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Romance and the Personality Fractal

the Emergence Explorer

Questions for the Week of January 8, 2007

Emergence Character Type Babies 9-AI-2

This Week's Questions

[posed by Guest Questioner Cody K.]
  • Is it possible to have a Character Type that is very close to the borderline of being a 3 or a 4?
  • Can you be "trained out of" your natural character type?
  • Is one-way love possible?

Do you know?

Hi Steven,

Thanks for replying so quickly. : ) I have so many questions about Emergence but do not want to be a pain. Please do set boundaries with me and know, they will be fine. And thanks for letting me ask you questions.

[Question 1] Is it possible for someone to have a Character Type that is very close to the borderline of being a 3 or a 4? As in, you connected 3 seconds before your 4th birthday? (Just joking.)

I am curious, as I would have thought that I was a 4. Your test seems to indicate I'm a 3, though. I ask because if I simultaneously arrive at a doorway with someone else, I'll always let this other person go through first. Unless they want me to go first. Moreover, I can't seem to find a "me" oriented reason for my doing this. Maybe I want to get harmony, and being considerate is the way I've learned to do this? I do feel a kind of happiness when I do things like this.
[Answer] The first thing to consider, Cody, is if you feel any internal pressure when giving to others? Know that learning to recognize this internal pressure can be a bit difficult to do. Especially without a guide. Even so, your learning this is probably one of the most important things you could learn in relationships, romantic and otherwise.

Also, know that feeling good after giving is not part of the test. Character Type is about the internal urges you feel in the onset of a life event, and not about how you feel or behave during or afterwards.

Perhaps what might help you here would be for me to recap briefly how Character Types form. Starting with that they are the first discernable difference in a person's personality. Discernibly different from what? From the one thing we all have in common; the experience of the Birth Separation Moment.

The Birth Separation Moment, then, is the basis for all of human personality. It is the alpha and the omega; the beginning point and the end. Why? Because in this moment, we each form the basic structure underlying all of human personality, a structure which does not vary regardless of culture, age, gender, and so on.

What is this nature of this structure? That we each organize our life experiences into "Russian Nesting Doll" type containers. Or "onion layers," if this metaphor works better for you.

In the Birth Separation Moment, then, we all form the first four of the ten layers of our personalities; Layer 10 (connections to the world), Layer 9 (connections to each other), Layer 8 (the experience of disconnecting), and Layer 7 (the layer of human need). All four Inner Layers form in that one painful moment. Including that we all start life as a Character Type One.

Realize then that Character Type is the first thing to form in Layer 7. As we grow, though, it's also the first way we, as humans, begin to individuate from each other; the first Yin and Yang in personality, so to speak.

Eventually then, certainly by age four, we each fall into one of four permanently ingrained Character Types, patterns of internal urges with regard to giving and receiving. The four types are, One's (only my needs count), Two's (only your needs count), Three's (first, only my needs count, then, only your needs count), and Four's (first, only your needs count, then, only my needs count).

Realize too, where these labels come from. They come from the year of life in which people form these patterns. Thus, the labels (One's, Two's, Three's, and Four's) indicate a "first year of life person," a "second year of life person," and so on.

Also know that these four categories are merely theoretical norms, and that people can and often do live with incompletely formed Character Types. For example, someone may be a "Big-me, Little-you" Three, meaning, they feel unnaturally great urges to meet only their own needs, followed, on rare occasions, by unnaturally great urges to meet the needs of someone else. Or someone might be an Inverted Three, meaning, they feel unnaturally powerful urges to meet only the needs of others, followed by unnaturally powerful urges to meet only your own needs.

Here, then, is a possible answer to your question. You may be an "Inverted Three." Or conversely, a "3 seconds before coming out as a Three" person; in other words, a "Big you - Little me," Three. Which would mean, you'd live like a Two much of the time but occasionally get mad at people for not meeting your needs.

By the way, you'd know if you were a Two or not by the fact that this second feeling; "great urges to get others to meet your needs," does not even enter the mind of Two's, except in times wherein they may relive a first year of life injury. Not a common experience.

And can you imagine, never feeling like you want to take a turn at getting your needs met? This was me for the better part of my life. No surprise most of my romantic relationships were with the perfect complement to this; mentally ill One's. They never even thought of my needs and neither did I. and in the rare instants in which I protested, they told me I was, "selfish."

Finally, your comment about wondering as to the "reasons" why you feel bring this question up raises an important point. One of the main tenets of Emergence Personality Theory is that there is no such thing as a "psychological reason," at least not as the primary cause of any human behavior or feelings. Natural reasons; that you do something because it is simply natural for you to do or feel something? Yes. Absolutely. But psychological reasons? No way.

In fact, this way of explaining why we do what we do happens to be the root cause of all blame, intentional or otherwise. Perhaps this is what motivated the father of American psychology, William James, to write; "the word 'cause' is an alter to an unknown god." And mystical poet, Rumi, to write, "the eye goes blind when it only wants to see why."

