Peter Pearson

Recently as I was reading a mostly dry academic journal, I came upon an interesting research article about the power of beliefs. It's a common notion that our beliefs profoundly affect our lives. And this article presented the kind of verification that psychologists seek when attempting to prove that notion. The evidence was detailed in the “Kyousha Journal of Medical Science.”

In Japan, thirteen volunteers who reported being hypersensitive to poison ivy were touched on one arm with leaves from a harmless tree. They were told the leaves were from a tree similar to poison ivy. On the other arm, they were touched with the poisonous leaves, which they were led to believe were the harmless ones.

The amazing result? All thirteen participants displayed a skin reaction to the harmless leaves, but only two reacted to the poisonous leaves. What surprised the researchers was that the harmless leaves produced a skin reaction greater than the effect of the poison leaves.

What a powerful bit of research to demonstrate the power of our beliefs. You may have heard the saying, “Where the attention goes, the energy flows.” We now have proof that there's some truth to it.

What beliefs, positive or negative, attract your attention and influence your relationship? Are you in a rut, expecting the worst from your partner? Do you anticipate poisonous reactions to familiar situations – and then experience them? Remember the volunteers whose skin reacted according to their expectations, instead of their reality. And see what you can do to change your expectation about some of the common, nagging discomforts in your relationship.

I am not suggesting that you look the other way when you're confronted with serious issues. But next time you feel irritated, ask yourself, “Is this really serious?” And if not, “How can I think differently about this?” How can I get out of this rut?

To stimulate your thinking, I have included a quiz. You will think it's gotta be the world's easiest quiz. But just in case you are having a bad day, I've included the answers below.

1.  How long did the Hundred Years War last?
2.  Which country makes Panama hats?
3.  Where do we get catgut?
4.  In which month do Russians celebrate October Revolution?
5.  What is a camel's hair brush made of?
6.  The Canary Island's in the Pacific are named after what animal?
7.  What was King George VI's first name?
8.  What color is the purple finch?
9.  What country do Chinese gooseberries come from?
10. How long did the Thirty Years War last?

Answers

1. How long did the Hundred Years War last? 116 years, from 1337 to 1453
2.  Which country makes Panama hats? Ecuador
3.  Where do we get catgut? From sheep and horses
4.  In which month do Russians celebrate October Revolution? November, the Russian calendar was 13 days behind ours.
5.  What is a camel's hair brush made of? Squirrel fur
6.  The Canary Island's in the Pacific are named after what animal? The Latin name was Insularia Canaria- Island of the Dogs
7.  What was King George VI's first name? Albert. When he came to the throne in 1936 he respected the wish of Queen Victoria that no future king should ever be called Albert
8.  What color is the purple finch? Distinctively crimson
9.  What country do Chinese gooseberries come from? New Zealand
10. How long did the Thirty Years War last? Thirty years, of course. From 1618 to 1648

Asking yourself how you can think differently about a problem is actually more effective than asking what to do about it. Our behaviors are a reflection of how we think about problems.

Thinking about a problem in a way that is more empowering, nurturing, assertive and creative will give you better ideas about what to do.

 

About 

Peter Pearson, Ph.D., Relationship & Teamwork Expert for Entrepreneur Couples

Pete has been training and coaching couples to become a strong team since 1984 when he co-founded The Couples Institute with his psychologist wife, Ellyn Bader.

Their popular book, “Tell Me No Lies,” is about being honest with compassion and growing stronger as a couple.

Pete has been featured on over 50 radio and television programs including “The Today Show,” "Good Morning America,” and "CBS Early Morning News,” and quoted in major publications including “The New York Times,” “Oprah Magazine,” “Redbook,” “Cosmopolitan,” and “Business Insider.”


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