Have you ever tried to make a plan for doing something and realized afterward that things didn’t turn as expected? It happens all of the time because we don’t take into account enough of the context around the plan. For example, you planed to go for a romantic walk with the one you fancy, but on the D-Day, the weather is against you, and the walk is canceled. If you’re clever (or simply used to the fact it rains a lot in your country throughout the year like I am), you would have set a plan B, and bring the object of your affection to a cafe or to an indoor activity.
But sometimes, there’s no plan B possible. “I tried to get in touch with my ex, without harassing him. I sent him an email saying I wanted to talk to him, and did try to call him once three weeks after this email, but he simply wouldn’t return my call or my email” L., 34, said. Trying too hard in this case would make him run away even more. The only option left for L. is to try to move on with her life. It’s not easy.
You can never know all the parameters in these kinds of situations. L.’s ex can be simply away in another country, and not answering at all. Or he can be engaged to someone else, and doesn’t see the point of seeing L. anymore. He can also be still mad after L. and full of resentment toward her. L. doesn’t know at all.
Sheena Iyengar, in her book “the art of choosing“, says that we tend to overestimate our emotions over context. This is how we only focus on some elements rather than looking at the big picture.
Our emotions can lead us to have a very selective memory. For example, recently, I had a chat over Facebook with one of my friends, and now, Facebook put all the past conversations we had with our friends. I didn’t recall that in september 2010, I told my friend I had big suspicions about someone I know. Back then, I never tried to solve this problem, and I forgot about it. Until recently, I got mad after this person after what he did. I knew he was going to do so way before. But I chose to ignore this. Because I didn’t want to lose him.
An external view on our problem can help us to see what is really wrong. So, it’s worth asking for advices.