4Sight 5 D's

These are the only ways someone can respond without validating your complaint and talking to it, giving you the respect we all deserve. They are all abusive, from subtle to pronounced, as they usurp your basic rights as a person. Anyone using them refuses to be accountable. The 5 D's are tactics people use to avoid being accountable when someone wishes to discuss their behavior or can also be the manifestation of the problem itself. Regardless, in any situation, from famliy and friends to work and community, they are unacceptable as they dismiss a person's basic rights. Even if subtle, they are abusive. We all have the right to discuss someone's behavior when we feel they are doing or saying something that we feel is undesirable. When using the D's the recipient wants to avoid saying they are responsible for the undesirable behavior in question. 

For full disclosure, these do not differ greatly from Gottman’s Four Horseman although, IMHO, they are easier to remember as well as identify. 4Sight takes a more epistemiological approach and talks about how someone responds to a valid complaint.

  1. Deny - they say your statement isn’t true
    Person says they are not engaging in said behavior.
    Do not let them get away with it.
  2. Dismiss - they say your statement is true but isn’t a problem
    Person says they are engaging in the behavior and may even say it's unavoidable (justifies it).
    If need be, include others to corroborate your position.
  3. Distract - they try to cancel out your statement without admitting guilt
    Person avoids talking about the behavior and may even try to include irrelevant subjects or bring up complaints about your behavior.
    Make them focus on one subject at a time. Be willing to discuss other things but only when the topic at hand is completed.
  4. Derogate - they try to get you to retract your statement
    Person becomes verbally abusive, often making personal attacks on you or others.
    Require civility. Stand your ground. Include others if needed.
  5. Depart - they ignore your making the statement
    Person refuses to continue the conversation which may include their leaving your presence.
    Don't let them back or return to start another conversation. If you let them get away with it, they will continue to victimize you and others as well. Do not enable.
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