PTypes - Personality Types
PTypes Neurotic Solutions Passive-Aggressive

Neurotic Solution: Schizoid Type 

The strategy of the Schizoid solution can be interpreted from the discussion by John M.Oldham and Lois B. Morris of the Solitary personality style.

Schizoid Personality Disorder
Solitary Personality Type
Resignation Solution 



"The dishonoring of God by placing ourselves as the center of the universe sets us up for disordered desires. Pride and self-deification, the replacement of God with self, throws the rest of our lives out of balance. We lose our center and cannot order our lives properly" (Cooper, 59).

"This disorderly desire [concupiscence] results from our disconnection from God as the center of our lives. It is a wide resevoir out of which particular obsessions and compulsive attachments emerge. It prompts a preoccupation with this world's goods" (Cooper, 64).



(Pride as Idolatry)

(Pride and Sensuality)

Neurotic Needs

Concupiscence refers to the spiritual condition behind compulsive attachments (Cooper, pg. 64).

(Addiction and Idolatry)

Compulsive Attachments

Compulsive Aversions

  • solitude
  • isolation
  • autonomy
  • detachment
  • being alone
  • mobility
  • independence
  • solitary pursuits
  • making decisions by oneself
  • carrying out solo activities
  • not getting involved
  • freedom of action
  • keeping one's distance
  • sexual pleasure
  • knowledge
  • competency
  • privacy
  • leisure
  • intimacy
  • being involved in a group
  • other people (because they are intrusive)
  • closeness
  • close relationships
  • being encumbered by other people
  • being encumbered by employment
  • actions by others that represent encroachment
  • close encounters
  • having to share decision making
  • showing feelings
  • sexual experiences with others
  • social responsibilities



(Pride/Distrust of God)

Neurotic Solution

Strategy to allieviate anxiety

"distrust of God"
and pride as two parts of single process, 63

Pride in having their own solution

"In all these solutions, pride governs feelings" (Cooper, pg. 132).

"Even when we deeply value ourselves, the anxiety built into finitude will tempt us to find our source of security in some strategy tather than a trust in God" (Cooper, pg. 163).

"For Niebuhr any solution to the problem of human existence that does not trust in God is an expression of pride" (Cooper, pg. 63).

"This tradition asserts that as we refuse to trust God, we substitute ourselves as the center of our existence. Ignoring our creator, we egocentrically attempt to control reality" (Cooper, pg. 7).

"This deification of self precedes problems with inordinate desire. We reject our creatureliness in a frantic effort at self-mastery" (56).

"This distrust in God perpetuates our anxiety. We attempt to outmaneuver life and find our own "solution" to the problem of anxiety. This is what makes it prideful: we know better than God! We will seize on some type of security apart from the only security that can console us. This is Niebuhrian pride" (153).

"The truth is that man is tempted by the basic insecurity of human existence to make himself doubly secure and by the insignificance of his place in the total scheme of life to prove his significance" (NDM, 192).

The particular compulsive attachments and aversions define the neurotic solution.

American Psychiatric Association (1994, pg. 641)

Detachment from social relationships and a restricted range of expression of emotions in interpersonal settings.

  • neither desires nor enjoys close relationships, including being part of a family;
  • almost always chooses solitary activities;
  • has little, if any, interest in having sexual experiences with another person;
  • takes pleasure in few, if any, activities;
  • lacks close friends or confidants other than first-degree relatives;
  • appears indifferent to the praise or criticism of others;
  • shows emotional coldness, detachment, or flattened affectivity.     




(Pride and defense of the Ego Ideal)

Neurotic Beliefs and Attitudes 

Rationalizations and reinforcements of the particular compulsive attachments and aversions, and of the neurotic solution that they engender.

