Reframing is a very popular idea that is used in everything from fairytales to commercials. Recall that the ugly duckling realized in the end that he was actually quite a beautiful swan.
I was asking my husband his definition of reframing during breakfast this morning and he said, in his typical logical manner “It’s removing the canvas and installing a new one.” So then I said “You better be careful or I will start mocking you for these pedantic responses in my blog. What shall I call you when I do? The professor?” And the silliness began…
He replied “Just call me the ole’ ball and chain.”
I said “But you are my anchor creating a sea of calm for me.”
He said “No, I’m just a dead weight that pulls you under.”
I replied “I think you are my more like my ballast and you keep me from going adrift.”
Then he said “You’re my better half.”
I said “You are not a half, and neither am I. We don’t complete each other – that is a big misconception in a healthy relationship (a story for another day). We complement each other.”
And so it goes–reframing. Looking at things, silly or not, from a different point of view. It is a very useful technique to employ when you have a negative thought or situation you perceive as being bad or having the potential to go wrong. An easy way to begin is to say to yourself “Well, at least X didn’t happen.”
You can flip the situation around and gain a positive from it. Here’s one I use for when there is a slowpoke in front of me driving, and I can’t get around them. I just tell myself, heck, they are probably going to keep me from speeding, and possibly getting a ticket! And I will still get where I’m going on time, because getting stopped if I am pulled over will make me late for sure.
And if a situation does not end up going as planned, then figure out what you can learn from it, so the opportunity does not go to waste. I have heard the rumor that the definition of insanity is continuing to do the same thing over and over and expecting a different outcome. So while 20-20 hindsight is maybe my least favorite “sense,” I don’t want to look back and see that I continue to make the same mistakes repeatedly—even if some days I feel like a rather slow learner!
Reframing – a terrific technique that can be useful to you every day. The professor agrees with me.