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the Four Character Types

How We Decide Who Has Needs


This part of the Emergence "Social Priority Scale" series introduces emergence "character types," the part of human personality which defines whether we are "givers" or "receivers" or both. This is also the part of personality which determines such diverse things about us as who we can be romantically attracted to, who we can have friendships with, and which of our parents we will feel closest to and safest with, which by the way, is not necessarily the same parent although it can be.



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Introduction Comfort - the 1st Priority

the First of the Two Basic Personality Qualities: "Character Type"

Let's start by defining the first of the two qualities which make up a "Social Priority Chart"; the quality I call a person's "character type."

What is character type?

As I've said, character type is a quality of personality. It is, in fact, one of the more basic qualities of personality.

What does this quality of personality describe though?

The quick answer is, a person's character type describes "who" has needs but not "what these needs are." More specifically though, a person's character type describes how well he or she will handle situations wherein both this person and someone else simultaneously have needs.

Thus your character type describes two things. In situations wherein both you and someone else have needs, it describes [1] your ability to sense your own needs and [2] your ability to sense the needs of others. And again, both these things are a measure of "who" has needs.

I call the first of these things; the state wherein you "sense your own needs"; being in a me state. And I call the second of these things; the state in which you "sense the needs of others"; being in a you state.

So what is it like to be in a me state?

Being in a me state means you consciously experience only your own needs regardless of who else has needs. This does not mean you can not recognize the needs of others. Rather, it means even if you do, you will not experience the needs of others.

And being in a you state? What is that like?

Being in a you state means you consciously experience only other peoples' needs, regardless of what needs you yourself may have.

Here again, you may even mentally recognize that you yourself have needs. Even if you do though, you will not consciously experience these needs and will experience consciously only the needs of others.

Here then is the quality of personality peoples' character type describes. It describes peoples' ability to experience these two "need" states, the me state and the you state, and it describes peoples' default first inner response to being in these situations.

What do I call these situation? I call them, "mutual need situations."

So what are mutual need situations exactly?

Mutual need situations are those times and places wherein both you and someone else simultaneously have needs.

Now before I state the obvious; that peoples' sense of whose needs are important varies greatly from situation to situation; please hear once more the conditions under which you can identify a person's character type. Please know, all three conditions need be present in order for the test to be valid.

Condition [1]: You must be in a life situation wherein both you and someone else both have needs at the same time. And you must be feeling at least one portion of these needs, either yours or the other person's.

Condition [2]: You must not be reliving a BLock at the time of the test; meaning, you must not, in the test moment, be reliving a past event where in your ability to picture on the screen of the mind became blocked.

Condition [3]: You must be conscious enough and have learned to recognize peoples' character types enough to honestly identify and report your personal experiences of these needs, especially your initial inner response to being in this life situation.

Here, then, are the three test conditions under which you can determine a person's character type: [1] knowledge of simultaneous need, [2] not reliving a wound, and [3] able to recognize your own first inner response to being in this situation.

Again, I call being in these situations; those times and places wherein both you and someone else simultaneously have needs; being in "mutual need" states.

So now in what kinds of situations do people experience "mutual need?"

Going out to the movies with a good friend wherein you both feel a strong desire to see a different movie.

Being on a date in a fancy restaurant and being very hungry while the waiter asks who will order first.

Needing to use a restroom when there are two people who really need to go and only one restroom.

Being asked by a coworker if you need help with what you are carrying while at the same time, seeing that your coworker could also use help.

Obviously these kinds of situations come up all the time. What else?

Simultaneously arriving at the Barnes and Noble door when both you and the other person are already late, and need the same book.

Being in a situation wherein both you and someone else both need to use a cell phone and only one of your cell phones works.

Standing in a college registration line on the last day of registration and realizing there are four people in line and only two openings left.

Waiting in a Christmas season sales line for a sales clerk to help you and realizing there are three other people who are also waiting for the same overwhelmed sales clerk.

All these situations can create feelings of mutual need in people. They all represent the kinds of situations you to be in, in order to test for character type.

the Four "Character Types"

Now that you know the state you need to be in, in order to test for character type, what exactly is it you will be testing for?

You will be testing to see which of the four character types a person is.

So how many character types are there again?

There are four character types. In fact, one way to refer to them is simply by this number; character types "one" through "four."

What do these four numbers indicate though?

They indicate the year of life in which this particular person's character type was formed.

When does this character type forming go on?

Between birth and about age four.

This means that since there are four years between birth and age four, there are four years in which peoples' character types form. Thus, there are four character types,

Now as I've mentioned, I sometimes refer to these four character types by the year in which the person's character type formed. Thus sometimes, I refer to these four types (and to the people who have them) as "ones," "twos," "threes," and "fours."

At other times though, I prefer to refer to these people as "first year of life" people, "second year of life" people, "third year of life" people, and "fourth year of life" people.

OK. So the labels "ones," "twos," "threes," and "fours" are simply references to the year of life in which the person's character type was formed. What do these numbers actually mean though? What exactly does a person's character type indicate about a person?

In a sense, it indicates the pattern of experience all people have burned into them which dictates how they will react in mutual need states.

Now remember the three test conditions; [1] the experience of simultaneous need; [2] that you are not now experiencing a blocked screen of the mind; and [3] being able to identify your first inner response to being in this mutual need situation.

Now put all these things together and what do we see about people?

Let's start with "ones." Remember, there are only two basic character states, the me state and the you state.

So how do "ones" react in mutual need situations?

As if they are the only one with needs. Thus, ones experience mutual need situations in a me state and nothing else. They experience their own needs, but not the needs of anyone else, even when they mentally see the other peoples' needs.

