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To be a law unto myself?

(34 Posts)
Pigletspal Wed 03-Jun-20 18:31:27

I’ve noticed my boss is often quite specific with me. We’ve got a friendly relationship and I’m good at my job, but she will say things like “wait for the go-ahead from me before xyz” quite often. I thought to myself today... “It’s like she thinks I am a law unto myself”
... and then it hit me that I absolutely 100% AM a law unto myself and always have been. If somebody explicitly tells me not to do something then I won’t do it. Otherwise I just go for it and will interpret the grey areas in my own favour every time. I would’t let a rule or opinion I don’t rate get in my way if I thought I could get round, I’d just try not to get caught. Sometimes, even getting caught is worth it!
I have a pretty strong moral compass by the way, I wouldn’t break the law, hurt anyone or intentionally put anyone at a disadvantage by my actions, I just tend to weigh up the pros and cons for myself and make my own choice which rules I will or won’t respect.

Is this a bad personality trait? I have always been proud of my independent and slightly wacky/maverick streak, but now I am wondering if I should be trying to reign myself in?

OP’s posts: |
DeborahAnnabelToo Wed 03-Jun-20 18:34:00

What an excellent stealth boast! I love it grin

Pigletspal Wed 03-Jun-20 18:41:49

@DeborahannabelToo Well ... thanks I guess! Not intended as a boast, but I’ll take it as a vote of confidence grin

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Lockeduporknockedup Wed 03-Jun-20 18:48:44

I'd be cautious of thinking you have a very strong moral compass. Everyone thinks that they have a very strong moral compass. People don't tend to do things that they genuinely think are wrong - they just think different things are wrong. Even serial murderers and paedophiles often believe they have strong morals but justify their actions (like, "I'm only killing stupid or promiscuous women so I'm making the world a better place" or "I'm showing children love") - obviously no one other than them would agree that they're behaving morally but they genuinely believe it. If you're looking to bend or break a rule then try to consider why that rule exists and genuinely understand it rather than just dismissing it.
Other than that one minor issue, this is a good personality trait. It shows that you have good confidence, good self esteem, you're proactive and you have independence. Go you! Equally, good on your boss for keeping you in check when needed - sounds like she manages you well too. You're both doing well here.

Pigletspal Wed 03-Jun-20 18:50:10

Just in case I come over as a bit too positive about myself, I would say this all has a sneaky / socially unacceptable side to it. I’ll take more biscuits than I should if I think nobody is watching. I’m super nosy and will snoop given half a chance. I’ll pick my nose if nobdy’s looking. I just don’t give a damn even though I know it’s gross.
Just to even out the boastiness!

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Pigletspal Wed 03-Jun-20 18:51:55

Thanks @Lockeduporknockedup, you seem very wise. I appreciate your reply.

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ShebaShimmyShake Wed 03-Jun-20 18:54:13

Depends on how you use it.

And yes to what Lockeduporknockedup said. I never met an awful person who didn't think they were the good guy. Did it myself as a youngster.

Trevsadick Wed 03-Jun-20 18:56:39

Otherwise I just go for it and will interpret the grey areas in my own favour every time.

This, does not fit with

I wouldn’t break the law, hurt anyone or intentionally put anyone at a disadvantage by my actions,

If you constantly bend rules in your own favour, invariably someone else somewhere loses out or is disadvantaged.

If you have only just realised this about yourself, how likely is it that you havent actually faced up to the fact that your actions do impact other people, but you just haven't thought about it.

Sounds like you are lucky that your boss knows how to manage you.

I dont think it is a good personality trait, not if its not balanced with the awareness that sometimes you need to just do as expected. You need to know when you can and should bend the spirit if the rules and when you shouldn't.

It cant be fun for your boss having to ensure she explains every detail and thinks a few steps ahead of you all the time.

RhodaDendron Wed 03-Jun-20 18:57:40

You sound like one of my oldest friends Pigletspal. She is great fun, very loyal and daft as a brush. Would this apply?
Either way the fact that you are thinking about it at all probably means you are doing ok!

Lockeduporknockedup Wed 03-Jun-20 19:04:39

For the record, picking your nose and eating it supposedly boosts your immune system...that's why we do it apparently.

