We all have negative and positive personality traits, but some of our negative traits can directly, and seriously, impact our ability to be successful submissives.
It’s not so much having the traits that is the problem (any of us can work to lessen the ill affects of our personality flaws), rather it is the unwillingness to put forth the effort to change, or worse still, identify or admit them.
For me, my worst submissive-halting qualities are selfishness and a need to control things. I also have a tendency to hyper-focus…on things that don’t matter nearly as much as my relationships. You know…the things I can control. Like housework and work.
Selfishness/Self-centeredness: It’s not that I expect things. I’m not entitled. In fact, I often have a hard time answering questions like, “What do you need or want as a submissive?” But, to be painfully honest with myself (and you all), I tend to think more about what D/s can do for me that what I can do to please Him. Maybe that means I do answer the question I just posited above. What I need and want as a submissive is –
1. Freedom from decisions (that “not being in control” bit…since I’m in control of almost EVERYTHING when I go to work. I make a bazillion decisions a day, and I’m fried by the time I leave to go home)
2. Protection/caring (I have a thing for the Daddy Dom type…even though I don’t consider myself a “little”)
3. Guidance (I’ll be honest…I’m not always great at doing what I’m supposed to…the things I know are best for me, and it’s helpful to be held accountable by an outside force)
4. Sexual excitement (being used or controlled sexually is a big turn on)
5. I like the qualities it draws out in Him (I’m drawn to Dominant – not domineering – men)
6. What SHOULD be on this list and always gets left for last (because it is usually an afterthought) is: I like to please Him. And because it gets left for last, I have to really be honest and ask myself…But do I? It’s a complex question that makes me a little uncomfortable. One part of my brain says, yes…I do…Absolutely! And another, lazier, more selfish part says…I’ll do it if it gets me what I want. That is a destructive quality – not just in a submissive, but in any person who wants a healthy relationship. Honesty is a bitch, and I’ve got to be honest if I’m going to get at the core of my submission and actually improve. Admission is the first step to change and growth.
Controlling Behavior: I want to say that I don’t like making decisions…but to tell the truth, I’m a control freak and what it really comes down to is I get burnt out on making decisions all day at work and as a parent after school, and I just want someone else to do the work of decision-making when I’m tired of it. I like things a certain way at home, and I don’t like waiting. He isn’t hampered by a timeline and isn’t as motivated to get things done around the house as I am, so I tend to get antsy…and then I nag and get a bit resentful over time.
Focusing on the “Wrong” Things: I have a nasty habit of focusing too much energy (to the point of hyper-focus and mania) on things that don’t matter as much as my relationships with people. Those things are usually things I can control (see above), like housework, work, obligations…. I nee to figure out healthy ways to break free from those to make them work within the framework of my chosen priorities.
I do realize I get more when I give more. I can be independent, strong-willed, and opinionated and still be a submissive. In fact, He wouldn’t want it any other way. I’m sure some Doms like their subs to be blank slates who do whatever they are told and never have a though of their own accept “How can I please?” There is nothing wrong with that, but…it is not our jam. I don’t submit to just anyone. And I’m not naturally submissive in my daily interactions with others. And sometimes I do have to ask myself…am I really cut out to be a submissive?
I think anyone CAN be. Even with terrible habits and destructive characteristics. As long as we’re willing to work through our weaknesses, identify them honestly, reflect, and devote ourselves to overcoming our negative personality traits.
Besides…it won’t just make us better submissives…it will make us better people. And to me, that’s really one of the most important reasons to do this personal growth work. Working for a balanced and successful D/s relationship challenges us both to look deeply at ourselves and work toward positive change. It also pushes us to be more aware of each other and each other’s needs.
It’s a constant practice of awareness…an ever present journey toward MINDFULNESS.