I shall be going to a very big Christmas Dinner Party next week. There will be over a hundred people and it will be hosted by a company that last year had a masquerade theme. This year there is no theme except; dress formal. I shall do the unthinkable. I shall wear the same dress I wore last year.
What is interesting is that I do not remember what dress I wore last year. I do remember it cost quite a bit of money and that it felt a really good dress, so it will feel like it is a new dress. I was certainly not out of place in such a formal black and well-cut dress when I went last year.
I told various people I was going and they had immediately asked ‘have you bought a dress for the occasion?’. The assumption was that any new party required a new dress and I was meant to ‘treat myself’. When I replied I was not. People would say ‘but you have to treat yourself’. Many were surprised when I thought I treat myself alot daily but that buying a dress was not a neccesary ‘treat’.
When I told my Cognitive Behavioural Therapy Supervision group they all thought it was wonderful, it was a completely different response to those who were in the outside world. In CBT one of the basics we learn is that most people think of themselves, people who go to a party are often thinking of their own perceived inadequacies. Very few people walk around thinking they are wonderful and everyone loves them. Most may feel that others are going to look at their ‘large nose’, their large bottom, or see they have not been promoted etc. Most are busy thinking and are too busy feeling out of place. I will wear what I wore last year and seriously who will really notice when most people are carrying their own concerns. I want to go to the party and meet people, not their clothes. I shall also save some time and money and as a behavioural experiment will see first hand if it really does or does not make any difference. After all if I ask my clients to also try new things, should’nt I also do the same?