The ring theory

The ring theory was developed as a way of explaining how best to speak to people who are dealing with illness/health problems. I thought it was a great way of seeing who you should and shouldn’t speak to about the issue depending on where in the ring you are.

Ring theory link

I was thinking how this can be applied to just about anything, including Autism and Pathological Demand Avoidance. Conditions which affect a person will also affect other people, it’s important that everyone remembers who the condition is affecting the most. Many people in society seem to think it’s okay to comment on something that only slightly affects them, like making negative comments on a child’s behaviour when out in public. In many situations, this isn’t helpful. The ring theory states that people should only send positive things inwards to the centre of the circle, and negative things outwards. So for instance, if you feel the need to complain about something which is affecting another person, you should complain to those that are either in the same ring as you or in the outer rings to you, never in the rings inwards.


This picture shows what a PDA version of the ring theory would look like. The person affected by PDA is at the very centre with their family/carers in the next ring. Then comes close friends and extended family, then other friends, work colleagues and neighbours and lastly are strangers and the general public. The point of this is to show that those in the inner circles can express any negativity outwards and positivity inwards, this removes the stress of complaints and negative comments from those in the inner circles and allows them to focus on the issue at hand.

I think this is great as I should be the only one allowed to truly comment on my PDA, I shouldn’t have to contend with strangers giving their opinion on my life and how I manage it in relation to my PDA. If they have a complaint then they are allowed to do so to those in the same or outer circles.

If this type of thinking were commonplace then we wouldn’t get scornful looks from complete strangers because our children aren’t conforming to their personal expectations. They would know to keep their opinion to the correct people. Misjudgements wouldn’t be given and hurtful ‘advice’ wouldn’t be given freely with no regard for the feelings of those they are aimed at. The ring theory would make the world a bit easier to deal with.

One thought on “The ring theory”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s