Who’s the boss?

By Ian Sane (compfight.com)

Last weeks article was about the number of ways you can look at an issue simply by creating other perspectives.

The circumstances of living in Amsterdam will remain essentially the same no matter how you look at it. But your looking at the situation will have an enormous impact.

Click to Tweet: All too often we tend to blame our circumstances for how we react to them.

Yet we always have control over our own reactions. And so, freeing our imagination to step outside the box and to find other truths where only until recently seemed to be only one is a sure way to open our vision and have the power of choice.

To sum it up:

Tool #1 is about recognizing and changing the point of view (perspective) you are holding by creating a universe of possible ways to look at the same issue. You ask yourself these three questions:

  1. What state am I in? What is my perspective here?
  2. What other points of view are out there?
  3. Which one do I want to hold? Which one will be empowering to me now?

Tool #2 works really well if you’ve used the first one and changed the way you look at things. This tool was designed based on the research of John Gottman Phd, a well-known expert on relationships. In his book ‘The Seven Principles For Making Marriage Work” he comes up with a few tricks that can turn a struggling marriage into a happy one. The relationship with another culture can be compared to this when it comes it comes to mending it.

John Gottman suggests that couples that want to take their relationship to a happier place work on increasing positivity in that relationship. The same can apply to those of us who struggle in our relationship to a new place: increase positivity.

Because, just as with any relationship – be it with your partner, your child, your financial advisor – you’ll have good times and bad times. Trying your best to focus on the good times will automatically bring more positivity to your relationship.


How to do this? It seems too easy to be true.

You increase the overall positivity in how you relate to a new culture by increasing the number of positive interactions within that culture and decreasing the number of negative ones.

To start with, aim for a ratio of 3 x 1. That is, for any given period of time try to have at least 3 good experiences for every bad one. Then increase your ratio to 5 x 1. You’ll notice that with time this ratio will increase again as you learn to identify, experience, and enjoy the best things that the new place has to offer.

It might be difficult to initially think of a good experience, let alone 3 or five, but I bet that even if you feel particularly negative, you can come up with a few things you enjoy in your new place of residence. In the next article I will give you a list of questions that may help you remember.

Speak Your Mind


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