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ChangingMinds Blog! > Blog Archive > 06-Nov-08

 


Thursday 06-November-08

Guilty secrets and confession

We've all got guilty secrets. One of mine is that I am a BMW walker. Now what does that mean? Well, BMW drivers seem to have a reputation for driving fast and cutting up other motorists. More than once I've had to take evasive action as a Beamer overtook (or undertook!) me in hazardous circumstances. Well, in walking about town I tend to walk much faster than most other pedestrians, swarming and zooming around them with little pause. I don't seem get many comments, maybe because I'm off like the wind and may well be wearing earphones.

Ok, so it's not such a terrible crime and I don't want to upset others. But I guess I want to get where I'm going more.

There. I've confessed, and to the world at large. Does that make things better? Does it make me feel better? Will it change my walking tactics? Maybe. They say confession is good for the soul, though perhaps without repentance it makes little difference. I've never hurt others with my walking and only inconvenience them for more than a moment, so I don't feel that bad about it. Yet, having made this confession, perhaps I will conform with my need for consistency and align my words and actions -- and there is the power of confession: that having said we've been bad, we then try to distance ourselves from such actions and towards being good.


Your comments


Of course writing this is stronger than confessing this to a (group of) person(s).

I've noticed myself that when I have failed to distance myself from bad behaviour, it seems like it becomes a personal trait more and more.

Then again, how about intentional behaviour planning. What works better? Saying to myself, "I shouldn't walk so fast" or, "The next time I notice I'm passing people to quick, relax and try to enjoy walking in a normal pace".

The big question is of course, have you distanced yourself of your bad habit? ;-)

-- Patrick vdH


Dave replies:
Good note, Patrick. When we do things that don't align with our 'core self' we will indeed tend to think 'that's not really me', though the notion of multiple selves as a normal state of being seems to gaining ground. Planning isn't doing of course, but in the brain it's almost as good. One of the symptoms of dementia is where the intent to do something makes you think later that you have already done it, creating a 'false memory'.


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