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Don’t Go to Aberdeen

by Lisa on January 21, 2011

First, I apologize to anyone who lives in Aberdeen. This is a figurative expression, among the many adopted by my mom and me (similar to What’s Your Granola?) that really has nothing to do with the noun being used.

Several years ago, we read this article that was written about a study in which a group of people were all individually asked if they wanted to go on a trip to Aberdeen. Each person thought the rest of the group wanted to go, but in fact, no one wanted to. The study was looking at how people make decisions and how they are affected by what they believe other people want.

So the group went to Aberdeen…and no one wanted to be there.

What a waste of time!

Mom and I say “Don’t go to Aberdeen” to each other whenever the other is considering sacrificing personal wants and needs for the sake of pleasing others. This saying goes along with another we’ve adopted, “Honest or nothing,” but the Aberdeen saying has more of a ring to it.

Sometimes it feels difficult to make decisions for our own best interest when we’ve only considered others for so long (keeping in mind that sometimes we have made commitments that we can’t break). It gets easier though…and almost fun! Often, when I’ve been going to Aberdeen to make someone else happy, I eventually find out that they really don’t care anyway, and I could have just been true to myself all along.

My sister’s favorite quote, of which you could find the first half on her gravestone:

“Be who you are and say what you feel. Those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.”

It’s possibly a quote by Dr. Suess, but even wikipedia isn’t totally sure about that one.

How I did not go to Aberdeen lately:

I turned down a lunch invitation because I really wanted an iced coffee maca smoothie (and I wanted to try the Xylosweet for a product review I'm posting soon)...note the big mess. The original topic of this post was going to be about how fast I can make a mess.

On my Florida trip, I requested for every meal that I wanted to go someplace where I could get a salad...which I would have never done in the past...and nobody seemed to think it was a big deal!

I ordered a drink that I really did not like, and instead of just drinking it, I traded it with someone who liked it for one that was WAY better (recipe soon)

Lunch at Emeril's last Sunday. I don't know how this has to do with going to Aberdeen, but I just wanted to point out how amazing the food was---even though I am not an Emeril fan and was very skeptical. I suppose it relates because it was a case where I really didn't have a preference, and that's ok too.

My examples don’t look like a big deal, but when you add up a life full of small self-disadvantageous decisions…there is a big impact!

I’m in super duper work mode…until mid-May, and I’m enjoying my work (seriously), but I know I will have a lot of chances to go to Aberdeen by sacrificing my work schedule to be social (and it’s not that I don’t want to be social…but I want to go to bed at a reasonable hour even more). Just like in the past when I had too many jobs and commitments, the people who matter don’t mind…and they understand that it’s not personal. The people who mind, well, they probably aren’t reading this anyway, so they’ll continue to be annoyed at me for not sacrificing my schedule to fit into theirs. It’s just that now that I’ve established Not Going to Aberdeen, I don’t waste as much time worrying about it.

How have you gone to Aberdeen lately? Avoided it?


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