Tag Archives: Psychology

Spotting an illusion of choice

I like the philosophy of choice the school of our kids lives by. Kids are working around projects. From as early as 2,5-3 years they are encouraged to pick the theme which interests them and then explore it, learning a whole bunch of things along the way. That all sounds nice in theory, however then the reality strikes: I am hearing the same songs about exactly the same themes for the second round already. It is surely possible that the interests of the group where our daughter was perfectly coincide with those of our son’s group two years later, but let’s be realistic — what’s the chance of such a coincidence?

Continue reading Spotting an illusion of choice

Don’t “call me maybe”… or why I am not that fond of phone calls

I heard that this is one of the traits of my generation, but I will refrain from generalizing and speak about myself. I don’t like calls. I don’t like calling myself and I hate when people call me. For a long time I thought I am just scared of calling, in other words that I have some issues with my self-esteem or whatever. Yet that’s not true. Let me explain.

Imagine a setting: I have eventually after a struggle of more than half an hour got our baby to close her eyes and snooze. Precious time! Now I have a moment for myself, a moment to relax, or a moment to finally get down to writing an article or working on something else. My time! And then there is a call… A call that will wake up the baby and that will totally screw up my plans. A call that could have been a message, an email or better — not be there at all. 

I truly don’t get the point of all those cold calls from companies trying to push you their super-amazing offer. Look, if I need something, I will find the information and arrange it myself. You cannot sell it to me by a cold call. For the record, I really feel for people whose job involves cold calling, as I can imagine how many people just hang up on them or even say something rude. I also hang up, yet usually saying: “Thanks, not interested. Have a nice day! Bye!”. Ultimately that’s also hanging up, but at least not so rude. I hope.

When I think about calls in general I perceive them as an intrusion into my personal space. They cut through my silence, they arrogantly demand my attention and they by definition mess up with my plans.

Besides, a lot of calls require providing certain information, which through a call can easily be distorted. It is so easy to misspell the name, to mix up the address or whatever else, so why even bother? An email would cater to that much more efficiently. 

For the calls I need to make myself I apply the same sensitivity. Thus, I would always check if there is an option to contact a person through an email, or through some sort of a contact form on the website. To give them an option to reply to me at their convenience. Besides, most of the time it’s everyone’s convenience. Like, see an example which immediately comes to mind: doctor’s appointments! Why would you try to schedule an appointment through a phone call?! It is so much easier to have an immediate access to doctor’s agenda, where you see when are the open slots and you can just pick. As simple as that! Actually that holds for any scheduling. 

To cut the long story short, if you are not my close friend or if we haven’t agreed on the call in advance, just send me a message, ok? 🙂 

And by the way, what is your attitude to calling?

Pre-defined horizons

A couple of days ago I was using my husband’s iPad to show cartoons to our kids on YouTube. Now when he goes on YouTube he is bombarded with new episodes of “Fixies” and “Octonauts”. Yesterday I accidentally clicked on an ad for some sort of a desk decor and today this desk decor is “attacking” me from every ad space there is. Targeting in action. I got it. Seems to be based on my interests, right? But is it? Doesn’t it look like someone makes an assumption about my interests and defines a “frame” for me to fit in? Can I still choose “yellow”, if someone tries to direct (read: limit) my choice to “red or blue”?

Continue reading Pre-defined horizons

Why are we so afraid to try?

Making a change and trying something new is scary, but it can be scary for different reasons. 

Even when the status quo does not appeal to us anymore, even when we envision the change, we might hesitate right at the very start. Why so? Shouldn’t we be ready as soon as we create the mental picture? Not necessarily. Sometimes the trap is exactly in that mental picture. It seems so real, and we live it through in our head, so that it… becomes enough. 

Ironically, executing change might be stalled for two contrary reasons: Continue reading Why are we so afraid to try?

How to boil a frog?

I believe almost everyone knows that story that if you put a frog in hot water, it will jump out, but if you put it in cold water and start slowly boiling it, eventually you will boil a frog. Subtle changes slight inconvenience, acceptable discomfort… and a frog is boiled dead. But even without going into fatalistic mode, small soft steps are efficient if you need to deal with any opposition.

Long time ago I had the “conflict” with my mother over a car. Continue reading How to boil a frog?