Pretense..what is the first word that comes to your mind when you hear this word? Acting? Play? Something else? (Do post a comment to share what came to your mind when you read this).
Being a single child, my daughter tends to try and make friends. Since she is just 4 and a bit shy, I noticed that she is not sure about how to approach people and initiate conversations. I decided to put my expertise of 14 years of learning and development to practice.
One of the most effective tools to teach anyone how to do something, esp. related to saying something and helping them practice a situation, is the use of role plays. I pretended to be her and she pretended to be her friend and we spoke about how we would initiate a conversation, what are some ways it could evolve etc. We did this a few times as she loved the concept of pretend play as do many children.
Later, as I was reflecting on how this was such an interesting way of teaching a child a different way to respond rather than using instructions, I figured it is, in fact, a very powerful way for adults to change their responses too.
I have tried it a few times myself. Sometimes, in the past, when I have found myself at a point when you just don’t know what to do, I have thought about someone I look up to and thought about what they might have done and attempted to do that. Eventually, I might have handled the situation differently than they might have but in that moment, I was able to get past my own block and move ahead with a response.
I think this might be an interesting way to try and address anger. If you are angry at someone for something (which you in all likelihood, know was not really done intentionally) and want to just lash out, think of yourself being in a role play. Imagine that you are lashing out at a funny bunny or that you are wearing an angel’s costume and are supposed to reprimand someone on stage. What would you say then? If you are able to control your laughter, you might end up smiling. That itself might change what follows. If you do this a few times and succeed in breaking your pattern of behavior, soon you would be able to develop your own unique way of dealing with the situation without having to resort to pretend play.
Choose to try new ways. Pretend. Let me know how that works for you.
If there is something you have been trying to resolve for a while and have not been able to get much headway, coaching can help you. To book a trial session with me, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Do visit my website for more details. Cheers to a life that is ours to choose 🙂