Ever feel like you’re trapped in a box? In some sort of a vicious cycle that you or someone else put you in? I have. Now that I recognize the box I’m in, it’s much easier to climb out! But you can’t free yourself until you know what box you’re in.
According to The Arbinger Institute’s “Anatomy of Peace,” there are typically 4 types of boxes a person may find himself or herself in.
1. The Better-Than Box:
View of Myself – Superior, Important, Virtuous/Right
View of Others – Inferior, Incapable/Irrelevant, False/Wrong
View of World – Competitive, Troubled, Needs Me
Feelings – Impatient, Disdainful, Indifferent
2. The I-Deserve Box:
View of Myself – Meritorious, Mistreated/Victim, Unappreciated
View of Others – Mistaken, Mistreating, Ungrateful
View of World – Unfair, Unjust, Owes Me
Feelings – Entitled, Deprived, Resentful
3. The Must-Be-Seen-As Box:
View of Myself – Need to be well thought of, Fake
View of Others – Judgmental, Threatening, My Audience
View of World – Dangerous, Watching, Judging Me
Feelings – Anxious/Afraid, Needy/Stressed, Overwhelmed
4. The Worse-Than Box:
View of Myself – Not as good, Broken/Deficient, Fated
View of Others – Advantaged, Privileged, Blessed
View of World – Hard/Difficult, Against me, Ignoring me
Feelings – Helpless, Jealous/Bitter, Depressed
Do you see yourself in any of those boxes? I have a tendency to be in two of those boxes and now that I recognize it, I catch myself all the time! This is step one of getting out of the box… catching yourself in it so you can quickly climb out of it.
Getting stuck in these boxes can make achieving goals and living day to day a lot more stressful and overwhelming. Living out of the box is such a liberating experience.
One of the boxes I found myself in a lot was the “must be seen as” box. For me, I had to be seen as perfect/always happy/having everything “together” even though it wasn’t that way AT ALL. I didn’t even realize I was doing this to myself and that it was causing a lot of unnecessary anxiety and depression.
Something I did to help myself out of this box was allowing people to see me as imperfect, showing my true emotions to people, and letting people see that I don’t have it all together. Not only has this been very freeing for me but it’s also been very freeing for other people in my life to feel like they can be themselves around me.
I’d love to hear if you have recognized yourself being in any of these boxes if you don’t mind sharing!
Until next time,
Be Gleefully Me (as you not as me;-)