Superstar psychologist Martin Seligman is most recently author of Flourish. Among other things, he reports on the ubiquitous U.S. Army training program he developed and helped implement—"Master Resilience Training." As I progressed through this captivating book, I came across the following hypothetical exchange, meant, obviously, for part of the training:
Private Johnson tells Private Gonzales: "Hey my wife called and told me she got a great job on post."
Active constructive response: "That's great. What's the new job? When does she start? What did she say about how she got it and why she deserved it?"
Passive constructive: "That's nice."
Passive destructive: "I got a funny email from my son. Listen to this ..."
Active destructive: "So who's going to be looking after your son? I wouldn't trust a babysitter. There are so many horror stories you hear about babysitters abusing kids."
I shall offer no commentary—but if this little vignette does not trigger a blockbuster bout of introspection, solo or with spouse or colleagues, and especially for males, I don't know what the hell would.
(I, for one, will not look at the world quite the same way I did before happening upon this.)