Individuals differ in the way
they resolve conflicts. Their differences may be identified
as qualitative distinctions along the two key principles of
relating. Accordingly in dealing with stress usually an individual
unconsciously chooses to be either passive or active, and either
antagonistic or cooperative. His/her relational choice determines
a person’s expectations or anxieties and subsequent defenses,
reversals and compromises.
and the Lion illustrate the dominant-cooperative and the dominant-antagonistic
modalities, the Scarecrow and the Tinman, the submissive-cooperative
and the submissive-antagonistic relational alternatives. The
Oz heroes exemplify the four relational syndromes.
respective role choices entail different passivity states, hence
expectations and distortions. Dorothy who chooses to be a thinker
(activity) saw Oz as an enormous head (her passivity or anxiety
state). The Lion who threatened others with his roar perceived
the Wizard as a fierce fireball. The Scarecrow who was kind
perceived Oz as a kind lady. The Tinman who could not love,
perceived Oz as a most terrible beast. (see Panel #11)
confronting their passivity or anxiety states, their relational
distortions, helped the Oz heroes to overcome their weaknesses,
to see reality without distortions, thus to transform their
conflicts into true resolutions.