Intent: To use the FIRO theory to get a better understanding of yourself
When I was 28 years old, I had the privilege of working with people who were many years my senior, had reached the pinnacle of success in their careers, had a lot of money, and were extremely influential. Even with these feathers in their caps, they felt unsatisfied with their lives. Much to my surprise at the time, I found that they experienced the same fears and internal conflicts that I, and the rest of the folks with whom I worked, also felt.
This experience had a profound impact on me. I realized that we are all human with the same longings, fears, hope, conflicts, etc. No one gets a pass. It was enormously freeing for me.
I found that the FIRO theory was a lens through which I could look to learn more about my behavior, beliefs and feelings, as well as internal drivers. No matter what someone's status or accolades, the same holds true. Though I might be impressed with someone's accomplishments, I am able to look deeper into their particular drivers using the FIRO theory and support them in doing likewise.
To learn more about the FIRO theory, read:
Today's activity focuses on using the FIRO theory to gain a deeper understanding of ourselves.
Similar to this month's first activity on doing an archaeological internal dig (AID), in the FIRO Internal Dig (FID), you will follow clues, get curious, and let thoughts, images, memories, and feelings bubble up in response to an experience. However, this will be directed through the FIRO theory dimensions.
Find a comfortable place to sit or lie down where you will be undisturbed. Have writing materials present that you can use for the second part of the activity.
Close your eyes and focus on your breathing. As you inhale, notice where your breath goes in your body. Notice how your rib cage expands with each inhalation. Notice other movement throughout your body as a result of your inhalation. As you exhale, notice how this affects the movement in your body. Pay attention to the changes in your rib cage, belly, shoulders, back, arms as you exhale. Continue to do this for a few minutes, noticing more and more subtle movements.
For the FIRO Internal Dig, reflect on an experience in which you felt annoyed, put out, offended, left out, disrespected, or upset in some way. It could be the same experience that you used for the last activity or it can be something different. It could be something that was recent or long ago. As you reflect on it, let your body experience it fully. Think it, feel it, sense it, experience it.
Now, begin to capture your reactions with descriptors that most reflect your experience to which we will apply a FIRO filter shortly.
Slowly sit up and write descriptions of what you remember or experience now as you reflect on it for each item below. Use “spontaneous writing,” meaning that you allow whatever pops into your head to come out. Write without censoring or even understanding why you are writing what you write.
Now, to apply the FIRO Internal Dig filter, put an I, C, or O next to each descriptor that you wrote. Use the following criteria to determine if it is an I, C, or O:
Put an I if you have words, ideas, or feelings that relate to being or feeling:
|alone||worthless||invisible||like a nobody||dismissed as unimportant|
|boring||unworthy||cheated||not adding value||not listening to anyone else|
|ignored||forgotten||excluded||demanding attention||wishing you could disappear|
|left out||not valued||abandoned||deserving of attention||more important than the others|
|unnoticed||passed over||seen through||wanting to hog the stage||entitled to everyone's full attention|
Put a C if you have words, ideas, or feelings that relate to being or feeling:
|used||pathetic||aggressive||powerful||like a pushover|
|rigid||coercive||humiliated||dictatorial||having no impact|
|a wimp||ridiculed||submissive||dishonored||above the others|
|shamed||tyrannical||like a failure||irresponsible||smarter than anyone else|
|powerful||like a fool||beneath you||the authority||entitled to a position of power|
|put down||inflexible||incompetent||confrontative||more capable than anyone else|
Put an O if you have words, ideas, or feelings that relate to being or feeling:
|mean||judged||unlikeable||like a rotten apple||from another planet|
|weird||an ogre||despicable||the most desireable||discriminated against|
|spurned||unkind||unaccepted||the best person ever||entitled to everyone's affection|
|disliked||bad blood||undesireable||treated with contempt||entitled to everyone's appreciation|
|rejected||unwanted||a horrible person|
Going further with the FIRO Internal Dig filter:
There are advantages to knowing which dimensions present the biggest challenges for you.
Give yourself an internal pat on the back for taking this adventure into an AID (Archaeological Internal Dig). If you feel so inclined, go to the blog and write about something that was important to you about engaging in this activity. If you would prefer to send a private message or ask for feedback, feel free to contact me at [email protected].
: FIRO is a registered trademark owned by CPP.