So.. tonight my Knight and I went out to dinner and then grabbed ice cream to eat beside the lake of our favorite park. It was obvious that something was bothering my Knight. He was quiet and withdrawn, irritable with traffic and just not himself. Finally after a bit of prodding he admitted to being more worried about a situation at work than he had been letting on. After I gave him a chance to talk it out I pointed out that when you get right down to things, the only opinion that matters is mine. He started to point out that if these execs didn't like how he had handled things they could fire him. My answer to that was, "yeah.. and if they do.. who do you have face at home? Are they going to be part of your life 10 years from now? When you get right down to it...... the only people you are responsible to are me and the kids, and the only one you have to answer to is ME. I expect you to do your best in everything you do, all the time. As long as you're doing *that* I'm happy, and when I don't think you are doing your best, I let you know."
This conversation turned into a long discussion about my expectations. I spelled it out for him.. the only opinion that should matter to him is mine. My opinion of his actions should even be more important than his own. There is a solid reason for this -- my Knight is a perfectionist, that in itself is not a bad thing, but he tends to be way .. WAY harder on himself than a called for by any given situation, and his criteria for judging success is sometimes unreasonable. So, as a balance, he's supposed to check in with me before judging success or failure on things.. especially things that bother him.
"You keep telling me that everything you do is for me, right?" I asked him.
"If that's true, then my opinion is the only one that matters. I tell you when I think you've done a good job, and I tell you when I think you screwed up, right?"
"Then....don't worry about what other people think. You answer to me, and me alone."
I reached over and rested my hand in his lap. He was hard as a rock.