Positive Reframe

Many years ago, my dear friend Ashley took a class about how to live a fulfilled life.  The class was all about learning how to let things go, how to take responsibility for your own life, and how to manifest the things you want.  She took this class when we were young and impressionable (maybe 22-ish), and during the time in our lives when we were the most enthusiastic about sitting around pondering our own existences.  She and I used to sit on the phone for HOURS talking about the things she was learning, and how the concepts applied to our own lives.

A few of the concepts and catch phrases from this class were repeated so many times, that even now, over ten years later, they still have a place in our everyday conversations.  Some of these ideas have taken on a life of their own, and now serve primarily as comedic fodder.

One of these concepts is the “positive reframe“.

The Positive Reframe is pretty much exactly what it sounds like.  It’s a process where you take something lame, and “reframe” it by finding the positive angle.  A bad break-up can be reframed by saying, “This is an opportunity to learn more about myself so that the next time I fall in love, I’m in a better position to build a healthy relationship.”  An illness can be reframed by saying, “This is a chance to be grateful for all the wonderful people I have in my life who are here to help me when I need help.”  It’s cheesy, but it’s actually a pretty helpful technique for turning a corner when you’re feeling pitiful or excessively negative.

Of course, over the years the concept has been the butt of many jokes.

Kate: I fell down the stairs!
Ashley: That sucks!
Kate: Totally. But the pain meds are great.
Ashley: Good reframe.


Ashley: All three of my young children have explosive diarrhea right now.
Kate: Whoa.
Ashley: But, I’m keeping it together.  I’ve got it reframed already.
Kate: Already?!
Ashley: Yes, someday I’ll be old and I’ll have lost all my faculties, and then these fools will have to clean up MY diarrhea.  This will all even out in the end.
Kate: Way to reframe, sister.


I’m happy to report, that after a few days spent wallowing in hockey inflicted injuries, I’ve got the Devils game all reframed up.

reframe 1

When I woke up this morning I thought, “Yikes, and they have to play the Capitals tonight.”  But I reframed that too.

reframe 2But if ALL else fails, and I’m STILL feeling crappy by gametime, there’s always the sarcastic reframe to fall back on.

reframe 3

Let’s go Buff-a-lo!


5 Responses to “Positive Reframe”

  1. 1 george December 9, 2009 at 7:57 pm

    Kate, you make me laugh and feel less faraway from home than the map would have me believe. Thanks for doing this.

  2. 2 Katebits December 9, 2009 at 10:42 pm

    Aw, george. Getting comments like this one make me so happy. Thanks for reading.

  3. 3 Grrrreg December 10, 2009 at 5:05 am

    It worked GREAT! congrats!

  4. 4 Heather B December 10, 2009 at 6:21 am

    Positive re-frame:


  5. 5 Katebits December 10, 2009 at 9:12 am

    Grrrreg, it TOTALLY worked! WOOOO!

    Heather, Hank WAS awesome. Also, I see you think reframe needs a hyphen. I tried it both ways and couldn’t decide. I’ve never understood hyphens or semi-colons.

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