Tipping your scale towards openness

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Over the years I’ve noticed that when I perceive that I’ve been slighted, feel attacked, sense a lack of recognition, or feel shame, my default move is to go quiet, withdraw, and withhold my feelings. This tendency has held me back in certain areas (work, relationships, etc) more than I’d like to admit.

The “Openness to Learning Scale” from the Hendricks Institute shows pretty clearly where I tend to go on a bad day and where I can go on a good day. Maybe this also resonates with you?

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Getting to the right end of the scale might mean awakening your curiosity through questions, or it might mean accepting that you can’t always expect yourself to be perfect.

I recognize this withdrawal and projection pattern that comes when I retract for whatever reason.

“Withdrawl and projection are the natural outcomes of withholding. When you withhold, you keep inside yourself things that should be expressed. The very act of hiding these things takes you one step back from the relationship. A result of this withdrawal is that you will begin to project. In other words, you will begin to attribute to other people things that are actually issues of your own.

Gay & Katie Hendricks

Isn’t that the truth!? I’m doing my best to avoid the withholding trap and tip the scale towards openness.

Comments welcome!

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