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William Glasser: Choice Theory

By Guest Author On March 4, 2011 Under Improve Your Life, Improve Your Self Esteem, Self Help Tips, Self Improvement, Setting Goals, Success Secrets

Dr. Glasser is the brains behind of “Choice Theory.”  He indicates that all our behaviour is chosen, either consciously or subconsciously.  Choice Theory sers out 7 Caring Habits and Seven Deadly Habits; to a significant extent choosing between these Caring Habits and Deadly Habits can determine our level of fullfillment with our lives.

  Choice Theory indicates that personal relationships largely decide whether or not we have fulfilling lives; and that the outcome of those relationships is fundamentally decided by how we act in response to the choices of optimistic , nurturing habits or damaging , harmful habits.  The more we move towards the Seven Habits that result in Personal Empowerment, the more we move towards rewarding   Relationships.

Our first choice is whether we are, “Supporting, or Criticizing?”   From our own reactions to being criticized, we know that criticism does not work.  We also know that supportive behaviour does work.  To have satisfying relationships, we must be constantly working to improve supportive behaviours and trim back our criticism of others.

Second, we should to ask, “Are we Encouraging, or Blaming?” Very similar to the above – a saying that comes to mind is, “Do you want to fix the blame?  Or do you want to fix the problem?”  As long as we stay in the “blame game” we lose the opportunity to encourage others .

Third, we get to choose between Listening and Complaining For our third choice, we get to choose between Listening and Complaining .  Your creator knew what he was doing when He/She gave you two ears and only one mouth.   Unfortunately , most of us choose to talk rather listen.  By choosing  to improve understanding you will significantly enhance all of your relationships.

Next, Choice Theory lists Accepting or Nagging .  We all know that nagging does not work – but we all do it.  Accepting others as they are is a close cousin to unconditional love; it is a skill we should all work on.  Plus, accepting others has a big side effect – over time they come to accept us as we are .

At number 5 our choice is between Trusting and Threatening.  As infants, we are born trusting – but our worldly experiences soon push most of us to threatening.  As we grow and understand the ramifications of our choices, we need to push the balance back towards trusting.

Our sixth choice is , “Are we Respecting or Punishing?”  Punishing seems to be the collective mechanism of our world, despite centuries of living proof that it does not work.  This is true in our personal lives, our schools, the business world etc; we need to choose respect.

Finally , we get to choose between Negotiating Differences and Bribing/ Rewarding .   In a world that stresses we have win at all costs, the win/win solution is gaining some ground amongst the more enlightened.  Negotiating differences is handicapped by poor negotiating skills for most people, but as we continue to on the six preceding habits our negotiating skills improve as we move from a selfish point of view to one that accepts, respects, values and empowers others.

William Glasser’s book , “Choice Theory: A New Psychology of Personal Freedom” is the main text for choice theory and is available directly from the William Glasser Institute.

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