1. The world's best reading app

    Great articles, no ads. Get started for free.

    The AtlanticArthur C. Brooks6/17/216 min
    5 reads2 comments
    8.5
    The Atlantic
    5 reads
    8.5
    You must read the article before you can post or reply.
    • Jessica
      Scribe
      1 year ago

      When you are annoyed that family needs are impinging on your individual desires, take it as a sign that you need to focus more on family, not less.

      Ah, I haven't thought of it this way before. This is sound advice.

      When I was a kid, I remember my father did most of the driving on long-distance trips. Even after being the sole driver for the whole day, he still offered to help with other errands. Now that he is physically weaker and his senses aren't as alert as they used to be, I have started taking on some of the errands he used to do out of habit. Sometimes I insist on taking care of things on my own since another hand ends up making the chore more laborious, but I have noticed that he is sometimes grumpy when I reject his offer to help. A father just wants to father, and I recognize that I should let him feel like a father when I am around rather than putting on the I'm-the-adult hat. Maybe that's why he continues to work all these years, even though he could have retired many moons ago... knowing that he's supporting the family through working brings him a sense of fulfillment that I can't fully comprehend.

      • thorgalle
        Top reader this weekReading streakScoutScribe
        1 year ago

        Thanks for sharing! A good add to the article.

        I’m curious where else this “opposite signal” strategy might apply.