My BFF and I

Compensating belief: The world is dangerous, threatening. People can’t be trusted. You must seek or defy security, avoid or face danger. The world demands too much from people and gives them too little, potentially resulting in a scarcity of resources.

Attention/coping strategy: Becoming vigilant, questioning or doubting. Scanning for what can go wrong. Seeking certainty either by defying security and facing danger (the counter-phobic style) or by seeking security and avoiding danger (the phobic style). Protecting myself from intrusion and demands by cutting off feelings. Focusing attention on intrusions and detaching to observe. Becoming self-sufficient, seeking privacy, limiting desires.

Trap: Seeking certainty for which there is never enough proof. Obtaining self-sufficiency will free you from needing anything from others.

Driving energy: Fear associated with all the possible dangers or hazards. Avarice (stinginess) for essentials that are perceived as being scarce, such as private time and knowledge.

Avoidance: Becoming helpless and defenseless, avoided either by aligning with authority (the phobic style) or by defying it (the counter-phobic style). Intrusion and demands by others leading to depletion of energy or to a sense of inadequacy.

Strengths: Spotting hazards, heightened intuition, loyalty, thoughtfulness. Keeper of confidences, knowledgeable, calm in a crisis, appreciative of simplicity.

Paradox: Seeking too much certainty in an uncertain world creates more uncertainty and anxiety. Striving for self-sufficiency cuts one off from essential resources and nurturance.

Path of development:

  • Accept insecurity as part of life                                           Experience feelings in the moment
  • Develop inner faith in self, others and the world                     Stay connected rather than withdrawing
  • Recognize that both flight and fight are reactions to fear        Allow more people into protective circle
  • Observe fear and calm it                                                     Reveal personal matters, express self
  • Move ahead in spite of fear                                                 Engage in physical activity

Ultimate task: Reclaiming trust in yourself, others and the world, and living comfortably with uncertainty. Reconnecting to the energy of life force and heart-felt feelings, realizing that ample energy and resources are available.

Six                                             Five
Relate to tradition                         Eccentric
Consider rules                              Ignore rules
Linear thinking                              Non-linear thinking
Establish methods                        Contest methods
Practical                                       Impractical
Doubt their minds                          Trust their minds
Reactive                                        Aloof
Affiliative                                       Independent
Seek security                                Seek knowledge
Paranoid                                       Schizoid
Engaged                                       Detached
Group-oriented                               Individualist
My BFF looks for security in the social sphere—that is, through his affiliations with different people and organizations. He is warm, engaging, and humorous, trying to send out the message that he is approachable and safe. He likes to get others involved in projects or activities he sees as worthwhile. He may volunteer to work in groups and committees, but do not necessarily enjoy doing this, yet he sees it as necessary to spend his time and energy. He wants to be regarded as a regular guy and may have difficulty taking stands that would be unpopular in his peer groups. Although he likes being involved, he often becomes nervous about holding positions of responsibility because he is afraid that he will have to make decisions that others will not like, thus losing their support. When more insecure, his suspiciousness may lead him to form in-groups and out-groups in the workplace or in other social or societal areas. He tends to be dutiful and especially dependent upon authority. When acting alone he will still refer to others in his mind for safety and agreement. He may want to see my opinion first before he will offer his own, and could change his mind to agree with me. However, later there’s inevitable disillusionment. He starts grumbling that he is not appreciated and could go passive/aggressive, resent someone he had once romanticized. 
I focus my hoarding in the area of intimate relationships. The combination of instinct and type are at odds here: my defense is to withdraw, while the my instinct demands intimacy and connection. Thus, I live in an uneasy truce between these polar influences, but I sometimes seek to resolve this tension by slowly inviting prospective intimates into my own secret world. I am primarily focused in my imaginations, but I believe that most others would find my thoughts odd or eccentric. Nonetheless, I want to share my perceptions and hidden worlds and secretly hope to have a deep connection with a single soul, who can understand them and my sometimes bizarre views of reality. Intimacy for me entails finding someone else who will explore the surreal vistas of my inner world. If I am disappointed in my relationship, I may retreat and remain unattached for long periods of time, even years. I trust only a few people but then do so totally. Friendship is based on the sharing of confidences. Intimacy is equivalent to exchanging secrets. I can go from enigmatic, deliberate distance to intense, unguarded openness.

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