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October 1, 2009

The Chinese Finger Trap

Image: Flickr/Heather

Image: Flickr/Heather

Do you remember these little gems? They probably are called something more PC these days, but they function the same, nevertheless. Put your index fingers in the two holes and voila’, you are stuck. The most natural reaction is to pull your fingers apart from each other, but the harder you try to escape, the more restrictive the device becomes.

This happens in relationships too. Playing emotional tug of war with your friend, spouse, or even your child, is exhausting and unproductive. The best way out of those traps is the same way out of the old Chinese Finger Traps.

You do remember how to get out of these, don’t you? You do the most counter-intuitive thing possible. You push your fingers together. Instead of pulling apart, you move towards. When you are butting heads with someone (probably pointing a finger or two…), stop pulling away. Instead, make a move towards them – towards understanding their position so that you can have an intelligent conversation rather than a headstrong battle.

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