Chapter 8: Interpersonal Relationships

In this month focused on interpersonal relationships, writer Max Von Duerkheim focuses my attention on getting to know and listen to myself. He asks me to blur the line between the self and the other.  In this month I used senses and allowed the boundaries and walls I previously built to fade away as I created a new way of looking at and being with and of others.

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Dear Beth,

Alright, so February is about the interpersonal.  I feel like this is your forte – you KNOW how to connect with people.

But let’s try this anyway.  I thought of this, that and the other, but have arrived I think at a very simple month for you  (my favorite discarded idea, by the way, was to ask you to meet a bunch of strangers and throw a party for them!)

Ok, so, a month in two phases:

1.  Listen.  Interact.  Be with the person you’re interacting with – and explore your moment of interaction by knowing that you ARE them.

What??…  so let me be simpler, or try to be.  I would like you, whenever you remember and it comes to mind, when in an interaction with another person, to take an attitude that this person is yourself.  That simple – just think something like “I am listening to myself”, or “This is myself”.

It’s a creative visualization, i guess.  Just thinking that you are who you are with.

You don’t need to go out and look for people to do this with.  Just live your day-to-day, and when it comes to mind, and you’re interacting with someone, just think and hold the attitude – this is myself.

(There might be a reaction against doing this, from within, say if you are in a conflict with the person or something.  See if you can override your personal needs for a time, and allow the identification with someone else to be stronger.)

Do that, and observe it, and let us know how it feels.

2.  Do something about it.  Once you get to mid-month or so, though you can start thinking about this as soon as you want,  take some time to think about what this experience has felt like, and the people who you’ve conducted the ‘experiment’ with.  I mean the people you’ve related to as yourself.

And do something for them!  Go into the experience of ‘being them’ and them being you – and see what you feel there, in terms of something to do for them.  Maybe it isn’t anything at all – maybe you feel they don’t need anything – and that is fine.  Or maybe it’s that they need something specific that you can do.  Do it.  And let us know.

I’ll try to do some of this too.

That’s all Beth!  I hope you have fun with this!  And no pressure to get your head around trying to have a deep or crazy experience that is interpersonal.  Just simply let go and see if it can actually feel like you’re swimming around in yourself…

2/1/14

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Hi Beth!

Here is my wild card for the Interpersonal Relationships theme for this month:

You are already focusing on “becoming” the person with whom you are engaging. The wild card for this month is to focus on a specific character trait held by the person you are engaging with. Name at least three traits (they can be from the same person or from different people). Think about the following questions per trait:
– Name the specific trait that jumps out at you
– Is this a trait that reflects your own character? Or is it a trait you wish you had?
– What is meaningful to you about this trait?
– If it is a trait you wish you had, what actions will you take to foster this trait for yourself?
– If it is a trait you already have, how does this trait affect your interactions with the world around you, including your relationships?
Write at least one blog post naming these character traits and discussing the questions above.
I hope you find this wild card helpful on the Journey of Beth Barbush!
Love,
aliza

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