Friday, 16 September 2011

Cause and Effect

If you want to change your situation the starting point is taking responsibility for your where you are now and how you feel.

What is the outcome that you want?

We teach people how to treat us - so if your issue concerns a relationship perhaps you need to change your part of the script or role in the play.

We can either be at 'Cause' or 'Effect'. If at effect we say someone else or something else is responsible for how I am/feel/do/behave/my results/my situation.

If we are at cause we say I am responsible for my results/how I feel/do/behave. Which would you rather be?

If we want to be empowered we can choose to be at cause.

We cannot directly affect others' behaviour - that is usually outside our sphere of influence - but we can change our behaviour and indirectly influence them.

When I met Joan (name changed) she was not far from serving her husband with a divorce.

I asked Joan what her outcome was and if she still loved her husband. She said that she did and wanted to take some steps to save her marriage.

It transpired that her husband was away during the week on business and on Saturday night my client was tasked with holding dinner parties for his clients/potential clients/business associates.

Saturday nights had ran the same for the past year or so. Joan's husband would complain about aspects of the food/Joan's dress.

When guests left Joan would row with her husband, cry and he would sleep on the sofa.

I played back to Joan what she had shared with me and said it's rather like being in a play where the script does not change - he has his role and you have yours.

Who was the wise person who said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing in the same way and expecting to get a different result.

I said to Joan that in order to achieve her outcome she would need to change her part of the script.

The next time I saw her she looked much happier and said: 'It was so hard but I changed my role in the script and it's helped'.

The Saturday after our session Joan had not shouted, screamed and cried when the guests left even though her husband had said 'that old thing' about her dress and criticised the food that she had spent all afternoon preparing.

Joan had sat down opposite him, looked him in the eye and said 'What I love about you are that you are a great dad to our daughter and a good provider for our family'.

I asked what his reaction was. She said he looked embarrassed. Why wouldn't he?

I asked what happened next. She said that for the first time in almost a year they shared the same bed and he held her.

Over the next months Joan's situation improved so much that her husband started complimenting her in front of friends/colleagues even adding 'How she has put up with having dinner party guests every single Saturday for as long as I can remember beats me' and 'I think we will have some time out and spend some weekends just the two of us'.

If you have found this blog useful, please leave your comments and if I can help you please do get in touch via West of England Coaching and Counselling.

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