Monday, June 08, 2015

Interpreting Reactions

"As a psychotherapist, one of the themes I constantly talk about with my clients is that perception is critical. Some expats view any anxiety about their life abroad as a sign of how exciting their new life is, and thus thrive upon it. Others, however, feel their worry is a tell tale sign that they have made a mistake, and start to panic. How you interpret not only your new environment, but your reactions to it, is critical."  ~~ Joshua Wood

It strikes me that this applies well to me right now.

Good to remember.  How I interpret my own automatic or initial emotional or physical reactions to my situation is critical to my perception of my situation and therefore what I assume will follow.

And though one cannot usually choose one's own immediate physical or emotional reaction to a new geographic, cognizant or situational  reality, one can choose how one interprets that reaction.

L. tends to interpret the emotions brought about by new situations as manifestations of the arrival of new and exciting challenges and so he gets antsy to get going and doing.  I tend to interpret emotions experienced in new situations as a message that I should carefully, slowly and methodically explore and figure out stuff in order to avoid making really stupid decisions.  

I wonder how much of that difference between us is personality and how much of it is the fact that one of us is a foot taller, twice as strong and about 100 lbs heavier than the other.

Fortunately, we're used to each other's automatic initial reaction interpretations.


Margrethe said...

Thanks. I think that can apply to most new/unknown developments in life situation. Getting engaged, married, pregnant, starting college, a new job, moving somewhere new... I definitely feel it applies to some of the things I've been feeling lately. Good to think about. Now I just need to train myself to LIKE excitement :)

Susan said...

MB, I love your methodical ways! Opposites attract, I guess.