EXERCISE: GUIDELINE MASTERY QUIZ
Rate your attitude to the following on a scale of 1 to 5, where 5 means you agree strongly and 1 means you strongly disagree. You and your partner should write your answers on separate sheets of paper. Then, follow the instructions under “Scoring Procedure” to see where you stand.
For odd-greater scores: Scores of 0–9 indicate that you have absorbed some of the guideline principles but are committed to ideas that cause difficulties in creating middle ground dialogue as well. I strongly advise you to review the guidelines and spend time thinking about and working on the “Guideline Review” exercise that follows this quiz.
For even-greater scores: Scores of 0–9 indicate that you probably have difficulty controlling your anger, thinking before speaking, and/or granting your partner the beneﬁt of the doubt for the sake of encouraging an open dialogue. Review the guidelines carefully, and in working on the “Guideline Review” exercise that follows this quiz. I recommend that you attempt to keep a journal to track your attempts to implement these middle-ground guidelines. Improving your grasp of these concepts will be important in creating a middle ground with your partner. Scores of 10–18 indicate that your difﬁculty controlling your anger is fairly severe. You may consider yourself an impatient person. You may experience despair at the possibility of gaining greater control of your anger or of working through difﬁculties with your partner. The good news is that the guidelines are clear and straightforward. If you work with your-self, you can make signiﬁcant changes. It will be important for you to keep a journal or, if you do not think you could keep a journal, ﬁgure out a method of prompting yourself to become increasingly conscious of how you handle your anger and your attitude toward your partner when you try to discuss any issue. Do you allow for disagreements? Do you ﬁnd that you are continuously disappointed and angry with your partner? Read over the exercises in this book especially the “Basic Three-Step,” “Reaching Out from the Inside,” and “One Talks, the Other Doesn’t.” Scores of 18 or above indicate that you need a wake-up call. It seems that you are angry much of the time and tend to be impatient and intolerant of your partner. Go over the guidelines carefully. Read over the suggestions made above; they can help you strengthen your communication skills. If you work with the concept of the middle ground and the exercises, you can make great progress.
EXERCISE: GUIDELINE REVIEW
Of the seven guidelines discussed in this chapter, is there one that is most relevant to your relationship?
Take a moment to jot down some thoughts about the guideline that poses the greatest problem in your relationship for you in terms of your actions and behavior. Try and explain as best you can why this is so.
Jot down your thoughts on which guideline is most problematic in your partner’s actions and behaviors. Explain how you understand your partner’s actions and behaviors in terms of who he or she is as a person as best you can.
Give yourself a moment to reﬂect on how your relationship would change if you could incorporate these guidelines into your interactions most of the time. Take a few minutes to formulate your thoughts in a notebook.
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