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Friday, August 5, 2011

Blundering Through Life

         Before beginning this blog entry I checked Wikipedia to be sure that I would not be making  “A serious or embarrassing mistake, usually the result of carelessness or ignorance.”
          Frequently when my wife talks to me from across the room I do not pay attention. I often fail to hear what she is saying but nod my head as if I do.  My habit of nodding my head is sometimes quite embarrassing; I have had a tendency to blame this problem on my decreased hearing capability; I have hearing aids for both ears but seldom wear them around the house.  In reality whether it’s at home or in the community, my blunders are mostly because I am not paying attention.
         It’s easy to get caught up in “self-talk” and simply nod your head as if you are listening to what the other person is saying. It is embarrassing when you have nodded your head and are then ask to explain your thoughts particularly when the proper response is to wag your heard from side to side.
         So what can I do about it?  I have gradually come to understand that slowing down in my responses allows me to re-examine habits that trigger the following negative responses.
It is interesting that the concept of wisdom includes the idea of slowing down.  It helps us to be less controlled by our habits.

Blunder Items:
1. You fail to hear people speaking to you when you are doing something else?   
2. You say something and realize afterwards that it might be taken as insulting?                                      
3. You lose your temper and regret it?                                       
4. You drop things?                           
5. You bump into people?                        
6. You find yourself suddenly wondering whether you've used a word correctly?

[1]   Wallace, J. Craig; Kass, Steven J.; Stanny, Claudia (2002). The cognitive failures questionnaire revisited: Dimensions and correlates, Journal of General Psychology,129(3), 238-256. 

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