RECOGNIZING YOUR PERSONAL DRAMA
"The moment there is suspicion about a person's motives, everything he does becomes tainted."
When you are coming from Negative Intention you shut down and your bubble of awareness turns into a thick shell that constricts you. You only see and hear your own thoughts and feelings. When you are in Negative Intention you are convinced that you are right about what you perceive and feel. The Negative Intent Molecule is where you abdicate responsibility for your life and begin to project negative qualities on yourself, others, and the world. When you operate from Negative Intention your world also seems like it is filled with people who are negative. You put a negative spin on the events in your life as well as on what people say or do.
Carol worked for Debbie for many years and they developed a deep level of trust and partnership. For some reason over the past six months Debbie became suspicious of Carol’s intentions. In the middle of a project Debbie began to make unusual requests of Carol. Although Carol had always notified her of project meetings, Debbie now insisted on attending them, although she had rarely done so in the past. This shift required Carol do a lot more work and rescheduling. “She is micromanaging me,” Carol proclaimed, and she believed she was not being given the space and freedom that she was used to. In addition, Debbie wanted to review and edit all of Carol’s outgoing project emails. Once again, Carol felt resentment about this new behavior.
When Carol brought up her concerns, Debbie responded, “I am not being any different. I don’t know what you are reacting to.” Their relationship began to deteriorate and communication became strained. Despite their prior agreement not to handle conflicts over email, they got into an email exchange, which only made things worse. Each person was left to interpret the other’s mail from a negative point of view. They fell deeply into the Negative Intent Molecule.
Carol felt victimized by Debbie’s new behaviors and became adversarial. After conversations with Debbie, things only seemed worse for Carol. She could not get over the feeling that she was not trusted. Debbie felt that Carol was attacking her unjustly and could not understand why. This led her to believe that Carol was trying to undermine her. The relationship was strained for months.
Finally, Carol and Debbie worked with a coach who helped them sort out their thoughts and feelings. They worked hard to assume renewed positive intent about one another. Their following meeting was much more productive as they both got to tell their own story and also were open to listening to the other’s experience and perceptions. Carol and Debbie were playing different roles in the Negative Intent Molecule. Once they identified their nonproductive personality traits they could finally make some positive shifts.
You will be way ahead of the game if you can honestly identify how you play the three roles in the Negative Intent Molecule as you interact with people. If you deny that you ever operate from this place, you are fooling yourself. Face it, everyone has nonproductive personality traits, and the sooner you admit it, the easier it will be to create other, more useful choices.