Thursday, August 20, 2015

Parenthood - S1 episode “Perchance to Dream” @39:14

House wife is telling her husband that she just got a job offer. She looks like she loves the idea.

Husband was supportive. The emotional vibrations initially. Then he said “we’ll figure it out” with a tone consistent with having a lot of confidence that they could do it successfully. Then he explained some details of what would have to happen to get it done. He named a lot of things including getting extra helpers to do the stuff the wife currently does for the kids, like driving them to their appointments.

She basically on a dime changed her mind to not wanting to take the job.

Then he asked “are you sure?”

She replied “… I’m sure ...” with a tone consistent with having a lot of confidence that she made the right choice.

I have some problems with this.

  • They both seem to be faking confidence. I think part of it is the idea that you should look the part of being confident because that somehow makes things more successful. It’s putting status in place of truth and thinking that the truth will follow status.
  • I wonder what they mean by “are you sure?”
  • They both seem to want a decision to be made on the spot. What’s the hurry? Why not wait 24 hours so you have some time to think? If there’s no deadline coming from your would be boss, what’s the point of putting a deadline on it yourself?
  • By hurrying yourself in this kind of decision, you’re putting a lot of unnecessary pressure on yourself. It’s interesting because these people actively pressure themselves and others to make big decisions quickly. 
  • I think the wife was suffering. During the “on a dime” mind-change, she looked sad. I don’t know what it was about exactly. Maybe sadness about the idea of leaving her children to be raised by other people besides her while she worked. Maybe also some sadness about the idea of not taking the job.

Disclaimer: this show talks about mental illness. I share Elliot Temple and Thomas Szasz's view on mental illness, which is that it's a myth, not science. See the book The Myth of Mental Illness by Thomas Szasz or the iOS app Psychiatry by Elliot Temple. 

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