Sunday, March 25, 2012


I read an interesting article about the marketing of the product Febreeze. This stuff can really neutralize odors in a revolutionary way and yet they couldn't get people to start buying it and find that out.

In trying to solve the puzzle, they went to houses that really could use Febreezing (such as ones with incontinent animals) and found a puzzling thing: the people who lived in these homes had become inured to the smells and no longer recognized them as bad.

This is very similar to something else I see with great regularity, watching Kitchen Nightmares and Restaurant: Impossible. On these shows, failing restaurants get help and a make over from Gordon Ramsey and Robert Irvine respectively. And invariably these people are mystified why their restaurants are failing while everyone else thinks their food sucks.

In both cases the people in question have a personal validation issue in not being receptive to the truth. The animal people want their animals so they learn to not smell it and the restaurant people so want to avoid failure they refuse to admit their taste or lack thereof is a problem.

You may wonder where this is going as far as being an adult child of an alcoholic is concerned. Well, being horribly self-critical we examine unwelcome information about ourselves, but we have a hard time determining which is valid criticism and which is to be discarded without consideration. It's not denial, but it's just as much of a problem.

The solution as I see it (and how I have practiced it most of my life) is having trusted advisors who will tell me the truth and not sugar coat it and compare it against each other. So if you ask me to trust my gut and I tell you I can't, I hope you'll understand why.

King of denial?

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