William Glasser, MD, is the founder of a psychotherapy system called “Reality Therapy/Choice Theory.” Influenced by the works of several other writers on the make up of the mind, Glasser brought out the notion that each of us has an aspect of our mind called the Quality World. Another way to look at this is the “All-you-want-world.” If you really like, love, admire, desire something, it can be considered as something in your Quality World.
The Quality World is not the only part of our minds that we have. With the Quality World we now loo at or experience the Real World. Right in the middle now, is our Perceived World. We perceive or look at what’s out there and we try to match them up. I can’t get everything I want. Nobody can get everything they want, and this inability leaves us frustrated. This frustration or negative signal demands balancing. The needs motivate us toward satisfying our frustration. Now to the car metaphor, which represents the human person- all of us, mind, body and soul. The front wheels are doing the thinking and the back wheels are feelings and physiology, Back wheels follow front wheels. My frustration is what moves this car to get what I want. But if I don’t understand how my car works, or how I function as a person (same thing), I may only get even more frustrated. I may just allow my frustration to get me angry or depressed. I may end up making really bad decisions in my life. These pastor pages may help us to get a better sense of how to manage ourselves.
As an example, I am angry that I can’t get what I want and I may not know that this feeling that cannot change until I do something different or think something different. Why? Going back to the car analogy, doing and thinking are the front wheels and feeling is a back wheel. And back wheels follow front wheels. As a result of not knowing how I tick, my incorrect concentration on my feelings, as I try this way to feel better and to get rid of my anger or other frustration, I simply end up “spinning my wheels.”
Hmm? How does thinking something different or doing something different help me? Well, maybe there is another way I can satisfy my basic needs of power, love and belonging, fun and freedom?
After all, one definition of insanity is the repetition of the same behavior with the hope of a different result each time. So the mistake here is to think that if I try something 100 times and fail, well, if I try it the 101st time now it will work!!! However, I call this a mistake because if my attempt failed 100 times, it will more than likely fail the 101st time as well. This is what I mean by doing something different and why that may be important to my mental health. Spinning my wheels and getting increasingly frustrated is just not a way to live in this world.
Or, maybe how I satisfy my needs should change? The seven deadly habits that can ruin a relationship are criticizing, blaming, complaining, nagging, threatening, punishing, and rewarding to control. The choice theory alternative to the seven deadly habits are supporting, encouraging, listening, accepting, trusting, respecting, and negotiating differences. I may want something as legitimate to have, but I am using one or more of the seven deadly habits to get it. The result can only be frustration and increasing anger. On the other hand, if I were to “think” out what is wrong with my relationships, I may decide to “do” something different, like say, using one or more of the seven positive habits and find that I can better get what I want that way! Blessing!
Peace, Fr. Walter