Saturday, September 29, 2018

"I'm FINE" read these replys when several people try to not respond 'I'm fine'

I believe that 

if there is a failure in getting through to another, 
someone not understanding, 
 it is the responsibility of 

Can I ask you a question?

I asked this question some time ago 
an open question to about 60 beautiful humans.

BELOW you can read 
the responses.

Will you decide and use a different word when people ask ‘how are you’?
instead of saying a cliche - ‘Fine’ or ‘Good’ etc.
Can you decide and use your new cliche word? 

Will you THEN write in an email telling me the story of what happened?
What word you decided to use and why?
THEN how it has worked out in practice?
Please will you give it a go?

Here are all the responders/reflectors/Becomers - their  WONDROUS contributions.

I think whilst I didn’t try explicitly with a different answer this week, there are times when I answer this question properly, and say how I really am, depending on the person who asks! I think that is key to me, because if I feel that the person who asks is a good friend, I would tell them truthfully how I am doing, and what is going on.
I’m the sort of person who likes to be honest and open, and treasure that when it is reciprocated. I find that I will re-phrase the question to some people with how are you doing, or how are you feeling. I know a colleague lost their pet this week, so I asked how they were feeling. They weren’t able to answer at that time, but could talk later about feelings. 
Love two way conversations about feelings, and often find that as soon as I am more open then the other person feels safe enough to be as well.

I could not do this. I do not open up to people about myself unless I am truly connected to them and trust them. This week I gave only superficial answers to the question of 'how are you?', because I didn't encounter any of the people in my life who know the true me and I can open up to.

A while ago I actively decided to try not to reply with “I’m fine” when people asked me. However, on occasion I do still - if it is someone I don’t feel I want to engage with at that particular time, or if I’m not really thinking.
I sometimes correct myself if I have answered I’m fine and that’s not really true. 

I do try to answer honestly - with I’m very busy but life is good. Or things aren’t too bad thanks, they could be worse, or things are looking up or I’m actually really good thanks! 
The past few weeks it’s been more a case of I’m a bit croaky but I’m ok thank you… (I’ve had a very husky/croaky voice) or if they look worried “I’m ok thanks, I’m not infectious!"

Then again there are some people I will be more honest and open with - those who know the background story more already… but then we tend to skip to what’s been happening quite quickly...
Remember the words are only part of what is expressed - a lot is said non verbally!
It is rare I say I’m fine - but if I do then potentially i do actually mean it!!

Interesting question, this one. Some time ago, I decided I wanted to be as open and honest as I could and the standard 'I'm fine' was something I wanted to tackle. However, I quickly discovered that most people really only want that standard answer. Receiving an honest 'I'm not too great today' left people a bit flummoxed (isn't that a fab word?!) not knowing how to respond.
So, I have 2 levels of communication here - 'I'm fine' or 'doing okay thanks' as a reply to those who, in passing, just want to share a polite greeting. Those I know, with whom I have -or am trying to build- a somewhat deeper relationship, I might smile and say 'do you really want to know?' or I will respond honestly 'feeling a bit low today' or whatever.  The non-standard route takes more time and energy to engage, so a busy corridor or a classroom might not be the appropriate context.
On the flip side, I have been known to ask how someone is and if I get 'I'm fine' I might just counter with a 'really?' and then make space immediately or time later to listen ... I'm pretty intuitive when people are not okay.

I decided to answer as honestly as possible when asked  - So today I answered I'm feeling full of anxiety and am very stressed this opened up conversation with my brother about, our past , stuff that happened in our up bringing etc, stuff that we both did with our kids that we felt ashamed about. A very liberating conversation.
No Name

When I'm asked the question "how are you?" I'm aware that the success of the conversation lies predominantly in how I answer, as I have the opportunity to set the tone. If I give a generic answer,the person I'm speaking to may lose interest consciously or subconsciously and the conversation can seem more like an exchanging of courtesy items instead of deep, engaging matters. Because I am interested in psychology I don't always like people asking me if I'm okay, as I prefer to solely focus on how others are feeling. Thus, sometimes when I'm asked "how are you?" I don't reply and instead I ask "well, how are you?"  Their usual reply is that "they're fine" and so, I finally reply with "then, I'm fine because you are". This instantly makes them feel more comfortable. And what's more is that I can identify who genuinely cares about knowing how I feel. If the individual gets annoyed that I don't answer properly, then they genuinely wish to know how I'm feeling instead of asking out of courtesy! Thanks! 

