Frames and reframes on Pinterest

MonGrumpHeadDon’t dictate Friendship Formats –
then make people wrong
when they need to do things another way!

© Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC

Black and White assumptions that need reframing

I have recently dedicated quite a bit of time to exploring Pinterest – and no, this is not a Pinterest Grump.

Not exactly, anyway.

For those of you who are unaware, Pinterest is a collection of virtual bulletin boards for images “pinned” by topic and shared freely within other community boards through “repinning.”

Focus and Hyperfocus

Besides being set up to be a petrie dish for hyperfocus, even for those with “vanilla” brains, it’s not the best format for a word person in many ways.  And I don’t have to tell anyone who reads anything on ADDandSoMuchMORE that I am definitely a WORD person.

Pinterest is HIGHLY useful, however, for capturing images that objectify my obsession with Christmas decorating, for example — or books and libraries.  Or organization images that really DO replace a thousand words.

The problem seems to come with the overlap –
those boards that post “soundbites” as graphics.

It’s far too easy for those thoughts to become memes —
as they are repinned throughout the community — to be accepted as absolutes.

One can reframe through a comment below a single pin, but there is a 5oo character limit, and fewer people read the comments underneath pins than read the comments that follow articles on blogs.  Plus, the comments don’t tag along with a repin.

That format can encourage black and white thinking — which makes me CRAZY!

I recently came across a pin I can’t let go of. I need more than 500 characters to discuss my problem with it – because it really needs reframing.

Don’t forget that you can always check out the sidebar for a reminder
of how links work on this site, they’re subtle ==>

ActingThinkingBlack and White in black and white

It is oddly fitting that the pin that unleashed today’s Grump announced itself on a black background with bold white text.

It looked a lot like the black and white image to the left of these words.

But, unlike the words in this pin I chose to feature instead, the words of the pin that got my grump on were not inspiring.

They didn’t open my mind, they shut it down.

DON’T Pass it On

I didn’t reproduce the graphic version on this page because I don’t want anyone to be able to pin it from this blog. It’s not a message I want any part in spreading. The words are below.

People make time for who they want to make time for.
People text, call and reply to people they want to talk to.
Never believe anyone who says they’re too busy.
If they wanted to be around you, they would.

The Wrong Mindset

The words above tamp down self-esteem; they encourage the acceptance of an ideal of communication that is so self-focused it closes the door on empathy and understanding. Those words promote an extremely unfortunate way of thinking – an adolescent pity party that shuts down resilience and community.

And they were being touted as wisdom.

It made me sad. Sad and defensive. Sad and defensive and almost as out of sorts as I felt when I posted my earlier Grump about Emotional Manipulation.

click image for source

click image for source

Not only is it judgmental, it is not a useful way to think.

Make it up so that you get to WIN

“Busy” is a code word for a lot of things. We have no idea what others are dealing with, really. There could be any number of excellent reasons why they haven’t been in contact.

They may be in an emotionally charged situation and simply cannot handle any more.

  • They might be dealing with a financial crisis or critical health problem, fighting to get through the day without imploding or exploding.
  • They may not feel comfortable divulging the details, or they may not have time to explain.

Or maybe they ARE avoiding you right now, but not for the reason you think.

  • If your standard operating principal is to personalize, making everything about YOU, I’m sure it takes a lot of cognitive and emotional bandwidth to be in relationship with you.
  • They still love you, but they just don’t have it to give at the moment. They don’t want to say anything to hurt your feelings because you ARE important to them.

It’s never a good idea to borrow trouble

I like to think the best of others, not the worst – because it gives ME a better quality of life. That black and white pin made me GRUMPY because it dragged my brain over to the dark side.

It also made it more likely that I would have to spend more time explaining my brain-style to those who get their noses out of joint over events that have nothing to do with them.

The TRUTH is that we can’t ever be sure what is on anyone else’s plate –
or on their mind.

  • When we don’t KNOW, whatever we decide about their lack of time for us is a fantasy – we’re making it up.
  • Why would I want to make it up so that I lose a popularity contest the other person is possibly too busy to notice I’ve entered?
  • Why would you want to fan the flame of your own insecurities — cutting off your own nose, as they say, to spite their face??

Isn’t it more powerful to simply believe that they are, in fact, BUSY – that we are only one of many important items in a very full agenda? Or that there is a another reason why they aren’t texting or phoning us back — even though we ARE, in fact, important to them?

Our quality of life goes down dramatically when we insist on dictating the FORMAT in which others can show that they are there for us – that they do, in fact consider us important.

What about THIS?

Without that pin, it would never have occurred to me to think that another had singled me out as not worthy of their time. I refuse to believe that I am too unimportant for ANY of my friends who haven’t been in touch to “make time” for me.

I also realize that my friends are busy people – too busy
to spend time reassuring me about the level of our friendship.

Here’s a question for those who embrace such a myopic idea of life and of other people:

What kind of a friend are YOU? 

If you’ve got time to worry about texts and tweets and repeated phone calls that have not been returned, instead of being offended or hurt when friends say they are too busy, why don’t you make yourself useful?

How about being the kind of friend that pitches in to take a few things off your busy friends’ plates, instead of insisting that they add another item?

The deal with ME, for example

Quite often, when we who are not neurotypical say we “don’t have time,” it is generally because you are requiring us to connect with you in ways that take too much time to manage, given our challenges.

I don’t text, for example. Though texting may seem “quick” to many whose brains work another way, it doesn’t play well with my brain-style.

