For far too many folks, it’s acceptable to not get what they want rather than be disappointed. Down here in south Louisiana, we have a term for reneging on something or dancing around an announcement of what we want – “crawfishing.”

crawfishCrawfishing statements are never really clear – “I’ll see what I can do about losing 10 pounds this year;”  “I’m considering stopping by a few fitness centers and checking out what they have to offer;” “I’m wondering if now is the time to ask my boss for a promotion.” None of these are clear statements of intent, lack priority status and merely stave off completely selling oneself out. But there is a positive intention for uttering them in the first place. They keep disappointment at bay, so the more nebulous the better.

The clearer someone is about stating what they have in mind, the bigger the stakes. Going big with goals enhances the chances of a nice payoff, but it raises the ante for a sizable letdown as well.

The vaguer the declaration, the greater the likelihood it won’t be owned, so the only alternative is to completely take possession of the goal, dream or aspiration to best ensure it will happen. Locking down every escape hatch or path of retreat is a good idea also.

Every time I see a crawfish crawling around, it’s either moving in circles or backing up. It’s never going forward.

Joseph Wegmann, R.Ph., LCSW is a licensed clinical pharmacist and a clinical social worker with more than thirty years of experience in the field of psychopharmacology. His diverse professional background in psychopharmacology and counseling affords him a unique perspective on medication management issues. In addition to consulting with numerous psychiatric facilities, he has presented psychopharmacology seminars to thousands of clinicians in 46 states.

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