figure_drawing010 Ver A WA version

Humans are amazingly flexible and adaptable.

You have a multidimensional self – all of the old personality tests need to be thrown out!

We watch everyone around us at all ages as we learn,  “what do I do and how I should react?”, – and then we repeat what works. These are adaptations that are based on real experiences so it is important to respect the past and be kind in regard to how you were in those times.

Individuals experience stress in many different ways over time and take on an adaptive role.  The role is both available to use and is also changeable.  When you have a good realistic a relationship with yourself you have a lot of influence on changing reactions to stress triggers. Especially now that you have the Check In to buy some time to experiment.

TRAINING PROGRAM:  The categories  on the worksheet section are the many social roles that people experience all the time.  What you learned in these roles helps create experiences now at Home, with Friends, with Yourself, at work or School and with your Family.   These experiences add up to a working self –concept or identity.

EXAMPLE:     Pablo is originally from Peru but currently lives in Detroit. He suffers from exhaustion and a sense of not having time for anything. His Social Roles worksheet looks like he is in the hospitality business even though he is an officer on the police force.  He is 24/7 full-out making everyone happy.   He experiences chest pain one night and ended up in the Emergency Room thinking he was having a heart attack.  The doc told him he was living on the edge of a heart attack but this wasn’t it.

At Home – I am the one who is a good father, husband, lets people stay for months, feed them, listens,  laughs, can’t sleep.

As a child with my family – I was the one who was ashamed of the way my family lived…. In poverty, uneducated, desperate… nothing felt safe or permanent.

At work  I am the one who keeps everyone going, tells jokes, solves problems, is responsible for safety of everyone.

Pablo is developing risk for long-term medical problems that could be very serious one day.  He has dismissed the consequences of eating, drinking, smoking because these are his comforts.  He lives in a high stress state, sleep deprived and out of shape because he, ” Never takes time for myself”.

With myself I was the one who needed lots of security and worked hard to build a life. I am proud and exhausted and didn’t know I was under too much stress.

I am the one who has a great life, loves everyone, organizes activities, has heart burn and can’t sleep, will do anything for a friend.

With myself I am the one who wants to feel calm, give a lot to others, take time for me.  I want to be healthy so I need to start saying NO sometimes.

Pablo grew up hiding his family life and home from his friends because he was ashamed of their poverty and the living conditions.  His adaptation to stress was to create a life he could proudly share with others.  Not a bad adaptation except for too much anxiety based on fear which put his health at risk.

In the ER Pablo was relieved to find out that his pain was from too much coffee, alcohol and smoking.

WORKSHEET: For the worksheet use short words to describe how you were, how you are.  Many people are too vague: I was a lonely kid, I am the one who feels distant, I want to get better.  Use more specific details how were you lonely or distant with other kids with adults,  in what ways – I was not athletic, I was in a bad school, and  how do you need to get better – be active, I need to find a sport, do what I love, play the guitar, find other people, join a book club?  Use active words for the last line so that you have some self directives which are possible to do.

EXPERIMENT: Check in with your social roles throughout the day and make a few adjustments.