|PTypes - Personality Types
Neurotic Solution: Dependent Type
The strategy of the Dependent solution can be interpreted from the discussion by
John M.Oldham and Lois B. Morris of the Devoted personality style.
some strong figure who will provide the resources for their survival
help from other people
a competent partner or caretaker
staying close to the caretaker
an intimate relationship
a dependent relationship
placating and pleasing a caretaker
making decisions by oneself
offending a caretaker
having to do things oneself
American Psychiatric Association (1994, pp. 668-69)
A need to be taken care of that leads to submissive and clinging
behavior and fears of separation.
has difficulty making everyday decisions without an excessive
amount of advice and reassurance from others;
needs others to assume responsibility for most major areas of
his or her life;
has difficulty expressing disagreement with others because of
fear of loss of support or approval;
has difficulty initiating projects or doing things on his or
her own (because of a lack of self-confidence in judgment or
abilities rather than a lack of motivation or energy);
goes to excessive lengths to obtain nurturance and support
from others to the point of volunteering to do things that
feels uncomfortable or helpless when alone because of
exaggerated fears of being unable to care for himself or
urgently seeks another relationship as a source of
care and support when a close relationship ends;
is unrealistically preoccupied with fears of being
left to take care of himself or herself.
Neurotic Beliefs and Attitudes
Rationalizations and reinforcements of the compulsive attachments and aversions and the neurotic solution that they engender.
Aaron T. Beck, Arthur M. Freeman and associates (pg. 360)
I am needy and weak.
I need somebody around available at all times to help me carry
out what I need to do or in case something bad happens.
My helper can be nurturant, supportive, and confident—if he or
she wants to be.
I am helpless when I am left on my own.
I am basically alone—unless I can attach myself to a
The worst possible thing would be to be abandoned.
I must do nothing to offend my supporter or helper.
I must be subservient in order to maintain his or
her good will.
I need others to help me make decisions or tell me
what to do.
I must maintain access to him or her at all
I should cultivate as intimate a relationship
I can't make decisions on my own.
I can't cope as other people can.
I need others to help me make decisions
or tell me what to do.
The particular "solution" is idealized (Horney,
1950, pg. 22)
John M.Oldham and Lois B. Morris (pp. 108-109):
Devoted types care, and that's what makes their lives worth
living. You won't find anyone more loving, more solicitous of you,
more concerned for your needs and feelings or for those of a group
as a whole. At their best, individuals with this style are loyal,
considerate, ever-so-helpful players on the team -- whether it is a
couple, the family, the assembly line, the department, the religious
or charitable organization, or the military unit. Their needs are
those of the group or of its leader, and their happiness comes from
the fulfillment of others' directives and goals. Devoted people are
the ones who tell you, "I'm happy if you're happy" -- and mean it.
The Devoted style is common in our society, and it occurs among both
men and women. Traditionally this helping and giving personality
style has been particularly encouraged and approved among
women. The customary view of the good wife has been that of a
tender-hearted Devoted woman who lives through her husband and
relies on him to make the worldly decisions for her, while she
dedicates herself to providing a fulfilling home life for the
family. As views of women's roles change in this society, some women
with this personality style may have mixed feelings about expressing
it. Because of today's cultural pressures on women to step out of
the shadows of other people, both in and out of the home, they may
feel that wanting to make someone else happy is something to be
ashamed of. While these women struggle to come to terms with all
sides of their personality patterns, more men are feeling freer to
enjoy their own domestic, nurturing Devoted tendencies. In any case,
as we will see throughout this chapter, the Devoted personality
plays itself out in many ways in the personality profiles of males
as well as females, traditional and otherwise.
Commitment. Individuals with the Devoted personality
style are thoroughly dedicated to the relationships in their
lives. They place the highest value on sustained relationships,
they respect the institution of marriage as well as unofficial
avowals of commitment, and they work hard to keep their
Togetherness. They prefer the company of one or
more people to being alone.
Teamwork. People with this personality style
would rather follow than lead. They are cooperative and
respectful of authority and institutions. They easily rely on
others and take direction well.
Deference. When making decisions, they are
happy to seek out others' opinions and to follow their
Harmony. Devoted individuals are careful to
promote good feelings between themselves and the important
people in their lives. To promote harmony, they tend to be
polite, agreeable, and tactful.
Consideration. They are thoughtful of
others and good at pleasing them. Devoted people will
endure personal discomfort to do a good turn for the key
people in their lives.
Attachment. Relationships provide life's
meaning for this personality style. Even after a
painful loss of someone around whom their life was
centered, they are able to form new meaningful bonds.
Attributes of the Idealized Image
Devoutness, Self-Denial, Decency; Seriousness, Soberness,
Forgiveness, Meekness, Forbearance, Patience; Humility, Modesty,
Sincerity, Honesty, Justice; Reliability, Responsibility,
Trustworthiness, Loyalty, Faithfulness.
Politeness, Courtesy, Thoughtfulness.
Altruism, Benignity, Gentleness, Sympathy, Sensitivity,
Considerateness, Friendliness; Gratitude, Tenderness,
Attentiveness, Persistence, Perseverance; Tidiness,
Orderliness, Carefulness, Meticulousness, Dutifulness,
Knowledgeableness, Fortitude, Stoicism,
Neurotic Search for Glory
The neurotic search for glory is the comprehensive drive to
actualize the idealized self. Besides self-idealization it consists
of the need for perfection, neurotic ambition, and the drive for
vindictive triumph. The need for perfection functions in
the personality as, what Horney called, "tyrannical shoulds."
American Psychiatric Association
and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders:
DSM-IV. 4th ed. Washington: Author.
American Psychiatric Association
(2000). Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders: DSM-IV-TR. 4th ed., text revision. Washington: Author.
Aaron T. Beck, Arthur M. Freeman and Associates (1990).
Therapy of Personality
New York: Guilford Press.
Terry D. Cooper (2003).
Pride, and Self-Acceptance: The Problem of Identity in Theology
and Psychology. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.
Karen Horney (1950).
and Human Growth. New York: W. W. Norton.
John M.Oldham and Lois B. Morris (1995).
The New Personality Self-Portrait. Rev. ed. New York: Bantam.