Are you the Lion, the Tin Man or the Scarecrow in a disagreement?
A few months ago a good friend of mine approached me with a request to discuss a scene that he was going to do for the opening episode of FX's hit, Son's of Anarchy's, fifth season. Knowing my work as a psychologist, author and coach, he occasionally asks me about a character that he is playing. He knows how to do a scene study and construct a character but what he values is hearing about the things that I've learned from coaching countless people over 30 years in regards to the human condition.
Those of you who watched the amazing first episode of the 5th season, saw what I consider an Emmy-worthy performance by Kim Coates in the role as Tig, skillfully written by Kurt Sutter. Because of his gut-wrenching performance, Kim has been asked to do several interviews in the last few days and in most cases he generously referred to our "consultation" as one of the things that helped him prepare for the scene. I thought that the reader might like to know some of what was behind what we discussed and how it pertains to all of our relationships, even with our partners. Why Can't I Find A Relationship?
I am not going to go into the details of the scene. You need to see it for yourself. All I want to say is whether you go through the horror that Tig (his character) went through or have a disagreement with your spouse, human beings generally react in one of three ways. I talked to Kim about these three ways as he explored how Tig would react.
I talk about these same three ways in my book, Follow the Yellow Brick Road: How to Change for the Better When Life Gives You Its Worst. So for our purposes here, I'll use characters from the Wizard of Oz to make it fun and memorable:
• The first, LION is the most typical reaction. It is the ANGRY REACTION. We lose our temper; we fight, we yell and maybe — in worst case scenarios — we get physical. We say things that are hurtful. We snarl like Lion did when he first meets Dorothy in the Forest.
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