Are you the Lion, the Tin Man or the Scarecrow in a disagreement?
• TIN MAN represents the second reaction. It is the ADAPTING REACTION. We give in to the other. We cave in to their demands, we collude with their negative behavior and surrender, adapting to their arguments. (A client of mine once reported having a dream where she hands her head — literally — over to her husband. This dream is a great example of TIN MAN reactivity to a spouse). This renders us helpless and vulnerable in the forest, like Tin Man in the film. 10 Unmistakable Ways To Tell If A Man Is In Love With You
• The third way of reacting is SCARECROW. While LION and TIN MAN are interpersonal, SCARECROW is non-relational. It is the AVOIDANT REACTION. In this situation, a person avoids conflict, circumvents issues and holds her breath hoping that it will all go away. And if they can't physically run (like an abused child), they shut down like a circuit breaker that pops. It was this notion that Kim found the most useful in his preparation for Tig. This reaction is detached, like Scarecrow on a pole in the cornfield.
I did not have to tell Kim how to play Tig in this scene. He is a natural and gifted actor — he knew. But what was helpful — and hopefully is helpful to the reader — is to know that when presented with an emotional/relational challenge — and cortisol surges into our blood stream — we are likely to react in one (or a blend) of these three ways. 20 Crazy-Romantic, Creative Ways To Say 'I Love You'
So, when people offend or challenge us (like a spouse, lover or child), the first step in managing our own reactivity is to identify first that we are reacting and how we are reacting: Angry Lion, Adapting Tin Man, or Avoidant Scarecrow. Once we do that we are half way there.
The second half of the process will have to wait for a follow-up article. It is enough to say that just knowing this — watching our self (like Mindful Scarecrow), and wanting to do the right thing for someone we love (like Caring Tin Man) and having the "nerve" (like Courageous Lion) — to respond differently and positively, will go a long way.
Congratulations Kim on an outstanding performance.