The classic reactivity pattern / Victor Frankl’s modified reactivity pattern
The classic reactivity pattern
Stimulus leads to response. These responses are often automatic, and unconscious!
Example : Imagine that someone tried to strike you (unexpectedly).
Some people :
- would freeze in terror
- would hit back without thinking
- would shout out
- would cry
- would run away
In all of the above scenarios, the response would be automatic.
When you ask a blue type: “Could you do this for me?”
The automatic response (if they say yes) is: “I’m going to do it absolutely perfectly.”
The need for perfection is not specified in the request, but blue types almost always imagine it as part of their response.
It will be different for each personality type.
This automatic response (conditional behaviour) is going to draw the individual into repeated schemas throughout the day, and will contribute to their increased stress.
Victor Frankl’s modified reactivity pattern
Victor Frankl had a PhD in Psychology and was a prisoner in both concentration and extermination camps in the Second World War, but made it out alive.
According to Frankl, four conditions allow us to extend the moment of freedom between stimulus and response:
- Self awareness: the act of being aware of the stress cycle related to your personality type can allow you to choose a response that is different from the automatic way you have responded up to now.
- Imagination: Frankl explains that, even though he was forced to do everything, he imagined how he would tell his story to his students AFTER. He imagined another ending, another situation.
- Ethics: Frankl said that we cannot separate a person from their ethics. He developed an approach that he called Logotherapy, which is therapy based on meaning. Differentiating himself from Freud and Jung, Frankl believed that it is possible to help people through therapy that is tied to meaning. What meaning do I give to my life? => It’s an approach based on ethics.
- Independent will: This concerns the fact that I can decide to choose my actions. Frankl explains that in a concentration camp, the level of personal freedom is almost zero. When someone ordered or forced him to do something, he re-decided that it was his choice, because he wanted to stay alive. His actions then came from his own will.
When we discuss this theme in training, we tell students that we will look at acting both on self-awareness and free will, in order to increase their sense of freedom.
Why do we talk about all of this? Because the conditional behaviours are so powerful that you might have the feeling that there is no alternative to reacting this way.