YOU CAN SET GOALS
When I was young I slipped down two wooden stairs while carrying a strawberry jam can (with a tartan on the label) that had been opened with an old lever-type ripping can opener. I sliced myself open, requiring many stitches, and still have a slight scar. I remember it. But do I? I was only 2 years old.
Many of you will know someone that loves to gossip, but their telling of an event will contradict the memories of others that were there at the time. And the story changes between tellings.
Autobiographical memories integrate memories of experiences into a story, a narrative. The accuracy can be affected by thinking about them (making decisions about the memory that changes it), other experiences, others’ recollections, and the motive at the time. And they become false memories…you can never be sure.
Contrary to popular belief, remembering is not like playing a video in your mind – it is a reconstructive process that depends on imagination, perception, knowledge, self-image, and goals.
We can use this to our advantage. We can reframe bad memories to remove some of the trauma. You can reframe an exchange that went poorly, to be more the way you would have wanted it, which provides an increased repertoire for the future.
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*Image by Efes Kitap on Pixabay
Copyright © Chris Christoff 2016. All rights reserved
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