Wednesday, January 13, 2010
I call it the Blue Dress Theory. I think psychologists probably call it oblivious bullheadedness or something like that. Here’s the theory. If the first time I wore what I thought was a really great blue dress and someone said, “That’s an interesting dress, but I really don’t think it’s my favorite for you,” I would think that’s one person’s opinion. If the next time I wore the dress a different person made a similar comment, I would think two people have the same opinion and my goodness aren’t people rude. But, when person number three, four and five say the same thing, I should start to wonder. If I was smart and discerning I might consider the common denominator in everyone’s comments ... the blue dress. (Disclaimer: I never really owned the blue tie-dyed dress.)
How many times have you watched someone continue down a treacherous path regardless of numerous warnings? Nothing you or anyone else says or does seems to penetrate overconfidence headed in the wrong direction. It’s heartbreaking. Over several years I watched a couple defend every mistake their child made enabling him so much he could barely think for himself. Every disaster in his life was “someone else’s fault”. He was never allowed to suffer natural consequences therefore he had no sense of personal responsibility for his actions. Mom and Dad always had a bail out plan. Time after time friends and family tried to intervene and explain to the parents they were literally handicapping their child, but were waived off. The parents ignored the Blue Dress and his life unfolded like a tragic movie script.
Usually we don’t make major decisions on one person’s opinion. However, when the same comment is repeated over and over, even if it’s something we don’t want to hear, it’s going to be in our best interest to listen. Don’t be a Blue Dress victim.
“Fools think they need no advice, but the wise listen to others.”