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Needs of the Aggressive Type


The needs of the Aggressive type are derived from John M. Oldham's description of the Aggressive style. In Stoic philosophical and psychological theory these needs are vices. They are analogous to Karen Horney's neurotic needs, which are better called irrational needs. They are irrational because they require things not in our power and involve false judgment of what is good or evil. (see G. Sterling).

Irrational needs are vices. The vices listed below are based on certain false values. The source of every vice is a false judgment of what is good or evil. But our judgments are in our power. Therefore, our vices are in our power.

The idealized image is chiefly a glorification of the needs which have developed (Horney, pg. 277).

  • needs to avoid backing away from a fight (Oldham, 345)
  • needs to take charge; needs power, authority, and responsibility (345)
  • needs a traditional power structure where everyone knows their place and the lines of authority are clear (345)
  • needs to be highly disciplined and to impose rules of order that they expect others in their charge to follow (346)
  • needs to do whatever is necessary to get the job done (346)
  • needs to function well and bravely in difficult and dangerous situations (346)
  • needs action and adventure; needs to be physically assertive (346)
  • needs to always move to the front (346)
  • needs to dominate (346)
  • needs to vie for control of all the groups of which they become a part (346)
  • needs to direct and dominate; needs to be in charge (347)
  • needs to give orders and to establish rules (347)
  • needs to establish a well-structured, orderly, disciplined family (349)
  • needs to be a strict disciplinarian and needs their children to obey them without question (351)
  • needs to be king or queen of the hill (351)
  • needs to dominate or to lead (352)
  • needs an intensely competitive dog-eat-dog environment in which ultimately their can be only one, or very few, winners (352)
  • needs to plumb the emotional heights and depths of any experience (345)
  • needs to to get and to keep power (353)
  • needs success, victory , power, and excellence (353)
  • needs to accomplish objectives; needs to use any means at hand (353)
  • needs to accumulate power (354)
  • needs to focus on results, not feelings (355)
  • needs to function at high stimulation levels at all times (355)
  • needs to avoid lack of power, serious competitive threats, and defeat or failure (355)
  • needs to avoid accepting loss or failure (355)
  • needs to be working with and around people so that they can aspire to be in charge of them (355-56)
  • needs to dominate others, to be in charge (356)
  • needs to be in control(356)
  • needs to show their strength (356)
  • needs to avoid losing their power and having to give in (356)
  • needs to avoid submitting to a greater power (356)
  • needs to maintain and reinforce their sense of self by being the undisputed ruler of their kingdom (356)
  • needs to take, use, manipulate and keep power--and to keep everybody else down (356)
  • needs to express themselves with their bodies (357)
  • needs action and adventure; needs the excitement of the win to come (357)
  • needs to battle, compete and win (357)
  • needs to avoid relaxing and letting go of their sense of purpose (357)
  • needs control (357)
  • needs to control their emotions and appetites for pleasure (357)
  • needs to avoid letting anything get in the way of their drive to the top (357)
  • needs to feel that they have a right to do as they please (357)

Sadistic personality, or character, disorder is comprised of these and other irrational needs, or vices.

Values of the Aggressive Type

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: Why You Think, Work, Love, and Act the Way You Do. Rev. ed. New York: Bantam.

Grant Sterling (2005). "Core Stoicism." International Stoic Forum.

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Key to the Stoic Philosophy of Epictetus