Role-play (as a coping mechanism)

* Not the sex game thing or the D&D type of role-playing. While these are both good and healthy I am talking about role-playing (acting) as a means of getting through the day.

My Reasoning

Most days you will be presented with situations that fill you with trepidation or uneasiness. Job interviews, chats with “unpleasant” work colleagues, getting pulled over by the cops, interactions with strangers on public transportation, dinner parties with the in-laws…

Instead of compromising who you are as a person to survive the unending demands of these social encounters, it is much easier to role-play.

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An Example

Client presentations are stressful for everyone. Be thankful if you have a job where you don’t need to “sell” something (including yourself).  Personally I hate presentations and the judgement of clueless clients. But as a Professional I have to do them. In the days leading up to them I suffer pre-game stress. I am on edge and I don’t sleep well. However, when the moment suprême arrives I usually “nail” the landing.

I accomplish this by not actually giving them as myself. Instead I role-play, or pretend to be, Robert Downey Jr. playing Iron Man’s secret identity Billionaire Playboy Tony Stark. Tony Stark is rich, smart, confident and brash. Tony Stark couldn’t give a rat’s ass about his audience judging or evaluating his ideas. Tony Stark is far superior to anyone else in the room.

I’m not saying that you have to pretend to be Tony Stark. The people I give presentations to are, by and large, assholes. So that character works quite well for me. But if you are , say, a Kindergarten Teacher dealing with complaining parents, then pretend to be a more fitting character… maybe Mr. Rogers?!

The Benefits

Tony Stark may have cost me a few contracts? But I can rest easy with the knowledge that was Tony Stark that they didn’t like, and not me. And let’s be honest. If people turned down a Tony Stark idea they were idiots. So screw them!

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