Years ago I led a seminar on how to have a positive attitude at work. In the text, Attitude: Your Most Priceless Possession, author Elwood Chapman suggests employing the “Flipside Technique.”
The concept is to take something not commonly considered good and reframe it as a positive, injecting a dose of humor when necessary. We’ll explore how to practice this in midlife dating, as most women have trouble moving past what they see as their flaws. (See “Are you describing yourself compellingly?“)
Let me give you some non-dating examples first.
- In “I’m glad dating is hard” I shared how motivational speaker Art Berg was grateful he broke his neck as it made him reach deep for inner resources he might not have otherwise tapped. He used humor in his talks to illustrate how he learned to stretch beyond what he thought was possible.
- Vintage VW Beetle commercials promoted how small is beautiful, how economical Beetles were, and how the diminutive car was perfect for those who didn’t march in lockstep with everyone else. One ad’s caption said, “It makes your house look bigger.” Another, “Live below your means.” It took what would be considered drawbacks — smallness, low price and ugliness — and turned them into assets.
- Southwest Airlines turned no frills — including no meals nor reserved seats — into a competitive advantage. Their ads and staff approach their limitations with humor and fun. It allows them to keep their prices low, which they tout in their marketing.
- A client of mine, the facilities department for a large company, is working on fun ways to counter complaints they can do little about. They can’t make everyone happy about office temperature. So we’re playing with designing posters that suggest the top 10 things to do if you’re too hot in your office, such as wearing your bathing suit at work, soaking your feet in a tub of ice and using the company phone directory as a fan.
How can you apply this to midlife dating? Take what you think of as a liability and turn it into asset
- Overweight — More of me to love. I’ll enjoy dining with you, not pick at my food.
- Wrinkles — I enjoy life and laugh a lot.
- Kids — A ready-made excuse to go to the zoo, amusement parks, county fairs, and animated films.
- Limited time to date — You’ll get my focus when we’re together, and the anticipation of seeing each other will make our time even sweeter.
- Health or physical challenges — We can slow the pace so we can savor life rather than dashing hither and yon.
What do you consider a liability and how could you Flipside it? Share your examples.
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