Kevin D Thompson – Dr. Glasser's Total Behavior

Dr. Glasser's Total Behavior

Dr. Glasser's Total Behavior

What is this?

Total Behavior is the term Dr. William Glasser gave to the combination of a person's thoughts, feelings, actions and physiology at any given point in time as a representation of a person's volitional behavior. 

Why is this important?

Many people think that they are "stressed", that something someone else does upsets them, that they feel bad and that is why they are slumped over, talking lethargically, thinking or saying negative things etc, etc. A deeper and clearer understanding of what is happening inside the human being reveals that our "experience" is nearly completely governed by ourself. 

This is utterly foreign to the way most people perceive their experience - most people think themselves the victim of other people in any number of ways. He or she made me mad - or someone made me do this, that or the other thing - or...it can go on and on. However, within each of us, do we not have control over what we think? Do we not have control over our physiology? Do we have control over what actions we engage in?

If we believe we do indeed have control over these, then it follows that we also have control over the way we feel. Don't believe me? Research has shown that our actions, while often following our feelings, can in fact cause our feelings to change. It is rather a chicken-and-the-egg type of thing, but while the former is true - that our actions follow our feelings, the research has shown that by changing our actions we can directly change our feelings as well.

This demonstrates that in reality, we have a great degree of direct control over each of these major components of our human experience. That means that ultimately, we are responsible for nearly all of our human experience - very little room to truly claim victim status. Sure, if a plane falls out of the sky on top of us...not much we can do about that. And until we learn to understand and control our thinking, acting, feeling and physiology - which by the way, we are not formally taught to do, then we tend to abdicate control and responsibility.

So if someone says something to you, or doesn't say something to you, it is your internal "representations" of these words or their absence that is driving your experience. Therefore, something does not "stress" you - you choose to stress because you choose to think, feel, act and use your physiology in a certain way. Many people will refuse to look closely at this, because they do not like the fact that we become responsible for nearly everything in our life if we accept these ideas.

It is very natural however, and quite healthy to do so in my opinion.