Architecture Room > Emergent Hierarchies > 5: Resolving Interpersonal Differences > Understanding Centres

Understanding via a Tree of PH-L5 Centres


This Tree guides you in resolving interpersonal differences so as to affirm a solid bond and handle a close relationship following a crisis that could lead to a split.

This account is not a full exploration of psychosocial issues. It's purpose is to demonstrate that THEE is a model whose exploration generates findings that did not go into its construction. The specific aim is to scientifically validate conjectures developed in relation to the reversal of the oscillating duality and the identification of Root Level pressures of presumed biological origin. See more here.

Approach to Exposition:Closed  The Tree emerged fully developed and so the usual logical methods of exposition are not appropriate. See more here.

Note: The key Understanding level in this emergent framework appears to be KL2: Intuition because the relationship has reached this breaking point because they have gone wrong, and yet the future depends on having confidence in developing and using your intuitions. It may help to read this part first.

The Tree Spine

Seek Guidance at KL7 by Respecting Naming
Take Heart at KL4 by Feeling Good about Risking
Find Energy at KL2 by Relying on Intuition
Make It Happen is at KL1 by Activating Intervention

There is a progression here from sensitivity through to boldness. The two extreme Centres seem externally-oriented: at the top (KL7) you facilitate discussion, at the bottom (KL1) you initiate changes. The other two Centres seem internally oriented: the upper (KL4) requires strength, the lower (KL2) requires wisdom.

In this middle spine, the yourself v your situation duality is fused. Situation here includes the other party, the relationship, the history and the context.

ClosedMore about the Balanced Centres & Vertical Channels in the Spine

In these balanced Centres, whatever is relevant for you has to be simultaneously relevant for the other person and the relationship situation generally:

The three vertical Channels show a progression from sensitivity through to boldness:

KL7B KL4B: Your respect for names-KL7B challenges whether you are genuinely risking-KL4B; and vice versa.

KL4B KL2B: Your risking-KL4B energizes you to develop intuitions-KL2B about repairing the relationship; and vice versa.

KL2B KL1B:  Your intuitions-KL2B confirm the timing and style of intervention-KL1B; and vice versa.

KL7: Seek Guidance Understanding via Selflessness

KL7B: Respect Names (PH5-L5)

In relationships, word are like bullets, knives or stones. So, when there is deep misunderstanding and mistrust associated with repeatedly feeling hurt, labels used for events become sensitized. Nevertheless, you must converse in order to repair. And so you need names for many things: for what has happened, for specific events, for inner states, for repeated behaviours, for unmet needs, and for shared needs. References to any of these matters could be taken as provocative and then lead to outbursts that reinforce dysfunction and prevent repair. But these are the issues that must be discussed and a way must be found. There is no harm in using euphemisms. After all, the aim is to make reference to painful experiences easy and natural without causing too much additional pain.

ClosedExamples of Naming

ClosedUnderstanding and Selflessness

Respect for names provides a focus for your self-management-KL6Y, and demands that you actively manage meetings-KL6S in which you pursue repair of the relationship. Naming what is painful or provocative also challenges you to keep risking-KL4B.

KL4: Take Heart Understanding via Well-being

KL4B: Feel Good about Risking (PH7-L5)

Tolerating risk is the central feature in troubled relationships. The urge is certainly to leave, resign, disconnect or split up. But there may also be a tendency to masochistic submission ('this is my life and I have to put up with it') and fears of loss ('this relationship is better than nothing'). The problem is that, although you want something better, there is no guarantee you can get it. The only hope for fixing the situation involves risk because there is no miracle drug or simple recipe to repair a relationship that has gone bad. By tackling the difficulties in the relationship, you accept an inner uncertainty, possible rejection and humiliation, and tense painful interpersonal interchanges. This risk must be tolerated again and again until the situation is resolved one way or another. Then you will know where you stand.

ClosedRisking, Understanding and Well-being

ClosedAre Risks Avoidable?

Risking commits you to manage yourself-KL6Y, and it gets support from structuring situations-KL6S to facilitate discussion. Risking requires that you become realistic about how you connect and construe events-KL5Y. You get acceptance for risking by appreciating explanations offered by the other-KL5S. Risking is boosted by your identification of what is worthwhile in the relationship. On the one hand, supporting values that you share-KL3S helps your willingness to risk to become credible. On the other hand, you get encouraged by insisting that your own specific needs-KL3Y are met. Finally, by risking you energize your intuitions-KL2B and pose a challenge in regard to conversations where the naming-KL7B of tensions and issues is unavoidable.

KL2: Find Energy  Understanding via Certainty

KL2B: Rely on Intuitions (PH4-L5)

Intuitions are the way that close relationships are handled. The first warning that something was going wrong would have been determined using intuition. So although other forms of experience are relevant, it provides the only certainty in choosing to risk repairing a failed relationship.

