Write a letter to the personality trait you like least, convincing it to shape up or ship out. Be as threatening, theatrical, or thoroughly charming as is necessary to get the job done.
I had trouble thinking of a personality trait of mine that I don’t like, so I Googled the words “personality traits” and found a list of traits to choose from. The list I found went from adaptability to tolerance; I decided that defensiveness might me by thing. Instead of writing a letter, I decided to write a short play.
Me: Hey defensiveness.
Defensiveness: What do you want? What are you accusing me of this time?
Me: Nothing. I just wanted to have a little talk.
Defensiveness: Okay, but don’t blame me if you’re not satisfied with the conversation.
Me: (Sigh) No pressure. Let’s just talk.
Defensiveness: (shifting uncomfortably in his seat)
Me: Look, I know you’re there to try and protect me from harm and heartbreak, but sometimes you just make me look foolish.
Defensiveness: How am I supposed to know when you look foolish? I’m just a personality trait. I was abused as a child.
Me: You were not abused! I’m not sure you were ever a child. Anyway, I’m just asking you to tone it down a bit. Sometimes when I’m in the wrong, I need to own up to it. I need to be a big girl.
Defensiveness: But you’re never wrong. You’re you. You’re awesome!
Me: Thanks dude, that’s nice of you to say, but I’m human. Besides, learning from our failures makes us better people.
Defensiveness: Ugh, I hate when people say that. It makes my existence seem so meaningless.
Me: No, don’t say that. You are valuable. You are needed.
Defensiveness: (sarcastically) Sure I am.
Me: Seriously, you are! You’re the guy who defends me when I’m in the right. You come up with all the facts that prove my case. You’re like Perry Mason. When you’re arguing my case (and I’m right), someone in the courtroom jumps up and confesses.
Defensiveness: Really? That’s kind of you to say. Maybe I could try harder to not jump to your defense at inappropriate times.
Me: Thank you so much Defensiveness. I’ll be sure to call on you when I need you. Maybe you should take some time off, take a cruise or something.
Defensiveness: I don’t know about a cruise. You know, I always did want to take a trip around the country and visit unusual museums.
Me: Sounds good, bring me back a souvenir would ya?
Defensiveness: Will do boss. Later tater.