The Fairyland Dialogue
The Fairyland Dialogue
The Fairyland Dialogue is often helpful and even needed as a method to assist each side of a difficulty to "get all their cards face up on the table." Most often used as part of the Partnership Conversation, it can also be used to assist in creating more integrity between either Now and Next or between Oneself and Others.
I will explain The Fairyland Dialogue first as part of creating a win-win for two people who are residing in separate bodies and minds. Then I'll show how the same process can be applied when the two "people" are two parts of you, namely Now and Next, Oneself and Others.
To get to where you want to go you need to know where you are
If both of you haven't fully disclosed your intentions and desires to each other, it can be a challenging place from which to initiate a mutually beneficial outcome. Without a clear understanding of your current positions, it's going to be harder to successfully reach your desired destination.
So you think you're really open?!
You might think, "It's not a significant issue. We're fairly transparent with each other." Nevertheless, it's not just about understanding each other's desires, but also about each of you being clear about your own wants.
Here's what commonly happens. In the process of dialogue aimed at reaching a mutual understanding and agreement, we've already formed perceptions about the other person's potential actions and desires. Consequently, we've adjusted our own expectations and wants often without being consciously aware of it.
Furthermore, we've already formulated notions of what would be reasonable or considerate for us to desire from the other party. We're unconsciously adapting to our presumptions of what is feasible or fair, often without even realizing we're doing so.
The Fairyland Dialogue is about not only revealing your intentions and desires for the other party to understand, but it's also about unearthing your intentions and desires clearly for your own comprehension!
Back to choosing courage again
The notion of "being selfish" carries such negative connotations that voicing it, even in a "fairyland" context, often requires bravery. Commend both yourself and your partner for the willingness to undertake this. It might be beneficial to employ the RAFTS method at this juncture.
Setting the context
Say to your partner, "To assist us in finding a great way for us to both be happy regarding this issue, let me invite you into a Fairyland. In this Fairyland, three things are true that are not necessarily true in reality.
"Fairyland reality #1: Anything you want from me is okay. There is no right or wrong. Whatever you want and request of me will be totally approved of by me and everyone else in the world.
"Fairyland reality #2: I will have the capability to do whatever you want and request of me (as in being able to read your mind).
"Fairyland reality #3: I will be happy and eager to do whatever you want and request of me, regardless of what you do for me."
Your partner will lay all their cards face up on the Fairyland table
"Allowing yourself to think and feel inside this Fairyland, you will then share with me, as clearly and completely as you can, exactly what you would want regarding the circumstances or type of circumstances we're exploring here. As you are sharing this with me, I may need to ask you some questions to be more clear about what you mean. I may also repeat back to you in my own words what I hear you say. I will just listen."
Then it's your turn to go to Fairyland and tell your partner what you would want and request.
"After you're complete and you're clear that I understood everything you've said, then it's my turn. I will also step into that Fairyland and make the same assumptions about reality, about myself, and about you, sharing completely and openly as you have. You'll ask me questions to ensure you understand clearly what I would want and request.
"Shall we start?!"
Starting from now knowing these inner truths about each of your thoughts and desires...
One by one, you can start to convey your perspectives, including your capabilities or limitations, and your enthusiasm or reluctance to fulfill the other's desires. This exchange takes place with the understanding that, despite mutual caring, the primary obligation for each of you is to look after your own needs within the relationship. You recognize and respect that your partner carries the same responsibility towards themselves. Within this framework, you uncover a mutually beneficial solution.
A simple example: Julia wants sex, Roberto wants to go for a walk
Disagreements can frequently arise between couples who deeply care for each other. Julia and Roberto, agreeing to engage in a Partnership Conversation to address their current issue, decide to initiate with The Fairyland Dialogue. Julia invites Roberto to imagine a scenario where she, Julia, desires precisely what Roberto wishes in the context of their present situation. Roberto need not worry about "taking care of Julia." She is content to fulfill whatever he might desire. Roberto permits himself to focus solely on his own immediate self-centered wants, and openly shares these with Julia in detail.
