If you desire to assist a chronically disorganized person in effecting change, you must understand that direct and honest communication between that individual and yourself is fundamental. In this regard, there are some specific communication strategies that work well when dealing with and supporting a chronically disorganized person. In addition, in order to maintain proper, effective lines of communication, you must understand the emotions and stages you will face in dealing with a profoundly disorganized individual.
Communication Strategies That Work
As noted a moment ago, communication is at the heart of providing real, meaningful support and assistance to a chronically disorganized person. At the heart of properly communicating with a disorganized person is ensuring that you give that individual your full attention when he or she is speaking. You need to keep your focus laser sharp.
When it comes to communicating with a profoundly disorganized person, a key practice that you must incorporate into the process is listening to that individual without judgment. You need to listen from an open and accepting point of view.
You must be sincere in thinking highly of the person in question. You must be sincere in believing that he or she is capable of overcoming disorganization. This permits you the ability to draw out the best in that person in your efforts to support that individual.
Finally, you need to recognize that success is incremental. Solid communication with a chronically disorganized person demands that you recognize and praise a person for those incremental achievements.
Understand Your Emotions and the Stages of Dealing With a Chronically Disorganized Person
Not only do you need to develop an understanding of how to communicate with a chronically disorganized person, but you also need to understand and listen to yourself as well. By this, it is meant that you need to understand your own emotions connected with dealing with a chronically disorganized person. Understanding these stages, and properly responding to them, is crucial if you want to truly provide support to a chronically disorganized person.
In this regard, experts in the field have identified four stages you are likely to cycle through when you must deal with another individual’s disorganization. By recognizing these stages, and appreciating what occurs at each interval, you place yourself in a better position to protect your own interests and sense of wellbeing while also appropriately interacting with a chronically disorganized man or woman.
The first stage associated with the broader process of dealing with a profoundly disorganized person involves offering and support and encouragement. If you are like many people, you likely feel very optimistic at this juncture. You at believing that by offering support and encouragement you will be able to assist a disorganized person to make progress in bringing about a sense of order and structure.
In many cases, an acutely disorganized individual is likely to make progress, at least initially. Indeed, a disorganized person may respond to your support and encouragement and may make what can be classified as significant progress towards bringing forth a sense of organization and order to his or her life.
The stark reality of communicating with and supporting a profoundly disorganized individual is that the individual will likely backslide. In fact, you can almost count of a disorganized individual backsliding and failing to maintain a sense of order and organization time and time again.
You are a human being with your own set of emotions. Your emotions can be triggered by the actions or failure to act, of another. This particularly is the case in a situation fails to live up to what you think are reasonable expectations. This is magnified when you have made a sincere investment in supporting an individual in making an improvement in his or her life.
The net effect of backsliding by a chronically disorganized individual is that you are highly likely to feel disappointed, and likely significantly so. You must understand that this is a perfectly natural response. You need not engage in figurative self-flagellation because you feel disappointed in regression demonstrated by a chronically disorganized person. This feeling of disappointment underscores the second stage of dealing with another’s disorganization.
If you are like the typical person involved in supporting and assisting a severely disorganized friend, colleague, or family member, in the aftermath of backsliding by that individual, you are likely to move from being disappointed by that individual’s lack of progress to becoming irritated more broadly. You may end up irritated with what you perceive as an overall lack of real progress by the chronically disorganized person in your life. Irritation is the hallmark of the third stage in the cycle of attempting to support and assist a chronically disorganized individual in your life.
From your perspective, the seemingly never-ending backsliding becomes a failure to progress at all in your mind. In fact, the reality is that a disorganized person, in fact, may be making little to no progress, particularly when the decision to become better organized is a fairly new decision.
You are not alone in reacting to the progress, or lack thereof, associated with a disorganized person allegedly intend on establishing order in life in feeling frustrated. You are also not alone when your frustration festers to some degree and you become angry at the person who backslides and does appear to be failing to make organizational progress.
The key at this juncture is to avoid expressing that anger to the individual you have been supporting in his or her efforts to gain better control and organization in life. What many people in this situation do at this juncture is to withdraw, at least for the time being.
Provided that you deal with the anger you feel in a healthy and appropriate manner, the withdrawal associated with the fourth state need not be permanent. In fact, your case use the emotion as something of a learning moment for you and a teaching moment for the individual afflicted with chronic disorganization. At this stage, the importance of honest, effective, and direct communication becomes highly important.
You can approach the disorganized person at an appropriate time and explain to him or her your honest feelings about the state of affairs. You can convey in a direct, and yet respectful, the manner how backsliding and failing to progress makes you feel.
With that noted, you can advise the person that you are willing to give supporting him or her in an endeavor towards better organization another try. In effect, that brings you back around to the first stage of the process.