. . I think I can. Of course I can't. I think I can. Of course I can't . .

Everyone's got their bug-a-boos. Well, here's perhaps my biggest one when it comes to my "performance" on the stage of Life.

Best Supporting? Maybe Not.
By Shankar Vedantam


Paradoxically, people invariably felt they did better than they had when they had a supportive audience -- even though they did worse -- and felt they had done worse when the audience was hostile -- even though they had done better. The support of a friendly audience made people feel good about themselves, and that feeling tricked them into believing they had actually performed well.

[And the winner is . . . ]
Mine is a long boring story, and one which I've told in bits and pieces on these pages often enough.

Lemme just say that my goal is to be my own critical yet supportive judge.

I'll let ya know if that ever happens, eh. . .



  1. There's an old Jeeves and Wooster comedy series that uses this. One shy guy doesn't have the courage to ask his love to marry him until he performs so well on stage (paid cheering shills in the audience) that he is heady with acceptance.

  2. I'm reminded a little of that "performance anxiety" moment in the Brady Bunch episode in which Marcia is counseled to see the judges panel in their underwear. (Or is that a different one?!)

    This is an interesting article, though I'm not sure what it's saying. Seems that getting outside the comfort zone enhances competitive spirit? Sometimes I think I fail the people closest to me when it comes to being the best person I can be. I think we all do that.

  3. Adorable GirlfriendFebruary 26, 2007 10:05 AM

    I'm not sure I remember that Brady Bunch.

  4. What if you're uncomfortable all of the time, like me? Huh? Huh?

  5. We are all happy when we are in our comfort zone. Some days you may feel like stepping out of it just to see what happens, but it's nice to know it's there to go back to if things don't work out. :)

  6. That works, Mary. Dude prolly sucked but cuz he felt so good 'bout his performance, his next challenge was easier to face. Groovin, eh. {-;

    I know the feeling and it feels BAD, MM! D'oh! Is why my head-clearing "nothing" mantra seems so helpful in so many applications. It keeps me UnDistracted by anything but completing the task at hand; even if that's just falling asleep! :)

    AG! LOL! That's all I've got to say about that. ;-}

    Ain't it, Kevin! May I direct you back to that "nothing" mantra. It helps to dissipate EVERYTHING which has NOTHING to do with whatever is going on in the moment.

    Of course, having notes to remind you what's next seems to help prevent even more discomfort due to "forgetfulness" later on.


    Coffee Messiah just posted a Classic adjunct to that proposition, Pop.

    Very cool.

  7. So are you saying you want a hostile audience? Cuz we can turn on you anytime, buddy.

    On the other hand, if you're judging yourself not good enough until you're perfect, forget it. Nobody's perfect, screw-ups are the spice of life, mistakes must be made or the course cannot be corrected, and you know what the tough do when the going gets tough. Contact me privately for more encouraging platitudes.

  8. "...my goal is to be my own critical yet supportive judge" - Self-support is never easy to maintain.
    We usually are our worst judges and harshest critiques.
    Hey, platitudes are fun!! :-)

  9. Why do we say "what's good for the goose is good for the gander" when a goose elicits uncomfortable (indignant!) surprise and a gander just enjoys the proceedings?

    Or maybe I've missed somethin' there...



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