After our game the other day, where Noe already at the beginning got angry and which ended with me screaming at him, I sent him a text asking him if he knew what cognitive distortion means and how it is connected with tennis. He was playing the piano next to me, before that, doing something on his mobile phone, before that, drinking coffee, and before that, eating… Those are important activities, and I did not have the courage to ask for his attention.
He got the answer within a minute: googled the definition up and could make the connection immediately:
After a few bad shots I thought that I was playing very poorly and that it would stay like that for the rest of the game.
Did you think about the possibility of chasing that thought away?
I don’t know, I was angry.
(Does that mean that he got angry before he realized what was going on? That is something to talk more about.)
Would you have chosen to be angry if you had known where it was leading?
How strong was this no on a scale of 10? – Can he give me an honest answer, without thinking about my feelings? I hope that. That is where two circumstances get in the way: I’m his mother and I was also the one suffering from his tantrum.
8 – I think this is about an honest answer.
So, why would you choose anger as opposed to staying calm?
Because it takes less effort.
I get that, completely. I’ve been through this.
That is enough to digest for now, but I will certainly go on with this conversation later. I have a lot of questions, but I want to ask them the right way. And I want to open my mind for anything he says. I wonder if he would be more motivated to play if he could get rid of the cognitive distortion concerning his game. And if he will want to decide to learn to choose the right mindset.
What if he won’t???
I will just have to accept his decision. It would not be the end of the world, it would just mean that he would take longer to learn to deal with those negative ideas. Unless he stops playing completely because of all those frustrations. That would be tough for me to accept. The whole family plays: it is our favorite thing to do together.
Thank you Your Mindset Coach for the recent post, it was perfect timing for me!