Wouldn’t it be interesting if, like on Facebook, we could just click ”hide” when something distresses us?
You see someone walking down the street you don’t like - Click!
Your boss is upset with you – Click!
Disturbing social issue – Click!
Fight with your partner – Click!
Those nagging bills – Click!
We actually do have a built in hide button. It is called “denial” and it is our brain’s way of saying “this is too hard or too painful”, click!
Mark Zuckerberg and our brain know we need the hide button. But why do we need the unhide button? Mr. Z will have to answer that for Facebook, but for us, just because the bills are hiding, doesn’t mean they are gone. Just because we only see the person on the street once a quarter, doesn’t mean they, or our feelings about them, are gone. Just hidden. We can’t “un-see” what we have seen. We can’t “un-experience” what we have experienced. We can only hide it or resolve it.
You may cross the street to avoid the person walking your direction, you may shove the bills back in the drawer for another day, but eventually, one way or the other, they will come out of hiding.
Three suggestions for when you are ready to click the unhide button:
- Write down (or in most cases these days, keyboard on some electronic device) the top three things you are avoiding. If you aren’t sure what you are avoiding (because the hide button is still clicked), go to where your stress is. What are the first three things you think of when you think stress? Write them down. Top three only. (if you have other hides that flood in when you start, capture them on a separate piece of paper or screen for another time.)
- For each of your top three come up with three “doable” strategies to resolve the issue. If “bills” are on your list, winning the lotto is not a “doable” strategy.
- Pick one of the three to work on for one week. (if you get done sooner, great, but give yourself at least a week to work through your strategy.) This is not to suggest all your bills will be paid in one week, but you can have a strategy in place in one week.