protection (“ toxic triangle ”). new rule W r i t i n g

protection (“ toxic triangle ”). new rule W r i t i n g

System Rules Between Conflict Parties in an Interaction

In the main text, Wilmot and Hocker explain that conflict interactions are constructed of system rules, and that they describe the underlying communication structure of the interaction. Rules also instruct us on how to act (or how not to act) in conflict.

These rules are written in the following form:

When in context X, Y must or must not occur,” OR

When dad shows sadness or anger, mom must soothe him, OR

Whenever her mother-in-law calls, she must return the call within 2 days.

I. Now, describe a conflict interaction, or, rule from your own life using the same form.* Only write and code (see below) ONE rule.

II. Answer the questions below to elicit the system rules (see also main text, Ch. 7 in Wilmot & Hocker text):

1. List explicit (spoken) and implicit (unspoken) rules that show that your own and others’ behavior(s) follow the rule in a conflict.

2. If you have trouble thinking of the rules for your system, think of times when the rule was broken. How did you know the rule had been broken? How was the violation communicated? Write about the behavior(s) that became obvious that you should have followed upon breaking the rule.

3. Make sure you generate rules for both behaviors that must and must not be performed.

4. Go back over your list. Make each rule simple and ‘prescriptive’ (ie., not interpretive, just describing the rule). Write rules even for the “obvious” communication patterns.

For example:

When new staff members attend the staff meeting, they must not express opinions unless they have a sponsor who is an older staff member.

III. CODING: Answer these questions according to your rule:

a. Whose rule is it?

b. What keeps the rule going?

c. Who enforces the rule?

d. Who breaks the rule?

e. What function does the rule serve?

6. Discuss how the rules help or harm the productive management of conflict. Make decisions for change.

For example:

Old Rule: When dad is angry with younger brother, older brother must protect younger brother from dad’s disapproval.

Result: Older brother and dad engage in conflict often, reducing effect of the protection (“toxic triangle”).

New Rule: When dad and younger brother get into a conflict, they must talk about their conflicts without older brother (a new affiliation).

* Remember that system rules are stated in proscriptive, not evaluative form.

The example regarding the mother-in-law above, for example, does not say “he feels obligated to return his mother-in-law’s call in two days,” because that would entail an interpretation of motives or causes. Rules must be written in a way that state behaviors, but not the reason why this behavior occurs. This helps to clearly view the pattern of repetitive interactions with the parties involved.

Place this order or similar order and get an amazing discount. USE Discount code “GET20” for 20% discount