A phone message is quick; a text takes forever.  It also alters my writing voice.  It can take me 30 minutes or more to transition back to my agenda. It doesn’t take too many of those “quick” interruptions to put me behind another day I can’t afford to lose.

I don’t want to be distracted by periodic text notifications either — and I am certainly not going to interrupt my own flow to take time to go LOOK for texts!

  • Why would a friend insist on adding to my day in that way?
  • Why am I not more important to THEM?

I don’t call others often because I am, in fact, very busy, very behind these days – AND – I have no internal sense of time.  It always seems to me that I have just spoken to those I care about.  I keep them with me in my heart.

  • But I will ALWAYS pick up the the phone for a friend,
    no matter what else is going on.
  • As long as I am awake, that it is.
  • And have a working telephone.  That rings.

Change your frame, change your life

There are many reasons why someone who considers you important might not be in touch as often as you would prefer. TRUE friendship is 2-way street.

While it would be wise to gather friendships with needs similar to our own, it is simply NUTS to assume that the differences are based on our level of importance in the life of another.

Don’t spread the meme!

Let’s Hear it From YOU

I invite you to dump YOUR Monday grumps and gripes
in the comment section below each of my own – related or NOT.

As long as you don’t make individual people wrong, and do your best to avoid the dreaded “should” word, I will approve all comers (link-spammers shot on sight, however).

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About Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, MCC, SCAC
Award-winning ADD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching field co-founder; [life] Coaching pioneer -- Neurodiversity Advocate, Coach, Mentor & Poster Girl -- Multi-Certified -- 25 years working with EFD [Executive Functioning disorders] and struggles in hundreds of people from all walks of life. I developed and delivered the world's first ADD-specific coach training curriculum: multi-year, brain-based, and ICF Certification tracked. In addition to my expertise in ADD/EF Systems Development Coaching, I am known for training and mentoring globally well-informed ADD Coach LEADERS with the vision to innovate, many of the most visible, knowledgeable and successful ADD Coaches in the field today (several of whom now deliver highly visible ADD coach trainings themselves). For almost a decade, I personally sponsored and facilitated seven monthly, virtual and global, no-charge support and information groups The ADD Hours™ - including The ADD Expert Speakers Series, hosting well-known ADD Professionals who were generous with their information and expertise, joining me in my belief that "It takes a village to educate a world." I am committed to being a thorn in the side of ADD-ignorance in service of changing the way neurodiversity is thought about and treated - seeing "a world that works for everyone" in my lifetime. Get in touch when you're ready to have a life that works BECAUSE of who you are, building on strengths to step off that frustrating treadmill "when 'wanting to' just doesn't get it DONE!"

6 Responses to Frames and reframes on Pinterest

  1. JM says:

    There are many pins on Pinterest and many in your face “motivational” posts that places on social media like Facebook. I find some of them to be emotionally dangerous. The pin you mentioned above is a good example. I do my best to stay away from those and I don’t pass them on or post them on my own boards or walls.

    People’s motivational posts tell me a lot about their way of thinking, how they see the world and their maturity.

    I’ve already explained to people that if I don’t respond to texts within 5 seconds, please don’t keep texting me with “Hello?”, “Are you there?”, etc. People are shocked when I tell them that sometimes I turn my phone off when I have work to do and can’t be distracted. I also turned off some of my notifications to eliminate temptations for procrastination.

    Some people will never understand and I’ve learned to accept that and not stress it because managing my ADHD symptoms is much more important than trying to accommodate the unhealthy needs and emotions of others who are not understanding.

    Sorry for the long comment, sincerely, JM of God,Faith&Fitness.


    • Thanks for this, JM – and thanks for reading. I’m still “moving in” so I’m a bit slow on the approvals, but it was lovely to see when I finally got here.

      Sounds like you hopped over from Pinterest – so the first thing you need to know is that we don’t worry about “long” over here ::grin:: I’ve never really been a fan of soundbites myself – except as a jumping off point around which I can organize my thinking. I LOVE to read, live for dialogue, and delight in comments long enough to develop a thought. Mind dumps are welcome here.

      I especially related to your last paragraph. I have been forced to come to that conclusion myself, but it still breaks my heart that the word is still so judgmental about the needs of those of us whose brains are wired differently. I believe that God put the ADDers on the earth to open that paradigm and widen acceptance and respect on this planet.

      WELCOME. Hope to see you again.

      (I added white space, btw – many of my readers need to read “from rock to rock” – words not touched)


  2. janetkwest says:

    You’ve hit on a gold mine of writing material. Emotional manipulation is one of those areas where I’ve had to crawl out of. I went my entire marriage thinking I wasn’t nice enough, reassuring enough, giving enough, etc. You know the type. Controllers and narcissists. No one has the right to tell us that we aren’t good enough friends. Stepping off my high horse now. Thanks Madelyn. Good stuff.


    • Re: gold mine — UNFORTUNATELY, Janet, you are right (but nice reframe). It does seem to be everywhere. For sanity’s sake I must believe that the controllers are simply more vocal. Blogging has introduced me to a lot of people (like you) who think more like I do, which is one of the reasons I continue to do it. Thanks for taking the time to comment. xx, mgh


    • Viviane says:

      Hi. Thanks for raising this sad point of controllers. Unfortunately, we are surrounded by all types, financial, emotional, Professional, social controllers. They have the advantage of knowing you better, and on top of all they know that you trust them. They indeed persist in this control because they are sure of how excellent you’ll be if you could see things with your own eyes, and if you could fly with your own wings.


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