Jokes are made about so-called, New Year's Resolutions because they are always made with such sincere good intentions and are notorious for soon becoming broken promises to oneself. So, making a list of resolutions for yourself for 2011 is not a bad idea; it is an effective tool for self-review. But it may not be so effective for reform!
Self-correction is another matter. I think we all need to do self-correction. By that I mean correct our mistakes, especially, if they cause harm to others. How to do this:
2. Weigh the behavior that happened (or is about to happen) and make a judgment call of it
3. Perform the correction
Here I will use myself as the example. I am a fairly introverted person by nature (see post on introversion & extroversion titled, Shyly). If I didn't have a good dose of introversion in me I wouldn't be able to spend the time by myself, thinking, researching and writing this blog that is necessary. Maybe you already figured that out. Nonetheless, over the years, I have developed very good social skills. In fact, a friend recently described me as "outgoing". I had to laugh when I heard that.
Still, I will never have the easy, natural warmth of an extrovert---those people who just know automatically how to put others at ease, how to make a joke at the right time, how to draw people in, socially. (They are a real asset at a party...!)
So, last night, I got drawn in, at a family gathering, to an unfortunate conversation, one that made others unhappy. One person left the room. (I didn't take the hint). Until someone actually left to go home, I stayed embroiled in this conversation. It wasn't an argument or anything contentious. We were just talking about an enterprise she had launched that she didn't feel was going well. I was listening, reflecting, and trying to make suggestions. I felt very sympathetic. But, it wasn't a good process for her because as she went on, discharging about her disappointment, she became more and more despondent about it. The entire tone of the visit went spiraling down for everyone.
This morning I wrote a note to the one who left the room, apologizing and declaring that it would not happen again. I also told the one who had left to go home, that I had realized later how bad that was for everyone, that I shouldn't have done it, the reasons why, and how I wouldn't be doing that again.
I had good intentions but, in this case, that wasn't enough. I meant well, certainly not to cause a disturbance for anyone---these are all people I love. But, still, that is what happened.
How did I know? After I got home I did this:
Self-correction,------very important to be willing to do this. We all make mistakes. I have spent most of my adult life studying human intrapsychic conflict and interpersonal conflict/dynamics. And, yet, I got carried away, missed all the cues around me, didn't check in with my internal barometer, just stayed immersed until a visit became irretrievable. Anyone can make a mistake. Making a mistake is not a crime! But! You must self-correct.
If you begin to make this a habit, you won't need New Year's Resolutions.
What do you think of this idea? Please comment-