Adjustment through cooperation, the over-conventional personality. People who use this strategy of adaptation are most comfortable when involved in friendly, “positive”, cooperative and tender relationships or affiliation with others and made most anxious by pessimism, rebelliousness, disapproval from others or deviating from social norms or “normalcy”. In the adaptive form extraversion and seeking to establish “good feelings” in others and create harmonious relationships with others; and these people tend to desire to be liked, accepted and approved by others. A negative aspect of this personality type, especially in its extreme or maladaptive form, is that external harmony (going along with the conventional and cooperating rather than doing something unique, original or controversial) is usually put above or more important than internal values. As such, while these individuals avoid anxiety by displaying socially approved, liked and accepted feelings and behaviors, some people may respond to a lack of originality or ability to break away or stray from the “standard, the conventional, the normal codes of conduct, etc.” with disdain or disapproval etc. It is important to recognize that many people who use this mode of adjustment follow a “strict” blueprint that is external to themselves and a social construct for what specific cultural or personal “ideals” are, and they mold themselves to fit these ideals. Again, in the adaptive form these people may be well liked and popular with others but in the maladaptive form the person can be seen as “cookie-cutter” or the “ideal neighbor next-door”, and the lopsidedness that their extreme conventionality creates(some skepticism or straying from conventionality is healthy and necessary for society to operate properly, society needs critics and cynics)  can be seen as a bad thing, undesirable or “turn off” others. (it’s not common for someone to be labeled “too normal”, but we all know someone who abides to social conventions and codes of normalcy/conduct with extreme and sometimes inappropriate rigidness). These people tend to pull or push others into behaving in agreeable, cooperative, affiliative and friendly ways, in other words the friendly optimistic person “trains” others to like him, which alleviates his anxiety, raises self-esteem and makes him most comfortable. Sometimes, however, if the over-conventional person is interacting with a rebellious or skeptical person for example, these behaviors may push the person to respond with anger, disapproval or disaffiliation. In other cases, a power-oriented individual may take the over-conventional, friendly persons behaviors as an invitation to “push” their bossy, sadistic or controlling behaviors on the over-conventional person who would, in most cases probably respond in a docile, non-threatening and non-combative manner.

In the extreme or maladaptive forms, these people seem unable to display any break from “normalcy/conventionality”, no type of rebelliousness or skepticism etc. and extreme fear of isolation, disapproval or rejection from others. Some characteristics of this personality type in its extreme form are those who are way too easily influenced by friends, social or authoritative pressures, those who will trust or try to get along with everyone, those who will agree with anyone for the sake of agreeing, those who are automatically fond of everyone and inappropriately friendly to others in general. Again there are few if any words in English to describe someone who is “too loving” or “tender/friendly to a fault”, even though we can find examples of people who may be friendly to a fault in our lives, as if the concept is alien. The major fault with this type of extreme adjustment is that these individuals may sacrifice their capacity to be an individual. In their extreme attempts to be socially acceptable or liked they may lose their originality, creative capacity and imagination, “trade them off” for external, shallow conceptions and perceptions of what it is to be a conventional, normal person.

 

 

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