Relationship Clarifying

This technique helps you identity characterological adjectives (CA’s). CA’s encode basic characteristics of relationships. Each CA implies a counterpart. For example, the CA of “victim” implies the counterpart of “victimizer.” Getting to the essence of a dyadic relationship opens the gateway to understanding the dynamics of the relationship and how the two parties contribute to enduring patterns, including patterns that are dysfunctional.

Select a difficult person or situation.

Come up with a person that you have trouble communicating with, or a situation that gets in the way of you being creative and productive in getting desirable results. In such a situation, you would feel stuck.

Get a typifying word from third position.

Imagine that you are observing the situation from a seat in a movie theater. Allow your mind to come up with a word that captures the essence of the situation, such as “obstructive” or “narcissistic.”

Place yourself onto the screen and into this situation. 

Observe your own behavior and come up with a word that captures the essence of your reactions and involvement with this situation or person. For example, “reactive” or “gullible.”

Isolate the CA’s

Think of the two words or phrases that you came up with, such as “obstructive” and “reactive” or “narcissistic” and “gullible.” 

Notice how these two words or phrases are counterparts to one another. You have gotten to the essence of the dyad by isolating the characterological adjectives.