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Changing Roles

Changing Roles

This is a guest post by Pete Aldin of and his free forum for parents of young adults who are struggling to find work.

Playing Many Different Roles

Johnny Depp Characters

When you think of a great character actor, who comes to mind? For me it’s Johnny Depp.

Just think about the differences in his roles as Jack Sparrow, Edward Scissorhands, Mort Rainey (Secret Window), Spencer Armacost (The Astronaut’s Wife) … and of course – Willy Wonka! Now, compare him with someone like Bruce Willis.

Willis almost exclusively plays the “burnout cop/criminal/taxi-driver/soldier on the verge of losing everything who finds his inner nobility and saves the day.� That’s basically his role in every movie he’s starred in.

What Roles Do You Play?

Human beings are more like Depp than Willis in that we often change roles depending on the situation we’re in and the needs we have at the time. What roles do you play? And which serve you well? Which don’t? It’s helpful to become both aware of them and intentional about which are most responsible and helpful for certain contexts.

Personally, I know that when I play the “He-Who-Must-Be-Obeyed� role with my older son, he automatically puts on his “Lawyer� (�let-me-show-you-the-error-in-your-reasoning-and-or-syntax�) role! There follows an escalating argument in which no one wins.

However when I change roles in my head to “Mentorâ€? or “Coachâ€?, the lad can’t play the Lawyer role – it doesn’t make sense. The two “scriptsâ€? don’t match. So he inevitably reverts to a more open-minded and co-operative role.

Which role do you play in job interviews? “Charity case� or “Worthy Prospect�? When you act in “charity case� or “I’m Too Good for This Job� roles, you’re handing the interviewer a bad script to read from.

Which role do you play in family dynamics? “Lecturer�, “Police Officer�, “Cheer Squad�, “Rescue Ranger�, “Self-Defined Adult�, “Spoiled Child�?

You get the drift.

Change Your Roles, Change Your Results

Try some different roles in problematic situations and see how it changes the “script�, the dynamic, the response of others, your own feelings and perspective.

Please Share!

Have you ever tried this? What were your results? All comments big and small are very welcomed!

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6 Responses to Changing Roles

  1. Jonk : bargain sites for Australians August 8, 2007 at 4:43 pm #

    Pete!! Can’t believe you posted here

    Top post btw

    One role I have been dying to test out is the ‘gun to the head’ role. There’s no lawyers when you’re judge, jury and executioner 👿

  2. Kersson August 9, 2007 at 1:14 pm #

    I like to return home from work through the same road everyday. I feel happy when I eat my favourite food and I don’t mind eating it everyday. I like to hear the same song once and again. I prefer Bruce Willis films because I can guess more or less his role in the film before watching it. In short, I like to do repetitive tasks.

  3. eua July 6, 2008 at 1:45 pm #


  4. maeveio September 29, 2008 at 4:31 pm #

    i LUV JOHNNY DEPP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. get a free playstation 3 January 31, 2009 at 6:31 pm #

    Johnny depp is a beautiful man, and I LOVED him in the pirates series.


  1. tramadolplus blog » Blog Archive » Changing Roles to Stay Healthy and Self-Aware - January 31, 2008

    […] Depp can do it, so can you – switch things up and adapt to new more | digg […]

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  1. […] Depp can do it, so can you – switch things up and adapt to new more | digg […]

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