To: Wakefield Doctrine (the personality theory of clarks, scotts and rogers, donchaknow)
Subject: The rogerian side…
I remember a long time ago. And not so long ago. And probably quite recently, admitting difficulty with engaging with my rogerian side. You know, the one which ‘feels’ first. Responds with understanding. Is part of a group, a ‘herd’ if you will, and which knows, quite instinctively, how to ‘do’ things like inclusion, empathy, sympathy and ‘joined in-ness’.
So, with this in mind, I embarked upon a mission today.
My church had a ‘pastoral care’ day, and I thought I could go along and see if they had some useful hints and tips to develop this side of me (never letting on that I was undercover for the Wakefield Doctrine, yaknow, as well as being there on purpose) and work on that.
Well. It was a revelation.
First of all we had to find someone we didn’t know, and pair up with them for a listening exercise. I engaged my full-on scottian side (hunter, predator; I’m’a gonna getcha side) and quickly found someone to work with (nicely though – I didn’t scare them – smiled and everything). So the first exercise was that person A (me) had to talk, and person B (her) had to ‘out-loud ignore’ them. So I talked. Then we swapped. Then as a larger group, we fed back to the course leader.
Leader: How did you feel when you weren’t listened to?
Other people: Ignored, rejected, uncared-for, irritated, frustrated, angry, upset, hurt etc.
Me: I felt Machiavellian. I enjoyed being a bit outrageous and putting little conversational hooks out there, because I *knew* I was being ‘ignored out-loud’ and I wanted to see if I could get a rise out of her.
Leader: Oh LIZZI!
Other people: *collective eye-roll and a few swiftly-smothered giggles*
Oops! clark-side, get BACK IN YOUR BOX! Stop enjoying this! You’re ruining it for everyone! There is a point to this exercise and quit trying to be CLEVER you silly sod!
Later on was the exercise I really wanted to do. The role plays. Where we got into threes and were given a ‘challenging personal situation’ scenario each. Person A had to question Person B, and try to gently support them in their given scenario. Person C had to observe person A’s technique and then feed back.
I didn’t do great. I tried to fix it. I kept offering solutions, in spite of nodding and making ‘encouraging noises’. In spite of my ‘great eye contact’ and ‘good body language’. I didn’t empathise. The ‘situation’ was really tough, and the character was so vulnerable and under so much pressure, Clark, I just wanted to make the pressure go away so they could catch a break and catch their breath a little!
Then we did group feedback as a whole to the course leader. The women were saying things about empathy, sympathy, compassion – all those wonderful things I wanted to learn about. Then a man piped up “Well, I’m afraid I found myself offering solutions.”
At which point the course leader stood up and announced loudly to the group “Yes, and this is an important point – men’s brains work differently. They are much more likely to try to ‘fix’ things, rather than be empathic. And this can be a really useful tool, but bear in mind that in a caring scenario, sometimes what is more useful is what the women bring – the empathy, sympathy and compassion.”
And in a small voice, as an addendum “Of course, sometimes this can happen the other way around, and men can be the ‘touchy-feely’ ones and women can be the ‘fixers’.” But with a slight lack of conviction.
Absolutely stricken, I turned to my friend and said “Oh NO! I’ve got a big ol’ MAN BRAIN! I *totally* tried to fix things! I wasn’t empathic AT ALL!”
She helpfully dissolved into a puddle of giggles and was of absolutely no constructive use whatsoever, managing to gasp out (between snorts of laughter) “She did say that it sometimes works the other way around…”
Onward and upward, friends, for I just figured out how to fix my
upset outrage concern about having a Man-Brain: a big shiny distraction in the form of
Ten Things of THANKFUL!
10. I remembered how to complete marble solitaire TWICE today, without messing it up or needing to look at the solution online.
9. It was a rest day on Saturday from the squats regime. Which was great, but there are 120 to do today! But I am determined to get that crown (see yesterday’s post).
8. I get to go to church in surf shorts. Emma is renewing her baptismal vows and has
stupidly generously chosen me to be one of the two people in the ‘dunk tank’, ‘helping’ her. I have yet to decide how long I’ll hold her under, and have been having a lot of fun teasing her encouraging her in this next step in her faith.
She’s having a party at her house afterwards, so there’s gonna be good food, too.
7. I got to wear my gorrrrrgeous necklace out today, and collected about four more sets of compliments on it. It is truly stunning, and I wear it like armour (yes, okay, vanity armour) and I feel the same way about it as I do about my gorgeous shoes (also compliment-collectors): FANTASTIC 🙂
6. I got two books in the post. One was ‘Self Compassion’ by Kristen Neff; the other is a guide to Diabetic Retinopathy, so I can swot up ready for my new job. It’s surprisingly tiny, but full of writing and fascinating insights into my new professional world.
5. I made delicious sweet’n’sour chicken noodles for tea tonight. They were delicious. And I invented the recipe. And so can you 😉
4. I am LOVING watching Bewitched with Husby. Can’t believe I’ve never been introduced to it until NOW! I have been missing out all my life!
3. I was honoured with a spot in the Hall of Fame over at The Insomniac’s Dream for a post I did earlier in the week. High praise indeed – thank you Starr 🙂
2. I was able to provide a laugh for a friend who needed some cheering up, and it made my heart happy that my silliness gave her a giggle.
1. I have been debating about sharing this song on the blog, because I know that certain people who read it will not appreciate it at all, but it makes me giggle and I think it’s an excellent riposte to the original song. For another excellent riposte to the original song, and why it’s really Not Good News, visit Bad Habits and Blurred Lines, by Sarah at ‘Left Brain Buddha’.
Please feel free to not watch the if you’re easily offended by rude words or militant feminism (though it really is very, very cleverly and hilariously done, so maybe you should give it a try).
Who else is with me for a second round of Thankfulness? Bring on your Twosies!