to fulfill your stimulation/excitement quota in a creative way. You can do this by scheduling exciting activities on your calendar. You may want to vary your life with new people or interests. Whatever you decide, you have a choice. It is a sign of maturity to recognize you need for stimulation and excitement in your life and to do something about it. If you have enough positive sources, you can eliminate the negative ones in your life.
Start a list of things you would like to do if you had the time. Here’s mine:
- Use my gym membership 🙂
- Take a dance class
- Spend more time with family and friends
- Take a computer class
- Go to a museum
- Learn to crochet
- Attend Heart Link Meetings