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Franis
dialoguers
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From A Dialoguer Who Writes
I'm happy to offer the benefit of my observations. I would love to know how or if you can use what I've been exploring here.

If you'd like to contact me personally to get in touch, check out my website.

August 2009
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Franis [userpic]
Dialogue Participants as Archetypal Characters

Just noticing that, during dialogue, these roles tend to emerge. So I made a list of them... Exactly who assumes them is unimportant. In the same way that every internet list server group eventually attracts a "troll," there seem to be many other (much less obnoxious) roles that tend to emerge in the group situation of Dialogue. Figured that expanding the list is fascinating as we would be trading notes on the common roles we have seen. Did not intend to define who is corresponded to which character role(s) in this group or any other as would be done in attempts to "pigeonhole" certain people.

Every once in awhile, someone arrives in a Dialogue group who carves out a new archetypal role for themselves. It affects the whole group as a new character archetype emerges and interacts with the dynamic of the group. This new person can represent a new model with its corresponding advantages and disadvantages. Here comes a new resource of a possible points of view, of skill and ability to reach rapport with certain people, to dance, inspire, repel or excite members of the group.

Most of us are not any particular ONE of the characters; in fact, took for granted that most people are a composite of many of the character roles. Some people do tend to rather obviously gravitate towards certain point(s) of view identified in the character role list.

Here's how I do use regarding people as assuming a role or archetype:

First noticed that I tend to get rather bored with a person who comes to represent for me only one consistent role. Don't enjoy so much being able to predict what someone will say because I'll anticipate how they will repeat themselves and this makes me feel like rolling my eyes in the "here we go again..." lack of patience. Finding this out about myself made me come to respect the embodiment of most characters as archetypes with a more philosophical regard that "someone has to do it." Came to understand that each role (which really represents a whole world-view in
some people) is entirely appropriate in a particular situation - and each role has its shortcomings in non-appropriate situations. This led me to emulate others by recognizing the validities of their strength and spotting certain situations as correspondingly appropriate, such as, "Hey, here's a situation where thinking like so-and-so would be much more useful."

It can be enlightening to have others point out how you are affecting them by identifying it as assuming a role - but definitely requires suspension on your part! Certainly the assignment of - which role belongs to who - does give some feedback how people are affecting others. It is a frank sort of honest daring to tell what role(s) people see you playing. The roles you see in yourself don't necessarily mean that others regard you in that way. Of course, the ability to notice these roles in others usually indicates the capacity for being able to assume the role oneself.

In a Dialogue group in my past, we were talking about how much any one of us would be tempted to alter our essential nature and mitigate some part of our character in the pursuit for communication, i.e: to "not offend" or excite the cultural responses we might want to avoid.

In this group, a passionate, talented, educated, articulate Hispanic woman found herself ranting that she was sick and tired of having to curb her naturally passionate ways of speaking in order to not offend "you repressive white people." The group, including a few non-whites, practiced some stiff suspending skills while listening to what this woman had just said. The rather open-minded were able to try on the point of view of "being repressively white" in order to experience what it would be like to regard ourselves as "white" and "repressed" while obligating someone else to diminish their essential nature. It was quite an exercise.

The urge to defend oneself and to fight against being stereotyped into membership of the obligatory, repressed group was a very tempting reaction. Of course, where else but in Dialogue would this woman be able to say to any group of people what she rather obviously needed to express without having to deal with a huge backlash of being attacked back for saying it?