Making Changes MenuMind & Consciousness MenuTalk Therapy MenuEducation & Learning MenuHealthy Relationships MenuAutism Spectrum MenuAddictions, Risk, and Recovery MenuWeight & Fitness MenuHuman Personality MenuScientific Method Menu

On Defining Neediness and Layer Seven

the Emergence Explorer

Questions for the Week of April 30, 2007

Emergence Character Type Babies 9-AI-2

This Week's Questions

[posed by Steven P.]
  • Layer Seven is called the Layer of Needs. How is the word "need" defined?
  • How does a person's Character Type affect his or her nature?
  • How do a person's Social Priorities come into being?

Do you know?

[Question 1] In Emergence Personality Theory, there are ten nested fractal layers of personality, from Layer one on the outside to Layer 10 at the center. Layer Seven is called the Layer of Needs. How is the word "need" defined?
Very few personality theories define needs as separate from motives let alone define needs. In Emergence Personality Theory, needs are seen as a separate aspect of personality from motive and occur in the Inner Layers of personality, as four nested subsets of Layer 7. As part of the Inner Layers then, they never get damaged and remain intact as the empirical measure of each person's core identify.

As defined in Layer Seven, the word "need" refers to the urges babies feel from birth onward whenever they feel needy. Moreover, all these urges fall into just four fractal patterns of nested subsets; [1] the Four Character Types, [2] the Four Social Priorities, [3] the Four Decision Trees, and [4] the Four Gender Identities.

The inner most Need subset then, Character Type, defines a person's default sense of whether to give or receive or both. The next Need subset, a person's Social Priorities, defines the basic sense of what a person feels urges to give or receive. The third Need subset, a person's Decision Tree Order, determines the basic way in which peoples' minds process these urges to give or receive their Social Priorities. And the outer most Need subset, a person's Gender Identity, determines the degree of force with which this person feels urges to express this giving or receiving.

Expressed as a single sentence then with all four possible needs stated, we all need to give (or get), comfort (or neatness, or understanding, or freedom), precisely (or correctly, or comprehensively, or bluntly), with great (or little) physical force (and / or psychological force, and / or social force, and / or sexual force).

[Question 2] How then does a person's Character Type affect his or her nature?
All people feel internal urges to give or get or both. The thing is, people feel these urges only when they are experience the need to compete with someone else for these needs, a state known as being in a mutual need state. In these situations, people feel anxious about that both they and someone else have what they sense to be mutually exclusive needs. Mainly time wise, but sometimes need wise.

This means, when only one person feels needy, the other may give regardless of their Character Type. And when two people are connected, there Character Types cease to exist as they do not feel needy.

This said, there are four basic Character Types and two ways in which to refer to each of these four basic types; [1] by the number year of life in which this pattern naturally occurs ( as in, year One, Two, Three, and Four), and [2] by the direction in which people feel urges to meet these needs, in other words, to whom they feel urges to give to (to "Me," to "You," to "Me then You," and to "You then Me.")

Know too that people experience their normal Character Type only when they are in normal state of conscious. Thus when they are in shock, peoples' Character Type "inverts." This means there are also four "Inverted" Character Types, and people feel these four states more forcefully, as in they feel these urges to give or get under duress.

How does this affect the four normal Character Types? Normally a Character Type "One"; a "Me," feels it right and certain that people should give to them. They simply expect others to defer to them. However, when life throws them a curve and their Character Type inverts, they feel urges to demand they be given to and will sometimes do things to force others to give to them.

Conversely, when a Character Type "Two"; a "You," feels normal neediness, they feel gentle urges to give to others. Imagine? When they feel needy, they feel urges to give to others. However, when they experience the inverted "You" state, they feel compelled to give to others and will force these gifts on people. Not too comfortable for the other person.

Threes and Fours then feel similar things, only the order in which they feel urges to give or get reverses. Thus a normal Character Type "Three"; a "Me then You," when inverted, feels compelled to first give to others followed by demanding that others reciprocate, while an inverted Character Type "four"; a "You then Me"; feels urges to demand others meet their needs followed by urges to force others to receive from them.

