The 4 “F’s” – How the 4 Colors Avoid Facing the Truth and Avoid Conflicts
– Rosalie D. Gibbons, MFT and Gloria Manchester, CTACC
“The Heart in Forgiveness” is a process designed by the writers to support you in releasing childhood hurts or other disappointments, regrets, or failures so that you can move forward in your life. As Oprah Winfrey has said, “Forgiveness is giving up the hope that the past could have been any different.” When someone offends, betrays, or deceives us, it is natural to feel frustrated, angry, hurt, and resentful. Our attention and focus zeroes in on the source of our injury, and we rapidly begin building a case to justify our reaction, no matter how accurate or distorted it may be. We become driven to be right about how we view the situation and we resist anything that doesn’t support our perception. We often pay a huge price for this, sometimes destroying our relationships.
Resentments-Resistance-Revenge (Negative 3 R’s) Resentments, the first of the three “Negative R’s” raise their ugly head the moment we experience or perceive an injury, injustice, or conflict. We often stuff these feelings without expressing them directly to the offender in the moment. Women often tend to keep a scorecard of offenses. It is like filling a balloon; each offense fills the balloon a little more until it suddenly bursts (we lose it over some smaller offense) and our relationship is left wondering, “What just happened here?” To paraphrase something Rick Warren, pastor of Saddleback Church, said, it’s always more rewarding to resolve the conflict in each moment than to dissolve the relationship.
Broken agreements often are the cause of resentments; they don’t work! An agreement is between us and at least one other person. If we make an agreement, we must either follow-through or renegotiate the specifics it (before it is broken). Repeatedly breaking agreements will eventually tear at the fabric of our relationships (especially with children). We have heard so many teens in our courses say, “I couldn’t trust my parents because they would tell me they would do something and then not do it, totally disappointing me, as if I don’t matter!”
When we don’t effectively communicate, our negatively charged emotions build up and we begin building a wall which often turns into resistance, the second “Negative R.” Though some of us may not have a problem confronting others, most of us don’t set clear boundaries with others or define healthy expectations for ourselves. Many of us are much clearer about what we don’t want, rather than what we do want. We may be vocal about our beliefs, values, and desires to others, but are either intimidated by the person who hurt or offended us or fear the consequences of telling the truth.
As Gloria, coauthor of The Wisdom in RE … Rethinking Your Life says, “Fear is the distance between the thought and the action.” In other words, the moment we dare to take the necessary action to face our fears and resolve the conflicts that are at the heart of our resentments, our fears are usually reduced to a manageable size. The healthy way to deal with negative experiences is to set clear boundaries, hold ourselves and others accountable, and communicate honestly and respectfully when our boundaries are violated. In most situations, honest, straightforward communication usually resolves the problems.
In the third “Negative R,” revenge occurs when communication is compromised and there is a greater potential for loss in our relationships. We often feel obliged or compelled to do things that we don’t want to do and don’t feel good about doing. We then start to withhold, retreat, sabotage ourselves and others, or otherwise undermine the integrity of the relationship in one way or another, feeling altogether justified in our “sweet revenge.” But the price of revenge, though it may be momentarily sweet, is ultimately toxic to our health. In the end, our resentments, our bitterness, our shame, and our guilt rob us not only of our personal power and health but also our hope and inner peace.
When you cannot forgive others you destroy the bridge over which you too must pass. When conflicts arise we are either building a wall of resentment or a bridge of forgiveness. If we cannot forgive others, we risk not being forgiven ourselves. As none of us is perfect, at some point in our lives, we will deceive or cause injury to others and seek to be forgiven. Though it is far easier to point the finger of blame than it is to take a look at our own choices and actions – when you point outward with one finger and thumb, three fingers are pointing back at you.
Forgiveness vs. Trust, before getting to the heart in forgiveness, it is essential to clarify what it is not. Forgiveness does not make an offender right. It doesn’t mean that we immediately put our trust in the deceiver, sweep the matter under the rug, or remain in relationships that are unhealthy or abusive. In fact, there is a huge difference between forgiveness and trust. Forgiveness is a conscious choice we make in the moment. Trust must be built over time through repeatedly demonstrated positive and corrective action. Forgiveness allows us to recognize and assign appropriate responsibility where it belongs, and presents us with the opportunity to reclaim our personal power. “Forgiveness is not a single act of courage–it is an ongoing act of grace.” – Rose Gibbons
The 4 F’s – How the Four Colors Avoid Facing the Truth and Avoid Conflict
When we are in the Negative 3 R’s we are avoiding dealing with our feelings in an honest and direct manner. Once we recognize the unconscious ways we avoid facing the truth about ourselves, we can consciously begin building from our strengths to initiate change, resolution and reconciliation. Before we go to the Positive 3 R’s, we need to take a look at how each of the four innate personality colors typically avoids truth and conflict when in their limitations.
Red – This personality is motivated by power so they tend to fight, when in their limitations, using their power to intimidate or control the situation. However, as quickly as they explode, they are typically over it. Their strengths are that they are visionaries, directors and natural leaders. When in fight mode they are confrontational and insensitive and may not see or acknowledge the relationship casualties along the way. Reds are task-oriented and logical thinkers.
Blue – Blues, on the other hand tend to freeze in their avoidance. They are driven by intimacy, and in their strengths, they are quality-oriented, compassionate and committed. In their limitations they often come off as self-righteous, and can be very judgmental and perfectionistic. This is the only personality where they are both task-oriented and relationship-oriented. However, with a Blue, the relationship is always at the forefront.
White – This personality is driven by peace. In their strengths they bring balance, kindness, and the voice of reason. However, in their limitations, they faint, disconnect and go silent. When the pressure is high, their physical discomfort spikes. To release the pressure they typically dis-engage. Whites seek autonomy. Give them a project, instruct them in what you want them to do … then leave them alone to do it. Whites are task-oriented and logical thinkers.
Yellow – A Yellow personality most often takes flight (emotionally or literally) to avoid conflict. As they are driven by fun, they are usually creative, persuasive, forgiving and engaging, but when in their limitations they want to keep it light. When being confronted with the facts, they often turn to humor to turn down the heat and distract the conversation. In their limitations they may have poor follow-through, often promising more than they deliver. Yellows are relationship-oriented.
Though we all have unique personalities, we each have an innate core color and a secondary color that express our natural strengths and limitations. We are most often held back by the limitations of our secondary color. From the “4 F’s”, list above, which of these most accurately describes how you avoid facing the truth and conflict? It will either most likely be from your motivating core color, your secondary color or both.
These copyrighted excerpts from The Heart in Forgiveness are in Part 2 of the book The Wisdom in RE … Rethinking Your Life ! This book was written and published by Rosalie D. Gibbons, MFT (Blue) and Gloria Manchester, CTACC (Red). Gloria and Rose are both active certified Color Code Trainers. The book is available at www.wisdominre.org