Let the BMWs Begin!

I was scanning through my older photos and stumbled on this one. It was when both Biscuit and Gravy were ‘fixed’. For about a week we had to deal with the misery and clumsiness of two puppies wearing the cone of shame. It was hilarious and frustrating all at the same time. Anytime I talk to other dog owners they had the same experience and enjoy sharing their ‘dog getting fixed’ story. Everyone has had a cone of shame moment.

While the group I am with this week was eating breakfast and drank coffee, the topic of conversation turned a bit dramatic. Everyone had a cone of shame story about the topic at hand and one after another people took turns telling their horror story about the topic. It was a cold, grey morning and even coffee didn’t seem to liven up the mood. One after another the stories were told, the sighs were heard, and the commiserating grew larger and deeper. I sat and watched the people ‘bond’ over similar experiences and once the learning day started everyone was all ready for action.

Why is it that misery loves company? Why does one dark tale open the door for someone else to share their experience on the same dark road? I see it happen all the time. The danger really grows exponentially when the negative minded people jump into the mix and suddenly it’s a zombie apocalypse and the world is about to end. Every bad day, sad story, awful experience and terrible occurrence pours out of people like water from a faucet. Story after story of unwanted experiences brings the group closer together. Somehow the fact that everyone can relate to a horrible experience AND has a story to tell comforts and propels the group dynamic forward.

I call these moments the BMWs of life. (I stole this acronym from a friend!) It’s the bitching, moaning and whining people need to do in order to get it off their chests. Once I heard this acronym I used it every chance I got. I would open meetings with people by giving them five minutes to go through their BMWs. It was funny, frightening, freeing and cathartic all at the same time. Once the five minutes were up, no more BMWs for the rest of the meeting.

By giving people a chance to grouse and share their BMWs suddenly it wasn’t so bad. They got it off their chests, people listened to what was bothering them, others could relate and suddenly everyone was on the same page. BMWs done, now on to what we really want to accomplish.

Misery loves company, it provides an avenue for people to bond and release all at the same time. Somehow sharing the misery comforts everyone into understanding that we all have unwanted experiences and have moved forward as survivors. The key is knowing when and how to get it to stop, which means giving time to misery then moving on to more productive topics. It’s like knowing when to remove the cone of shame so that puppy can get back to being a puppy.

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