Pigletspal Wed 03-Jun-20 19:15:06

@trevsadick, you make a good point.
By “in my own favour” I just mean in favour of the outcome I want. In my job, I am often advocating for others (a vulnerable group). So it’s not that I put myself first, it’s that I’ll maybe just choose to assume that something’s okay and get on with it rather than wait to be told no. Sometimes I DO see that I what I’d hoped for isn’t possble because somebody would lose out, so in that case I’d accept it. I just have very little tolerance for beaurocracy and irreverance to some authority figures and their decisions (not all, my boss is great).
The sort of rules I’d bend for my own sake are quite petty really. I would walk down a “closed” footpath, nip to the men’s toilet when it’s empty and there’s a queue at the ladies, keep a pet when the letting agency says no (it’s hamster, it doesn’t damage the peoperty honest), that sort of thing. ... Maybe I’m a CF? shock

OP’s posts: |
NoMoreReluctantCustodians Wed 03-Jun-20 19:20:42

You mean you dont have to live by the same rules other people are expected to?

Cant be arsed with people like you tbh

Trevsadick Wed 03-Jun-20 19:22:52

So it’s not that I put myself first, it’s that I’ll maybe just choose to assume that something’s okay and get on with it rather than wait to be told no.

But, if you sre advocating for vulnerable people, there could be a good reason that your way isn't right.

There could be consequences to you pushing ahead because its your preferred outcome.

I just have very little tolerance for beaurocracy and irreverance to some authority figures and their decisions (not all, my boss is great).

Me too. I do sympathise. But, sometimes the its needed. Potentially its only a matter of time before you trip yourself up.

Sometimes, you need to stick to it. As I said, it sounds like your manager is good for you. Which is great, because it means you can play to your strengths with her to reign you in.

However, she obviously does think that you are wrong or potentially going to step wrong. Thats why she is trying, to predict what you will do.

The problem is, what happens if she is no longer you manager.

I think its a good trait. But you should focus on balance. We all have traits that are good, but need worling on to be better

CoRhona Wed 03-Jun-20 19:30:35

I would do all those things too, I don't think they are that bad!

Maybe my moral compass is skewed confused

Lockeduporknockedup Wed 03-Jun-20 19:32:30

I think that you've demonstrated my point somewhat with your examples.
You'll use a men's bathroom. You do realise that men's bathrooms will have men in them, men exposing their penises to use urinals, men who may not be comfortable with you seeing them, that part of them or what they're doing. I assume you close the stall door when you pee so why do you not afford men the same courtesy or privacy? Many men would feel very uncomfortable by your actions here. It's not to say that you're immoral but you've dismissed something that someone would deem to be an important protection of their privacy and dignity as a trivial and unnecessary rule that doesn't apply to you.
Equally, with the hamster issue. If it's not going to cause damage or harm then why bother to lie. Legally, a landlord can't say no to you getting a pet without good reason. So, if there is no good reason why you can't have the hamster then there is no good reason for you to lie.

Pigletspal Wed 03-Jun-20 19:54:28

All very interesting insights. Thanks! I am reflecting, for sure.

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PhilCornwall1 Wed 03-Jun-20 19:58:53

We had someone at work like you, notice the word "had", they were got rid of.

They then tried to say goodbye to the rest of the team and nearly everyone told the person they were glad they got the push as nobody trusted them.

You may like to consider if people actually trust you.

GhostCurry Wed 03-Jun-20 20:03:28

Sigh lockedup

GhostCurry Wed 03-Jun-20 20:04:40

Phil it really sounds like you’re letting your own experience colour your view of what OP is saying.

Shoxfordian Wed 03-Jun-20 20:05:19

It's easier to get forgiveness than permission

I'm like you op grin

Trevsadick Wed 03-Jun-20 20:05:52

I think that fact that you came to this realisation, without someone to have to say it out right, is good.

In fact, thats what your manager may have been hoping for. To put you in a position, where you realised it on your own. She may have coached you into it.

Now you have realised, its what you do next. You shouldn't become 100% compliant. That wouldn't be great either.

But take sometime thinking about situations, where you have done what you want and the potential impact on others.

And try and think of this before you act in future.

I dont think its completely bad. But just requires balance.

RedRedWines Wed 03-Jun-20 20:07:14

Definitely with you! Far easier to ask for forgiveness than permission

byvirtue Wed 03-Jun-20 20:10:04

You sound great! Ignore the miserable posters, If you were a man you’d be patted on the back, as a women apparently you should do as you are told and follow the rules!

These are the kind of traits you see in entrepreneurial personalities, ever thought of starting your own business?

Ghostlyglow Wed 03-Jun-20 20:10:49

The sort of rules you say you'd bend are the sort of things I'd do and I don't really see myself as a maverick or particularly wacky. I expected more from you OP!! grin

Ghostlyglow Wed 03-Jun-20 20:14:09

You and me both @CoRhona smile

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