Jul 6, 2010

What Is "The Behavior Window"?

The Behavior Window

In your personal and school life you have many relationships; each one and each person with whom you interact is unique and different.

In relationships, you cannot see inside others. You can't really know what they are thinking or feeling, what they value, or what their needs are. You can only see, hear or touch their behaviors.

A very useful way of thinking about another's behavior is to understand and utilize what Dr. Gordon has called your BEHAVIOR WINDOW. Each and every behavior of another person you'll "see" through "your window".

First, what exactly do we mean by a "behavior?" It is something a person is doing or saying. You can see it, hear it or touch it.

Here are some behaviors. The second list are judgments or evaluations of that behavior. We don't call those judgments "behaviors." So they are not put into the Behavior Window.

These are behaviors
  • My Dad said he wanted me home by midnight.
  • My English teacher gave me a "D" on my paper.
  • She doesn't smile or laugh when I talk to her.
  • She has a tattoo on her ankle.
  • He wears clothes that were in style five years ago.
These are judgments of behaviors
  • Dad hassles me.
  • S/he doesn't like me.
  • She's always in a bad mood.
  • She's so cool.
  • He's a nerd.
Yet, when you experience the behavior of any other person, your reaction or response nearly always takes one of two basic forms--either you find the other's behavior acceptable to you or you find it unacceptable.

The Window represents this idea of acceptance or uncceptance of another person's behavior.*

*Excerpt from Dr. Thomas Gordon's F.E.T. Young Adult Resource Book

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