Daymaker - a person who performs acts of kindness with the intention of making the world a better place.
~ David Wagner
, author of Life as a Daymaker; how to change the world by making someone's day ~

DayMaker - any thought, word, or deed that spreads happiness, compassion, or fruitful ideas.
~ Annis Cassells ~

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Stepping it Up in 2014: A Different Way

Most of us were raised and have lived our lives on a hefty dose of External Control Psychology. Our parents, neighbors, teachers, bosses knew what was good and right for us and told us what to do. They lovingly (or not so lovingly) criticized and corrected us in an effort to help us improve. “Constructive Criticism.” Right. As children, when we asked “why,” an adult often answered, “because I said so,” wiping out any chance of discussion. 

William Glasser’s Choice Theory is opposite to External Control Psychology. The philosophy and language of Choice Theory invite conversation and therefore understanding. If people can work together to come up with a mutually-satisfying solution, both feel heard and validated. The bond between them tightens.

Here’s an example of each way to approach an issue:

Parent Using External Control Psychology:  “You never wear your boots in bad weather. I’m tired of telling you over and over to put them on. You get sick, then I have to miss work to take care of you. You never think about anybody but yourself!” (Deadly habits: criticizing, nagging, blaming)

Parent using Choice Theory: “I’m concerned about your having wet feet or becoming sick in this bad weather. Let’s talk about how we can both be satisfied with the boot situation. Tell me, is there a reason why you don’t like to wear your boots?”(Caring habits: listening, respecting, negotiating to a win-win)

One approach assaults and diminishes. The other respects and empowers. 

In dealing with others, we need to try eliminating the “Seven Deadly Habits” of criticizing, blaming, complaining, nagging, threatening, punishing, or rewarding to control (bribing). 

Practicing the “Seven Caring Habits” of supporting, encouraging, listening, accepting, trusting, respecting, and negotiating differences (to a win-win) makes a huge difference in relationships.

Instead of pushing them away, we want to keep those whom we love and need close to us.  Which of the deadly habits might you cut out today? Which of the caring habits might you begin to use even more than you do now?

~ xoA ~


  1. Great post Annis.

    I really like to encourage and support other people and feel those are my strong points.

    I do tend to nag too much when I don't feel like I've been heard or acknowledged.

    I think it all comes down to being able to communicate with each other so everyone feels special.

    1. Thanks for writing, Joan. You are a great encourager; one of the things I appreciate about you.

      I would suggest looking at the times you've nagged to see whether it gets you what you want without resentment or hurt feelings on the other person's part and whether it makes a difference the next time you want them to, or think they should, do something.

      Communication is so tricky, and yes, it's good to be able to make everyone feel special. as we communicate with him or her. xoA

  2. Afraid I support the first, I bought the boots and you're going to wear them or you're not going to go. A child's health shouldn't be negotiated. The parent is suppose to be control, not be their best friend. I think too many parents today forget they have a job to do. The kids have plenty of friends, they need parents to be parents. As kids get older a dialogue might be of value, but a young child often can not be reasoned with. Sorry...I see too many parents talking but getting no where.

  3. Oh, Sandy, I agree that the parent needs to be the PARENT. And, of course, age appropriateness is also a factor in how much or little choice a youngster is allowed.

    Choices or not, there are ways to talk to a child without belittling or criticizing or blaming. And, in the end, the parent has the final say or decision.

    This example was just to show the difference between the two types of communication and which of the "habits" are being manifested.

    Thanks for writing, my dear. I always value your contributions. xoA