"You will eagerly join me for a walk. You will give me the feeling that you feel so proud of me and that I can make you happy by just spending time with me walking together. Later, unpredictably, when you surprisingly discover that I'm wanting to seduce you, you'll make it a little difficult for me but then you'll surrender to my desire for you."
Julia, responds, "Very interesting, my lord. Now I'll tell you what I would want if I were guaranteed you'd want exactly the same. You'll say to me, 'Julia, my darling, just wait a moment. I need to get some special things for this occasion. And you better begin to let go of any ideas of what I'm going to do to you...because it might even be better than you can imagine."
Now that Julia and Roberto have each shared their "being completely selfish" fantasies, they can continue with the guidelines of the Partnership Conversation to create a win for both of them.
Using the Fairyland Dialogue to help create a strong internal foundation
The Fairyland Dialogue can also be used to great effect in creating a win-win in given circumstances between Now and Next or between Oneself and Others. If you're using the Partnership Conversation with another person, creating internal win-wins first will help you be more successful to create win-wins with others.
Using the Fairyland Dialogue to create Now-Next Integrity
A very valuable first step in creating a Now-Next win-win and alignment is to use the Fairyland approach. You may discover that your Now and Next are not far apart. Or not. Regardless, knowing clearly what's true for each at the beginning of the resolution process is invaluable.
Setting the context for Now and Next to share
Speaking for Next, say to your Now, "To assist us in finding a great way for us to both be happy regarding this issue, let me invite you into a Fairyland. In this Fairyland, the following three things may or may not be true in reality.
"Fairyland reality #1: Anything you want to do is okay. There is no right or wrong. Whatever you want I will think that it is great. And everyone else in the world will too.
"Fairyland reality #2: I will have the capability to allow you to do or not do whatever you want.
"Fairyland reality #3: I will be happy and eager to allow you to do whatever you want. I won't blame you and I won't scare you about possible future consequences. And there won't be any future bad consequences. You can feel free to do whatever."
Example of Now speaking to Next
If you have another person compassionately listening to you go through this dialogue between your Now and Next, that can be helpful. If not, it's still better for Now to speak out loud to Next. Step into Now's shoes, getting clear that his or her job in life is to take care of now and be happy now, and tell Next what you want and don't want regarding the current issue at hand, assuming you're in this Fairyland.
Now: "I know that you planned for us to spend two hours at this time to study for that upcoming exam that's scheduled for next week. And I thought it would be okay for me when you planned it earlier in the week.
"I don't want to study for that exam now. I want to watch some TV during this time. And I don't want you to bother me during this time by telling me that we should do anything else."
Next speaking to Now inside the Fairyland, assuming a Fairyland where Now totally supports what Next wants
Step into Next's shoes whose #1 responsibility is to take care of the future and be happy in the future.
Next: "I want you to change your mood right now. I want you to be eager and energetic to focus together on learning this stuff over the next two hours so we have a good chance of doing well on that exam. I want you to keep our energy up and focus on studying for the entire time."
A clear starting place
The above example is a simple one. Your Now and Next may each have more to say depending upon the issue at hand.
Once each has clearly stated what they would want in this Fairyland, then your Now and your Next can step back into reality together. Using the NNI toolkit you can find a way for you to create integrity between your Now and your Next.
Prioritizing time for creating Now-Next Integrity
Either Now or Next or both may object to taking time to create this integrity.
Next may feel, "This time was planned for studying. I shouldn't have to use any of it to work things out with you Now."
Now may try to insist, "I'm not in the mood for talking with you about this. Let's just watch that movie now."
It's a challenging catch-22. To solve a Now-Next problem, you need to solve a Now-Next problem about making time to do that!
