This Is Us: Season 3 Episode 13 

Implicit Memory 

Beth finally gets to be the star of the show and we get to watch an entire episode about her background. Quickly we catch on to the tense dynamic between Beth and her mom. While the argument and resolution seem to happen too quickly to be realistic, I did appreciate the fact that we grow to understand why Beth’s mom, Carol,is the way she is. 

Implicit memories are memories we have not purposed to store away. On a basic level they are memories about how to ride a bike, orcook a basic recipe. More complex implicit memories could be the way we react when we hear someone arguing or the way we respond when someone calls attention to our accomplishments. These memories impact decisions we make in the present without us realizing. WhenCarolshares withBethabout her own childhood it is obvious that implicit memories were at work when she pushed Beth to succeed. Because of the ways Carol’s mother pushed her and the success she was able achieve, Carol assumed it was best to push Beth in the same way. Carol failed to think through Beth’s specific needs and instead let her implicit memories take over. While its difficult to watch the painBeth experienced when her mom forced her to quit ballet, it’s helpful to know that Carol really did have good intentions for Beth. 

Often when we are functioning out of our implicit memories our actions don’t make sense to those around us. Once we are aware of our implicit memories and the ways they might impact our decisions we are able to remain more in control of our actions. Sharing these tendencies with those we are in close relationships with can also be helpful. When those who are closest to us know why we act the way we do compassion and endurance form intheserelationships. 

Some Things to Consider:

  1. 1. What are some of your implicit memories? Is there a way that you tend to respond when faced with conflictthat can be tied back to your childhood? Or maybe it’s the way you act when you hear your spouse say a certain phrase?

Who might you share these memories with so that you can create more understanding in your relationships?

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