Internal Working Models #3

How a Negative Internal Working Model influences our perceptions and actions…

Last week we talked about a mix.

Today we thought we would give you examples of which internal working model you are drawing from at the moment.

  1. The thoughts
  2. The emotions
  3. The actions
  4. Their impact on other people

NIWM-

Situation: Jane is working in the garage on a project. She smells something burning, remembered she left a stew simmering on the stove.

Jane immediately stopped painting her project and rushed to the kitchen.  

  1. You begin to imagine the mess, loss of food, the new need for a lunch, the possible loss of equipment, etc.
  2. I knew I shouldn’t have tried to prepare a good lunch at the same time.
  3. My friend just had to pick this afternoon to come for lunch.
  4. I’m not good enough at these repairs to split my attention
  5. Now the repair will not be done by tonight and I need to come up with an impressive lunch
  6. I’ve got to put something good on the table. I hate looking like a fool in front of my friend. I don’t know why she had to come over today. She probably has some stupid problem she wants me to listen to.
  7. I should have better boundaries. From now on I’m just going to say no to these last minute meetings. Its not like I’m required to be available all the time. People have to realize I need me time too.
  8. I feel my face getting hot, Face flushed, movements exaggerated, materials handled roughly, voice volume rising, lips pinched, brow furrowed, shoulders tense, etc.
  9. Friend arrives and immediately asks what is wrong
Situation, responseExplanation-linked to fear
You immediately put down the project and rush to the kitchenNormal reaction to an interruption. What I wanted to do is not happening-source of fear.
You begin to imagine the mess, loss of food, the new need for a lunch, the possible loss of equipment, etc.You begin to project negatives about the future. Fear increases.
I knew I shouldn’t have tried to prepare a good lunch at the same time.Begin to shift from “I made a mistake (leaving the pot on the stove).” to the negative message about yourself “I suck messages-I’m bad.” Fear increases.
My friend just had to pick this afternoon to come for lunch.Begin to think “My friend sucks.” Negative thoughts begin to spread. Blame occurs. Fear increases.
I’m not good enough at these repairs to split my attentionNotice the shift from “I made a mistake.” to “I suck.” The negativity deepens and becomes more pervasive. Fear increases.
Now the repair will not be done by tonight and I’ll never come up with an impressive lunch. I have to put something good on the table!You begin to catastrophize circumstances, projecting failure of all goals. Notice the use of “I have to.” (Presumably to avoid trigger) Fear increases.
I hate looking like a fool in front of my friend. I don’t know why she had to come over today. She probably has some stupid problem she wants me to listen to.Repetition of the fear. Increasing condemnation of the friend and projection of a negative motivation on the friend’s part. Fear increases.
I should have better boundaries. From now on I’m just going to say no to these last-minute meetings. It’s not like I’m required to be available all the time. People have to realize I need me time too.As fear increases, our limbic brain begins to respond with life restricting future goals to avoid more fear triggers. Now, simple life events are categorized as hurtful and needing to be avoided. Fear increases.
I feel my face getting hot, Face flushed, movements exaggerated, materials handled roughly, voice volume rising, lips pinched, brow furrowed, shoulders tense, etc.Our emotions are now evident with observable physiological changes. These are poured into the environment: hearing, touching, sight, movement, and body perception. These observable changes begin to send messages that something is wrong. Fear increases.
Friend arrives and immediately asks, “What is wrong with you? You look awful!”Others begin to feel the fear that is running rampant in us. Their response increases our fear again.
  

Slow it down and reflect on the chart

Neuro pathways (thought patterns) put in place promoting negative self-image, negative images of others, and the need to distance self from the experience of fear.

© 2022, Jeff and Faye. All rights reserved.

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