stress. and a dog.

I spend a lot of time with a pretty neurotic dog.  I love him.  He’s wonderful.  He is sweet and always has to have something in his mouth and prefers it when everyone in the house is in the same room.

And he can’t go down hallways.  He stands at the end and whines and whimpers and shifts from one foot to another much like a small child who needs to pee but has been told not to move.  He seems miserable.  Truly, completely absorbed in being unhappy.

At first I didn’t know how to help him.

Then I discovered that all he needed was support and encouragement.  And not too much pressure.  If I shout or get annoyed, he gets stuck and can’t move.

If I talk to him in a calm and encouraging tone of voice, he gears up and then dashes down the hall to freedom.

He’s a lot like the inner little kid that lots of us carry around.  We’re scared.  We want something, but we can’t overcome the fear.  Shout at the inner kid, tell it that it shouldn’t be scared, get impatient, and the inner kid will Not Move An Inch.

But be almost nonchalant, tell the kid that it’s gonna be okay, tell the kid, “It’s okay, you can do it!” and then walk away with the expectation that the kid will move, and presto-changeo, the resistance vanishes faster than a popsicle in July.

Useful pattern to notice.