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Weekly Doses of Pop-up Psych

We all make cringey mistakes and deserve to move on, rather than feel confused or regretful after an icky social situation. Each week, I will dissect a murky social, life cycle, or pop culture topic to help you understand, learn, and move on. As a former academic, I am a super-picky consumer of research (and you should be too) as well as the content I create and share, so those new solutions, data and/or additional resources have certainly met my approval.

Nuggets of Wisdom: Taking Lessons from Others' Mistakes for Personal Growth

This post by awake_spiritual on Instagram really hit home: "Two brothers were raised by an alcoholic father. One grew up to be an alcoholic and when asked what happened, he said, ‘I watched my father’. The other grew up and never drank once and when asked why he said ‘I watched my father’. Your perspective will determine your future”. One brother followed the pattern and the other broke it by learning from his father’s mistakes. 


We are raised, taught, mentored, and coached by people who attempt to teach us the right way to do things. We make speeches of gratitude and other forms of acknowledgement to thank them for teaching us the right way. However, what about people who teach us the wrong way? They also mentor us in a different way by teaching us what not to do.


Free Education


How many times have you cringed when scrolling through social media? People lacking device intelligence will post, comment, or share anything without thinking about the consequences. Although I feel strongly about why you should not overshare on social media, be grateful for those who put out their good, bad, and ugly so you can learn from their mistakes. 


Others’ mistakes can teach us “it” can happen to anyone.


People make mistakes. It’s a humbling reality that anything can happen to anyone.  Empathize and learn, since nobody is immune from certain situations. Lots of people sit in their personal bubble judging others’ lives, when they are really ignorant to the reality that they could land in the same situation.


Others’ mistakes can teach us what not to do.


Knowing what we don’t want without having to do the dirty work. Someone else’s mishap, as well as our own, is a blessing because we learn and be mindful about how to actually avoid it. For instance, if your neighbor leaves their garage door open while they are not home and their bikes get stolen, might heighten your awareness to be extra cautious about closing your own door, so you can prevent a theft.


Others’ mistakes can teach us to appreciate our own lives.


Mistakes can be mindless or the result of a bad decision. When people take risks that end up with harsh consequences, appreciate that you can evaluate the wisdom, blessings, and learnings from afar without it being your reality. If you are the one stopping a pattern, celebrate your courage and strength.


Dig Deep


  • What have you learned to avoid by watching other people?

  • How can you avoid making the same mistakes?

Hi, Beautiful Readers! Thank you for reading this! I'm Dr. Joanne Broder, Media Psychologist, Author, and Fellow of the American Psychological Association. Please consider me to help you write your memoir, blogs, speeches, e-books, as well as coach you on your dissertation or thesis.  Click here so we can connect!

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