The Five Freedoms were stated in every workshop I attended by Virginia Satir. As I matured they brought more and more clarity to my communication style.
When I first met Virginia in my late twenty’s I was still attached to and maintaining my nice/good Indiana farm girl persona even though I was participating in the sexual revolution and the Feminine Mystique. My communication style had not changed much from age 10. When I placated someone, I felt diminished and like I died a little. When someone countered my wishy-washiness with the expected blaming or put down, I felt further diminished and destroyed a little. What a discomfort this was!
Changing my communication pattern and striving to become open, balanced, flexible, charismatic and respectful certainly added to a feeling of well-being. This step of clearer communication moved me to enlivening my body, mind and spirit. It brought me to Super-Aging and being desirous of a long life of personal freedom! Satir’s Five Freedoms were posted on my wall for many years to remind me of my rights in communication.
The wording seems outdated and more impersonal than I would write them. However, this is as Virginia wrote them and shared the Five Freedoms orally. I’ve added the parenthesis.
- To say and hear what is here (instead of what should be, was or will be.)
- To say what one feels and thinks (instead of what one “should” say.)
- To feel what one feels (instead of what one “ought”.)
- To ask for what one wants (instead of always waiting for permission.)
- To take risks on one’s own behalf (instead of choosing to be only “secure” and rocking the boat.)