This is not a completely serious post, yet it is a little serious 😉
I have recognised a new addiction within myself – the Trump addiction – and it appears that I am not alone. Donald Trump is not only the top news item in the world. It is also way ahead of any other news item that is read or searched for on Google. Each morning, I find myself almost hoping that there is a new Trump-ism for me to read. An outrageous tweet is best. It can provoke half the country (and delight Trump’s base) or strongly criticize a large section of society (e.g. the Media, the Judiciary).
I’m not particularly a fan of Trump, but that is beside the point. I have become addicted and keep an eye out for news about him every day. This is not a particularly healthy habit because invariably the best thing that it results in is a bit of a laugh, but more commonly, it generates a feeling that things in the world are getting much worse very quickly.
The trigger for my Trump addiction used to be external. I used to see news about him and this would cause me to read the story to find out what outrageous thing he had said. And of course, this would result in feeling bad. Now, the trigger has gone inwards. I used to be able to say that “the news was making me feel bad”. Of course, in NLP terms, that was always a nonsense statement since it is our own reaction to events that causes our feelings, not the events themselves. Now, however, I have made it worse by running the pattern myself every morning and successfully and consistently generating bad feelings. Not a very useful pattern or addiction to be running really 😉
Speaking only half in jest, I am beginning to unravel the addiction by at least recognising that the trigger is now myself and my own thinking and reading patterns. Following the TOTE model of NLP (Trigger/Operate/Test/Exit), I have several places that I can interrupt the pattern.
I could change my reading patterns and not read the news. Or skip or even block news about Trump. Without the external stimulus, I would find it much more difficult to consistently create bad feelings. Of course, from an ecology standpoint, that would have certain negative implications because I do enjoy reading the news and knowing what is going on in the world.
This is one useful point to interrupt the pattern. I could do something different when the trigger occurs. For example, I could skip the headline, or I could put myself into a calm COACH state before reading. Or I could decide to read it as a curious story from another planet. These are all useful changes in behaviour that would probably break the pattern.
In the current pattern, after reading, I test to see if I am feeling bad enough. If not, I will loop back to the trigger by searching for more Trump stories or finding someone to vent to about it. I could change the test, for example, by seeing if I was still in a COACH state, or by testing whether I had enjoyed the article. Again, this would probably break the pattern.
You may also be suffering from the Trump Addiction 😉 Hopefully, you are already aware of it if you are and maybe this little post will spark some ideas for you, or let me know how you have escaped the “Read Trump –> Feel Bad” pattern.