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Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Virginia Satir on Communication in Relationship


Own Your Own Power

Virginia Satir, a world-renowned family therapist in the nineteen hundreds gave us the key to becoming better communicators. She gave us the five freedoms of personal power. (See earlier blog post) Then she added this, own your own power. "Making real contact," says Satir, "means that we make ourselves responsible for what comes out of us."

Types of Communication

Satir identifies types of communicating used by people with low opinions of themselves. She calls them placating, blaming, super reasonable, and irrelevant. She says, "They limit the use of an individual's resources and ability to build with one another."
     Placating-----"I'm always doing everything wrong!" Power in Placating : "People who feel guilt, pity, and contempt can't make loving contact."
     Blaming-----"You never do anything right!" Power in Blaming: "Fearful, helpless, and resentful people cannot make loving contact."
     Super reasonable-----"One needs to face the fact that one makes errors in life!" Power in Super reasonable: Anyone facing this kind of power can feel inferior and stupid so making contact is unlikely.
     Irrelevant-----"Ho Ho, balance! Errors, errors! Anybody got a penny?...." Power in Irrelevance: This kind of communication distracts and disrupts and does not lead to making contact.

The Key to Making Contact

All of this has to do with giving our power away. In order to make contact in relationship it comes back to owning our own feelings and behavior. For more from Virginia Satir, check out her book,"Making Contact."

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