lundi, octobre 01, 2007

Older dog, new tricks?

I went for a walk with a younger friend on Saturday. He's a local guy (an engineer) who posted his portrait on the Internet dating site where I have my profile. For some reason, we have become friends. Hacking through rose bushes and weeds, walking briskly through the fall fields in our state park, we talked about the volatile state of our attempts to find love online. Which, by the way, I'm finding is very challenging.

Sometimes my friend, an admirable guy with a wonderful EIQ (emotional intelligence quotient) slips up and drops in a line that tells me that he thinks there is a large age gap between my generation and his. On good days, he keeps me humble. On not so great days, he contributes to my sense of self-doubt.

Saturday he said that the older one was, the harder it was to change. I've considered myself to be fairly flexible in that regard-I'm rather proud of my ability to take in new information, even if I don't agree, to apologize, to try to make changes or at least boundaries, and to move on. But I wonder: is he on to something? Am I really able to hear difficult feedback and evaluate its usefulness, to get past defensiveness and open up new channels of communication?

I think this is a difficult arena for many-and I'm still not sure that age is the biggest indice here-our emotional flexiblity might have more to do with temperament than chronology.

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