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Make Mountains Out of Molehills August 30, 2009

Posted by downton in Make Mountains Out of Molehills.
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Make Mountains Out of Molehills

     Exaggeration is a quality that human beings have in abundance.  When we want someone to feel sorry for us, we’ll exaggerate how miserable we are. When we want to get our way, we’ll exaggerate how badly we’ll feel if we don’t get it.  This is making mountains out of molehills—exaggerate, exaggerate, exaggerate!  Now, if you’ve been around someone who does this, you’ll know one thing for certain—it’s no fun! If fact, people who exaggerate the size of their problems make us miserable and, most importantly, they make themselves miserable..  If we happen to be in a romantic relationship with such a person, we’ll have a suitcase packed because one part of us is ready to leave. If we’re married to that person, the suitcase will still be packed, but leaving will be more difficult, especially if children are involved.


     Do you make your problems far bigger than they actually are? Why do you do that? Well, let me give you a couple of possible reasons. When you make a problem bigger you get to be a martyr.  That means you get to feel like life is picking on you, or your mate is doing the picking. There are many ways for us to feel special.  We can feel special based on our accomplishments, the fact that we have personalities that shine, or even that we love our dog.  But, feeling special because we’re a martyr?  What kind of victory is that? Not much, I’d say.


     Now, there’s another reason why we make our problems bigger than they are. Are you wondering what it is? Some people want drama in their lives—they’re drama queens and kings. It’s a little like living a melodrama, where everything is exaggerated; you how, how the world is going to ruin, how you can’t trust anyone, how politicians have become vampires sucking the life blood from everyone.


   Now, let’s be clear. There are real problems in life, having to do with health, paying off a mortgage, helping aging parents, and raising children so they end up well rather than in jail. These problems make life a challenge, so why exaggerate the size of other problems and make matters worse? Yet, some people do this, especially the drama queens and kings who are looking for more excitement and those who want others to feel sorry for them as martyrs.


     When we put together martyrdom and high drama, we’ll get misery, I can assure you.  Do you relish being a martyr? Does high drama suit you to a tee? If you’re living the high drama of martyrdom, ask what you’re trying to get from it and what messes in your relationship you make as a consequence. If you’re sure that you don’t make mountains out of molehills and the problem belongs to your mate, have your mate read this chapter and then have a quiet, meaningful discussion about making a change.

Coaching Tips

■ When you catch yourself making a mountain out of a molehill, stop, close your eyes, and think about how much you’re exaggerating the size of the problem. As soon as you see that, shrink the problem down so it’s small enough to solve.

■ When you catch yourself being a martyr, stop, close your eyes, and think about what you’re trying to get from feeling picked on.  When you see what you’re getting, ask yourself whether it’s worth it.



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