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4, 5, 6... 1, 2, 3?


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Beautifully put Jetliner. I so agree with that. I always hope people will take the time to know me, the deeper me, because the one I project these days can seem a little aloof and even offensive at times I think :D Like our friend Darth, I have lived some things that have made me less trusting, and I have built up a wall to protect myself I think. But deep down, and especially when I get to trust someone, I'm much nicer than that :-)

May the force be with us all!

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Hi Jetliner,

I find your 4, 5, 6… 1, 2, 3 so useful to me personally. I like to find methods I can use in order to take a concept and put it into a workable action at the right moment. I feel that I have a solid understanding of the concept you describe here. The problem for me is that although I have clarity of it with people outside of my main relationships, I seem to lose that when interacting with those closest to me. I can be all reaction and always regret it.

I can envision myself in one of those situations and when I feel the hurt and anger or need to judge harshly emerging I can think, Okay, we are in 4, 5, 6 and before I accept this hurt / anger or harsh view as my only choice I need to consider 1, 2 and 3 to find the reasoning behind this person’s behavior because it exists. This is less about me and more about that.

It will eventually look like this ~ Pause ~ take a deep breath ~ think 1, 2, 3.

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I might have confused you here with my strange way of looking at things. I am thinking Jetliner wrote the 4, 5, 6… 1, 2, 3 as a sum up title to the concept he pulled from the Star Wars series. I read his title and saw it as a short cut way of reminding myself to slow down and consider it when I am having trouble in a relationship.

I think because they played the Star Wars series in the order they did ~ it made the impact it did on Jetliner. The opinions formed in 4, 5 and 6 of Darth Vader seemed unquestionable and set in stone ~ “evil”. It is later that you get the 1, 2 and 3 of this characters life and the unexpected happens ~ it changes that perspective. I think that is exactly as it is in real life ~ except unfortunately we do not usually consider or get to know the 1, 2 and 3 and that means that we keep those uninformed opinions for life.

A zillion examples can be given where we are so quick to judge. The one we consider a jerk because he treats us with indifference might really be protecting himself from the rejection he learned is so painful in childhood. Even the woman that never sends thank you notes may not have had any experiences that prepared her for such things and is doing all she can just to keep it going day after day. It can be true with the smallest of irritants we encounter and complain about to the most serious of circumstances. So in general just keeping in mind that there is a 1, 2 and 3 that would at the least make sense of most any 4, 5 and 6 is taking a big step in helping us to have more compassion for others. I want to be that person as often as I can be.

Side note: I hope someone finally put a stop to Mr. Vader!

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Thanks, that was very helpful... I've actually had lots of problems with that. I think that I consider 1, 2, 3 so much in my relationships with others, that I forget to make them accountable for the way they behave in 4, 5, 6. Like he's had such a tough life, or he was spoiled as a child, or that was the way her mother taught her, and then I excuse poor behaviours off with that, tolerate too much sometimes....I'm having a hard time articulating what I want to say.... Its important to understand where someone is coming from, to better understand why they do what they do, but sometimes people can use it to manipulate you as well, use it as an excuse to not progress or to continue treating you a certain way.... Even if we understand how Mr. Vather got to be the way he is, does that excuse his cruelty.:confused: I've often had moral dilemna's about that .... sometimes it's not compassion that is required I think, but justice and equity.

Edited by Symora
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I know what you mean and have had my own set of problems with this Symora. I complicate things when I lack the assertiveness to communicate boundaries in a relationship. Sometimes I will try to turn it off of me and will get angry at someone for not intuitively knowing where the boundaries should be. But I am not comfortable with feeling anger and want to avoid it. So I will use the 1, 2, 3 awareness to make excuses for a person’s behavior because it gives me enough of an excuse to avoid confronting and holding them accountable. I get to avoid feeling angry at them for their behavior and at myself for being so unassertive. The problem is that it never really works in the long haul. Holding people accountable seems a must for a relationship to stay healthy.

I think the best use of the concept we are discussing does not involve making excuses for behavior. It is more about how the insight can help us to realize this behavior is less about us personally and more about this persons perspective of the situation ~ which comes mainly from those 1, 2, 3 experiences. It gives us a broader view in which we can operate regarding any person. It does not mean we would lower our standards of how someone should treat us. It means when they fall below those standards we are not going to take it so personally. We do not then have to deal with the pain we would feel if we did take it personally. That frees us from our own agenda of self protection and we are able to communicate with them from a completely different level. That in turn increases our ability to be a positive influence in those relationships.

I have trouble remembering that when I need it most and can hardly understand what I just wrote. That is why the simple 1, 2, 3 will help remind me to broaden my view a little before I react.

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Thank you Jetliner,

I love that story you write about (the situation on the subway) and it is from the book, The 7 habits of highly effective people. The man on the subway is the author, Stephen Covey. I have the strongest feeling that you would find this book absolutely fascinating.

The story about the two sons going in opposite directions as response to the same childhood experiences is such a great example of how subjective our view of the world really is. It goes to prove that it is not the experience as much as it is the meaning we give to it that actually has the true impact on our lives.

I have a personal example of why I might see it with a different twist compared to how you do.

My sister is just few years older than I am. She recalls the times in her childhood when friends would ask her why she lived with her Grandfather. It embarrassed her to have to explain that he was actually her Father. There was a lot about him that she found challenging to deal with and their relationship was tough. He had a very hot temper and a very negative view of women. His drinking created another set of problems that she hated. As she got into her teen years she rarely brought friends to her house because of him.

I on the other hand grew up with a Father I was proud of and I could not wait for my friends to meet him. He was handsome, smart, strong, incredible funny and fun, and he loved me more than anything else in this world. Same house, same Father and although what we both recall as our experiences are based in part from reality ~ we both were incapable during those years of seeing the other part of that reality. We had no choice in the meaning we gave those experiences because we were children. She was unable to see in him what I did and make the connection with him that would have resulted in her feeling so very loved. I was unable to see in him what she did and make the connection with what is inappropriate to help me set boundaries in my other relationships. I cannot for the life of me decide who faired better.

So in looking at the two sons ~ I have to wonder if this statement you write is completely accurate “the one used it as an excuse to become his dad while the other saw it as motivation to NOT become like him”. The way I see it is they had no choice in what they were able to see or not see or in the meaning they each gave the experiences and so by the time they reached the age of choice ~ they were both actually dealing with entirely different 1, 2, 3 histories. It is not actually as if they were both launching into adulthood off of the same pad.

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I know Symora, you make me laugh. I love going round and round with this type of topic. I have to share with you that this was more than an interesting discussion for me.

Your post questioning where accountability fits in really hit the nail on the head for me personally. In order to write a response to you I had to consider it from my own experiences as it relates to the 1, 2, 3 concept. That forced me to figure out something that I have been baffled about for most of my life in my relationships (my first paragraph in post # 7 was news to me). I think people have been trying to tell me this for a long time and I finally get it ~ “Holding people accountable seems a must for a relationship to stay healthy”. It is non negotiable that I take the steps I have to take to learn how to be assertive. I always thought it was just hurting me but can now so clearly see it is hurting my relationships, which for some reason gives me an urgency to face and resolve it.

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