When I work with people doing therapy, coaching, or career evaluation, I try to help a client/patient understand his or her core personality. By this I mean a basic style of interacting with other people, emanating from their core nature. For the sake of this writing I will focus on two components and the variance within each. The two component factors are Controller-Pleaser and Emotional Expression-Retention. These factors greatly influence how your personality affects your personal relationships and career choices. They are mostly genetically generated with experiential influences.
Do you have a Controller or Pleaser personality component? The Controller personality person has a take charge style in various facets of his life. The Controller person typically is pro-active towards life, usually “Type A”. S/he makes things happen in a way that allows him/her to be safe, not vulnerable, and productive. Like all personality components there are degrees of control manifest in such a person ranging from very aggressive to assured assertiveness. Conflict and confrontation are usual byproducts of this component.
The Pleaser personality is very different. This person, usually “Type B”, has more of a reactive style. S/he want to be accepted and liked. S/he tends to be non assertive and works hard to avoid conflict or confrontation. S/he tends to get along well with most everybody.
The second personality component factor focused on here is the emotionally Expressive and Retentive types. The Expressive type usually is present more in the Control personality. This person tends to get his or her emotions out no matter what. The intensity of expression will vary. This person will readily display his or her anger and, occasionally, tears. You know where this person is coming from!
The emotionally Retentive person is vastly different. This person usually is associated with the Pleaser personality. S/he tends to hold in his or her emotions. It is difficult to know the emotions hidden within this person. S/he shies away from anger and is more inclined to shelter feelings of sadness/depression or fears/anxiety.
These factors, Controller-Pleaser, Expressive-Retentive, are not inherently healthy or unhealthy, good or bad. Depending on where they are on the continuum each will reveal the productive or destructive elements of each. To be in control without being controlling has value. To be pleasing without denying your needs works well. To be expressive without blowing another away is good style. To be able to restrain negative or harmful expressions is wise.
These personality core components are two of the most important and impactful of your being. It is important for you to know them because they significantly influence your relationships, especially romantic, as well as career direction. In one session with you I can explain which ones you are, as well as the implications for your life.
Bottom line, be all you can be. Bring the best out of what your nature has provided. “To thine own self be true”!
“The unexamined life is not worth living” Socrates