And "twos?"

When twos are in mutual need situations, they experience only the needs of the other people and not of themselves. Further, even when twos recognize they do have needs also, they still can not experience their needs as anything important. They may in fact note them as something to attend to later. Even here though, they will feel no real emotional urgency whatsoever. They feel as if they have no needs.

Here again, I refer to being in this "only others have needs" state as being in a you state.

Now what about "threes?"

Threes are sort of a combination of ones and twos. Thus, in mutual need situations, threes feel first like ones, then like twos. Said in other words, whenever threes are in mutual need situations, first, they feel like only they have needs and then, as if only the other person has needs.

Expressed as character states then, at first, threes experience only the me state, then only the you state. And sometimes this is how I refer to them; as "me then you's."

Finally, we have "fours." What do fours feel when they are in mutual need situations?

Fours feel the same thing as threes only in reverse. Thus, when fours are in mutual need situations, first, they feel only the other person's needs, then, only their own needs. In other words, whenever fours are in a mutual need situation, at first, they experience only the you state, then, only the me state. Thus, sometimes, I refer to fours as "you then me's."

So What About Gender?

Now what about gender? Doesn't peoples' gender affect the way they react in mutual need situations?

Absolutely. But only in how people express their character type, and not in who has valid needs.

For instance, a woman who is a one may feel angry if a man does not hold a door open for her, while a woman who is a two may feel obliged to be the first to go through a door if a man is holding it open for her. Or she may not, depending on two peoples' cultures and ages.

Then again, these same situations may be true in reverse gender situations as well. Thus, a man who is a one may go through a door first and not even notice a woman who was standing there, whereas a man who is a two may feel guilty if he goes through a door but then realizes a woman was also standing there.

Remember, a person's character type describes only the person's first inner impulse as to who has needs and even then, only in ordinary, mutual need situations. Thus, at times, people may behave in ways which appear to indicate they feel entitled to go first while all the while feeling obligated to go first so as to not insult the other person. In fact, they may have even gone first and felt guilty for having done so.

Without knowing a persons' character type, you can never really know.

Now think about times when you've been in similar situations. Have you assumed you know how the other person felt and what their motives really were; how entitled they felt and how they did or did not see your needs too?

A Brief Recap

Now before I go on to describe the four "social priorities," let me briefly recap what I've just told you.

First, I told you there are only two ways people experience mutual need situations. I call these two responses, the two "character states"; the me state, and the you state. What do these two character states mean again?

Being in a me state means you feel as if you are the only person with needs, and being in a you state means you feel as if only others have needs.

Second, I told you there are only four patterns in which these two character states get programmed into people, each corresponding to a character type named for the year in which this programming occurred.

Please remember that these four patterns are simply the four ways babies respond to mutual need; meaning, they were once normal healthy responses. Each of us simply gets programmed to relive one of the patterns, and this pattern becomes our default response to mutual need.

What are these four patterns; the four combinations of the two character states?

The four patterns are:

[1] Responding as a one; as a "first year of life" person; as a person who experiences only their own needs in mutual need situations,

[2] Responding as a two; as a "second year of life" person; as a person who experiences only the needs of others in mutual need situations,

[3] Responding as a three; as a "third year of life" person; as a person who, in mutual need situations, experiences first, only their own needs, and then, only the needs of others.

Finally, [4] responding as a four; as a "fourth year of life" person; as a person who, in mutual need situations, experiences first, only the needs of others, and then, only their own needs.

These four patterns are what I call the four character types, and they are simply the four ways human beings can feel urges to give and receive. More over, although you may at this point feel as if I've grossly oversimplified giving and receiving, know there is a whole lot more to these four types than simply how we respond to giving and getting. For example, take romantic attraction.

So have you ever wondered how you can mentally recognize that someone has a beautiful, sexy body and yet feel little to no physical attraction?

Your character type determines whether you can, or can not, feel physically attracted to someone. Not will feel it. But can feel it.

Now please try to hear what I've just said literally.

A person's character type doesn't determine that the person will feel this attraction, only that the person may feel this attraction. I'll tell you more about this in coming sections.

Before doing this, I want to first briefly introduce the four "social priorities"; the four categories which describe what we'll give and receive.

They are, of course, also the second half of what makes up a Social Priority Chart.

the 4 Social Priorities: a Brief Intro

What are the four Social Priorities?

[1] Comfort; [2] Neatness; [3] Understanding; and [4] Freedom; the four essential ways in which people describe their needs.

These four experiences also mirror the sequence of four developmental "learning" states all babies go through between birth and about age four. Expressed in this way, we could refer to these four states as the four basic learning abilities, the four ways babies attempt to master their world during their first four years of life.

Thus, in these first four years, babies look to master their abilities to experience their world: [1] as sensations; [2] as things; [3] as ideas; and [4] as will vs. rules.

In addition, we could also refer to these four abilities as the four things which distract babies the most when they fail to master them.

We could also see these four skills as the four essential view points from which babies learn about the world; as a sensitive person; as an organized person; as an intelligent person; and as a liberal person.

Finally, we can also see these four experiences as the four basic learning disabilities; as the essence of the four ways babies fail to master learning. And of course, when these failures happen to an extreme degree, then, [1] comfort / sensation, [2] neatness / things, [3] understanding / ideas, and [4] freedom / will - no rules become [1] Kanner's Autism, [2] OCD / OCPD, [3] Asperger's Syndrome, and [4] ADD; the four main childhood developmental-learning disabilities.

Now let's take a deeper look at these four abilities, starting with the first ability; comfort / sensation.




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