Below are further quotes and notes from The Anatomy of Peace by The Arbinger Institute:

As we betray ourselves over time, we develop characteristic styles of self-justification. 107

[the authors call these “characteristic styles of self-justification” “boxes” into which we push ourselves and out of which our responses to the other are shaped. We carry these boxes with us from one relationship and situation to another. There are four self-justification boxes each with its own characteristics:]

1. The Better-Than Box:

View of Myself – Superior, Important, Virtuous/Right
View of Others – Inferior, Incapable/Irrelevant, False/Wrong
View of World – Competitive, Troubled, Needs Me
Feelings – Impatient, Disdainful, Indifferent

2. The I-Deserve Box:

View of Myself – Meritorious, Mistreated/Victim, Unappreciated
View of Others – Mistaken, Mistreating, Ungrateful
View of World – Unfair, Unjust, Owes Me
Feelings – Entitled, Deprived, Resentful

3. The Must-Be-Seen-As Box:

View of Myself – Need to be well thought of, Fake
View of Others – Judgmental, Threatening, My Audience
View of World – Dangerous, Watching, Judging Me
Feelings – Anxious/Afraid, Needy/Stressed, Overwhelmed

4. The Worse-Than Box:

View of Myself – Not as good, Broken/Deficient, Fated
View of Others – Advantaged, Privileged, Blessed
View of World – Hard/Difficult, Against me, Ignoring me
Feelings – Helpless, Jealous/Bitter, Depressed

No one, whatever their actions, can deprive me of the ability to choose my own way of being. 128

we can’t be agents of peace until our own hearts are at peace. 157

[good leaders are people who create] a space where people can give up their worries and thrive. 162

While it’s true we can’t make others change, we can invite them to change… Because we are each responsible for our blaming, self-justifying boxes… we can each be rid of them. There are no victims so far as the box is concerned, only self-made ones. And since by getting out of the box we invite the same in others, we are not even victims with respect others the way we believe we are when we’re in the box. We can begin inviting others to make the changes they need to make. 164

[Getting out of our boxes}:

1. [realize that it is possible to be “deeply in a box toward one person” while at the same time being “out of the box towards someone else”] 171 [this means] “we are not stuck.” 172

2. [find an out-of-the-box place within yourself

“The biggest help in finding a way forward and out of the box is in finding an out-of-the-box place, or vantage point, within me. 172

[we help each other be out of the box when we do not approach each other from within our own boxes – ie. when we do not resist the other, but rather create space for them.]

3. Ponder the situation anew (i.e., from this out-of-the-box perspective). 176

once you find an out-of-the-box vantage point, you are now in a position to think new thoughts about situations that have troubled you. Because you will be thinking about them from a new perspective, you will be able to access thoughts and ideas that may have eluded you while you were trying to think about the situation from within the box. 176, 177

[Questions to enable a new perspective]:

What are this person’s or people’s challenges, trials, burdens, and pains?

How am I, or some group of which I am a part, adding to these challenges, trials, burdens, and pains?

In what other ways have I or my group neglected or mistreated this person or group?

In what ways are my better-than, I-deserve, worse-than, and must-be-seen boxes obscuring the truth about others and myself and interfering with potential solutions?

What am I feeling I should do for this person or group? What could I do to help?

4. Staying out of the box – Act upon what I have discovered; do what I am feeling I should do. 196

[we spend too much time, effort, and energy trying to deal with things that are going wrong using correction and punishment. Instead we should focus on helping things go right by, in ascending order of importance]:

teaching and communicating

listening and learning

building relationship

building relationship with others who have influence

getting out of the box/obtaining a heart at peace

[these suggestions form a pyramid with correction the smallest part at the top of the pyramid and getting out of the box at the base upon which all else builds]

1. Most time and effort should be spent at the lower levels of the pyramid. 214

2. The solution to a problem at one level of the pyramid is always below that level of the pyramid. 215

3. Ultimately, my effectiveness at each level of the pyramid depends on the deepest level of the pyramid – my way of being. 216

Lasting solutions to our outward conflicts are possible only to the extent that we find real solutions to our inner ones. 222

we help others out of their inner wars by being for them an out-of-the-box place ourselves. 223