Framing and Reframing
What is reframing? First let’s define what a frame is. Basically it is the context that you use when you look at a situation. Another way of saying this is that you can’t always control what happens to you, but you can control how you choose to perceive it and respond to it. People are “meaning making machines” and the meaning that you choose to make from something that happens is at the root of how you respond to it. However if you were to change the perspective on how you perceive an occurrence then the impact of that event would be different.
For example when you look at a picture you could zoom in on it really close and see things one way or zoom out and see things in a different way. Perhaps you have seen those commercials for air filters that show you what a dust mite looks like when you zoom in 1000%. Pretty scary huh? Or you could zoom out and not even notice that it was there from your normal field of vision.
Reframing then means consciously choosing to change the frame that you view a situation from.
For example suppose you got laid off because of the economic situation, such as what happened to me. You could view it as a gloomy problem that needs to be fixed, worry about it, dwell upon it, but could take months to find another job of the same caliber.
Or you could view in as an opportunity to take a vacation around the world, start your own business or write a book. I read an article in the Wall Street Journal that spoke of several out of work employees from the financial sector that climbed mountains and did all kinds of interesting things with their time non that they had the time.
Perhaps someone broke up with you and “broke your heart.” You could say it just didn’t work out. Or maybe there were various reasons that the two of you weren’t compatible or maybe it was just the circumstances that were involved. If you felt really bad about the situation, perhaps the way your interpreted it was that somehow you weren’t good enough or something you did screwed it up.
However you could also choose to use a different frame of that is what happened and it just didn’t work out. Perhaps the circumstances really had nothing to do with you or what you did. And most importantly a breakup opens up a new space to meet someone wonderful for whatever it is that you are looking for from them.
When you first meet someone they might immediately test your frame, your reality to quickly find out who you really are. Your responses to someone’s behavior will tell them much about you and of course you can do the same to them. However good you are at faking emotions and behaviors at a certain point you may run into problems if your beliefs do not back up the behaviors that you are trying to convey.
For example if you are trying to act confident and self-assured but actually still feel insecure then something in your body language, movements, facial expressions or voice tonality are going to give you away.
The key is to create your confident frame so that your communication, behavior and responses to other people’s communication and behavior matches up. How do we do that? There are many different tools and ways to build it up. But it starts with identifying the beliefs about yourself and about women that are going to be helpful in getting you the kind of success you have always desired with women.
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