When I went through the list of human relations skills, I found that I was rating myself high on all of them. I stopped at the end and decided I must go back and rate myself again. It’s funny how when I went through them slowly I had a different perspective on myself. Instead of viewing them as how I see myself, I began to see them as if someone else was rating me. Sometimes, I can be a very stubborn person and do not take confrontation very well. When someone confronts me, I almost always take it personally.
Also, when a person tries to tell me that my behavior needs to change or if I make a choice about a certain lifestyle and I’m told it is wrong, I immediately take offense. So, I consider myself weak in confrontation and self-exploration. On the other hand, in the category of feelings and emotions, I rated myself high because I feel that I’m very in touch with my emotions. But, I do find that in my personal relationships, I use my emotions to express how I feel and sometimes people don’t respond well to that, because sometimes I do “inflict” my emotions on others.
So, I’m half way there in that category. In my relationships I don’t act, I react. I also am not very good at dealing openly with my relationships with others. This has caused me a lot of problems because if I would have just dealt with problems as they came up, I would have avoided much pain in my life. For example, my ex-husband was very verbally abusive with me and constantly put me down. First, I never listened to anyone when they told me that marrying him would be a mistake. I thought they were either jealous or just didn’t understand me.
Once we got married I never confronted him about how he was making me feel. Instead, I would just run away from the problem by traveling and hiding from him. But, I couldn’t hide for too long because I would eventually come home and see him and the abuse would start again. In my present relationship with my fianci??e, I have noticed that I inflict my emotions on him a lot. I am a very emotional person and ever since my divorce I decided not to hide my feelings and always express them out loud. Sometimes, this can be overwhelming for someone to put up with.
I like that I am able to express my feelings openly to my fianci??e but when I am upset about something in my past I need to learn not to take them out on him. The first three categories, I rated myself a 6 because I feel that I am pretty strong in these areas. I have always been a good listener and it comes easy for me to empathize with others. I actively support others even when I do not approve with what they are doing. Others usually know where I stand and I rarely hide behind roles or facades. I think that going through an abusive relationship and growing up so fast, has made me understand people better.
I know how stubborn I was and others can be that way too. Sometimes, people just want someone to understand them and be there regardless if you agree with them or not. When I was going through my problems and even now in my present situation, I just want someone to see the world through my eyes and respect and support me. At the beginning of this exercise, I flew through these categories and gave myself high ratings. I was able to go back and reflect on how I really am and what I need to work on. I need to start doing that in life. Going back and reflecting on what I am doing and how I am treating others.
This exercise has taught me to stop and think before I judge another person and to look at how I deal with my own insecurities. I need to let others give me feedback instead of always taking things so personally. 2. What are your specific goals in the laboratory group this trimester? What are some ways that you can achieve these goals within the group? When I first came into this class, I didn’t take it very seriously. I wanted to learn about the group experience because I want to be a therapist, but it was just another class to me. I didn’t want to disclose too many secrets about myself.
I thought we would just sit around and talk about simple things such as “what did you do this weekend”. My outlook of this class changed after the first group class. I didn’t think I would be so uncomfortable sitting in a circle of peers. The second class, I revealed some things about my past and couldn’t believe how good that made me feel to finally let those feelings out. My specific goals for this group is not to work on my past problems but more to learn how to interact better with others. If I’m going to be a therapist I need to learn how to listen to others and interact with them.
Other goals would include managing my interpersonal anxiety because I saw that in the group I get a lot of anxiety. I also want to learn to take more initiative in contacting others. I find that in the group, I don’t like to contact others even when I’m showing some concern for them. Sometimes, I feel afraid to lose my identity if I commit myself too deeply with the other people in the group. Some ways I can achieve these goals would be to express myself better with the other members of the group. I need to be less fearful of expressing my feeling and emotions and I need to work on my anxiety.
