Beyond Blue

Beyond Blue


Therapy Thursday: Put On Some Training Wheels

posted by Beyond Blue

pocket therapist front cover small.jpgI have decided to dedicate a post on Thursday to therapy, and offer you the many tips I have learned on the couch. They will be a good reminder for me, as well, of something small I can concentrate on. Many of them are published in my book, “The Pocket Therapist: An Emotional Survival Kit.
I don’t know about you, but I could have never raced off on a two-wheeler without first mastering my four-wheeler. In fact, tragic was the day the training-wheel fairy landed at my home and took off with my two little wheels. I still mourn them. Which is why I use a similar system when the task before me becomes too big or too tall.
Take the system that Al Gore created … the Internet. When I receive an email in my in-box, I feel pressured to respond immediately because I am a stage-four people-pleaser. I used to stop what I was working on, read it, and respond. That was until responding to email began to consume my day. When I was unable to finish my projects during working hours, I stayed up late to work, which caused another set of problems soon to be discussed.
I decided to try on a handy, dandy set of training wheels, in the form of an automated response. It said this: “I will have limited access to my e-mail for awhile, so while appreciate your writing to me, I may not be able to respond. Thank you for your understanding.”
The result? I didn’t feel guilty for not responding, and I could better weed out the important emails from those that I could discard. I left the automated response on for two weeks … long enough for my people-pleasing brain to catch on that people don’t really care if they don’t hear back from me. Duh, they are too busy worrying about themselves.

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Deb (OLDFLYGIRL)

posted January 28, 2011 at 6:38 am


Hi Therese: Good post!
I sometimes wish I had never bought a computer. Yes, it’s used for many good things, but unfortunately it’s reared an ugly habit that taps into my hoarding tendancies! ARGH! I hoard e-mails now. Not from people… I did the same as you… tried to answer them right away, taking up time I did not have. But worse yet, I save all the different e-mails I get from news articles, health articles, diet articles, food articles, etc. etc., until I have 2,000 or so in my box. Then when I run out of inbox room, I put them into a ‘saved e-mails’ file! What makes me think I am going to read all these articles ‘someday’??! Does anyone else do this….and how do I break this awful habit??



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Wildstar

posted January 28, 2011 at 10:51 am


I often save emails in various folders because I think they are important. Some actually are when it has to do with log in information and passwords, etc. But then I have to clean house and be realistic. Are the email police going to come and arrest me if I don’t keep whatever piece of useless crap that I have totally forgotten about? Or worse..I think that if I don’t save the email from some friend that they might find out and get offended. OH DUH! I have to get rid of “attachments” like that. So the best way is to hit “delete”. Works every time.
So I think having that automatic response to your emails, Therese is a good thing. It removes the ball and chain of feeling you have to answer all those bjillion emails.



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CAROL

posted January 28, 2011 at 11:08 am


HI THERESE, I CAN NOT TELL YOU HOW MUCH I LOVE YOUR WORK. I AM A STROKE SURVIVOR AND GO INTO DEPRESSION ALOT. I JUST WANT TO BE NORMAL AGAIN. THERE ARE NOT TOO MANY MEN OUT THERE THAT WANT TO DATE A LADY IN A WHEEL CHAIR. BESIDE BEING DEPRESSED I AM LONELY. EVEN THOUGH I LIVE WITH A SELF CENTERED ROOM MATE, I DO NOT GO ANYWHERE. SHE CANT OR DOESNT WANT TO PUT THE RAMP DOWN. DIFFERENT STORY. I WANT TO THANK YOU FOR UPLIFTING ARTICLES. I LOOK FORWARD TO THEM. THANK YOU, CAROL.



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Sandy

posted January 28, 2011 at 11:37 am


I agree-a very good post! This is “me” to a tee. I guess because of my age(63)I think of an e-mail as an actual letter and deleting is like throwing a letter away without even opening it up. I too,have over 2000 e-mails in my inbox and various folders thinking “someday” I will have time to read them. I tend to forget my time IS valuable as I am trying to run a dairy farm with my 2 sons(my husband passed away last July)and need to concentrate on that aspect first. I made a New Year’s resolution to clean up my e-mail agenda and although I’m making some progress I need to get stricter with myself. Reading this post has helped.



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Haitch-ster

posted January 28, 2011 at 5:13 pm


Deb (OldFlyGirl) I am just like this but with paper ! I keep newspaper/magazine clippings which I mentally think will be useful to me or worth sending to someone…and there’s quite a large box full now. I found some good advice though – start organising from this time forth and attend to the older stuff when you can get to it. So you start implementing good practices now. Now I read with post-it flags and a pen. I put a post-it flag on interesting articles, write the person’s name against it, and attempt by the end of the week to shuffle it into a prepaid envelope and get it out of the house!
Electronically – I have three email addresses. One is a ‘generic’ type one I give out when registering for something etc. I think of it as my ‘spam’ email account. All newsletters and other corporate junk/promo stuff gets sent here. I very rarely check this email account. When I do I also rarely open emails, I just do a quick scan of what has come into the inbox. It has large data allowance and I never delete emails, this is done automatically when the inbox gets too full (after about eighteen months maybe?) You never grieve losing it or miss anything in this inbox ! And for the off-chance you do think of an article or piece of information you want later on – get on the web and dig it out again!
I have another email address with my name as the email address – I use this for formal/official type communications eg job hunting, bank statements. Same again – I don’t delete emails, I let them get deleted automatically when the inbox gets too full (I’ve already kept my resume on a memory stick and any other job applications I wish to keep).
Then I have a third email address which I give out to my friends. I tell them at the time I do not wish to be copied into jokes or to receive any forwarded information. The web is full of recycled jokes and articles. I don’t want to see them anymore ! I only use this to write. I also say to friends that I irregularly check my email account, so please don’t expect an email reply straight away. This seems to work okay, as my preferred communication with friends around the country is by writing occasionally(buying nice cards is a luxury I like to indulge) and talking on the phone when time permits. I don’t text friends if I am not in frequent communication with them or if they live outside my city.
Last thoughts – you could purchase a memory stick (or a few) with a large data allowance or a portable hard drive, and save any information you want stored on here. They are pretty cheap to purchase now. Keep good file naming practices at the time. Then you can forget about it, safe in the knowledge you have stored the information. Though you will probably never refer to these articles again ! You could trial this: from now, start saving any attachments you need, and review in a few months, or six months or a year, as to whether you wish to continue with the time and effort.
Sharing a few thoughts as I’ve been working on my organisational habits of late. Sorry about the length of this post…



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Myfanwy

posted January 29, 2011 at 6:12 am


Know your limits.
I keep my Facebook friends list low as I can’t be a close talking friend to more than about 30. I just need to limit. It is also honest.



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Riekstkodis

posted February 9, 2011 at 4:34 pm

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