The WATER Method Addendum: Openness and Awareness


So I’ve come to a revelation during my time here. I’ve realized that my approach to problems works for most people and most situations. However, when it comes to relationships, or family members, its really difficult for people to separate their problems into what they can and can’t change when they feel as though their relationships influence their lives too strongly. I had a hard time trying to tell people that you can set boundaries with your family, and you’re really not in control of how someone feels. You’re not in control of how your spouse feels, and they’re not in control of how you feel. People weren’t buying it, and it was all a mystery to me, until this week.

It just came to me. Flash of insight, God inspired…call it what you will. I finally figured out how to explain this in a way that makes sense, and also allows us to apply the WATER Method effectively.

I’ve officially adopted 2 New Concepts to the WATER Method: Openness and Awareness.

Openness is recognizing how much you allow other people’s WATER to affect yours. Think of this like a door to a house, with the house being your WATER. If you left the door to your house open all day, all kinds of things could come in: bugs, animals, leaves, wind, dirt, etc. The same thing is true with your WATER. The more open you are to other people, the more you allow them to affect your WATER.

For example, if your spouse comes home from work, happily chattering like a squirrel, its really easy to take on that good mood as your own isn’t it? But when s/he comes home lumbering like a grizzly bear, the same kind of thing happens. We’re in a bad mood too, and we’re not really sure how we got there sometimes. That’s how Openness works, you take on the other person’s Words, Actions, Thoughts, Emotions and Results (or WATER for short) as your own.

Awareness is the idea that people you are close to can be affected by your WATER. Its basically acknowledging that other people have houses with open doors, and that if they open their door to you and your WATER, then you can have an influence on them. The purpose of Awareness is deciding if you want to take certain actions that can affect a loved one’s WATER.

For example, you know that when you come home from work chittering like a squirrel, your spouse is suddenly in a good mood. Imagine that! Did you do anything to make that happen? No, that’s all them, but they’re open to your Emotions. On the other hand, when you come in lumbering like a grizzly bear, things don’t go so well do they? All of the sudden you’re fighting, and you don’t even know what you’re fighting about. How did that happen? Being Aware of how Open others are to you can be key to communication.

So think about how your Openness to others Emotions changed your Emotions. Or your Thoughts…or Actions. Think about how your Words affected someone else, and maybe now that you have Awareness about how they affect that person, you can make decisions to choose whether or not you want to use those Words in the future.

I could go on and on about this, but I think just that alone is enough to chew on. What do you think? I’d really like to hear what you have to say about this, as this concept is going into the WATER Method book. So your interaction is greatly appreciated!