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Community: You have to really want it!
PERC Theory as a helpful guide
by William Polowniak, Ph.D.

Many people say they want health, community, a good relationship or peace of mind. What it comes down to is the essence of a little prayer a 5 year old boy said at dinner while visiting our community last month.
 “Spirit fill my heart. Spirit take a part in my life today, That I may talk the talk and walk the walk.”
 You not only have to want it, you have to walk the talk and really want it enough to make the necessary changes for improvement to happen. You have to get off your petty ego and stop talking long enough to listen to and hear the other person. Not easy to do in a defensive climate. I have seen so many people over the years sabotage their health, their relationships and their happiness by indulging in the good times in a very egocentric way, then abandoning the “talk” when things get tough.
 I developed a psychological theory in 1994 about relationships and productivity in relationships, groups and organizations. I call it PERC theory— an acronym for the things that fix, destroy or restore harmony.

Proactivity (the solution —positive action steps and communication)

 What destroys relationships                     What restores trust, health & harmony
                   Evaluation                                                                                  Endorsement
                   Reaction                                                                                      Response
                   Control                                                                                        Commitment

The “P” stands for the solution to it all— Proactivity is positive action steps and communication. On the negative side of the scale we have “E,” “R,” and “C” which stand for the things we do that destroys community, relationships and our personal health; these are “Evaluation,” “Reaction” (usually over reaction,) and Control. We judge and condemn others (or ourselves). We use sarcasm, blame, hostility, emotional and mental cruelty (like withdrawing love and affection) and lies, propaganda and character assassination. We do all of this to make our petty ego feel that we are right and justified in rejecting others. We over react and we try to control others, usually with manipulation and anger. We forget that we are all one family, and we refuse to communicate. We just SEND our angry messages to the others and continue our propaganda campaign of character assassination.
 The solution is to shift the  “E,” “R,” and “C” to the positive side of the scale which stand for Endorsement or honoring the other person, Response to the needs of the situation (instead of over reacting,) and Commitment.
 We all know how tough it is to honor someone who is being unfair, who acts childish and selfish and especially one who is irate, unreasonable and shouting angry and hostile condemnation. But this is the challenge— to be calm and not over react to others. To “turn the other cheek?” The tough part about angry and hostile condemnation is that usually people who resort to these kinds of control efforts have been brooding and have plenty of time to compose and deliver their well rehearsed thoughts. They catch us off guard and “we” over react to their over reaction. What seems to work well with hostility is to see and hear the anger and to say so. To “agree quickly with thine adversary” as Jesus said in the Bible.
 The best way I know of is to “listen” with your whole being. To not over react but to Respond and remember that the other person is upset; and also accept that the other may never change. They may choose to stay angry for a lifetime. Do not add to the problem.
 Then there is Commitment. I find Commitment to a higher power to work better than commitment to people, but commitment to a cause or a person or to their welfare makes sense to me. I know it is difficult when the dung hits the proverbial fan, but it is necessary to keep your own peace of mind when all else is falling apart.
 To summarize, one must really want positive change. But also we must remember that you can not require another person to want it too. It is a matter of maturity and evolution. If another person wants it too then you can communicate and discover a solution together.

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