Connecting Space

Connecting Space

Are you discounting?

Are you discounting?

What is passivity?

Passivity is when we put something off or don’t do it at all.



The Schiffs (1971) defined discounting as:

“the person who discounts believes, or acts as though he believes, that his feelings about what someone else has said, done or felt are more significant that what that person actually said, did or felt. He does not use information relevant to the situation.”



Grandiosity is the act of purposefully exaggerating about self or others or the environment in order to maintain the passivity. When we use grandiosity we take no responsibility for the decisions involved in a situation and we make the situation responsible for the behavior.


Why do we behave in this manner?

So why do we use discounting and grandiosity? The Schiffs say that we use discounting and grandiosity to remain in the passive symbiotic relationship with the other and not threaten the dependency contract.

Why is symbiosis bad?

The simple answer is that it is not always bad and can be an effective way for two people to function at times. The danger lies when we begin to discount our ability to change things that we don’t like and that are holding us back.


Suggestions for reducing your passivity

  • Notice what’s going on – your clues are discounting and grandiosity. Are you using words like “always”, “never” “I/you can’t bear it” “I can’t cope”.
  • Put things in perspective – you may feel nervous about doing things differently but what is really the worst that could happen? Are you being grandiose about the consequences of change?
  • Look at your history – Are you used to thinking that you can’t do things or can’t change? You may have learnt this as a child and are carrying it into your adulthood. As a child it is tricky to change things because you do not have much power. The power lies with your parents. As an adult you have power. You can change your life and you are not reliant on anyone else to stay alive.
  • Appreciate other adults will be OK – The adults in your life are just that, adults. Sometimes we have to make decisions that impact on others and that they won’t like but this choice is available to all adults and adults are self sufficient and can look after themselves.



Share and Enjoy !

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Author: Jill • Filed under: Narrative Matters • Posted: November 15, 2016 12:34 pm


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