Structured Analysis of Social Behavior

A creative contemporary development of interpersonal theory is Benjamin's (1974, 1996) Structured Analysis of Social Behavior (SASB). The SASB seeks to integrate interpersonal conduct, object relations, and self-psychology in a single geometric model. As her point of departure, Benjamin (1974) sought to synthesize the interpersonal circle with another influential model, Shaefer's (1965) circumplex of parental behavior. As Benjamin noted, both have been influential, and both are supported by clinical theory and research. Moreover, both have affiliation as their horizontal axis.

Where the classical interpersonal circle, the "Leary circle," places submission as the opposite of control, however, Shaefer places autonomy-giving. As every parent knows, there is a fundamental tension between controlling children and eventually giving up control, thereby allowing them to develop into responsible adults, masters of their own destiny. When parents gradually grant autonomy, children mature into genuine selves free to realize their own intrinsic potentials. Otherwise, they may become resentful of lost opportunities and lack of trust or accept control and become extensions of the parental ego. In the psychodynamic perspective, this tension is expressed in the idea of separation-individuation (Mahler, Pine, & Bergman, 1975). Infants attach to their caretakers, from whom they must separate to develop an individual identity.

Benjamin (1974) combines the Leary (1957) and Shaefer (1965) circles by developing a three-circumplex model of personality, presented in a condensed form in Figure 2.2. According to Benjamin, the principle of complementarity is not confined to the Leary constructs, but instead relates corresponding points between communications focused on others and those that are focused on self. Thus, when emancipated, others tend to separate and grow in their direction. In contrast, the Leary circle does not include a differentiated space. As with the Leary circle, half of the SASB space is friendly, and half is hostile. The additional emphasis on control versus emancipation, however, allows the SASB to include loving behaviors that endorse freedom. These affirm the other person and pull for their complement: additional disclosure. The SASB also includes autonomy-giving behaviors that are implicitly attacking. These ignore others, causing them to wall off in response: the complementary position. Such combinations are impossible on the Leary circle.

In addition, the SASB attempts to describe the introjected contents of the self, the object relations of the psychodynamic perspective. The basic idea is that we tend to treat ourselves as others treat us. In early development, this leads to persistent patterns

Emancipate: Separate Self-emancipate

Attack: Recoil Self-attack

Emancipate: Separate Self-emancipate

Attack: Recoil Self-attack

Active-love: Reactive-love Active self-love

Control: Submit Self-control

Active-love: Reactive-love Active self-love

Control: Submit Self-control

Parentlike behavior: Complementary response

Introjected attitudes (Treatment of the self )

Legend:

FIGURE 2.2

Benjamin's Structured Analysis of Social Behavior.

of self-regard that endure across the life span. Thus, those who are loved by their caretakers tend to love themselves, and those who are ignored by their caretakers tend to neglect their own welfare. The SASB model provides a consistent reference point throughout this text.

Break Free From Passive Aggression

Break Free From Passive Aggression

This guide is meant to be of use for anyone who is keen on developing a better understanding of PAB, to help/support concerned people to discover various methods for helping others, also, to serve passive aggressive people as a tool for self-help.

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