Finding role models and inspiration in movies and television

My last few posts have been about looking for sources of inspiration and information in my journey to escape narcissistic abuse and dysfunction and learn to be a thriving, happy woman. It’s amazing how you can find light and knowledge in so many unexpected places just by being open to it!

Social Skills for Teenagers and Adults with Asperger Syndrome: A Practical Guide to Day-to-day Life

A few years ago, I read a book to help people with Asperger’s Syndrome improve their social skills. I’ve never been diagnosed as Aspie, but I match a lot of the characteristics–possibly not because I have Aspergers, but because I had such an abusive childhood. I’ve always been painfully shy and scared of social situations, and I’ve often been confused and awkward about what to say and how to act. I figured even if I wasn’t Aspie, I could learn something from that book no matter what the cause of my social anxiety.

The most important idea that I personally got from the book was the idea that I should watch TV shows and movies for models of social skills. Hmmm…. Now, there are also some terrible role models in the media, but I started thinking about how I could find sources of good on TV. One of my inspirational movies ended up being Legally Blonde. I even wrote a whole post about it!

Ghost Whisperer: The Complete Series

Another unusual source of knowledge was The Ghost Whisperer. Seriously! On the surface, this is a show about a woman who helps ghosts solve their problems and move to the other side, but when I watched it on a deeper level, I realized that the main character was a very loving, thoughtful and empathetic woman. She had a hard life, but practiced good empathy and communication with her friends and family. She truly cared about others in a way that I had never seen in my own family. It might sound a bit weird, but I truly would recommend this show to someone who wants to observe how healthy people work. (Just like I see Elle Woods of Legally Blonde as an inspiration!)

The theme of my last few blogs has been one of learning from everything around us. It sounds a bit out there on the surface to talk about learning something from TV and movie characters, but I believe there is more to this idea. Melinda Gordon and Elle Woods are both great role models for learning good character qualities and both of them, in their own ways, are women I would like to be. Women who are kind and caring, successful and helpful to people around them.

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