Satir’s LEVELER Role


so you can believe me

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Virginia Satir’s ROLES
All roles are learned in childhood. The 4 unhealthy ones are created as defense mechanisms but end up a threat – preventing us from being loved, trusted or being able to grow.  Satir gives 7 reasons why we use these patterns:
• I might make a mistake     • I might impose   •  They might leave me
• Someone will criticize me      • Someone might not like it
• They will think I am no good    • I might be thought of as imperfect

The dysfunctional roles are: Blamer, Computer, Placater & Distracter
The Leveler is the only healthy role

Style: Satir suggested that 4.5% of people will typically use this style, but many psychologists think this is optimistic. THEY :
• are comfortable with their emotions & can easily discuss them when appropriate
balanced• are dependable because they are true to their perceptions
• are emotionally balanced, assertive (not aggressive) & can relate to many types of people
• apologize when making a mistake & can evaluate the situation fairly, without blame
• deal with a threat rather than fighting it, sweeping it under the carpet or running away
• engage in honest, direct, clear communication, in real-time
• establish rapport before trying to influence, so can bring people together
• have few threats to their self-esteem, accept average stress as normal, are comfortable with ambiguous & uncertain situations
• have relationships that are easy, free & honest
• have a conscious positive intention behind everything they do
• hold strong positive beliefs about themselves & others
• look for solutions, work out problems realistically & appropriately, & their communication style helps resolve conflicts
• may talk intellectually (like the “Computer”), as when lecturing or explaining something, but their emotions are still available
• operate from strong personal values & a store of positive images
• respond to situations in a consistent way – but not rigidly – conducting their life with integrity, commitment & creativity
• ‘tell it like it is’, without exaggerating or minimizing situations

Energetic Description (from Mary Jo Bulbrook)
• Levelers are able to hold their ground, clearly communicate their needs, set physical & emotional energetic boundaries.
• All chakras are about equal, open & flowing, allowing energy to come in & go out easily
• Potential impact on receiver: Levelers help things grow, & enhance the flow of other people’s energy

Statements: “I’m relaxed & comfortable because I‘ve got nothing to hide”.  “I like you”.
An important aspect of leveling is the use of “I” statements, which express what they really mean, describe their feelings & wants, while recognizing the feelings & wants of others

Stance: • body, voice & facial expressions all give the same message
• body facing directly towards others, head vertical, relaxed face, even eyebrows, shoulders & hips level, heels directly below the shoulders so that legs are slightly apart, feet facing forward
• both palms facing down, fingers out flat, slightly wider than the body honest, fair– as if trying to level the situation

Source of Power: from finding the most effective behavior for solving problems creatively & in cooperation with others

Negative: they consistently state facts, are straightforward & tell the truth, according to their understanding. This makes some people uncomfortable, so they tend to get angry at Levelers – feel insulted, argue & justify themself, or stay away

Positive:  Re. SELF –  Satir found that when people start to level (be real), they connect to their body, heart, feelings & brains, which leads to finding their souls & their humanity.
Re. OTHERS – because Levelers are fair & trustworthy, others can depend on them, so they attract people who are also interested in transparency, & no drama.


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