Have you ever been told to change your attitude about something? For example, whether it is about “stay at home moms”, “homeschooling” or any subject up for discussion?
Have you ever thought about it this way? Which comes first in this process, changing your attitude or changing your perspective? Have you ever changed your attitude after you have changed your perspective? or vice versa?
Debate teams prepare to be able to defend both sides of a disputed issue and this prepares them to see the points of view or perspectives of both sides. Lawyers often participate in debating in order to help them to be able to take both sides of a disputed issue such as “guilty” or “innocent” in court.
We often jump to conclusions and staunchly take one side in an upcoming vote in our government. Who do we prize? People who can change their minds when necessary and alter their perspective to do this or people who stick to “their guns” no matter what?
Gaining knowledge is a process of gathering information and evaluating the appropriateness of it as well as altering theories when necessary to fit new information.
Think of how science has changed when it comes to considering what matter and energy are made of. Initially, it was atoms, neutrons, and protons. Then it was found that matter and energy were interchangeable. Now we focus upon waves of energy as the foundation of matter.
Yes, being too flexible can be inappropriate at times. For example, you go to a car show where different car dealers are offering their latest models for sale and as you go from booth to booth or exhibit after exhibit, you find yourself constantly persuaded that the latest car offered is the best.
It may be that from one perspective, i.e. cost, one vehicle is the best; but from the perspective of safety, another car is the best. Or the vehicle that might attract the younger crowd appeals to the man or woman in a mid-life crisis.
Are you observant? sensitive? and/or vulnerable to other people’s problems? Do the people around you often wind up raining on your parade? Fear? frustration? anger? Almost all negative feelings can be catching. Should you stay in such a situation because you feel that you have obligated yourself to stay? That has often been my situation in the past….
I have walked out on one movie in my life. I usually feel that I have to stay because I paid for it or because somebody else told me it was good. I didn’t trust my own judgment! However, there was one movie that mesmerized me and it was three hours long. I didn’t move for three hours and suffered the consequences when I could hardly get up at the end!
I have learned to dodge people especially strangers when I see them coming towards me with a storm cloud surrounding them. I know that I am not a part of their problem and I don’t want to become a part of their problem. Sometimes I have seen people come for an evaluation and I just positively know that they want to and probably will make a complaint about me to the agency that referred them.
Sometimes it’s a parent or a relative of the person referred. To them, I am a “professional” target. They want to prove me wrong and possibly to get me in trouble. I have played “turtle” with these people and kept my head in my shell to avoid conflict and did not confront them about their attitudes because that is what they seemed to want.
There are also “poor me’s” who want to share and share their problems with you in order to ultimately prove they are unsolvable. As both of you become more and more depressed in the process, no progress is made and perhaps the process has gone backward.
Don’t be a mirror and reflect other peoples’ problems. Don’t soak up “bad” feelings and experience a downer.
On the other hand, be careful and don’t get sold on something another person is extremely positive about and make decisions you can’t back out of later. Say let me take a minute, let me think about that, I’ll get back to you. Even better say it is a decision you can’t make until you consult with another person you are involved with whether it is a financial planner, spouse, or boss.
Genuine feelings can be shared and it can be a great experience whether it is happiness or grief. I once cried with one of my daughters over a lost relationship. I never regretted that. Sharing feelings can be relationship building. You also don’t want to be a cold fish that never seems to care about anything. Sometimes food can’t be enjoyed because the person eating it can’t taste it.
Exhilaration can be catching. Have you ever laughed so hard that you couldn’t catch your breath? One of the most solemn persons I know grew up in an orphanage. He or she did not do without the necessities of life or responsible caregivers, but there was something lacking in his childhood and it was the mutual sharing of feelings.
This is what makes news so depressing! Also, when people focus on what is wrong with themselves or others instead of what is right. In school, I had to find out for myself if a teacher was good or not and not take other peoples’ experiences with the teacher as gospel truth. One person may consider a teacher as too strict while I might experience him or her as just and fair.
Recently on the news, I saw a presentation about a principal who had applied what he had learned about schooling children and helping them learn to his own independent middle school that was doing quite well. In fact, he used the money he earned from a publishing a book on this to fund the school.
Usually, independent schools like these which are successful are not used as models for other new schools. “Charter” schools also do not always continue to get the support they need because other schools doing more poorly than these suck the life out of them because the funds are needed for schools like these which don’t do well.
Maybe we should fund more “committees” to find solutions (things that are already working) than to find problems on which money is then wasted by usually applying previously tried and failed ideas to deal with once the existing problems which we usually find that we already know about. This is putting good money after bad.
Creativity is often discouraged because those who are invested in already existing solutions resist becoming outdated and the institutions invested in them feel threatened and want to maintain the status quo. Is this one of the reasons why “big government” is hard to prune once it is established?
Individuals also find it hard to shift gears when they have invested time and money into what seemed appropriate to them because their parents did it or they could possibly make a lot of money at it or it would provide them with security when actually their talents lay elsewhere and though they mastered the profession they never did as well as they would have like to especially when comparing themselves with others who might have had talents and interests better suited to that occupation.
For example, I have a daughter, maybe even both daughters, that like to work outdoors. With one daughter, she did not wind up finding a job where she could apply her major but became involved in another area where she could also work outdoors. In fact, she been working part time at this all through school. What she was motivated to learn on her own became a lot more satisfying to her even though she made good grades and successfully took a lot of science classes for her actual college major.
For me, this has been a long journey. I found things that I liked to do and was good at doing aimed less at the mentally ill population and more at the everyday population (like I am doing here on this website). Also, my expertise comes more from doing what feels right and involves more creativity on my part than faithfully following established routines. My lack of self-confidence kept me from focusing on these things and kept me focusing on what I thought the establishment wanted.
Some of these areas are and were the interpretation of drawings and the use of drawings in therapy, diagnostic interviewing where the person doing the information is led by what the interviewee says and does. Another area was doing hypnosis and relaxation therapy following a loose guideline of what needed to be done depending on the goal of the therapy or the diagnostic information needed or previously received. I also found that flexibility was important in determining on what the person or persons I was working with needed.