This last quote, by the way, is my favorite of all time. And Rumi, my favorite poet. At least, in the Coleman Barks translations.

[Question 2] Maybe, when I was growing up, my 3-like characteristics were not acceptable to my family. So maybe I was trained out of a lot of them?
People can not be trained out of their Character Type. They can only be pressured to hide who they really are from view. Thus, we all feel pressure to conform to what are seen as acceptable thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. Often, we do this at the expense of being our true selves. Moreover, the inner conflict we create by doing this; the fight between living life as we really feel versus conforming to the artificially instituted social / cultural/ familial norms, is what underlies much of our current tendency toward depression. Moreover, this is true, despite all the crazy reasons head with feet psychological theorists currently say are causing this depression.

So no, you cannot be pressured into being someone you are not. You can only be pressured into acting like you are someone else.

[Question 3] My ex-husband tested as a 4. But, and I know this sounds strange, I was never in love with him, although, he was in love with me. Or so it seems. Is a one-way love really possible? We could still be a 3 / 4 combination. I know that feelings can be blocked or forgotten. But I remember resisting the relationship for a long time and telling him that I couldn't love him like he should be loved. Why? Because I loved him as a friend and wanted him to be loved properly, which was something I could not do. In the end I got hurt by someone and decided I couldn't take the pain of being in love anymore. So I committed to my first husband in order to run from my pain. Maybe this is something a 3 would do. Maybe this is something anyone would do. It is certainly not something I am proud of. But while I was there, I gave it my all.
[Answer] First, go back and read once more what I wrote to you in the previous question; that you cannot be pressured into being someone you are not. You can only be pressured into acting like you are someone else.

The thing is, this pressure can come both from external sources and internal sources. Either way, when you are living up to your true nature, you do not feel pressured. It feels wonderful, in fact.

As for your guilt regarding marrying your first husband, remember, it takes two to decide. Unless, of course, your family held a shot gun wedding. In which case, they'd also be responsible.

My point. You need to let go of the idea that you "caused" your first husband's pain. This feeling is simply you blaming yourself. What is true, though, is that you are responsible for making an amends to him. Why? Because you did, after all, use him to avoid your fears.

Know, too, that he must also have had something big going on. He did, after all, ignore your protests and such. In this, he is equally responsible for the failed marriage you two had. As well as being equally responsible for making an amends to you.

In addition, the fact that your first husband tested as a Four means a lot. First, it means that you may indeed be an Inverted Three, but that with him, you, at times were right side up; meaning, your natural self. You would know this by the absence of feeling pressured at the time. More important, feeling pressure in normal life situations is always unnatural. Thus, if you feel pressure in a normal life situation, then you, yourself, have something unnatural going on.

Finally, know that one of the main things Character Type predicts is whether two people will feel "friend" type energy or "parent" type energy. Thus, all natural friendships form between two people who have the same natural starting point, Character Type wise. Either both start in a "me" place or both start in a "you" place. Which makes Two's and Four's, natural friends. And One's and Three's, the same.

Conversely, all natural romantic relationships form between people who start in opposite places, Character Type wise. Thus, One's and Two's are natural romantic partners. Three's and Four's as well. And to a lessor degree, Three's with Two's, and Four's with One's.

Where this gets complicated is when people are living in an unfinished state of their Character Type. This would mean, you could feel sexually attracted to someone to whom you have nothing else in common. Feeling forced, remember? The "sex with a friend" kind of feeling.

You can also fall in love with someone who is in an inverted state, only to fall out of love with this person the minute he or she grows into their Character Type. This exact thing happened to one of my closest friends. It literally broke his heart. Of course, it then propelled him into being with someone with whom he fit far better.

Finally, you say, "But while I was there, I gave it my all." Keep this in mind as you get out your whip and begin to beat yourself. You have a good heart, and you are an honestly "wanting to be honest" person. This means, while you are, indeed, responsible for admitting your wrongs to others, as well as for making amends to them, you are not responsible for these painful events happening in the first place. This is the last piece of honesty to which you need to aspire.

As Socrates taught then, [1] "No one does evil of his or her own free will."; [2] "If one knew the good, one would not hesitate to do it."; and [3] "One commits evil only from ignorance of what the good is."

Emergence Personality Theory is in part rooted in this very idea. It, in fact, theoretically explains and supports Socrates' ideas as true.

Attributing psychological cause to our thought and actions, then, implies that Socrates was simply stating a paradox. Being as Socrates had Asperger's, he would never have stated such an important concept as an "untruth."

Sadly, I find no other person in the history of the world who even comes close to subscribing to this extremely important truth. Let alone to stating it openly and honestly.

Herein lies the source of my seeing Socrates as one of my heroes.

Although, he never should have drank the hemlock.

That was just dumb.

Oh, and one more thing. One way love is not possible. However, friend to romantic love is possible. Painful, too. This happens at times wherein one person is coming into their real Character Type, while the other is already in theirs. When the change completes, the romance is over. However, the love, which is beyond romance, remains forever.

