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Trading Places Essay

929 words - 4 pages

Of the four social styles in the Trading Places Matrix, I assumed that I would fall somewhere in the “sympathizer” category. I read the descriptions of each of the four social styles in “Trading Places” very carefully and came to this conclusion immediately after completing the chapter. I tend to become emotionally invested faster than my brain can catch up and I sometimes allow my emotions to guide me; however, I wouldn’t say that I am a “hard-core” sympathizer that is described in the explanation. To be certain, I took the Trading Places Inventory test online to see where exactly I landed and I did not expect the results I got. True, I was partially in the sympathizer category, but the ...view middle of the document...

However, instead of packing up my entire side of the dorm room and heading back to Oregon, I decided I would no longer be silent about my feelings. I knew that keeping my problems to myself wouldn’t solve anything, especially when my roommate did the same thing. So, upon returning to SPU in January, I made my “unspoken rules” spoken—I articulated the things that bothered me immediately, and asked my roommate what I could do to help her feel more at home, asking her to do the same for me: our relationship improved greatly. However, in recent weeks I have noticed us backsliding—I keep my feelings pent up more often and feel myself become angry much quicker and I tend to be short with her. After reading Trading Places, I was inspired to work on being empathetic—seeing our petty arguments from her side as well. It began simply enough—when something that she did or said upset me, I didn’t ignore it, I didn’t nag, and I started my responses with “I feel...when this happens” rather than “You always...” or “You never...” etc. Next, I stopped trying to see only my side of the argument through her eyes. Instead of placing my feelings onto her and assuming she felt the same way, I tried to see my own actions through her eyes. I started to use my “emotional radar”, and focused on her feelings—I worked to consciously experience her feelings as they happened in an argument, or any discussion that we had. I worked past her sarcasm and seemingly uninterested attitude in order to understand how she was really feeling, and then...

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