by Aletha cross posted from her blog Yllom Mormon
We are getting near the end of the Mr. Steady chapter. Personally, I can’t wait to be done with the sections on types. Anyway, today Michael is summing up Mr. Steady’s character, and offering advice about how to be better (read: be more commanding).
Text is in purple
Five T’s of a Steady man
Tell her what is on your mind-every day, every night
Wow. While telling one’s spouse what’s on one’s mind is a good thing, Michael completely left out the other part. Listening to your spouse tell you what’s on theirs. But I guess that’s making the wife happy and doesn’t really count.
Take action even if you don’t really care which way things should go. Be aware of everything going on in the family and function as the manager.
As much as I like it when my husband relieves me of decision making (occasionally), I’ve noticed that when he doesn’t care, but chooses anyway, both of us are unhappy. I don’t think forcing or coercing people without a vested interest in an issue to make a decision is really the best way of doing things. Also note that nowhere did Michael suggest a family council, where everyone gets a voice. Nor did he specify asking one’s wife what her opinion is. Just “Man, make a decision!”. I wish he would include a section on what to do if the decision is the wrong one.
Teach your wife to be productive and useful as your help meet.
Ugh. This one makes me feel squicky. Because it sounds like directing a child. “Go over here, and do this, because it will keep you out of underfoot for awhile. There’s a good girl.”
Talk to her like you would if she were a very good friend and business partner. Explain your goals and how she is helping that dream come true. Talk to her about what you have already accomplished and what your goals are as a team.
I think it’s telling that Michael needs to implore men to talk to their wives AS IF she were a very good friend. I consider my husband one of my best friends, and he me. Why be together if you’re not good enough friends that you can’t talk to each other? Here again, there is no mention of the wife’s goals or dreams. Only telling her what she can do to further the man’s. Even when Michael talks about a team goal, it’s implied the man decides for the whole team.
Target key issues in your life. The dictionary meaning of the word “target” is “an object aimed at.” The second meaning is “goal or objective toward which effort is directed.” You need to incorporate both meanings in your life. Focus on a goal and go forward.
This is actually a decent one. Everyone needs some sort of goal or target to keep from stagnating. Though I think this would be better placed with Mr. Visionary than Mr. Steady.
Get out of your comfort zone and assume the headship of your family, for the lives of many people are affected by your actions or the lack thereof.
I think it would be better for all of the “many people” that the person leading the family is the one who is more competent at it. Just because someone is a man and a father doesn’t mean he is automatically suited for headship. He could have a shy personality. He could be completely awful at managing people. He could be too laid-back to discipline or enforce household rules.
Also, it is more important to have good communication, respect, and trust within the family than to have a dictator that steps on everyone’s feelings.
Proferred Points to Ponder
*Of the three types, you, the Steady Man, are most liked by everyone.
I would love to read the scientific study Michael did before making this pronouncement. I wonder how many thousands of people he polled, and his research parameters. What defines “most liked”? People willing to show up at a BBQ or funeral? People that listen and heed advice? People that know their name?
*As a Steady/Priestly type, bringing comfort to those in need is easy. You seem to know what a person needs in times of great sorrow. Your still, quiet presence brings peace. That is one area the Command Man will back away from and surrender to another. There is nothing that makes him more uncomfortable.
It’s curious that Michael assumes peaceful=empathetic. Just because somebody is quiet and stable doesn’t mean they are mind readers, as well. And from what I’ve understood about Michael’s Mr. Steady, he seems to be quite socially awkward. So I don’t really see him as being OK with giving comfort, because he wouldn’t know what to do with himself. Not everyone wants peace. Sometimes, what people want is conflict, or escalation, or a way to blow off steam, or advice. Zen has it’s place, but it isn’t the solution to everything.
*You are not a leader. You will not thrive if you are thrust into the position of a Command Man. So pursue those areas that are most consistent with your nature and give attention to commanding when it is called for. Outside the family, you were not meant to lead, but to support. Don’t let your wife push you into a commanding position. Know your strengths and strengthen your weaknesses, but don’t choose a path contrary to your nature.
Um…if you’re not comfortable leading, wouldn’t saying “LEAD YOUR FAMILY OR ELSE THEY WILL ALL BE SCREWED UP!” make things even more uncomfortable? I don’t get how Michael draws the line between leading the family and leading others, because it’s kind of the same thing. For example, I was an amazing manager at the pizza place where I used to work. I am good with people, and I’m a bit bossy. That translated really well into me “managing” foster kids. Unlike my husband, who is the classic “nice guy”, that people like, but don’t really listen to. So I would think that leadership ability is leadership ability, regardless of where you’re leading. I guess as long as the wife isn’t leading, that is…
*As a Steady/Priestly Man your strongest trait is that you do not focus on the eternal picture, nor do you look through a microscope at the details, but you do respect both perspectives. You are the glue that makes both Visionary and Command Men able to function as a team. Without your balance there would be stress between them.
The more I read, the more I think Michael just makes up stereotypes. Because with almost everything, I want to tell him that just because somebody is stable doesn’t make them right, nice, decent, or glue. It almost seems like Michael insists that Mr. Steady can’t be selfish, petty, judgmental, or a jerk. Which isn’t true, because everyone can (and is, depending on the circumstance).
*You bring balance. If you will lead and direct your wife, as a couple you will bring balance to many people. Together you will be key to any organisation, church, or community. When it is needed you must step out of your comfort zone and rule your wife to keep her from becoming a problem for everyone else. You, Good Brother, must get off your comfortable recliner and get your house in order.
Why is Michael saying, on one hand, Steadies aren’t leaders, and then on the other saying LEAD YOUR FAMILY OR ELSE? I’ve asked this several times, but still haven’t gotten a good answer. Except that if a man doesn’t lead his family, his wife will (oh, horrors!).
I think it’s really interesting how big of a deal Michael makes of the woman leading the family. I wish he could give detailed reasons why this is bad. The only one I remember is that women are emotional and don’t always make logical decisions. Isn’t that true of everyone, at some point? It’s odd that Michael’s idea of leadership is dictatorship. Tell your wife your goals, teach your wife to help you, explain to your wife your plans for the two of you. Nowhere does he talk about communication, common goals, or active listening.
Which makes me feel super sorry for Debi.
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