I decided I would reply with my anchor word for 2016: "renewed!" 
I was excited to try this experiment this past week with the people I met. I wanted to see their reactions. But two things happened. 
1) I am so conditioned to reply with "fine thank you," when asked how I am that I forgot to use my new reply word !
2) I am an Educational Assistant and we are off now on summer holidays so I am not encountering as many people to try this experiment on!  But I will not give be continued!

Right now in my life, it is far easier to duck this kind of a question. Where to start? How to actually get the words out? The poor folk are possibly only being polite after all!'s a fair question. How am i with others? Is it actually fair to keep people who know and love me at arms length? And what about people who don't know me? I'm giving them a bland and a not very realistic impression of who i am. So having ducked this question for ages, i intentionally gave it my very best shot and chose a weekend when i was far away from my home town to practice. On the basis that if i sounded an idiot then at least in all probability i'd not be seeing those people again. "FullaStuff" was the nearest i could get.
'Coz i am, full of stuff that is. There is just so much going on right now in my life. It's mostly all good, change and new starts in lots of parts, massive No Entry signs in others, new grandchildren, elderly parent situations, relatives dying. Change. Good change. Bad change. Just change. So i took a big breath and used the new cliche word at each and every opportunity, as asked.
It had a remarkable effect and one that i wasn't quite ready for. What could have been "Hi, Bye" occasions turned into conversations and on two occasions total strangers wanted to settle down for chats, serious chats about serious matters. So we did.
Reflecting on this still causes me to feel vulnerable, scared almost. I think that at this time i don't want to say anything that could be misconstrued as saying how i really feel. Because right now i don't know how i feel. At all.  And maybe i'm one of those people who takes time to process emotions, maybe there are so many emotions swirling around that i can't unpick them all? 

I thought of a response like: “all my eggs are boiling” – “not sure which ones are going to be hard boiled?”

But I was only asked the “how are you” question once, when walking across the office car park after work on Friday:
(it is not an office type question)
I slipped back into my standard “ok”,
But then recounted a story that proved that I had given the wrong answer,
Or was being ‘economical with the truth’ as “ok” meant I was happy to be leaving the office for another weekend!
I have a tendency to qualify my “oks” with an opposite story.
I am good at burping out my feelings over others, whether they want them or not,
But want to learn to ask the question and a be good listener to hear the other person’s real (feeling) answer
(I did a pastoral course that taught this 5 plus years ago, but still have not learnt it yet).
I want to become a listener.

* Now my own feedback::

Reflecting back through the past week I think I had 5 x “How are you”? cliche questions. Without thinking I gave my, now standard, answer “I am imperfect” and it always gets a smile or “So am I’ type comment. I am trying to step away from this ‘Imperfect’ one now and use a different cliche, but find myself referring back to it now on auto. All of the five people who asked how I was were Staff in cafes, one a restaurant, including one who was a new friend. Lots of other encounters were with people I know well and, because of an established relationship, we both don’t go there. 
I believe that breaking away from this L1/Cliche interaction helps me to develop at all levels. I want to have at least one more cliche answer which is not a put down or smug - but breaks the mould - helping the contact to go beyond the superficial.

Thank you so much for the above reflections in response to a ‘not so easy’ question - knowing I have asked of you 
a ‘doing’ thing - not only a writing/reflecting thing.
Wondrous for you I believe - AND for all who will read …..


Friday, September 28, 2018


“…. the 15-year-old may have felt isolated and marginalised after they moved home.”

I try to write online every day.
Some days I have to spill more than one reflection/story/experience.
One story in the newspaper stood out to me.
About a 15 year old boy - and I am interested in all things ‘YOUTH’.

What grabbed by attention was this line::

“…. the 15-year-old may have felt isolated and marginalised after they moved home."

He had set fires locally resulting in the intervention of the fire services. 
“He was interested to test explosives soon,” the Prosecutor said.

"He has also researched materials in relation to Syria, Isis and jihad and he has communicated with people about an intent or desire to go to Syria. 
He's communicated with a number of people across the country who share that plan “ 

The main issue however was his admission that he was planning a ‘Rigby style’ attack. 
A beheading.

I am always striving to understand teenager lives.
It’s not good enough to say “He is evil” about any behaviour 
because that attitude never strives to understand a motivation.

“…. the 15-year-old may have felt isolated and marginalised after they moved home.”
The movie ‘Inside - Out’ , by PIXAR, is about a child who moves home and is disturbed by that life event.

We all need to see it especially males - perhaps something will get transposed into daily lives?

Life events such as moving home are big in an adult life.
One of the major stress experiences along with a family death.

I guess the major impact is the loss of the home environment, the loss of friends, school, community and generally a resulting insecurity.
Somehow we need to work on our culture which somehow leaves many boys and men with an inability to communicate their feelings.

