Illustrations of our Reactive tendencies
These are some examples of how each reactive tendency shows up. They illustrate what it can feel like energetically to witness each type reacting under pressure. They aren't perfect illustrations...but they are fun!
Example of Complying : Ben Stiller in "Meet the Parents" is feeling pressure at his first dinner with the girlfriend's intimidating family. Having never said grace before, he is however bullied into saying yes and reluctantly improvises his way thru. The result is a great illustration of how trying to please others often works against us.
Example of Controlling : John Cleese in Fawlty Towers who I imagine is holding on tightly to what he thinks should be happening...and his car gets the brunt of it.
In this second clip, John Cleese had delegated out some renovation work and is discovering that the results are not quite to his expectations. So he loses it like only he can do. It's a funny yet disturbing example of the crazy state we get into when nothing is ever done well enough for our liking.
Example of Protecting : Javier Bardem in "Old Country". Another over the top dramatic example for the sake of illustration. When we attach our worth to being smart and logical, it keeps others off balance really effectively. It is a painful and long clip as he is all about outsmarting the other guy and keeping the upper hand with his cool detachment. (Forget that he is a sociopathic killer for the moment!).
Example of Protecting & Controlling : The Iron Lady herself in fine form, who in other parts of the movie often mutters the judgement "Weak!", but here is more overt about her criticism. Watch the whithering effect it has on everyone around her and how it boxes her in.
And, finally, a great example of what we are up to as leaders doing this work. We are overcoming old fears (in his case his stutter)...for the sake of something bigger. This clip is from the movie, The Kings Speech. If you haven't seen the whole thing yet, I recommend it!
If you come across any other examples of our three favorite ways to feel in control and safe, let me know!