Using the Fairyland Dialogue to create Oneself-Others Integrity
A very valuable first step in creating a Oneself-Others win-win and alignment is to use the Fairyland approach. You may discover that your Oneself and Others are not far apart. Or not. Regardless, knowing clearly what's true for each at the beginning of the dialogue is invaluable.
Setting the context for Oneself and Others to share
Speaking for Others, say to your Oneself, "To assist us in finding a great way for us to both be happy regarding this issue, let me invite you into a Fairyland. In this Fairyland, the following three things may or may not be true in reality.
"Fairyland reality #1: Anything you want to do is okay. There is no right or wrong. I understand it's your job to be completely selfish and make sure you do what you want and need to take care of us. Whatever you want I will think that it is great. And everyone else in the world will be happy that you're doing what you want and need to do to take care of yourself.
"Fairyland reality #2: I will have the capability to allow you to do or not do whatever you want regarding our relationship with others. And others will also be able to easily accommodate whatever you do or don't do.
"Fairyland reality #3: I will be happy and eager to allow you to do whatever you want. I won't blame you and I won't scare you about possible consequences that we may incur by you doing exactly what you want to do and don't want to do regarding our relationships with others. And actually, others will also be totally happy with what you do or don't do."
Example of Oneself speaking to Others
If you have another person compassionately listening to you go through this dialogue with yourself between Oneself and Others, that can be helpful. If not, it's still better for Oneself to speak out loud to Others. Step into Oneself's shoes (getting clear that his or her #1 job is to take care of himself or herself) and tell Others what you want and don't want regarding the current issue at hand.
Oneself: "I don't want to lend our sister the money she asked for. I think we need it. Even if we don't spend it, I want to know it's there in the bank. I also want to feel very easy and comfortable to tell her that we won't lend her the money. I want to also tell her exactly what we think and feel. She's been irresponsible by getting herself into this position where she's asking us for money."
Others speaking to Oneself inside the Fairyland, assuming a Fairyland where Oneself totally supports what Others wants
Step into Other's shoes whose #1 responsibility is to take care of others, to have good relationships with others, and to look good to others.
Others: "I'm concerned about our sister. She needs our help. She's had a rough time. She's been there for us in the past. I want to call our sister right now and tell her that we're very glad that she told us that she needs our help and find out how soon she wants us to get the money to her. Also, it's important that we look good to our sister and she thinks we're the best."
A clear starting place
The above example is just a simple one. Your Oneself and Others may each have more to say depending upon the issue at hand.
Once each has clearly stated what they would want in this Fairyland, then your Oneself and Others can step back into reality. Using the OOI toolkit you can find a way for you to create integrity between your Oneself and your Others.
Prioritizing time for creating Oneself-Others Integrity
Either Oneself or Others or both may object to taking time to create this integrity.
Oneself may feel, "I don't want to talk with you about this. You're just going to try to scare me and make me feel guilty about what I want. I don't trust you to show respect for what I want."
Others may insist, "Okay. Don't talk. But we're going to be generous and kind to our sister. We shouldn't be so selfish."
It's challenging to prioritize getting Oneself and Others to sit down at the peace table to work things out.
Using The Fairyland Dialogue with a Partnership Conversation
The aforementioned method is primarily aimed at fostering Now-Next Integrity and Oneself-Others Integrity, where all characters were internal to oneself.
However, this approach is also exceptionally beneficial in establishing external alignment between yourself and another individual. In our interactions with others, we often find ourselves speculating about their thoughts or desires, assuming they could express freely without worrying about our reactions or expectations. They do the same with us.
Employing The Fairyland Dialogue allows each participant, with the mindset of seeking a mutually beneficial solution, to reach an agreement more effortlessly than expected. Furthermore, this method fosters trust between you and the other party.
The Fairyland Dialogue is a powerful first step in each presenting circumstances in the ongoing process of creating understanding with others as well as creating and maintaining our own internal integrity.