In order to achieve my goal of taking initiative in contacting others, I need to just be brave and contact someone in the group when it is appropriate. I try to be nice to everyone in the group even when I don’t agree with what they are saying. I find that I can be phony at times when I really didn’t like them at the moment. In order to achieve this goal, I need to open myself and be more honest with others even if it means they may not like what I’m going to say. I must admit, these are going to be difficult goals to achieve but if I try them little by little I think I can do it.
How would you rate the quality of your self-disclosure in the group thus far? Identify behaviors in the group which have facilitated your self-disclosure. Identify behaviors in the group which have hindered your self-disclosure. I was amazed how I was able to self disclose in the group. In the second session, I opened myself to the group and revealed things about my past that I very rarely talk about. I found that a lot of the members in the group were able to relate to me and I even led the way for others to reveal things about themselves.
After I opened myself to the group, other members talked about their lives and we started a great conversation with each other. This made it very easy for me to continue talking about myself to everyone in the group. One behavior that has hindered my self-disclosure in the group was when one of the students confronted me and told me she was not happy for me when I announced I got engaged. She also mentioned that this was not reality and that she sees disaster in the future. Unfortunately, after she did that I have not been able to open myself up anymore.
I don’t take confrontation too well and I have the tendency of exploding when someone takes out their insecurities on me. I just counted to 10 and said nothing at all. Now I just keep everything to myself. I need to change this by telling her how I felt when she said that to me. If I can do this it will be a big step for me because for once I would be dealing with confrontation and taking initiative to contact others. 4. Give an example from your personal life or from the group when you were able to confront someone in a responsible manner. Give an example of an irresponsible confrontation.
An example of a responsible confrontation was when I confronted my ex-husband and told him I wanted a divorce. It took me three years to confront him about anything and it felt so good when I finally did it. I did it responsibly because I didn’t accuse him of anything. Instead, we just talked and I told him how I felt and how he made me feel. Instead of saying “you do this” I would say “when you do this, it makes me feel sad”. I wish I would have done this earlier in our relationship but it was too late, I was so emotionally scarred. The break up was easy and we remained friends.
In my present relationship, I’ve been using that type of conversation and is has saved us from breaking up. One day, a girl was getting too friendly with my fianci??e and I quickly went over to her and confronted her. This is definitely an example of an irresponsible confrontation. I called her names and told her that she was being inappropriate. Needless to say, she got very offended and stormed off. I regret confronting her in that manner because it only made matters worse. My fianci??e got mad at me for making such a scene and I was upset with myself for acting so childish.
Although, I was unhappy with what she was doing, I should have either avoided that confrontation or calmly told her how she was making me feel. From then on I try to control my temper a little better. 5. What are the principle ways in which the group as a whole took flight? The group as the whole took flight in a number of ways. According to Egan, detailed analysis of past interactions in the group is a form of flight. The group did this in a few of our sessions by bringing up what happened in the previous session and it was going on forever.
Everyone, including myself, lost focus of the “here and now” and it led to an uncomfortable silence. Another way the group took flight, was by having irrelevant conversations that had nothing to do with the goals of the group. The group began talking about social issues that seemed to me as if we were expressing discomfort and anxiety. This was a form of flight from the real purpose of the group. Some participants in the group would each talk about issues in their lives and nobody would interrupt them because it seemed so important to that person at that time.
Some people were able to relate to these issues but others did not which led to lack of participation by some members of the group. Egan talks about turn-taking and dependence on exercises as a form of flight. The group did this by having artificial communication when the group would go dead or someone was failing to interact. Specifically, when nobody was talking and someone would bring up some artificial talk in order to stimulate conversation. Another occurrence was when one person in the group becomes the focal point of the group interaction for an extended period of time. This happened many times in our group.
The other members of the group became silent and just sat there and listened with nothing to say because either they could not relate to the problem or they just have no response. The silent members were showing a form of flight. In our group we have some unspoken understandings or as Egan calls them Tacit understandings or decisions. There are some topics members of the group would not talk about because they may feel that they may offend someone or there are rules such as not interrupting when someone else is talking. This leads to flight of the group because of feelings of discomfort or breaking certain rules.