Finally, here are the basic points to know and remember about Character Types:

  • Character Type is the first difference in human personality. This difference contrasts markedly from the one sameness we humans all share; the Birth Separation Moment.
  • The essence of this first difference is whether you feel urges to meet your own needs or the needs of others. Thus there are two basic Character States; State One, urges to get (the "Me" State), and State Two, urges to give (the "You" State). These two states then sort out into the four Character Types. In other words, all four Character Types derive from some combination of one or both of these two Character States, the "Me" State and the "You" State.
  • By the latest age four, all people will have developed a fixed Character Type. In other words, by age four, all people will have has a permanent Character Type emerge in them, a default state of giving or receiving which will remain unchanged in them across their whole lifetime.
  • Despite this permanence however, some people will emerge from childhood stuck in an in between Character Type, and this amounts to being lost in transition between their real Character Type and the previous type. Thus some Three's can look like inverted fours. And some Two's can live as "Self Centered Two's"; a cross between One's and Two's. This can change across a person's lifetime and is mostly affected by personal growth.
  • People can experience their Character Types in two ways, in a normal state of consciousness and in various states of shock. In states of shock, peoples' Character Type inverts, similar to how kayaks sometimes invert in rough water and put their rider under water. The feeling of having an inverted Character Type is then similar to what kayak riders feel when their kayak inverts. Strong feelings of urgency and a reversed directional focus.
  • All people experience relationships in only one of two ways; [1] as a Parent - Child relationship and [2] as a Friend - Friend relationship. All Parent - Child relationships exist between people whose Character Type begins in opposite Character States. A "Me" with a "You" and so one. All Friend - Friend relationships exists between people whose Character Type begins in the same place; a Me" with a "Me" or a "You" with a "You."
  • All normal pairs of parents contain one parent who starts in a "Me" state, and one who starts in a "You" state. Thus, all children, during their first four years of life, potentially switch roles which their two parents. Thus, all babies begin life as "One's." Thus the "Me" state parent with bond best with the child at this age. Then, if and when this child moves into the second years of life state; "the You" state, the parent he feels friendship toward and the parent whom he feels parented by will reverse. In some cases then, these two parental roles, as the "parent" parent and the " friend" parent, can reverse several times.
  • Ultimately all children develop a relationship with one parent in a parental role and one in a friend role. This difference then is the source of many parenting difficulties. And confusion in children. Knowing this makes sense of why parent to parent compromises can be difficult.
  • In adulthood, all lasting sexual attraction will occur between people with Character Types beginning in opposite states. One person whose Character Type begins in a "Me" state and one person whose Character Type beings in a "You" state. This is the most primal version of the saying "opposites attract." This also explains why people can see someone they find someone who is "perfect in every way and yet, not feel sexually attracted to that person. In other words, if your Character Type starts in the same place, trying to fit together romantically will be like trying to fit a plug into a plug or a socket into a socket. It just can't be done.
  • This said, people who meet under strong duress, such as during wars and major catastrophes, may fall out of love when the dust settles. Or they may end up more friends than lovers. This can also happen to people who fall in love with someone whose childhood left them with an Inverted Character Type. Thus, if this person goes to therapy, the attraction and thus, the relationship may end.
  • This same dissolving of the relationship can happen to people in friend relationships. Thus, if a person experiences their teens with an unfinished Character Type, the friendships they make in high school may end soon afterwards. Sometimes in college when the person comes into her own. And sometimes after a crisis wherein she emerges more her own woman.
  • Finally, all these ideas hold true regardless of a person's sexual orientation. gay, straight, or bi, all these concepts play out in the same fractal patterns. Except when people are in Layers 10 or 9 (connected), or in Layer 8 (disconnecting), in which case, Character Types cease to exist.

[Question 3] How do a person's Social Priorities come into being?
As with Character Type, the Four Social Priorities begin life as a sequence of normal developmental stages, each of which is the focus of a certain stage of early development. Thus, between birth and about age four, all babies transition through [1] mastering their senses (birth to about six months), [2] using this mastery to sense the things in their environment (six months to about age one), [3] learning the meanings for the things they sense in their environment (age one to about age two), and [4] freeing themselves from having to learn what others think about the things they sense in their environment (age two to about age four).

All babies go through these four developmental stages. Moreover, over the course of life, these four developmental stages get prioritized into peoples' four primary need focuses; Comfort (sensual needs), Neatness (material needs), Understanding (intellectual needs), and Freedom (the need to be an individual). These are the four Social Priorities.

[Question 4] Why are the Four Decision Trees named after mental health conditions?
Before addressing this question, I'll need to first describe the Four Decision Trees.

To begin with, there are four possible Decision Trees, each derived from the same four Primary Mental Processing Styles; Precision, Correction, Digression, and Bluntness. In other words, all four Decision Trees use these same four mental processes but in a difference order.

As named then, the Four Decision Trees are [1] the Asperger's Decision Tree, [2] the ADD Decision Tree, [3] the Kanner's Autism Decision Tree, and [4] the OCD Decision Tree. And in each case, the Decision Tree uses the same four Primary Mental Processing Styles but in a different order.

In the case of the Asperger's Tree, the order is Precision, Correction, Digression, and Bluntness. In the case of the ADD tree, this order is Digression, Bluntness, Precision, and Correction. In the case of the Autism Decision Tree, the order is Bluntness, Precision, Correction, and Digression. And in the case of the OCD Decision Tree, the order is Correction, Digression, Bluntness, and Precision.

