The Costanza Method

A man she’d just met asked her out for coffee.  “I really wanted to say No,” she tells me.  “So I said Yes.”

“Things are going so badly for me lately that I’ve decided to do the opposite of what I normally do.”

“How’d the date go?” I ask.

She grins.  “Best date of my life.”

She’s stumbled onto the Costanza Method.

Seinfeld viewers know the episode where inveterate loser George Costanza dramatically improves his fortunes by doing the opposite of everything he would normally do.

Funny, and psychologically true.

I often encourage clients to do the same.

If you’d normally say No, try saying Yes.

If you’d normally say Yes, try saying No.

If you’d normally bite your tongue, this time say something. 

If you’d normally say something, this time shut up. 

If you’d normally avoid an experience, try jumping into it with both feet.

Like that.

We’re anxious creatures.  One way we try to control our anxiety is by limiting our experience to the known, the familiar.

So easy to fall into ruts.  So easy to stay there.

But if you want to practice surrendering control — or just to grow in flexibility, creativity and courage — there are worse ways than the Costanza Method.

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