Energy Depleting Personality Traits - Be Aware: The first steps to Creating Reward rather than Ruin
November 24, 2017
It has only been from my own time spent in ruin, that I learned about these very powerful, and pretty generic, personality types. Awareness doesn't have to be earned the hard way, and this is why it's great to have someone else fill you in, on some potentially awesome keys to avoiding bust, and making more room for benefit.
In terms of personality, we are of course, all individual, and very unique. We are a mixture of genetics, socialisation, and a product of our experiences to date. So how is it that I can say, there are some common personality types, or traits, that we could all relate to on some level, even if only partially?
This is due to the way that we are conditioned "as a society", and how, leading on from this, our own parental experiences often mirror, to some degree, a deep societal need for love and approval. In essence, it's about how our egoic mind is formed around the security mechanism of being socially acceptable - or acclimatised to the messages in the group we were raised. In some cases, going against social norms is celebrated more, so in turn, this would then be your focus. (This will likely have most reference to the Adventurer Type).
Therefore we could say, that the very essence of human nature, on a base level, is about securing our relationships, and ensuring that we belong somewhere in a tribe. This primative, yet age old human need, leads us into some familiar conditioning - solidifying our personality in a certain make-up, and modelling the behaviour of what has gone on before us, either in our modeled parenting, or from the messages we received in our environment growing up, at school, and through various connections.
It can be really tough to crack our conditioning, and it takes time and effort to raise enough awareness to create space from our enticing patterns. Furthermore, we may latch on to new ideas, and pastimes, convinced by our ego that we have changed, only later, we realise that we had been fooled. The mask may change, but for permanent shifts, it takes continual effort, much like building muscle. The mechanisms of social and psychological change on a macrocosm, and our evolving path of awareness, as individuals and a planet, can be demonstrated in a revolutionary model called Spiral Dynamics.
What are the Personality Types?
You could name them types, especially if you relate very strongly to a certain personality in full. However, we may also call them traits. These traits, at differing times, can rise and fall within us all. It may be just one type running your show, or all of them. Sometimes the traits appear as triggers to stress. These types, can also be closely linked to the Enneagram, which is an awesome ancient tool for decoding human personality, based on childhood conditioning.
The Perfectionist or the Reformer
The need to get things right. To go into intense detail, and be thorough to the point of obsession. Can be overbearing and prone to outbursts of rage, because of so much suppression, and control on the character. To be pernickerty and bossy. Derives from wanting to avoid shame. Black and white thinking, with lots of "shoulds". In its most prevailant form - OCD.
The Achiever or the Performer
The desire to create a constant string of goal achievement and to triumph over obstacles. Derives from wanting to be noticed, valued and seen. Can be prone to narcissism and living in the future. Can get stuck at level of image, and superficiality. Deep desire to be a success and to hold productivity above everything else. In it's most foroius form - leads to burnout.
The Helper or The Carer
The requirement to put others before the self because of a deeper need to be looked after. A preoccupation with "taking care of" and being good. Trouble with assertiveness. Problems with personal boundaries. Can be harboring a secret victim mentality - so turns to martyrdom. Derives from wanting to avoid feelings of guilt. In excess - can lead to lack of identity.
The Adventurer or Adrenaline One
The salivation for constant new experiences, and keeping everything positive, and exciting. A need for stimulation, to be in touch with dreams, visions, and making them happen. Derives from a need to escape everyday life, and not sit with anything too boring, deep, bad, painful or dull. In extreme cases causes addictions, and dangerous impulses, coming from an inability to be still with the Self and potential suppressed material.
Why Can they Become Energy Depleting?
As you can see from the somewhat bleak shadow descriptions I have added, having these traits, can lead us into an energetic tangle, because we are caught unconsciously in the pattern to be right, to prove, to give or to run. If left unchecked, and in their more serious forms, or if you have aspects of all of them, then at some stage, it will become difficult to keep up with the demands of your ego. Furthermore, when life changes, or something challenging comes your way, you may no longer be able to remain in your normal conditioned type, leading you on a journey of re-discovery.
How can they Be Useful?
The traits here, as with everything, can be incredibly useful for life. It's only when we aren't aware that we can get bitten on the bum. Once you know how these types work in your life, you can turn them into positive allies, and integrate a new relationship with them so that they don't overwhelm or burden you.
Positive Uses of:
Great with attention to detail. Can be relied on to do the best job. Will think of everything, and make very little mistakes. Is generally honest and can be trusted. Great in any role that requires methodical process and no room for error.
Is super-organised and takes action with ease. Encourages others by being motivational, and displays a "can do" attitude. Is charming and charismatic. Great in competitive roles such as sports or business.
Will seek to be loving and create a caring environment. Doesn't shy away from the feeling side of life. Has empathy and sensitivity. Will be a good listener. Great in empathic and nurturing roles.
Is optimistic and interesting to listen to. Goes beyond the boundaries and sets new ideas off in peoples heads. Comes up with spontaneous plans at the drop of a hat. Is humorous and fun. Great in travel industry or events, or when planning a new activity or phase to life.
The key here is awareness.
When you feel your helper coming on, and your desire to "rescue" could mean you loose touch with the afternoon so of self-care you had planned, then step back and practice the word "No". When you have had your head in a big new project for a few days, and you have been forgetting meals, then slow that ball down, and stop to smell the roses. There will always be another goal! As your passions start leading you into more spending on your credit card, so that you can have your next fill of stimulation, take a breath and think about pacing, or planning your movements carefully so you don't get caught in a mess. At times where you catch yourself over cleaning, or getting way to serious about something, stop and see if you can allow it to be unpolished.
Really, what we want to know, is what are the feelings below your personality traits that keep you caught in that distracting or extreme behaviour?
There could be some great messages for you. Equally if you follow them, they could lead you into a really different landscape - that is far more enriching than your normal nest.
This is just a really small introduction to a really big subject. I'm going to be giving out a lot more information about how to work with these traits positively, and some new traits to integrate alongside them on two of my workshops coming up next year.
I also work heavily with these types in personal coaching sessions - so if you want to know more then feel free to come for some one to one coaching, or you can join the Empowerment Group Coaching Course experience which will start in April. Alternatively join one of the workshops below in 2018, where I will be touching on these types again, and giving you room to work with them.
Sat Jan 20th - You Can Do It - Setting Your Smart Goals
Sat April 21st - Sept - Psychology Based Group Empowerment Course
Sat July (Date TBC) - ME/CFS, Fibro, POTS & Hypermobility - Insights on Recovery & Healing