Tuesday, December 11, 2012

adjust your default

{a hypothetical bad habit: feeding your child a lunch of pure sodium (a rarity in my house I swear)}
Did you know that every hour of tv you watch takes 22 minutes off your life?

Some shows are so worth 22 minutes (Miranda, Homeland, Girls), but most are not (no offence TLC, but pretty much everything on TLC).

Anyway, I didn't come here to talk to you about TV (not tonight anyhow). I want to talk about bad habits, not that you have any of course. I read an article earlier this evening that talked about a strategy for breaking those pesky tendencies we have that are either bad for us, bad for those around us, or just downright bad (tv watching was just one example). The article also cites excessive time spent online as a no no. Research suggests that if you can reprogram yourself to think that time spent online is something you actively do, as opposed to your natural state, if you can "reset your default",  you can break your bad habit.

Clear as mud?

After I read the article I tried to think of my worst habit. I thought and thought and thought and thought and thought and thought -- it is so hard to come up with something when you are so perfect...and then it came to me, maybe I have one teeny-tiny bad habit.

When it comes to the man I love, my default is to assume that I am right every time we argue. (I should preface this confession by saying that 99% of the time I actually am right.) The problem with this default or bad habit is that when we disagree I have a tendency to try to persuade dear Jeffrey of my point of view (aka help him see the light) as opposed to actually listening to what he has to say. My raison d'etre during any dispute is to prove my point. Learning something or seeing something from another point of view seems like a total waste of time when you are so confident in your own position - holy limiting for me (and holy annoying for him I'm sure).

So how do I reset my default? The article doesn't suggest this will be easy, but framing seems important. Maybe if I tell myself that when Jeff and I disagree there isn't always a right and a wrong answer that may help. Easier said than done, I'm sure, especially for someone who is so often right.



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