Principles of Behaviour – Relating to Others
People in 12 Step recovery from alcoholism, addiction, co-dependency and compulsive gambling are learning new ways of relating to others.
One of the tools that can be used is looking at the outcome of interactions between yourself and others. By using these 4 simple tools ones relationships can improve.
When you act aggressively, you express your own feelings, thoughts and opinions without respect for the rights and needs of other people. The goal of aggressive behaviour is to dominate or win, and the effect is to make others feel humiliated, ignored or overpowered.
This can leave you with the feeling: ‘I’m O.K.’ Or: ‘I’m O.K. – Your not O.K.’,
- and the other person with the feeling: ‘I’m not O.K. – They are O.K.’
Indirect Aggressive Behaviour
When a you use indirect aggression, you signal your feelings, in an indirect and devious way. Such as by sighing, refusing to make eye contact, or ignoring someone. If questioned you may verbally deny your feelings but continue to express them non-verbally.
- This leaves each with the feeling: ‘I’m not O.K. – your not O.K.’
Passive or Non-Assertive Behaviour
When a you act passively or non-assertively, you fail to express your feelings or thoughts. Thus allowing others to ignore you. Or, you express yourself in such an indirect, apologetic or timid way that others easily ignore you. You respect the rights of others, but belittle your own rights or importance.
- This leaves you with the feeling: ‘I’m not O.K. – you are O.K.’,
- and the other person with the feeling: ‘I’m O.K. – with no thoughts or feelings for you.’
When a you act assertively, you express your thoughts, feelings, beliefs and opinions in direct, honest and appropriate ways. Being assertive means both respecting one’s own rights and needs and mutually respecting others.
- This leaves each with the feeling: ‘I’m O.K. – Your O.K.’
What message do you want to put across? ………………….
When do you need to make this choice?……………………..
How often do you need to make this choice?………………..
Recovery means that practice makes perfect. After weeks, months or years. “I will intuitively know how to handle situations which once used to baffle me.” And,
Let it begin with me according to what my Higher Power would want.