The 4 People in the Room

When there are two people in a room, there are actually four people:

  1. My view of my role
  2. My view of your role
  3. Your view of my role
  4. Your view of your role


My view of my role (1) and your view of my role (3) matches, and
My view of your role (2) and your view of your role (4) also matches,

= in agreement, healthy balanced relationship.


My view of my role (1) and your view of my role (3) does NOT match, and/or
My view of your role (2) and your view of your role (4) does NOT match,

= come to strife, unhealthy, unbalanced relationship.

When Party B does not fit the role assigned to Party A, Party A will do everything they can to get Party B to follow the role they have assigned them (and vice versa).

Often people perceive tasks performed by others are easy, whereas tasks performed by them is hard. This perceived bias is known as Discounting. This also ties in with the Dunning-Krueger Effect, a cognitive bias whereby humans like to overestimate their abilities to increase their confidence without recognising what they can do better to improve their performance. Without knowing what abilities are required for the tasks performed by others is perceived to be easy as they are too ignorant to know otherwise.

The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool.” – William Shakespeare Touchstone, in As You Like It.

Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge” – Charles Darwin in The Descent of Man in 1871.


Kruger, J., & Dunning, D. (1999). Unskilled and unaware of it: How difficulties in recognizing one’s own incompetence lead to inflated self-assessments. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 77(6), 1121-1134

Self-sabotaging occurs when:

My view of my role is conflicted, for example, wife with an alpha personality wants to be the leader of the relationship, however she also belongs to a religion where females must be a follower and obey her husband. In this case, the RM can only move forward after the wife has figured out and decided what her role is. She might potentially require a referral to counselling before reconvening to RM. If the parties wish and both agree, this can be written in the RM agreement.

Relationship Mediation can be employed for a wide range of clients

RM can be used for two or more people with issues including:

  • Family
  • Multiple partnered people
  • Teenagers
  • Business partners