Thursday, January 19, 2012


I was with a group of friends and acquaintances recently and I have to say it was a pretty chic crowd. That is, they looked good: styled hair, expensive suits, trendy shoes. Listening to them? I could have been at home watching reruns. There was the story-telling couple; how they met, their favorite vacation, the barbeque gone wrong. Stories so often repeated they seemed scripted. There was the divorced woman damning her dreadful husband ten years after their split. There was the bickering couple. Also, there was some interesting conversation, some funny quips and the food was wondrous. Still, what I took away from that evening was the thought that ever so often one needs to do some emotional updating. Here are three that come to mind.

Break a mind set. You know you have a mind set when you hear yourself saying the same thing over and over again. When you frequently say, "I would never do that" or, "I can't stand ___." Or, as a couple, you have the same agreements you had years ago but now they've turned into rules that bind. What terrible thing would happen if you didn't go to bed at the same time, even though one of you wants to read and the other is nodding off?

Choose a fight not to repeat. I know a couple who fought over toast crumbs on the counter for years. I know a man who never had a boss with whom he didn't fight.

Practice liking people. Give people a chance even if they are difference from you ... especially if they are different from you and especially if you perceive them as better than you in some way.

These examples may not fit you at all. But even the most evolved, steady, and brilliant person can benefit from an emotional review. And even a five percent change in behavior or thinking will pack a punch. Desire and specificity are required. Yeah, yeah, change is difficult but that mantra doesn't have to stop you. Think of updating a wardrobe. You hold up a sweater. "Oh, that old thing," you say and toss it.


Aileen said...

Hmmmm, mind sets. Yes I hear myself repeating things -- mainly about future predictions. What to do? Deliberately say the opposite? Just shut up? (mind still says it quietly) Say "I really don't know how it will turn out?" Kick myself?

Bridget said...

Hi Aileen,
Maybe I should have made mind sets a bit clearer. A mind set is more than repetition of a thought or action... it is also a rule. I think you may be talking about obsessing about the future.

Anonymous said...

A mentor of mine once said the only difference between a rut and a grave was the depth of the depression. Changing mindsets keeps the grave at bay.
Keep up the great work pocket shrink.

Mary Lynn said...

Well said. I agreed that emotional reviews are important. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

Bridget said...

Thanks for this powerful picture.

Bridget said...

Mary Lynn,
Thanks for coming to the blog.