I titled this blog entry the way I did because of a situation that happened several years ago when I was a merchant mariner, and the completely different reaction different people had during the situation. I can only imagine that some of these people were raised using lots of Builders, and that one person was raised with many Barriers. Please read the post prior to this for definitions and explanation of Builders and Barriers. Click here.
The setting was Heathrow Airport, London, England. A small group of merchant mariners, of which I was one, had recently been discharged off our ship, and we were being flown back to the U.S. When we would leave a ship, the ship’s purser and agent would take care of the paperwork to get us airplane tickets home. We were leaving from Dubai, U.A.E., bound for the U.S.
In those days, the tickets we were handed were printed in a bunch of initials that represented airports and the like, so it was nearly impossible for us to read them. We flew into Heathrow Airport to meet connecting flights, but as we were passing through security, the officer told us that we were at the wrong airport for our outgoing, connecting flight, and needed to be at Gatwick to meet our next flight.
These airports are both in London, but a ways apart from each other. So, the dilemma existed as to how to handle this situation. One of the crew members, a guy who was in his early 30’s proceeded to just about throw a tantrum. He fussed and fumed and stomped around, like a 4 yr. old who has just been told he can’t have a coveted ice cream cone. I can only imagine that as he was growing up, his mother never gave him very many opportunities to solve his own problems, and that she used several Barrier behaviors.
The rest of us, in the meanwhile, began to brainstorm. At this point, we had our luggage. We needed to figure out how to get to Gatwick. We asked someone working in the airport how to do this, and were referred to a bus- the Speed Link- that ran between the 2 airports. We asked where and how much this bus was. We found out where to exchange currency into British pounds, so we could buy our Speed Link tickets. We all changed enough money to buy tickets, found the Speed Link boarding area and schedule, and caught the 40 minute bus ride over to Gatwick airport. Having a 4 hr. layover, we were able to do all this with time to spare to catch a meal. Reluctantly, we dragged this whiny, petulant fellow crew member with us.
It appears that somewhere along the way, the rest of us learned how to break down a problem into its components and figure out how to solve it. Using Builder behaviors instills these skills and confidence in your child.