12 men will commit suicide in the UK today.
So tragically so. 
Seems to me there is an inability to share emotional, inner activity, leaving suicide as a fatal last option.

I didn’t know anything about emotions until I was 40 years old.
I didn’t know in my head that I had them - yet I was full f them.
Full of anger and aggression with a terrible temper.
None had introduced me to the inner life in the education system, in my home or anywhere else.
I was brought up totally emotionally unintelligent.

I did a Gestalt course in my 40’s which introduced me to my own feelings and then on to being in empathy with the feelings of others.
My 1979 study of Gangs and Deprivation Factors resulted in me coming up with ‘Emotional Deprivation’ as the most damaging deprivation.

15 or 40 we still are responsible for our own behaviour.
BUT, it seems to me, that we need not to just be reactors to behaviour but need to put a lot more into the inner human education rather depending on the justice and prison service to ‘put them away’.

not only for exams
Education for life.

We can see a persons behaviour but can’t see their journey - 
or their emotional, spiritual, inner life unless we get close. 

Thursday, September 27, 2018

TOP DOWN is not OK - about my TA / PAC journey

It was the late 70's when I was introduced to TA.
Ever since then I have used it.
Internally to sort myself out - still ongoing.
Externally in discussions, couching and problem solving with others.
Also as a module in the training/facilitation I do regularly.
TA is and has been for all these years, great in terms of connecting feelings with the observation of the behaviour in others and myself. 
It is a tool which sticks in my brain due to those three circles. 
Images work in my brain better than words words words. 
They are not just good enough in a stand alone sense.

A bit more about TA::
This is a slide from my module when I facilitate. 
With basic facts about TA are methods to enable people to get the concept but then practice. 
I use movie clips to engage people in observing PAC behaviour. 
I have a great clip from East Enders, TV Soap, which is rammed with PAC transactions.

Blob Tree Tools are great for spotting PAC non- verbal communication.
I use Blob Tree Tools to get people reading the human behaviour and all non-verbal transactions as being able to read PAC is foundational. 
BUT the first skill is 'feeling the feelings' because - it is then we move from just getting on with life to being alert to the transactions going on around us.

FEELINGS, Behaviour and Thoughts are all triggers to the understanding of TA. 
Then there is how we transact. 
Our behaviour, tone of voice, non-verbal communication can be vital in being in a helping relationship with others.

The most vital situation for people workers like myself, 
is when it is about to kick off. 
I am talking about aggression and violence.
Many of the people I have worked with over the years face daily CONFLICT SITUATIONS when their own transactions can make a situation worse OR calm it down.

CONCRETE Mixer .................. Pipology

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

L5 helping all ages of humans to step into an emotional intelligent relationship - at work - at home - in leadership & in every day communication.


I refer to 'Level Five' when I get close enough to someone.

In hostels where I have spent many years of my life conducting group work,
(often only starting at 10 in the evening)
I introduce L5 and 
encourage all to share something of their lives on each of the five steps.
Powerful stuff.

Someone in Norway, and can’t remember his name, 
reminds me often of his experience doing this L5 exercise MANY YEARS AGO.

It sticks in the gullet. 
We remember an experience more than words - lectures - even conversations.
L5 is a major influencer in helping to heal broken relationships.
It can and has saved marriages.
It has helping all ages of humans to step into an emotional intelligent relationship - 
at work - at home - in leadership & in every day communication.


I am a Trainer & always get feedback from participants ............

A post shared by Pip Wilson BHP (@beautifulhumanperson) on

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

A new poster from Blob Tree Tools - called 'Which Blob do you feel like today'

Which Blob Do You Feel Like Today? Poster Set of 5

Discuss Feelings and Emotions in every classroom & staff room

This extraordinary resource is designed to stimulate discussion and sharing of HOW one feels and WHY.
Put it up in the staffroom and watch your colleagues gravitate towards it, which Blob do they feel like today? A great way to promote team communication, understanding and empathy.
Put one up in the classroom and see how children and young people gather round, work out which Blob they feel like and really get talking about their feelings and emotions.
Developed by Pip Wilson and Ian Long, The Blobs are genderless characters which are used internationally to help people discuss their feelings. They use facial and body language to express emotions, which enables everyone to grasp their meaning.
Each set contains 5 copies of this A3 laminated poster and an instruction booklet with question ideas and notes for guidance.
This poster set is also available in a classroom pack of 2 (10 posters) , 3 (15 posters) , 6 (30 posters) and 10 (50 posters). Use the drop down menu above to select.