Their ATTITUDE Inventory (4 of 5)

of this I can take!

PREVIOUS: THEIR Attitude Inventory (3 of 5)


FYI: This INTRO will be repeated for all 5 posts in this series, but with different topics

THIS CHART is much more specific & includes listing many of the statements family & others made to us (or we overheard, often) that have become our Toxic Beliefs. More issues in the next 4 posts.
Somewhere list the people you want to ‘learn’ about.  To start, you can pick ONE you think you know more about & see how far you get.  Of course you can use this chart any way that suits the way YOU process info, so experiment.

* TAKE YOUR TIME. You may feel even more overwhelmed than with the previous chart (there are 62 possible topics altogether). There’s no rush – if you push it you’ll be more likely to give up or to miss important details.

** Naturally you won’t be able to fill in every category for every person. but if you make a separate page for each topic, you can play around by filling in anything that comes to you right away. If you can only write one line per category, start there. Fill in more info at any time later. That can encourage you to work on the rest.  PROGRESS not PERFECTION!

REMINDER: Not surprisingly, many of us don’t remember what
we heard, felt or experienced as kids – mainly we blanked out from fear, but our unconscious remembers.
As you proceed you might be surprised at how much you DO know, and at what will ‘be revealed’ about yourself as you got thru this exercise.  Siblings, other family members & friends or old notebook/ diaries may be helpful.

NOTICE that for each topic you’re asked to consider 3 aspects:
a. Verbal messages: What did this person actually say about the issue? If we pay attention to the way we talk to ourselves – & others – especially when we’re frustrated or angry – we can hear ‘them’ coming out of our mouth.
Also, if someone you’re inventorying is still alive, you can get it from the ‘horse’s mouth’. Without being confrontational or angry, just slip some questions into your conversation & you may get lots of material for your writing. Even what they leave out is very informative!

b. Personal experiences: this is usually the easier one to remember – what  actions did they take about each issue – what did they go thru? Lots of jobs, kinds of relationships, the many ways they did something stupid / abusive / self-destructive / OR helpful / kind / amusing ….. especially any repeated patterns

c. General Attitudes: This may be the hardest because you are the repository of their unspoken, disowned parts! But there are things you’ve always known about them (or at least suspected) that you may not want to admit to. Remind yourself – “I know what I know”. You’re NOT crazy – kids are very intuitive & absorb everything!

Suggested PROCEDURE:
More than likely you’ll be doing this on some kind of device.  Make a separate page for each topic & perhaps each subheading
• OR you can use a loose-leaf notebook, & maybe 3 different color pens
• Take as much room for each a. b. & c. as needed, filling in first the things you’re sure or have an idea about – in NO particular order!

• Include all positive & negative points, to get a rounded picture
• Skip any topics that don’t apply to a specific person or that you simply don’t know about, & include more later
• Add any topics not listed which applies to a specific person
PS: If a topic specifically impacted you – growing up – you can make a separate column / page to comment

NEXT: Attitude Inv. (5 of 5)

THEM Inv 4

PURPOSE of Emotions : Prediction

musical notes 3 

helps me know what to expect

PREVIOUS: For Protection

REMINDER: Use Acronyms Page for abbrevs.


• Psychological research has shown that Emotion shapes behavior, perhaps because strong Es reinforce experiences. Knowing how someone feels will help us evaluate how they will act.

From AREK: We all have a chronic or habitual emotional state that determines our fundamental & relatively constant behavior patterns. When we experience success or failure in our activities, emotional levels move up or down accordingly, but eventually re-balance, returning to our personal base line

AREK’s site includes an emotions chart reflecting the same viewpoint as in ‘What about Emotions, #2’.  Here he numerically grades each E. by intensity, from -0- at the bottom of the Unhappiness Domain to -4.0- at the top of the Happiness Domain. While no chart can ever be complete, this type can be used as a general guide to understand & predict human behavior in all it’s complexity, so we can make better choices in our relationships

ATTITUDES (Att) are someone’s consistent evaluation of people, objects, & ideas, based on TEA: T – cognitive, E – affective or A – behavioral. Explicit Att are opinions that people consciously endorse & can be easily described, whereas implicit Att are involuntary, usually unconscious & so uncontrollable. Att can predict behavior if we know which of these 2 categories someone is coming from in a given situation

T.O.M. Theory of Mind acknowledges our natural capacity to understand internal states such as beliefs, feelings, desires, hope & intentions. We’re able to create a mental picture of our own Es & reactions, which helps us understand that other people’s behavior is caused by their inner experience. This allows us to anticipate & predict some of what to expect from them

• We know that whatever goes on in the mind of others is not visible to us, so the images remain a “theory” we create.  T.O.M. is not a form of mind-reading but more like putting oneself in someone else’s shoes.

EXP: Even as a kid, you ‘understood’ that your sister would be sad, furious & frustrated with you IF you tore up her favorite dress! And you could also predict how she’d react – yell, hit you, tell your parents, get back at you later – depending on her personalityin your shoes

CHILDREN: A group of Child Psychologists made a systematic examination of emotions & story themes in children’s play time, to see if the combination could provide useful information about their bad behavior (acting-out). In scenarios made up by 4 & 5-year-olds, images of emotional distress & destruction (aggression, personal injury, unusually negative responses for their age…) correlated with their actual behavior problems, as rated by parents & teachers.

SALES: Marketing studies have used emotional measurements to see if they could link people’s capacity for persuasion & therefore purchasing decisions with emotional feelings. They’ve concluded that combining emotional responses with other key factors indicate consumers’ true basis for choices, giving companies an effectively tool for reaching their audience, since Es accounted for 70% of the respondents’ purchasing intentions

ACoAs: Again, the type of Predicting referred to here is NOT mind-reading, which is based on our assumptions, projections & wishes. Rather, it’s the ability to observe what others are telling us about themselves – which they do all the time – AND recognizing what our emotions are telling us about them.

• As we get to know someone we can make general but legitimate assumptions about how they’re going to react in pay attentionvarious emotional states & social situations. It’s up to us to stay awake.
Children figure out how to do this at an early age by watching their parents & others around them, so they know what’s expected of them, how to respond & how to protect themselves. BUT we were taught to not trust those observations – so we ignore what we know, to our detriment!

• Not only do ACoAs try to mind-read, but we also make the mistake of ‘predicting behavior’ based mainly on the way our parents treated us & each other – instead of responding to who someone actually is in the presentEXP:
— If we were constantly neglected as kids we expect everyone will ignore us now
— If we were always scapegoated in the family, we keep ‘seeing’ ways others marginalize us
— If we were usually punished for getting angry, we assume everyone else will also reject us if we express anger….

➼ Yes, we can easily fimind-readingnd people who are just like our family, often choosing & then staying with them because we can act out the Negative Prediction of always & inevitably being abandoned.
However, these are not the only possibilities.  There are respectful, caring people in the world as well. We have a right to be with them – so believe in that right & keep looking!
Relations are like fish – it’s up to us to pick the ones with the least bones!

NEXT: Purpose – Decisions