In a way, we could say that romantic love is the love of peoples' differences, whereas friendship is the love of peoples' samenesses. Now notice what they both have in common. A single word; "love." Which explains how the love can remain long after the thrill is gone.

[Question 4] How does someone do only "their half" in a relationship and leave the rest to their partner? I know it sounds like a stupid question but sometimes, it's hard to know. If an abused animal is hiding under the porch and you are really trying to gain their trust, including letting them come out on their own if that's what they need, are you doing more than your half? (This is my sense of humor in part. <g> It does feel like what is going on, though.)
Cody, you know this already. There are no stupid questions. So please let that one go. Please.

Now start with this. If you are attracted to folks who resemble "abused animals hiding under a porch," then you may have some major rethinking to do. Starting with asking yourself why you feel you must begin by regaining their trust.

What would this imply about you? That you have a major block in and around that people are supposed to want to earn your trust as well. Not after you earn theirs. Simultaneously. With you. This, in fact, is one of the most important parts of every relationship, romantic and otherwise. The simultaneous process of earning each other's trust. You and I are doing this very thing right now.

Of course, there are exceptions, such as when you are parenting young children. Your own, and other peoples'. Also, during the course of every major relationship, we each get faced with times wherein we must temporarily be the "go first" person in the trust department. For instance, say your are with someone who gets diagnosed with a major illness. Say, cancer. For a time, you would have to be the "go first" person with regard to earning trust. To do this in those times would simply be an act of healthy love.

Problems arise though when you treat people in everyday life events as if they are currently experiencing a major health crisis and thus, are entitled to special privileges. Major health crises are temporary conditions. Childhood mental health problems are not, major or otherwise. Thus, if you are compensating for someone's childhood mental health problems in other than a temporary way, then you are enabling them, and you, to avoid having to heal your birth - separation moment anxiety. Translation. You will, forever, feel trapped by the "fear of being left." Which is not the same thing as the "fear of being alone."

Most folks, in fact, do not actually fear "being alone." They mistakenly believe this though, in part, because the mental health community has been ratcheting these kinds of ideas into our brains for decades now. And yes, some few folks do fear being alone. But this is much less common than being afraid of being left, as in, reliving one's birth separation-moment anxiety.

As for your question about doing only your half, this idea should be the baseline from which you vary on occasion. In other words, doing more than your half should be the exception, not the rule. Anything other than this and you are definitely regressing to an earlier time. And to an earlier relationship. Usually with the parent with whom you have the most unfinished business.

[Question 5] What your web site has me wondering is this. If I am really a 3 and have been traumatized, and if I am attracted to a traumatized 4 whose fears trigger my fears, are we both acting counter to our Character Types? I ask because something I do is, when he says he cannot give anymore, as in, "It's got to be about me now," I respond by becoming ultra giving.

It makes me wonder if, instead of leaving food, water, and freedom for the dog under the porch, I should be asking the dog to come out and guard my house for me. Probably not, as this may just be an attempt to bypass my healing process.

(It occurs to me that this is an interesting choice of metaphors; giving to the "dog." It seems pretty obvious to me that his Social Priorities are FUNC. I know that Freedom is his first Social Priority, and Understanding is his second. He also overeats when he's upset. Certainly a Comfort last priority. I scored FUCN, which seems correct to me.)
Are you both acting counter to your Character Types? Good question, Cody. My thought? This is a definite possibility. However, you do not offer examples of times wherein he is giving to you naturally. Moreover, you previously commented that he has made demands that you be there for him right from the beginning.

Does he ever defer to your needs when he, himself, is feeling needy? Do such events ever occur? Or does he simply (and resentfully) defer to your needs, perhaps, in order to avoid conflict?

Remember, by "in order to," I do not mean that this is the cause; "who" he really is. Rather, I mean only this is "how he is behaving." Thus, while peoples' psychology can make them behave unnaturally, it never is their true underlying motive. True motives stem only from peoples' natural personality; who they are if they were feeling no pressure.

As for your "dog" metaphor, this seems the perfect complement to your previous comments about "an abused animal hiding under the porch." The latter you is you in an "I need to meet your needs right now" state. In other words, it is you pressured to be in a "you" state. The former is you in a "you need to meet my needs right now" state. In other words, this is you, in a pressured to be a "me" state.

The thing to notice is, unnatural pressure underlies both these states. This means, you are not being yourself in either situation.

Finally, I find it interesting that you both fit so nicely, Social Priority wise, when you both are in your normal states. But when you both are in your emergency conditions, you both handle being in this state very differently. Result. You two would normally have an easy time understanding each other, except when the doodie hits the fan. In which case, you'll have a hard time understanding each other.

If, in addition, you are both acting counter to your normal Character Types, then this would only compound an already difficult situation.

The bottom line. There are a lot of unknowns in this relationship. Which means, there are a lot of injuries being provoked. Go slow and remember to care for yourself too.

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