The art of forgetting is a seldom discussed and very under appreciated skill. I’m not talking about me forgetting to post this message yesterday or leaving my phone at home, I’m talking about intentionally forgetting things that bother us.
I can get stuck in a thought pattern that is not good for me. Someone pisses me off and I might not talk about it but it swirls around and around in my head festering and annoying me. I have yet to master this skill but with focus I have been getting better at it.
In my experience some things are easier to let go of than others and the art of letting go requires at least a little bit of working out. It’s a bit of a cognitive behavioural approach as in challenging the idea. If a thought or someone’s actions are really bugging you and you can’t let it go or forget it then challenge the way it makes you feel. Ask yourself and answer the questions:
- Does it really matter?
- Why is this bugging me so much?
- Did they hit a nerve and point out one of my weaknesses?
- Do I care enough about their opinion of me to let it bother me this much?
If you can ask yourself a bunch of challenging questions as to why this thought, opinion or behaviour is bugging you so much you may be able to on some level resolve your response to it. You can’t control other people’s behaviour but you can control how you choose to respond to it.
So long story short… the art of forgetting starts with challenging why something is bothering you and to shift your focus by distracting yourself with something else. The distraction will not work on it’s own if you haven’t done the work (challenging questions).
This won’t work for everyone and it might not work in every situation but realising that you have control over your response by actively challenging your subconscious reaction to other peoples behaviour can lead to improved forgetting skills.
Give it a go and if it doesn’t work for you then forget about it 😛