Wildflower Garden Jigsaw Puzzles for family.Truth is, anger is counterproductive to puzzle solving. And to problem solving in general. This is not just me talking. This is the current wisdom in psychology. Several studies indicate we are better able to solve problems when we are in a good mood. Positive emotions enhance our creativity. Anger, on the other hand, dampens our ability to make mental leaps. Plus, getting angry makes me feel like hell and ruins my day. Recently, I was watching a webinar from a child psychologist. The topic was something like a parents guide to surviving quarantine and I figured I could use all the help I could get.
Wildflower Garden, Gibsons
Get curious as to why it makes her so upset. Get curious as to whether there's a deeper underlying issue. Get curious about what concrete steps we can take to solve this problem and prevent it in the future.
It's a hard mantra to employ. Kids often act like little psychopaths whose only job is to infuriate us. But I think it's a deep insight. And not just in parenting. Why not try to approach almost all life problems and societal problems with the same idea, from politics to health to romance to friendship?
This is the puzzle mindset. We should look at a problem and figure out potential solutions instead of just wallowing in rage and doubling down on our biases. I didn't come up with this idea, of course. It's a theme that has popped up over and over in my reading and conversations this year. The idea is expressed using different metaphors.
Stephen Warnes, Crossing The Ribble, Gibsons
Meanwhile, the popular website LessWrong published a viral post a few years ago about mistake theory and conflict theory. These are two ways of seeing the world. Conflict theorists see society through the lens of a zero-sum struggle between classes or ethnicities or political parties. Mistake theorists see society through a non-zero-sum lens. They argue many of society's problems are the result of mistaken practices and beliefs, and we can fix them with the proper tools and approach. While both are valuable lenses, I think placing more emphasis on mistake theory would do us good.
Steve Crisp, Work of Art, Gibsons
All these metaphors have in common the idea of trying to turn down the volume on motivated reasoning and anger, while turning up the volume on curiosity and the search for solutions.
Snoozing on the Ted, Gibsons
It's a powerful way to frame problems. Even just inserting the word puzzle can make a difference. If I hear about the climate crisis, I want to curl up in a fetal position in the corner. But if I'm asked about the climate puzzle, I want to try to solve it. That, to me, is the only way out of our current mess.
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