Sunday, 27 May 2007

The RIP Matrix

Okay, so this is a world’s first.

Whilst I was busy preparing an audit project and swotting up on the ATLS manual for my upcoming re-verification course, a Eureka! moment struck me that the whole concept of injury prevention, as exemplified by the Haddon Matrix, could be equally applied to…, preventing relationship problems by modifying it into a Relationship Issues Prevention matrix (what an apt acronym…hmmmmm).

Um, yah. Seriously.

Relationship problems should not be consigned to the dustbin as something that “just happens” as if it’s a random and unpredictable outcome of mismatched human interactions leading to much heartache and ever more cycles of dumpages unleashed onto the world. You don’t have to be responsible for romantic Armageddon. Unless you are dealing with an unreasonable bat-shit-crazy-bunny-boiling psycho, core problems should be predicable and preventable. There are unsuitable individuals and unsuitable environments. In combination they provide a series of chain events that lead to relationship problems.

Prevention can be:

1) Primary – elimination of the event from occurring (like, don’t be wantonly late for your friggin’ date or bitch incessantly or cheat)

2) Secondary – accepts the fact that issues may occur but serves to reduce the severity of said injuries (like, learn to use controlled tact and discretion rather than act on emotional impulse, or having time-out….or wearing total body deflector shields when the dishes start flying at you…I keeeeeeed :P)

3) Tertiary – means reducing the consequences of issues once it has occurred (like, make use of back-up social networks from friends and family, or try to change for the better……or “don’t-get-mad-get-even”….again I keeeeeed :P)

In the grand tradition of lateral thinking (Geoff knows what the hell I’m talking about), the Matrix is just a simple conceptual framework using the 3 principal factors of relationship issues causations: 1) the male 2) the female and 3) the environment. There are also 3 phases in which issues and its severity can be modified: 1) the pre-event phase 2) the event phase 3) the post-event phase.

Some tongue in cheek suggestions are given below (but you get the serious idea behind the concept)…since suggestions can be infinite and limited only by one’s lack of imagination or desire to identify problems and improve, as the matrix simply identifies opportunities for prevention that can be adaptable to any situation.

Of course nothing is going to work if there is:

1) Ineffective or no communication
2) At least one party having no desire to want to make it work
3) An act of God

People should reconnect with what really matters and be more understanding of themselves and that of others’ rather than avoid dealing with issues and repeat the same mistakes again. There will always be individuals who are recalcitrant to behaviour change but for some who have suffered through ignorance, carelessness or brief loss of self-control,they may want to give things a shot. This is a framework for those who are willing to try.


Moriji said...

Hmm, this sounds very much like Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy (REBT), which is part of cognitive behavioral therapy. A friend of mine is big on this. It works really well on those with a very methodical mind, and I think you would be one of them. I'll send you over a sample form I got from my friend.

El Draque said...

REBT sounds's also very thorough - I doubt the average Joe will think that deeply (!). I think one can appreciate it better when there is someone trained in that field to go through it with you individually to spot where your own mental roadblocks are so that you are made consciously aware of your own thought pathways which could then be amenable to change. Thanks for the sample form.

Moriji said...

Yeah, you really need to work with a therapist to uncover stuff that you are not aware of. Although I'm not seeing one at the moment, I saw one for five and half years and it really helped me a lot.