Monday, March 7, 2011

Tread lightly with the dedicated self-teacher

When you got out to a lot of music performances, you learn that if a musician begins to take requests, it's usually not long before someone yells out "Free Bird." Most musicians ignore it, some giggle, but one I saw had a good response. He said, "Hey buddy, I don't come to where you work and order a whopper." So, essentially, he was calling the guy a McDonald's employee, right?

Well, giving instruction to your spouse is fairly similar thing, particularly when you are giving them instruction when they already know, or think they know, what they're doing. I learned this lesson a long time ago. The suffering that results from offering unwanted advice to my spouse was adequate negative reinforcement. So these days, I encourage, but only offer advice if it's asked for. That's sometimes difficult, but it's just better this way.

I'm a poor student as well, but I'd have to say my resistance to instruction from her seems only to make her a more determined instructor, as if to inspire learning by brute force.

We all have different styles, but one thing most of us have in common is that we really need to try things ourselves and identify our strengths and limitations through experience. We benefit from the trial-and-error self-teaching process.

If you don't believe me, try to help your spouse with their running form.

Just sayin'...

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