Time to stop wallowing and move on, psychiatrist advises
Psychiatrist Dr. Michael Bennett and comedy writer Sarah Bennett are a father-daughter team who have written a New York Times bestselling cheeky manifesto against feelings.
They don't want you to get it all off your chest. In fact, they want you to take all the feelings - regret, anguish, recrimination - and drop kick them across the room.
"There are certain feelings, particularly negative although sometimes positive, that put a lot of of crazy ideas in your head. And then when you get preoccupied... you often go off the deep end. Negative feelings in particular make you feel you should have done things better, you could have done things better."
-Dr. Michael Bennett
Underlying those 'could' and 'should' thoughts is the idea that we have the power to change things. And sometimes, that's just not the case.
"I think what drives people is a desire to control something that probably they're not going to be able to, but boy they want to. There's a kind of pathological hopefulness that can drive us all unless we look really hard at what we've tried to do, and whether we've done our best, and it isn't going to take us any further, and it's time to look at Plan B." - Dr. Michael Bennett
The Bennetts' message: there comes a time when you need to stop wallowing and get on with your life. Ditch the feelings that lead you to have unrealistic expectations about what you can control and start to get creative about what IS possible.
"We're talking about nothing more than putting the Serenity Prayer into action: accepting what you can't change and doing your best with the rest. We add that when you do your best with the rest, you usually come up with some great ideas and also pride. So you walk out maybe hurting and bruised and feeling helpless, but you know that you did a good job." - Dr. Michael Bennett
Listen to Mary Hynes' conversation with Michael and Sarah Bennett for more details on their manifesto and some suggestions of how to handle a relationship with a loved one that just isn't working.
Win a copy of the Bennetts' book - CONTEST CLOSED
Congratulations to Angie Ayupova who won a copy of Dr. Michael Bennett and Sarah Bennett's manifesto F*ck Feelings: One Shrink's Practical Advice for Managing All Life's Impossible Problems.
Your book is in the mail.
Check out the CBC's contest rules here.