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The Care-Behavior Matrix


Explanations > Behaviors > The Care-Behavior Matrix

Collaborator | Nurturer | User | Independent | So what?


Depending on our beliefs about people, in particular our beliefs about ourselves and others regarding care, we may act very differently toward them, as in the table below.


Care-Behavior matrix

What I believe about others
They care
about me
They do not
care about me

What I believe about myself

I should care
for others
I do not care
for others








The Collaborator

If we believe in the rights of people to be cared for, that we have a duty of care towards them, and also believe that others are trustworthy and caring, then we will seek to collaborate and work together with them.

The Collaborator is the opposite of the Independent. They make good team players and can become very frustrated when working with Users and Independents.

The Nurturer

If we believe in the rights of people to be cared for and that we have a duty of care towards them, but that they do not care about others, then we will try to be helpful and guide them in their actions (perhaps even if they do not want help).

The Nurturer is the opposite of the User. When Users and Nurturers work together, the Nurturer can become a victim.

The User

If we believe that people have no rights to be cared for, but that others are trustworthy and caring, then we may seek to take advantage of this. We may stereotype or depersonalize them as we seek to absolve ourselves of any guilt about this.

The User is the opposite of the Nurturer and when they work together, the User may become a bully or callously take advantage of the Nurturer's good faith.

The Independent

If we do not believe in the rights of people to be cared for, and that others do not care about us, then we will go our own way and generally ignore others.

The Independent is the opposite of the Collaborator and will usually prefer to work alone rather than in teams.

So what?

Seek to understand how the other person believes and hence perceives people. And then either play to those beliefs or work to change them.

See also

The OK-not OK Matrix, Beliefs about people, Stereotypes, Values


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