Sometimes our approach to things is daft and unhelpful. For instance, for a bunch of years I tried staying awake super-late and then greeting the new day before the birds. I thought I’d get more done. But my only rewards were fatigue and melancholia.
A client of mine, similarly shortsighted, was convinced that an affair would add a dollop of steaminess to his sedate domestic life. But the charm and allure wore off and he was left with a sexual infection and a pricey divorce.
This week I worked with a lad who is adamant that it’s ok to call his school teacher the rude name for a vagina. He also says that methamphetamine is “practically a herb”.
From your position it might be tempting to sit back and mutter, “What were they thinking? Everyone knows that sleep is vital, that teachers should only be called rude names out of earshot, and affairs are for the brainless and dazed; hasn’t he seen Fatal Attraction?" But I’ll bet if you poke around a bit you’ll be able to hark back to a time when you made a dumb choice or two, too.
Dr Thomas Gordon, one of my therapeutic heroes, created 6 tips for avoiding disastrous decisions. He said:
- Reflect on your needs
- Brainstorm all of the possible ways you can meet your needs (be ridiculous, it helps with creativity)
- Weigh up potential payoffs against any drawbacks
- Choose an idea that meets your needs and is caring of others too
- Implement the plan
- Revisit the situation to see if you’re getting the results you hanker for.
With respect and love,