Body Double


two white teacups
Photo by andres chaparro on

No, not the kind in the movies.

A colleague told me there is a principal that when a person can not get a job done, having another person around can help provide needed motivation. The principal is referred to as the Body Double.

Mom’s naturally do this when they sit with their children and the homework gets done.  Want an elderly person to eat better?  Then join them for a meal.

There used to be a TV safety message regarding swimming:  There’s safety in numbers and more fun too.  Girl and Boy Scouts have a “Buddy System.”  And many of us know the saying:  “two heads are better than one.”

This Double may be a trusted friend or family member.  It could be a co-worker or a mentor.  It should be someone who is a quiet, calming presence.

I had been doing this for many years before I knew it had a name.  I was the mom who was there when the homework was done.  I was the adult child who ate with elderly mom and dad.  Then one day, after I had this explained to me, I was called to the home of a relative who was struggling to get motivated to do some chores.  I went thinking I was going to help with the work.  Upon my arrival the person almost immediately began doing their work.  I was very excited to see that principal in action.

Just being there for a friend or family member can mean a lot.  Sometimes your quiet presence is greatly appreciated much more than any words you could say.

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