This type of flight takes place also when the group undergoes ritual behavior. The group tends to bring up the same issues over and over and they are dealt with in the same way. For example, there is one person in the group that doesn’t participate and when there is anxiety that issue always comes up (why she doesn’t participate). This causes boredom and resistance to participate in the group. There are some members of the group that do not participate. Sometimes the group falls behind and holds things back because not everyone is participating. This causes lack of motivation which is another form of flight.
Egan calls this lowest-common-denominatorism. A common form of flight that the group is taking is not dropping their defenses. According to Egan, if a person does not drop his defenses he is not allowing the group to impact him. Sometimes the group does not feel safe and this causes them to flee from the group experience. 6. In what ways are individuals resisting the process of the group? Individuals are resisting the process of the group in many different ways. Egan talks about the ultimate flight as being when a participant comes into the group with no intentions of actively participating.
I think in this group most of the members, including myself came in thinking we would just sit there and not really participate, just be more of a spectator. I have changed my ways of thinking but I’m not sure everyone else has. Another way individuals are resisting the process of the group refusing initiative to contact other members of the group. This is done by little or no interaction with the other group members. Cynical attitudes toward what is happening in the group is another form of resistance. There are some individuals who are not taking this group seriously and shows little interest to what others are saying.
Silence is probably one of the biggest ways I’ve seen that individuals are resisting the process of the group. There are a few silent members in the group but there is one member that has not said a word and I feel her silence is affecting the group. The group is showing concern for this member and her silence is creating uneasy feelings throughout the group. Insight is another way, according to Egan, that individuals resist the group. Individuals look for insight to find solutions to their problems instead of working them out in the group. Humor was a big resistance I found in certain individuals.
Specifically, there was one member expressing how she had no hope in finding love because she was a realist and another member called out loud “I call bullshit to that! ” . Not only did this offend the individual but it also made her fall silent and not want to open up in the following session. Another cause for resistance is when someone becomes a questioner. When an individual speaks out and expresses an emotional thought, if they get too many questions such as “How do you feel right now”, they feel like they are being picked on and this causes resistance. Many people handle emotional interactions by using questions, according to Egan.
Egan talks about rationalization and how individuals use this as a defense mechanism. Individuals try to use rationalization as excuses for why they are not participating or why they are feeling uncomfortable in the group. One rationalization I have heard in the group was from one individual who said ” if there were more people my age in this group, I would feel safer”. Boredom is another way individuals resist the group. They may feel bored because they did not initiate their own interactions in the group. This next way that individuals resist the group is dealing in generalities. I find that almost everyone in the group does this.
I generally use the words “you” and “people” instead of “I” even when I’m applying to myself. Individuals avoid being specific in the group. Instead of speaking directly to the one person in the group, individuals direct their remarks to the entire group. When conflict arises in the group, some individuals try to stop what is taking place by defending the confrontee. They find discomfort when conflict or strong emotion takes place. For example, when one of the members of the group was confronted about being too silent, individuals started defending her and made the confronter feel like the bad person.
Some individuals refuse to take suggestions by the other members when they confront him or her. When someone suggests a possibility to change a certain behavior, the individual refuses to do so and refuses the possibility of moving towards growthful change. This is a form of resistance. Some people need to feel in control and they do this in order to resist the process of the group. Ways in which individuals may do this is by overtalking, silence, hostility or cynicism. These individuals need to control what is taking place in the group and what is not taking place in the group.
Pick an important relationship in your life that you believe could be improved. Write a script in which you demonstrate the skills of immediacy. Have the other person respond the way you really think they would-defensively, evasively, angrily, balmingly, supportively, empathically, etc… , while you continue to demonstrate Egan skills. 6 excerpts of dialogue, 3 for each person. Immediacy- I deal openly and directly with my relationships to others; I know where I stand with others and they know where they stand with me because I deal with the relationship.