ROLES BASED ON GENDER AND POSITION
The Old Paradigm dictates roles based on gender, position in the family, or social and business position. It is based on conditioning and what is called Object Referral: I know how to act based on cues you give me for my behavior. Or my behavior is guided by established, often unspoken, rules and traditions. Self Referral says I know how to act based on how I feel, what I want and need, the experience I am having and—WAIT FOR IT—clear, direct, communication from me and from whoever I am interacting with.
The Old Paradigm relies on passive aggression. The best definition I have ever learned for passive aggressive behavior is this: behavior that causes someone else to feel MY anger. We can go further and say that any feeling I don’t want to feel—anger, hate, fear, anxiety, shame—I will do my best to pass on to you through my hostile (disguised but still hostile) actions.
A favorite passive aggressive technique is to freeze someone out, give them the cold shoulder or even, worst case, the Silent Treatment. I can act the innocent while you suffer. “What? I didn’t do anything!”
Freezing out probably originated in the family of origin but can show up in present day family and social relationships. We might be left out of a social event or overlooked in a conversation. We might suddenly, and with very little explanation, be denied use of a vehicle or building or a piece of furniture. Any kind of slight will do. Freezing out can happen in the workplace, as well. Someone might leave us off of an email chain or fail to invite us to a meeting—even a meeting of our own department. Oops!
Anybody feeling cold??