Featured Post

Anxious gatekeeping

Analogous to nervous cluelessness is something we might call “anxious gatekeeping.”   This is desire to police the borders of poetry, or of...

Friday, January 13, 2017

Life Hack 11: The Opposite

George Costanza on the episode of Seinfeld titled "The Opposite" decides to do the exact opposite of what he would normally do, with great results. Since he is schmuck who lives with his parents, he doesn't have much to lose, and the insight here is that his decisions in the past have not gotten him any where.  I don't actually recommend you patterning your life on a character from a sit-com episode that aired 22 years ago, because your life might be fine as it is.

What you might want to do, though, is to just change one  or two of your habitual reactions to life events. Find some ways that you react to typical everyday things that are not helpful to you, that are unskilled, and just react in the opposite way.  Here are some examples:

*Thank someone openly for a compliment rather than find a way to deflect it.

*Instead of being defensive, thank someone for saying something that could be taken as an indirect criticism. Say, "Thanks for pointing that out to me. I do have a tendency to do these things in a rush and make too many typos."

*On a busy day when you are stressed, take a few minutes to ask someone in the office staff how their weekend as.  (If your normal reaction is just to walk in, keep your head low and say hi in a more hurried way.).

*Think of a few positive things about someone who is generally annoying to you.  I had a colleague point out to me that X, another former colleague here, was a fun person to talk with as long as the talk was unrelated to the department itself.  That threw X's annoyingness into a different perspective, and I've learned to do it with other people as well.

*If you normally rush a bit at the xerox machine, as I do, because you don't think it's a good use of your time, just devote time to that in a less unhurried way. That will make you feel more relaxed and you will accomplish your task better and in about the same amount of time, since you will eliminate mistakes.



1 comment:

clarissasblog.com said...

This is a really great one. Rushing through the office without looking up describes me very well. I will definitely try a different approach next week, just to see how it goes.