Have you ever had an argument between the child you and the adult you? If so, you’re pretty normal. The question is, who gets to win and how often? If I had my way the child would get to win more often than the adult. I would eat jelly beans for breakfast, I would purchase everything I want through Amazon Prime, I would stay up late and get up early, and I would travel where ever I want whenever I want to.
Recently, I was forced by circumstance to make a difficult decision. I had a conversation with myself, employing the logical process of decision-making and concluded, STOP! I don’t wanna! I want someone else to do this. I want to leave everything as it is, and shove anything uncomfortable under the rug. Stop badgering me, me!
I promise I’ll clean my room and do the dishes every night if someone else will just do this for me. What’s wrong with the whole world? Why can’t we switch back to childhood when we want? This whole adult thing is for the birds.
When a decision is going to bring other people and/or you discomfort, you don’t want to do it. That’s when you want your mom to do it, or the teacher to do it, or the coach to do it. Here’s the deal, my Mom isn’t on the earth anymore and if she were she’d tell me to grow up and do it myself; whatever!. A teacher would look for a teachable moment; yuck! And a coach would tell me to give him 5 laps; paleeeeeze! What this world needs are surrogate decision makers we can hire when we don’t wanna.
Who wins most of the timewhen we have these internal arguments, the child or the adult? Our research shows, in the most self-contained and confident adults, the child gets to win sometimes but mostly it’s the adult. If you never let your child win the argument she becomes very fussy and will throw a temper tantrum. You’ll know it because she’ll act out by purchasing A Chanel bag the adult cannot afford, or eating a box of malted milk balls the adult cannot afford. You won’t be able to stop her. And in either case, the adult is the one who has to clean up her mess. It is best to let the child win when the stakes are low, and let the adult win when the stakes are high. We have to love the child within us and sometimes that love looks like this. You take a mental health day from work, spend a few dollars on something frivolous, stay up extra late listening to music and writing in your journal.
For my part, I have to get back to that difficult decision in front of me. Are there any surrogates out there who’d like to take my place? I’ll share my box of malted milk balls with you.