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Why Don’t You, Yes, But…..

“Why don’t you; yes, but” is from The Games People Play by Eric Bern.  As a therapist, I have hit this road block many times in therapy.  No matter how obvious it is that a change needs to be made before a problem can be solved; the patient won’t make the change and/or even consider that a change should be made when things are not working out right.  For the counselor, it is like banging one’s head against a brick wall.

Many real estate brokers have this problem when they tell a client that they can’t meet all their demands and something’s got to give before they can find a property to buy.  I have a friend who needs to move closer to family and to find a house and possibly some yard that is easier to keep.  It is like an accident waiting to happen.   Due to their location and inability to care for their property, something really bad could happen like one of them could fall and the other one might not be able to help them and there might not be anybody to help them.  This could be a tragedy in the making.

Change is opportunity and it leaves room for something new and possibly better to take place.  Sometimes I have not made changes until I was forced into them against my will and then things were able to happen that changed my life in a way that I might have not expected.  Sometimes you need to share your gifts with new people in different places.  Or maybe you are too comfortable and don’t want to trade for something that might be worse than what you have become accustomed to.

Learning or opening up to something new might be slow and difficult at first.  Have you ever learned a new hobby like genealogy?   Could you take one of your “Why don’t you?  Yes buts,” and just do it  and see what happens?

People also have “I never’s,” that is something that they would rather die than do..  Often these start early in life as a defense mechanisms from some early trauma.  It worked then but does it still work now?  Maybe you have never had surgery and don’t want to and then your child needs an organ transplant and you are the only match.

Is it “Look before you leap,” or should it be “Leap before you look” and expect the best.  What you think you are going to get is only a hypothesis and it has to be tested before you know it is true.  It is also possible that you can’t make a change without making room for it and giving something up.  You might have a magnificent collection of something and don’t want to part with anything in it until you find a new treasure that you need to make room for.



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