I – Me – My – Mine


In the ministry, there are those persons who believe they have arrived at their summit in life; that being POWER. And they don’t intend to give it up. They cut off all developing leadership, build a coalition of supporters and control every decision.

They have confused their purpose with their power and they seek position over purpose, which means their status is more important than their results.

This grows from a major character flaw: the need to be SOMEBODY!

If you are driven by a need to be somebody, you may well fall prey to the temptation of POSITION OVER PURPOSE; hence, at that point, you should not be in the ministry, because you are no longer a servant and your language tells the truth.

Those who possess this character flaw are characterized by arrogance, feelings of superiority and grandiosity, a sense of entitlement and need for admiration, lack of empathy, and interpersonally exploitive behavior. In their constant hunger for authority, attention and admiration, these individuals often fantasize about wealth, power, or image in an attempt to maintain and affirm their fragile and unrealistic self-perceptions.

Language has long been understood to be a marker of individual differences and, more recently, has been used to understand personality. For instance, use of first-person singular pronouns (e.g., I, me, my, mine) is more frequent in individuals who have obtained a position of controlling, authoritarian leadership signifying that a single linguistic marker can provide insight into personality characteristics. Studies have shown that, in spoken language, controlling authoritarians use more first-person singular pronouns (e.g., I) and fewer first-person plural pronouns (e.g., we).

Personal pronouns are one of the most frequently used parts of their speech and function to distinguish between the speaker and others. Therefore, pronouns reflect a person’s self-awareness or degree of egocentricity (i.e., overuse of first person singular pronouns “I”) as well as their social orientation (i.e., underuse of first plural pronouns like “us”).


Shame is experienced when the individual focuses on and errantly evaluates self. The causative incident does not need to occur publically; nevertheless, the individual feels exposed and powerless as they observe or imagine how they appear to others. Additionally, the experience of shame influences specific behaviors, such as a need to escape or hide and avoid admitting the transgression. Consequently, the individual becomes more concerned with the self and personal distress and is less likely to empathize with others or make reprimands. Such antisocial behaviors have serious consequences. Specifically, shame-proneness is related to 12 manifestations of psychopathology, including somatization, obsessive-compulsiveness, hostility/anger, anxiety, and depression. It is not surprising that shame has been regarded as the “darker side of moral affect”. That is why controlling individuals resist any inquiries that would reveal their authority, subsequent decisions or statements as being questionable or incorrect.

The controlling authoritarian will employ self-esteem regulation (manifesting as self-aggrandizement and hostility-rage characteristics) as a defense against shame. Thus, shame is a result of their failures, where the individual is unable to distinguish the bad thing done from the bad self and pride is a key factor in blocking introspection that would help the individual to see the error in their ways.

Hubristic pride (overbearing, presumptive, arrogant pride) is a pride in the global self that is not dependent on accomplishments but is internal, unwavering, and based on uncontrollable causes. Example: (I won because I am perfect) (I am right because I am a Baptist, Methodist, etc.) It reflects a sense of self that is distorted or inflated, and has been linked with a range of maladaptive behaviors such as aggression. Hubristic pride is clearly correlated with antisocial behaviors and poor psychological and health outcomes.

Conversely, genuine self-image is composed of authentic pride and guilt. This self-regulatory process is related to socially desirable personality traits, such as agreeableness, consciousness, and extraversion. People who utilize this self-regulatory process attribute their successes and failures to their own efforts, and may experience guilt in response to failure. This feeling of guilt fosters positive social behaviors, and may result in apology, confession, and empathy. Individuals who use this approach have a self-image that is not contingent on the perceived appraisal of others, and are able to engage in positive self-evaluations and to maintain a positive self-view following failure.

The controlling authoritarian utilizes a self-regulatory process of self-aggrandizement, characterized by hubristic pride and shame. Individuals engaging in this self-regulatory process base their overall self-worth on external factors, such as compliments and inner-circle approval. Based on these contingencies, self-esteem fluctuates and either hubristic pride or shame is experienced, resulting in defensive behavior, self-enhancement, and hostile behaviors in the face of a threat that would expose their failures. Consequently, this process, particularly hubristic pride, is related to poor relationship functioning and negative health outcomes such as chronic anxiety.

Controlling authoritarians display an increased use of first-person singular pronouns, and most strongly to “I”. The use of “I” is the greatest in the hubristic pride condition, where such individuals emphasize the relation between a positive experience and themselves (e.g., I succeeded, I won, I am right).

Moreover, in spoken language, research has found that fillers (e.g., like, well, I mean, you know, as I have said) often represent informal, unprepared speech, but also denotes that the speaker is insecure or uncertain about their position on a particular topic or belief.


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About Brother Dave

Missionary - Teacher - Counselor - Apologist

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