Aaron T. Beck, Arthur M. Freeman and associates (pg. 128)

  • It doesn't matter what other people think of me.
  • It is important for me to be free and independent of others.
  • I enjoy doing things more by myself than with other people.
  • In many situations, I am better off to be left alone.
  • I am not influenced by others in what I decide to do.
  • Intimate relations with other people are not important to me.
  • I set my own standards and goals for myself.
  • My privacy is much more important to me than closeness to people.
  • What other people think doesn't matter to me.
  • I can manage things on my own without anybody's help.
  • It's better to be alone than to feel "stuck" with other people.
  • I shouldn't confide in others.
  • I can use other people for my own purposes as long as I don't get involved.
  • Relationships are messy and interfere with freedom (362).
  • Relationships are problematic.
  • Life is less complicated without other people.
  • I am empty inside.
  • It is better for me to keep my distance and maintain a low profile.
  • I am a social misfit.
  • Life is bland and unfulfilling.



Idealized Image

"Roughly speaking, a person builds up an idealized image of himself because he cannot tolerate himself as he actually is" (OIC, 112).

"The idealized image is chiefly a glorification of the needs [compulsive attachments] which have developed" (Horney, 1950, pg. 277).

The particular neurotic "solution" is idealized (Horney, 1950, pg. 22)

"The particular content of the idealized self will be largely shaped by the dominant neurotic solution established in childhood" (Cooper, 131).

John M.Oldham and Lois B. Morris (pp. 275-76):

"Solitary men and women need no one but themselves. They are unmoved by the madding crowd, liberated from the drive to impress and to please. Solitary people are remarkably free of the emotions and involvements that distract so many others. What they may give up in terms of sentiment and intimacy, however, they may gain in clarity of vision. Left to their own devices, Solitary anthropologists, naturalists, mathematicians, physical scientists, filmmakers, writers, and poets, can uncover and record the facts of our existence to which our passions so often blind us."


  1. Solitary. . . ."have small need of companionship and are most comfortable alone."

  2. Independent. . . ."self-contained and do not require interaction with others in order to enjoy their experiences or to get on in life."

  3. Dispassionate. . . ."even-tempered, calm, dispassionate, unsentimental, and unflappable."

  4. Stoic. . . ."display an apparent indifference to pain and pleasure."

  5. Sexually composed. . . ."not driven by sexual needs. They enjoy sex but will not suffer in its absence."

  6. Well grounded. . . ."unswayed by either praise or criticism and can confidently come to terms with their own behavior."


(Pride in Virtue)

Attributes of the Idealized Image

  1. Solitude, [silence, recollection].
  2. Independence, [non-attachment], self-containment, autonomous competence, creativity.
  3. Sangfroid, even-tempered, calmness, dispassion, imperturbability, detachment; observation, concentration, clarity of vision, being-informed, science.
  4. Stoicism, indifference, self-control, self-restraint, [altruism, self-sacrifice].
  5. Sexual composure, not passionately sexual.
  6. Groundedness, responsibility (Oldham, 275-86).



Neurotic Pride

"In all these solutions, pride governs feelings" (Cooper, 132).

Neurotic Pride. Pride in imagined attributes of the idealized self, in the satisfaction of neurotic claims, and in the "loftiness and severity of the inner dictates" (Paris).


(Pride in Satisfaction of Claims)

Neurotic Claims

Neurotic claims. "Excessive, exalted expectations of others, of course, grow out of an exalted view of ourselves....In this maneuver, a wish or need is turned into a demand...." (Cooper, 140).


(Pride drives the Search for Glory)

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."

"The search for glory always entails an attempt to reach beyond what is humanly possible. "All the drives for glory have in common the reaching out for greater knowledge, wisdom, virtue, or powers than are given to human beings; they all aim at the absolute, the unlimited, the infinite: (OIC, 34).

(Pride as the excessive desire for excellence)

Tyrannical Shoulds


(Pride and Self-Love OR Shame and Self-Hate)


If we fail to live measure up to our shoulds, or if others do not honor our claims, we hate ourselves.

"The actual, empirical self becomes the offensive stranger to whom the idealized self happens to be tied, and the latter turns against this stranger with hate and contempt. The actual self becomes the victim of the proud idealized self" (OIC, 112).



American Psychiatric Association (1994). Diagnostic 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). Cognitive Therapy of Personality Disorders. New York: Guilford Press.

Terry D. Cooper (2003). Sin, Pride, and Self-Acceptance: The Problem of Identity in Theology and Psychology. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.

Karen Horney (1950). Neurosis 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.

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