Brilliant Skeptics receive a message in childhood that they are okay as long as they are "perfect" and "strong". So they put their efforts (and they do it perfectly) into being both perfect and strong and behave in such a way that no one can reproach them for anything. Years will pass and they will demand perfection from others. There are three adaptations for survival in terms of Vann Joines: 1) the Brilliant Skeptic, 2) the Creative Daydreamer, and 3) the Charming Manipulator. There are also three adaptations of approval: 1) the Responsible Workaholic, 2) the Playful Resister, and 3) the Enthusiastic Over-reactor. We shall say a few words about the origin of the six adaptations.
Survival adaptations. Brilliant Skeptics
receive a message in childhood that they are okay as long as they are "perfect" and "strong". So they put their efforts (and they do it perfectly) into being both perfect and strong and behave in such a way that no one can reproach them for anything. Years will pass and they will demand perfection from others.
Along with the Brilliant Skeptic I would suggest another name for such people, the Enforcer
(and I would add the Super Over-vigilant Bosses
). Creative Daydreamers,
like Brilliant Skeptics/Enforcers, receive in their childhood a message that they are okay as long as they "remain strong" ("perfection" does not exist in this message). "To be strong" in this case means "not to feel what you are feeling," and "don't ask for help." So they do everything possible not to connect with their feelings. This does not mean that feelings are missing. Just the access is denied. Another name that I would suggest for Creative Daydreamers is "Other-worldly"
(perhaps you will agree with me when you have read a more complete description of this personal adaptation). Charming Manipulators
receive a message in their childhood that they are okay if they outsmart everyone. Therefore, according to Vann Joines, they are constantly trying to be one step ahead of the others. I will propose another name for people with such an adaptation, "Irresistible"
Approval adaptations Responsible Workaholics
understood in childhood: "I'm okay if I am perfect." Therefore, they do their best to be perfect and right. I propose another name for that (it suggests itself), Perfectionists
. Playful Resisters
discover in childhood: "I'm okay while I do my best. It does not mean "I reach." After all, if I have already reached a goal, how will I do my best? And it is my efforts that are expected of me! The important thing is the process and not the result. While others reach and win in something, the child demonstrates the diligence to their parents and is praised for that. Sooner or later, the child gets annoyed with victories of others that testify to his or her own 'failures' and setbacks. Competitiveness wakes up, and the person starts to try strengths and other virtues against others (in particular, intelligence, wit and many others); they begin to provoke to a struggle, create impediments, clarify the zero sum game and win back. In addition to the Playful Resister we shall call this adaptation Zero Sum Gamers
. Enthusiastic Over-reactors
in childhood grasped the following: "I am okay, while I am pleasing others." From now on they will do anything to guess what others need so that they can be useful to them. As the name for the adaptation sounds a bit difficult, I propose to replace it in the future with the word Affable as well as Passionate ("a person of passions").
Is it possible to express in one word the essence of personal adaptations and the differences between them? It is impossible. But cognate words can be helpful. Here is a comical example of a solution. You might know this Soviet story that is still popular:
A man comes hoping to get work.
"What can you do?"
"I can do digging."
"And what else can you do?"
"I can do no digging."
I propose to develop the topic bearing in mind six adaptations:
- Perfectionists (Responsible Workaholics) dig in;
- Zero Sum Gamers (Playful Resistors) dig the soil from beneath others;
- Affable ones (passionate, Enthusiastic Over-reactors) dig out;
- Enforcers (Brilliant Skeptics) dig down;
- Irresistible ones (Charming Manipulators) dig in;
- Other-worldly people (Creative Daydreamers) dig in.
Of course, we all have the six adaptations in one way or another: we both dig in (when we are immersed in a task), we dig in (when deprive someone of benefits), we dig out (when saving friends), we dig the soil from beneath others (when competing with others), we dig down (when there is no trust), and dig in (when we withdraw into ourselves). Still, certain things are more typical to us and require less effort.
These are our dominating adaptations. As a rule, a person has one leading adaptation for survival and one leading adaptation for approval (but there are cases of a larger number of leading adaptations).
Now, dear readers (those who have answered the questionnaire at the beginning of Chapter 6) are offered to see the survey results by looking at the key. Afterwards you will read in more detail how personal adaptations are manifested in adults, and you will also have a chance to compare your answers with psychological portraits of adaptations.