SocioEmotional-Communal Layers

Behind the sexual-family layers, we find the socio-emotional and communal layers, which give us a clear picture of the workings of the principle of resonance between the intra and the interpersonal spheres in elicitive conflict transformation.

The need for social belonging and recognition is a natural intrapersonal dimension. Likewise, this layer stands for determination, ego, willpower, dynamism and expansion.

As persons, we naturally aspire to gain a recognized position in a community, which lies beyond the immediate circle of the family and sexual partners and stretches to include being seen and respected, to belong. If for any reason a person were deprived of social interaction, cooperation and recognition, this would lead to emotional harm, wounds and sickness of the persona in her ego-aspects.

Different from the principle of competition and following this line of cooperation, not all want to be in leading positions and exciting posts, but we want a position in which we are respected and which grants social recognition to our attributes and skills, so that we can also cooperate with others.

The fulfillment of this intrapersonal need for belonging is closely linked with its mirroring in the interpersonal sphere. If there is a coincidence between the need for belonging and the external behavior of the persona, in a functional community there is a very good chance that he/she enjoys a proper position.

Here we see the principle of resonance working at its finest: if in a community there is a predominant dynamic equilibrium, members can find their place and act accordingly. And the other way around: if members look for their place and act accordingly, this will create a communal dynamic equilibrium, which is another word for peace. Most dissonances, blockages and conflicts that appear in this relationship between intra and interpersonal layers can be resolved in concrete encounters, in which they are transformed by themselves with the necessary cooperation of daily life. This is what happens most of the time. Since we naturally strive for cooperation we tend to transform our conflicts this way.

The wounded healer appears as a frequent figure in the interventions at this layer, probably because whoever has not seen his/her social belonging questioned might be less aware of the urgency of this question, The figure of the wounded healer designates those who have themselves experienced exclusion, who were not able to find their place or fulfill their position because they were prevented from doing so based on different factors. Their actions are precisely determined by this inability to have found or have been able to occupy and hold on to a place. This only makes elicitive training more pressing because one’s own frustration cannot become the driving force and justification for intervening in the issues of others. To act out of one’s own unconscious neediness can easily lead the conflict worker to construct artificial alliances and quasi-communities, which take the system even more off its balance and will break the moment the intervention ends. As such, acting out of this neediness might end up even further solidifying the dysfunctions or creating new blockages.

On the contrary, the healing effect of an intervention can only come from those who have themselves been healed. For a third party to act as provider or facilitator it is necessary to understand in a conscious, practiced and lived fashion the difference between passion, reacting out of one’s own neediness, and that action which springs out of fullness (or positive and enlivening abundance).