9. Improving – but grumpier?


Grumpy from Walt Disney’s,

“Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs”.

How can this be? Well, this is not my view, its daughter, Ellen’s (and definitely wife, Elaine’s). Poor thing, she has had to live with yours truly for about a week. She’ll admit that I have had nearly two good days in a row, and therefore, I must be ‘improving’. But right there, that’s it, we part company. I contend I am improving and returning to ‘normal’; she contends the opposite, ie grumpier is ‘normal’, for me anyway. Hey, I’ve encountered this dichotomous stuff before, haven’t I?

So, what’s the evidence for her revelation?

Let’s hope two examples can sort this – it’s Saturday, and I’d like to get away with a short entry in my blog, preferably of a non-technical nature. So here goes, and I know you’ll be rooting for me!

ACT 1 Scene 1 (At the breakfast bar)

Ellen: Dad, what would you like for breakfast?

Moi: Readybrek.

Pause ….

Ellen: Dad, what ‘d you say?

Moi: OK then, Readybrek with some of that special Weetabix whole food type Chemo sprinkled randomly on the top; and by the way, keep your eyes closed when you’re doing it (protocol, you know).

Pause …

Ellen: No, Dad? C’mon, Readybrek … please?!

What’s wrong with this picture? I didn’t see it; she’s my daughter, I know her; we have been together nearly all week; and surely, I must have said please (and probably thank you too) at least once this week?

ACT 5 Scene 3 (Now driving on the M8 and getting snarled in traffic coming off it on to The Great Western Road, and thence to Byres Road for a quick coffee stop in Waitrose (it’s free!).

She’s been surfing the ‘The Fleece-book’ and (Gordon Brown’s) ‘Interwidewebsphere’ on her ‘tablet’ (I thought that was a Yorkshire sweet) for ages, sitting in the back of our car. I’ll acknowledge this thought is courtesy of: Andrew Neill, BBC2, “This Week”, on proper TV, Thursday nights, after David Dimbleby’s “Question time”.

This Week Team

Andrew Neil: chairing “This Week”, with #sadmanonatrain (Michael Portillo – nearly all of the time) and #liz4leader (Liz Kendall – sometimes).

Moi: Are you still working on that document for school, Ellen?

Ellen: Dad, I’m trying to deal with these email enquiries from my other teacher colleagues, they’re urgent (indignant exclamation mark !)

Moi: But, I thought you did those back in ACT 3 Scene 1 (kidding!).

Moi: OK, but that document needs to ready by Sunday afternoon, you realise?

Pause …

Ellen: Daaad !!

Moi: Yes, and if you hadn’t spent an extra hour in the bathroom, we’d be drinking our Waitrose coffee back at your flat by now!

Ellen: Daaaaad !!!!

Moi: What?

Ellen: Don’t you see?  I had to extra-condition my hair and everything!

Now actually, I don’t see. Is this the first hint of a side effect from my new Weetabix treatment? I suspect not. I think what she is saying I don’t get her point of view, and she (obviously) doesn’t get mine.  Fortunately, I remember using a training tool (Johari Window) whilst running Assertiveness Training sessions at the University of St Andrews.  This can help identify what people don’t know about themselves, but others can see easily.  An example, would be me having bad breath, but I might be  the only one that doesn’t know it (or admit it)!

Ultimately, I am forced to conclude I must have a rather large blind spot in my JoHari window (Joseph Luft and Harry Ingham, 1955.).

JoHari Window

Johari Window Diagramme downloaded from http://www.selfawareness.org.uk, Accessed 28 November 2015)

This is a Psychological tool used in contexts where self awareness and personal development can be accessed through judicious exploration of a person’s desire to improve through a combination of receptivity to openness, honesty, giving and receiving feedback, and braveness for opening up to observation and daring to undertake more activities in the first three categories!

[The model works using four area quadrants.
Anything you know about yourself and are willing to share is part of your open area. Individuals can build trust between themselves by disclosing information to others and learning about others from the information they in turn disclose about themselves.
Any aspect that you do not know about yourself, but others within the group have become aware of, is in your blind area. With the help of feedback from others you can become aware of some of your positive and negative traits as perceived by others and overcome some of the personal issues that may be inhibiting your personal or group dynamics within the team.
 There are also aspects about yourself that you are aware of but might not want others to know, this quadrant is known as your hidden area. This leaves just one area and is the area that is unknown to you or anyone else – the unknown area (our subconscious).]

There’s also an implicit assumption that we must also be willing to accept that our sub-conscious (unknown area) can mask our own awareness of how we appear ourselves and others, though often they can see everything (our faults especially) with the perspicacity of a Night Owl. Use of Johari’s window also enables work on improving communications, interpersonal relationships, group dynamics, team-development, and inter group relationships. (Thought: maybe I should give this a go?)

I think Ellen is hinting that I might not score so many out of 10 on a 10 point scale for these things! Of course, she must be right, it’s a female family trait (all the time!).

Perhaps we are both right and maybe even, we are both wrong too? I like this better; “Shades of Gray” again. (Ok, I’ll admit it, I have read all three books. A man can dream, can’t he?)

Moi: OK, Ellen, how else am I grumpy or getting even grumpier?

Ellen: How many weeks of therapy would you like for Christmas?

I’m hoping to negotiate a good deal on a replacement vehicle today, so wish me good luck?

Bye for now.








Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s