Sometimes you discover things are awry because your intuitions start to fail. You find yourself thinking: "everything I say is wrong", "everything I do is wrong". Or perhaps that is your view of the other party: their intuitions about how to handle you and your needs and wishes seem deeply faulty. Sometimes a person activates desperate attempts to conform and please or to dominate and control to rescue a deteriorating relationship. Such approaches, devoid of understanding and deeply unintuitive, are most unlikely to work.

The first requirement is therefore to welcome your intuitions and view them as your source of certainty. That means you have to stop reacting and give yourself space and time to make psychological connections that illuminate the situation and clarify where you stand. In order to understand with confidence, you absolutely must rely on intuition. You cannot depend on your emotions or images or abstract ideas and theories, or the advice of others.

You need to develop intuitions that reaffirm your insistence on a relationship that engages your currently unmet needs-KL3Y, and that align with support for the shared values-KL3S in the relationship . These intuitions also energize your willingness to take risks and should confirm your decisive interventions-KL1B.

KL1: Make It Happen Understanding via Performance

KL1B: Activate Intervention (PH1-L5)

An intervention is the form of action that has the potential to transform a situation comprehensively. Timing its performance is therefore critical. A good intervention sets in train a series of subsidiary actions and desirable consequences, both mental and physical, that are predictable in general but not in detail. Interventions need to be devised with an understanding of the nature of the situation and with a realistic view of the state of the relationship and what can actually be done at that moment in time. Necessary interventions are always communicative, but they may be verbal or non-verbal. Often they have a physical component: like making a telephone call, sending a gift, or arranging for an independent person to be join a meeting.

Interventions rely on your intuitions. So the channel between interventions and intuitions should be open and provide confirmation that you do understand what is going on. They channel (and are channeled by) shared desires-KL3S, and constrain (and are constrained by) satisfaction of your personal needs-KL3Y.

The Bi-Polar Levels

The other three levels—KL6, KL5, KL3—have two Centres each: these must take heed of each other and connect to the Centres on the spine.

KL6: Establish Your Position  Understanding via Autonomy

KL6: Enable Management (PH3-L5)

The relationship is for all practical purposes out of control. You are not on speaking terms or whenever you do speak you avoid eye-contact, your body tenses, or the tone is edgy. Matters can only be improved if you choose to actively manage the relationship. That means exerting your autonomy by refusing to feel trapped or forced out, and rejecting control by inappropriate conventions, your own emotionality or the other party's machinations. You must take charge of yourself to ensure that you do not lose control, and you must structure and plan situations together where a resolution can be rationally pursued. This requires understanding of yourself, your relationship and the situational context. There is a reciprocity here.

KL5: Clarify Your Effort  Understanding via Understanding

KL5: Clarify Relations (PH2-L5)

Coincidence? Closed It just happens that relation-L5 within inquiry-PH2 is important for handling interpersonal «relations». In both cases, the references is to connecting things that might otherwise remain unconnected. Relating-PH2L5 is about making connections to understand, while «relating» socially is about making connections to feel good and to pursue goals.

A close relationship is characterized by relating actions, words, events and contexts to construct a situation within which you function. This construction is a matter of informal observation and inquiry, and naturally people differ in their perceptions. How you understand a relationship impacts its quality. When things go wrong, perceptions start differing wildly: your haste is seen by me as disrespect, my advice is seen by you as criticism. These positions get supported by complicated explanations and justifications as connections ramify. To remedy dysfunction, you have to explain your own understanding of what is going on, and appreciate what the other party understands. There needs to be some complementarity between these two.

The key mechanism here is conversation: close relationships only get fixed through genuine communication between the two people. Alternatives (e.g. gifts, compliance, complaints, third-party intervention) can never provide the mutual understanding that is fundamental to any enduring resolution. See more.
Note that this Centre contains the understanding element (PH-L5) at the understanding level (KL5) in the Tree.

KL3: Why You Persevere  Understanding via Acceptability

KL3: Promote Social Values (PH6-L5)

Social values are what is important within a group and they express the personal needs of its members. Conventions and common-sense govern what values apply in particular sorts of relationship: however, acceptability plays a major role as well. An important reason for the break-up of relationships is either that values that were the rationale wither or become less acceptable, or new values and interests emerge for one partner that are not acceptable to the other. Understanding the values that bind a relationship on a daily basis is therefore essential to resolve differences. Some social values are about gratification, while others are necessities to handle life stresses: and either of these forms may be mutual or idiosyncratic. Both play a role in the acceptability of a continuing relationship, but support for common values-KL3S has to take into consideration the importance of having your own needs met-KL3Y, and vice versa.

Last Updated: 24-Mar-2014

All material here is in a draft form. There will be errors and omissions. Nothing should be copied or distributed without express permission. Thank you.Copyright © Warren Kinston 2009-2016. All Rights Reserved.

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