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Underlying Interpersonal Processes

It will be most helpful if you complete activity 9 (Interpersonal Priority Setting) before working on this activity.   When you are ready, the idea here is to look at how well you manage your relationships within your family.  The better you become at relationship management, the more satisfying and useful the relationships in your family will be for you.  Rate yourself on each of the seven statements below using a scale from five to one.  Five equals almost always, four equals usually, three equals sometimes, two equals seldom, and one equals almost never.

When you experience difficulties in your relationships within your family, come back to these seven statements and consider how you are doing.  It will be helpful to add your seven ratings together for the seven statements and then divide the total by seven.  You are on the right track when you maintain a process score of 4.0 or higher.

The even capitalized words at the beginning of the statements simply give names to the seven processes.  DIRECTION is a process that helps direct or move relationships in ways that are useful to you.  ACTION encourages others to respond to and support your needs and interests.  ATTITUDE MANAGEMENT encourages others to see you in a positive light.  DISTANCING            encourages others to stay close enough to you and available enough to you to be there for you at all times.  MAINTAINING ENGAGEMENT is a very closely related idea that helps meet your need to always feel that you belong and are part of the family.  MANAGING CONFLICT helps assure that your family relationships are as comfortable for you as they can be.  MODELING is a process that you involve yourself in to better assure that others in your family will behave and relate to you in ways that are pleasing and satisfying to you.

1. DIRECTION  I keep the commitments I make to and agreements I make with members of my family.

2. ACTION  I think about, understand, and support the needs and interests of members of my family.

3. ATTITUDE MANAGEMENT  I maintain a flexible approach with members of my family, relating to each member in ways that are most useful to and comfortable for him/her.

4. DISTANCING  I am sure that the members of my family get acknowledgment, time, and attention from me on a regular basis.

5. MAINTAINING ENGAGEMENT  I consistently show my interest in the activities and problems of others in my family.

6. MANAGING CONFLICT  I identify, define, and work on resolving any points of conflict or tension that come up in my relationships with people in my family.

7. MODELING  Within my family, I behave and relate to others as I would like for them to behave and to relate to me.

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