“Life Position ???? …..what is he up to this time ?”, you may be wondering. It’s just a sliver from this amazing psychological theory called Transactional Analysis.
Wait!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Don’t log off….. don’t let the jargon tick you off. it’s simple to understand and apply. Just read through till the very end and you will know what it is all about.
When you were crawling around your house in your best birthday suit, you took a basic decision about yourself and all the people around you. The way you perceive yourself and the rest of world and the way you behave therein is based very much on this basic stance that you took before the age of 2.
These are four positions, one of which you have taken. They are…
I am Ok, You are OK
I am OK, you are not OK
I am not OK, you are not OK
I am not OK, You are OK
It is said that by default we are all born with an “I am not OK, you are OK ” stance. Understandable. Because we were all born pretty helpless and tiny into a world of giants. We could do nothing on our own and we depended on these giants for everything. So we assumed that there is something fundamentally wrong with ourselves, though all others are perfect.
Once in a while these giants (one of them in particular) took us in her arms, fed us, kept us warm and whispered sweet sounding things . During this process and for some time after this, we felt different and we changed our stance to I am OK, you are Ok. When the fondling became irregular or seldom or when we were denied of something (food, dry nappy), we switched back to the default stance.
After a few months, we started crawling around and became explorers. And we got hurt. We bawled!!!!!!!. In certain cases no one was there to attend to us and comfort us. So we took another position. I am OK, You are not OK. We assumed that there is something wrong with people around us. They cannot be trusted or relied upon.
In extreme cases we were neglected all together or we were punished so badly that we took up the fourth position- I am not OK, You are not OK. There is something fundamentally wrong with me and all others. People are unreliable, untrustworthy and wrong in so many ways ….
Though we would all have taken these 4 stances at different stages of our childhood, we adopted a fundamental stance by the age of 7 and this decision that we took rules us and influences every bit of behavior that we display today.
As adults too, we shift across all these positions, but in times of stress and duress, we go back to our fundamental position and operate only from there…..
Under stress, If…..
I believe that I am not OK, you are OK, I will get away from others and hide myself. I will feel inferior. Will not fight for my rights and will feel depressed.
I believe that I am OK, you are OK, I will be open with others and will welcome openness from others. This is a position of maturity and assertiveness.
I believe that I am not OK, You are not OK, I will not have any hope. I can never be OK, nor could you give me what I need. This leads to a state of futileness.
I believe that I am OK, you are not OK, I will be paranoid and will try my best to get rid of you to be OK. I will boss you around. Treat you like ^%&^ and will try to destroy you ruthlessly.
You may take different life positions in different contexts. But your true life position will be apparent in your most intimate relationships.
Without saying much, it is obvious that the best stance to take is I am OK, You are OK. This is where you respect yourself and the rest of the world. You will first listen to others and seek to understand and only then try to make others understand. This is the position that creates true WIN-WIN situations.
Which Position are you in and how can you get into the I am OK, you are OK track…. Well!! As always… Read on………
2 responses to “Which Life Position do you exude?”
Great post…. analytical and absolutely true. Thanks
Boss,Excellent work, you deserve a great salute