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By Veronica Emilia Nuzzolo, M.Ed., Ph.D.
Understanding The Self-Defeating Personality
Self-defeating personalities display consistent patterns of detrimental behavior resulting in problematic situations and failed relationships.
These personalities create disappointing environments, become stagnant, and fail to accomplish important life goals. These individuals lack self-esteem, self-awareness, and self-acceptance. They are riddled with guilt and shame, and according to the definition of personality disorder, do have maladaptive processing methods that create problematic patterns of relating, perceiving and behaving. Their behavior does create problems in their daily lives, in their personal relationships, (preferring to stay and suffer in a bad relationship, rather than move forward in a healthy one, or to be alone,) and their off-putting behavior does diminish their ability to function in society. Social interaction is a significant component of any healthy relationship and is imperative when trying to establish relationships at a deeper level. The self-defeating personality, the consummate victim will be a people pleaser, will attempt to be optimistic, will attempt to lovingly commit, and then will wholeheartedly invest in sabotage. Their inability to love or even like themselves often leads to inappropriate choices and related conditions such as substance abuse, eating disorders, and gambling addictions, making any healthy relationship impossible.
Social Interpersonal Growth
A Humanistic Approach to Positive Growth and Self-Acceptance
Creating Positive Psychological Change
“The science of psychology has been far more successful on the negative than on the positive side. It has revealed to us much about man’s shortcomings, his illness, his sins, but little about his potentialities, his virtues, his achievable aspirations, or his full psychological height. It is as if psychology has voluntarily restricted itself to only half its rightful jurisdiction, and that, the darker, meaner half” (Maslow, 1954, p. 354).
There are many ways that one can be deterred from achieving his or her personal goals. Overcoming obstacles can be challenging and requires personal desire and commitment to succeed. The basic tenets of Humanistic theory consist of theories by Abraham Maslow, Carl Rogers, and Existentialist Rollo May whom suggest that inner freedom represents the power to choose and direct one’s life. Humanistic theorists contend that finding self and the meaning of life through free will, choice, self-acceptance, and personal responsibility is the intrinsic motivation needed to achieve personal fulfillment.
The fundamental principles of humanistic psychology appeared in the Journal of Humanistic Psychology and can be summarized as follows:
- A human being is more than just a sum of his or her parts. He or she should be viewed holistically, not reductively.
- A person’s behavior is influenced by his or her environment. Social interactions are key in the development of a human being.
- People are aware of their existence, that is, they are conscious of themselves and their surroundings. They are aware of past experiences and use them to inform present and future behavior.
- Human beings have free will and make conscious choices. They are not driven by instinct or impulse alone.
- Human beings have intentional goals and seek to create meaning in life.
Individuals attempting to escape self-destructive, self-defeating, and addictive behaviors require positive non-judgmental social interaction and support. Without such support, it is extremely difficult to make the changes necessary to move forward and live a positive, healthy, and fulfilling life. Social Interpersonal Growth is a Humanistic self-care therapeutic process that assists individuals in assessing their past to improve their future by becoming emotionally, intellectually, and socially secure in all aspects of life.
The objective of Social Interpersonal Growth is to help is to help individuals cope with emotional, gender specific, relationship, and social issues by learning change strategies, developing coping mechanisms, and the communication skills necessary to create positive change and eradicate addictive self-defeating behaviors. Using a Humanistic approach with an emphasis and focus on positive qualities one can reduce and overcome anxiety, self-defeating, and self-destructive addictive behaviors. One will strive for self-acceptance gaining better insight into themselves, their behaviors, and their environment. Social Interpersonal Growth focuses on the person’s positive qualities and enables the whole person to attain inner peace, create and maintain positive relationships, and live a healthy life style.
Dombeck (2009) reminds us that the key insights to take home from humanistic theory are that: 1) achieving happiness is often a matter of developing the freedom for yourself to pursue your deepest interests, and that 2) there are many ways that your deepest interests can get sabotaged or buried. You will need to overcome any road blocks (which frequently take the form of either fear or duty) before you become free. Techniques that tend to be helpful in getting you back on track tend to play towards your emotions (helping you reconnect with your buried desires and feel their motivating force).
To achieve positive results, it is imperative that one has a basic understanding of the issues that are most commonly addressed by humanistic therapies such as addictions, disorders, and mental illness to ensure that positive support systems are implemented and maintained. The materials provided on this website offer information necessary to educate and promote the understanding necessary to engage meaningfully with how people think and feel about themselves; which is the first step toward acceptance and positive impact.
Dombeck, M. (2009). Humanistic Theory, http://www.centersite.net/poc/view_doc.php?type=doc&id=9714&cn=353
Society for Humanistic Psychology-APA Div-32, http://www.apa.org/about/division/div32.aspx
The Journal of Humanistic Psychology, http://jhp.sagepub.com/
How to cite this article:
Nuzzolo, V. E., (2016). A Positive Perspective On Life. Retrieved from, https://risetoshinetoday.org/
By Veronica Emilia Nuzzolo, Ph.D.,CADC
The humanistic perspective of psychology is the work of Carl Rogers and Abraham Maslow and focuses on the relationship of the individual to society (social), considers the ways in which people view themselves in relation to others (interpersonal), and considers how one see’s his or her place in the world (growth potential). (more…)