Starting with the Asperger's Decision Tree then, these names refer to the default order in which people with these conditions think. Thus people who fall into the Asperger's Decision Tree quadrant focus on finding a precise way to express their needs, and constantly try to correct and refine this precision. Conversely, people who fall into the ADD Decision Tree quadrant focus on not missing out on something they need, by digressing into every possibility and then, but bluntly leaving the process.

This means that the Asperger's Decision Tree and the ADD Decision Tree are a pair of opposites.

The Autism and OCD Decision Trees are similar in that they too are a pair of opposites. Thus people who fall into the Autism Decision Tree quadrant first focus on bluntly expressing their needs and then on precisely refining how exactly they bluntly state these needs, while the people who fall into the OCD Decision Tree quadrant focus on correctly stating their needs, all the while digressing outward in order to make sure these needs are indeed correctly stated.

In a sense then, these four Decision Trees are the four ways in which we mentally process our needs, including how we think about them and express them to others. Moreover, when they occur in people in the more extreme form, these four Decision Trees define the condition.

Thus, with Asperger's, the quality which defines the condition is that people focus on precisely stating their needs at the expense of their social relationships. In other words, they focus on stating their needs in fussy language and get distracted by needs stated in fuzzy language. This causes them to constantly feel urges to correct everyone around them in order to get across exactly what they or others need, all the while unaware that correcting people is socially unacceptable.

With ADD then, the quality which defines the condition is that people focus on mentally processing all the possible ways their needs can be met at the expense of their social relationships. In other words, these folks focus on instantly stating all their needs, which makes their requests extremely fussy. This extreme fussiness then causes them to exceed their capacity to mentally process their needs and in pain, they bluntly burst away from the process unaware of how this bursting way is affecting those around them.

In the case of Autism, the quality which defines the condition is that people focus on bluntly stating their needs at the expense of their social relationships. Here, people blurt out whatever it is they desire in that moment and refine these requests by expressing them in language that is more and more precise. In other words, they make exacting demands in extremely fussy language and remain largely unaware of how these bluntly stated demands affect those around them.

Finally, in the case of OCD, the quality which defines the condition is that people focus on organizing their needs in increasingly comprehensive patterns at the expense of their social relationships. This causes them to very rapidly get lost in the infinite maze of mental possibilities all the while unaware of how this separates them from others.

All people fall into one of these four quadrants. Thus like all mental health conditions, what makes us define these things as mental conditions is the degree to which the person engages in the particular behavior. In other words, we all have these qualities, but only in extreme case, can we see this as having one of these four mental conditions.

[Question 5] Why does Emergence Personality Theory posit four types of Gender Identity rather than just the usual two; male and female?
Defining gender as being male and female is an outdated, vague, and misleading system. To wit, does being male mean you look like an NFL line backer? Is a short, thin man not male? And does it mean you like sex with girly women and opposed to NFL line backers? The point is neither of these words does an adequate job of defining one's Gender Identity.

In addition, using these two terms; male and female, to define gender carries with it the weight of centuries of prejudices and distortions. This means no matter how much effort we make to try to sort all this out, the result can never come across as non judgmental. Male and female are just too tainted. And vague. And filled with judgments.

So how does Emergence Personality Theory work around these judgments? To begin with, the idea of "gender" is defined similarly to the other three aspects of Layer Seven; as a quadriplicity. In other words, each of the four main needs of Layer Seven; the Four Character Types, the Four Social Priorities, the Four Decision Trees, and the Four Gender Identities, center on the four primary qualities within this need.

In the case of Gender Types then, this quadriplicity exists as four primary continuums; the continuum of Physical Gender, the continuum of Psychological Gender, the continuum of Social Gender, and the continuum of Sexual Gender. Moreover, each of these continuums uses the same two poles to define the full range; from completely receptive to completely assertive. Or from fully Yin to fully Yang if you prefer to voice these continuums in the more traditionally Eastern philosophical sense of gender.

Finally, each of these four continuums is actually made up of two parallel sub continuums: a continuum for how this quality plays out in friendships and a continuum for how this plays out in romantic relationships. And while these two terms may at first appear in and of themselves vague in nature, in reality, these terms are simply yet another continuum: from a non sexual relationship to sexual relationship.

Ultimately, the purpose of all this is to help people to refine their sense of Gender Identity, as well as to locate problem areas. This in fact is why these four continuums are sub divided into two secondary continuums; sexual and non sexual relationships. And while differences are normal, having two very different values within the same quality; for instance, Psychological Gender, means the person is in some way suffering from a blocked ability to be him or herself.

Thus, if in friendships, your Psychological Gender is more toward the assertive end of the continuum but in romantic relationships, you fall more toward the receptive end of the continuum, you are not being yourself in at least one of these two continuums.

Emergence Character Type Babies

Emergence Alliance logo