Nov 13, 2008

Been ROADBLOCKED lately?

If you have read P.E.T. or have attended a P.E.T. class, you are probably very familiar with these nasty obstacles that can stop effective communication in its tracks.

The roadblocks come in 12 different varieties: Ordering, Warning, Moralizing, Advising, Using logic, Criticizing, Praising, Labeling, Analyzing, Reassuring, Questioning, and Avoiding.

What is a time you were roadblocked, and how did it make you feel? Or, can you remember a time you roadblocked someone else, and how they reacted?


  1. First, I completely think it is much easier to realize how I am being roadblocked by others than how I am using roadblocks. Interesting, huh?

    Well, I’d say the most frequent roadblock that I notice being used towards me would be advising. I find that a lot of people, myself included, tend to think of exactly how they would solve that problem if it were theirs – “put themselves in my shoes”, as it were. The problem is – they aren’t in my shoes, I am, and when I am advised on how I should do this or that, it makes me feel like I am doing something wrong or like whoever I am talking to must know better.

    I think advising also leads to a problem spot because one can fall into hypocrisy very easily. When I am told that I should “be more responsible and not go on that trip or buy those jeans, etc” I can just look right back at that person and point out when they did something similar that wasn’t so responsible.

    Usually I just want someone to listen to me as a sort of sounding board rather than an advisor. “If I wanted your advise, I’d ask for it”, right?

  2. Interesting comments. I see it a little bit differently. I LOVE advice as i know that I'm only one person and have blind spots like everyone. If people give unsolicited advice because they think i should be doing what they would do, well, thats just not an issue for me. Thats THEIR motivation. I'm still willing to consider whether or not i think the advice makes sense for me or not.
    I feel under no obligation to take anyone's advice or act on it unless it fully makes sense to me.
    When people seem to offer either explicit or implicit good advice, i develop more trust for them as an advisor. This is what i want to be for my children, and realize too that they must be entirely free to decide the value of my advice for themselves.

    (well there's probably more of a response than you bargained for :))

    My biggest roadblock is anxiety ... fear of a potential outcome that my emotions lead me to believe is practically certain, without looking coolheadedly at what all the options might really be. keeping myself in a calm, anxiety free state of mind allows me to be a much better advisor to my kids, more rational, less likely to attempt even subtle coercion to advance my own fear based agenda.

    Thanks for the opportunity to share all this! It's nice to feel there are likeminded parents out there.

  3. Praising! I can't stand praising! When I'm really excited about something or I feel I've done something really well and someone else praises me, I feel like they're completely out of tune with how I'm feeling, and then I feel as though I can't share how great I feel inside with them.


Thanks for commenting! - P.E.T.