March 15, 2006
Integrity requires emotional security
These are stressful times. Even when I strive to live
by your Eight Attributes of integrity - including exhibiting
character, honesty, etc. - there are still incredible
pressures. How can I make life more manageable?
Within individual limits, stress can be motivating and
healthy. But there are seven questions you should answer
about yourself regarding how you rate your own emotional
security. Without a strong base of emotional security
linked to your own emotional integrity, you might simply
run in circles and spiral downward. Adding pressures
of almost any kind, when one is already stretched to
the limits, can be risky.
Dr. William Menninger, co-founder
of the Menninger Clinic in 1920, offered this wisdom: "Mental
health problems do not affect three or four out of every
five persons, but one out of one."
He designed a personal inventory called the "Seven Signs of Emotional Security," which
provide a sound definition for self-assessment of one's ability to understand
and cope with pressures related to living a full life. How would you rate yourself
in these seven areas?
- Ability to deal constructively with reality.
- Capacity to adapt to change.
- Few symptoms of tension and anxiety.
- Ability to find more satisfaction in giving than
- Capacity to consistently relate to others with mutual
satisfaction and helpfulness.
- Ability to direct hostile energy into constructive
- Capacity to love.
Should you be uncomfortable with your answers, then
you might consider speaking with a qualified professional
who can provide assistance.
Emotionally secure individuals exhibit integrity (consistency
and congruence) between and among how they feel, think
Healthy individuals bring their values from family and
home to workplace and social activities.
Seamless integration of their private and public lives
causes others to be magnetically attracted to them, trust
them and want to be associated with them.
Conversely, a disconnect with reality combined with an
unhealthy resistance to natural change can compound tension
When self-centeredness pushes generosity and relationships
into little more than operational transactions, then
practically any conflict can catapult into destructive
confrontation. Genuine loving relationships wither.
The stressed individual can experience isolation, bitterness
or illness - and maybe all three.
Integrity demands congruence between values and actions,
providing individuals with strength, stability and confidence.