Healthcare Training Institute - Quality Education since 1979
CE for Psychologist, Social Worker, Counselor, & MFT!!
lets look beneath the surface to some of the inner processes that influence
your outer expressions. As youll notice in the diagram on the next page,
we filter meanings through a set of inner expectations, rules, and underlying
values. Todays filters emerge out of things weve learned in the past
and act like rules for deciding - guides, rules of thumb, even conscious censorship
- that we use, more or less consciously, in our day to day communication. They
form a way of seeing what is going on as well as a way of responding to it. Each
persons total set is unique and is subtly changing as todays experiences
are added to yesterdays. Some of the sources of filters from yesterday are:
when its best to lie a little, to use tact, to be brutally honest, to say
nothing, handling moral dilemmas
Other learnings may not be so pervasive, but we can make insistent demands through expectations we call reasonable. Consider the potency and frequency of this expectation, If you loved me, you would... This common manipulation says, Prove you love me by doing what I want. It comes in many versions: If you think Im doing good work, youll give me a promotion; If you like the food I fixed, youll have seconds; Since I won the sales contest, I should be able to pick my territory. These conditional expectations are designed to define, control, and limit other peoples choices so they give you what you want, often at their expense.
this one: I helped you out, so you should help me when I need it.
This seems so eminently reasonable that its hard to refute, but it imposes
a unilateral bargain to which you didnt consent. They helped you at their
convenience but dont consider your time demands nor your willingness to
Your Cool Under Fire: Communicating Non-Defensively. Wells, Theodora. McGraw-Hill
Book Company:New York, NY. 1980.
Reflection Exercise #4
The article above contains foundational information. Articles below contain optional updates.
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