The possible ways of being, in Multifactorial Psychology, are identified by three different variables. Each of them contributes in determining the approach of people towards life and thus in composing the structure of the individuals.
Let’s see now in detail the different categories of Multifactorial Psychology and how these can be organized for determining all the ways of being. We will illustrate all the possible combinations that can happen when defining the psychic experience of an individual.
In this way we will be able to outline a manual of possible healthy and unhealthy ways of being, which can be seen as real personality profiles. They are not defined by a simple empirical description but, according to the Multifactorial Psychology setting, they are the result of the synthesis of three different variables, one for each category types.
The human types
The human types can be considered as independent variables, as they do not contribute in determining the discomfort, nor they have effects on them during the psychotherapeutic process. They are presented here in this specific place because we need to get to know them to understand the real value of what needs to be changed, with the final aim of being able to distinguish between all the influenced structures in the best possible way.
There are six different human types.
Every single individual embodies a different one. Together with the other variables (modalities and styles) they can help determining the way in which each individual relates to the world.
The human types represent six types of dispositions, six inclinations, six attitudes, six natures. Together with the modalities (healthy and influenced) and the styles (healthy and influenced), they create the specific self-expression of each individual.
They are genetic, so they could be considered as independent variables, able to interact with the other elements in determining the way in which each individual will tend to establish relationships with the others.
The human types differ from one another. The differentiation of types is given by the fact that each of them is “constituted” by specific peculiarities, by particular properties.
Three implications and two inclinations are the qualities that determine the different human types.
In every type, one of the three implications and one of the two inclinations are finally expressed.
The three implications are:
- Satisfaction fulfillment: feeling entitled to satisfy own personal needs
- Push to compete: feeling entitled to fight, to give battle, to compete
- Push to prevail: feeling legitimized to dominate, to express their own authority
The two inclinations are:
- Inclination to emerge: inclination to self-affirmation
- Inhibition to emerge: inability to self-affirmation
Every human type is the combination of both an implication and an inclination. The possible types can be represented by the Cartesian chart illustrated in the graph below, where the three elements on the x-axis marked by the numbers (1-2-3) and the two y-axis marked by the alphabetical letters (A-B) indicate the implications and the inclinations respectively.
The result of that combination are these six points of confluence, that correspond to the six human types: A1, A2, A3, B1, B2, B3.
Each type is different but also legitimate at the same time, and none of them has a greater value than another single one.
Human types by themselves express no form of discomfort at all. When they have been activated in an individual whose healthy ways of being are prevalent these are lived in their best form, whereas when they have been activated in an individual whose unhealthy ways of being are prevalent, these are lived in an unhealthy form.
The human type cannot be transformed into a different one, not even through important and meaningful experiences, and it always remains the same throughout the whole lifetime. Under no circumstances may the A1 become B1, nor A3, nor anything else, and this is the same for the others.
He/She has an inclination to emerge (A) and need of fulfillment (1). It is focused on itself, on its needs that are considered as vital. It does not dwell on frustrations. It is open and not particularly angular, but sluggish at the same time. It tends to overweight things/situations. It gets himself/herself drained in terms of energies spent. He/She is open to start the dedicated therapy.
He/She has an inclination to emerge (A) and push for competition (2). It must establish itself as a winner. He/She is haughty, authoritative and particularly distinguished. He/She has strong social ambitions. Its physical structure is proportionate to its attitude. It cares for aesthetics, and he/she does not accept therapy, as it would be equivalent to a personal defeat.
He/She has an inclination to emerge (A) and a push for dominance (3). It must stand as overlying and it exercises dominance on others. It appears as authoritarian and particularly threatening, superb and full of itself. Its appearance looks unstable but vigorous. The A3 woman has masculine features. Very rarely he/she accepts therapy.
It is not inclined in emerging (B) and in thrusting fulfillment (1). He/She is striving to satisfy his/her needs, but he/she is inhibited from finally being satisfied. It needs acceptance and support. It arouses benevolence. The body is harmonious and not very energetically charged. Man B1 has feminine traits and ways of behaving/appearing. It gets into therapy quite frequently.
It has inhibition to emerge (B) and in pushing for competition (2). He/She must compete without being able to stand as a winner. It tries to prove that it is not inferior. He/she is persevering and responsible, angular and obstinate. It has a slim structure, it is agile, very tense and particularly quick. He/She frequently goes under psychotherapy.
It is inhibited to emerge (B) and in pushing for dominating (3). He/she must fight without being able to succeed in dominating the others. It tries to not being submissive. He/She is haughty and oppositional, impulsive and eccentric. The body is tapered and very agile. It has seductive ways. He/She tends to enter therapy quite frequently.
The healthy mode
The healthy mode is a predictive model of the experience that the individual can feel when they feel they are being accepted, in which case they live sociability and they also build healthy emotional relationships.
The relationship between the elements of the individual and the others stays on an equal level at the intrapsychic level. The individual lives a feeling of freedom and a constant acceptance and they have a benevolent attitude for reciprocity, as they are the co-makers of a serene and safe relational climate. Affection is free from the fear of rejection and abandonment. It lives the sense of security, given by being able to co-create a positive relational climate.
The conditional modes
In the conditioned modes the parity of the two elements (Individual/Other), at an intrapsychic level, can be represented in 4 different possible ways. The individual influenced modalities are placed within a scheme that links them and which explains the role and the qualities of each one of them.
Common characteristics of the influenced modes
The influenced modalities are four unhealthy ways of experiencing affection and it springs from the wounds suffered during the childhood phase. They are unsuccessful and unintentional attempts in trying to gain amiability and acceptance when they are afraid of not receiving it. They are subject to the lack of balance between the elements of the intrapsychic relationship (Individual/Other). The modalities cover but do not resolve the fear of rejection, which becomes from a prophecy that determines itself and which ends up by perpetuating itself.
I INFLUENCED MODALITY
The individual considers himself superior in a relative way, because they feel that it is the other who puts them in that specific position. This influenced mode can be called the one-child syndrome. The individual is very determined and assertive to the point of being dominant, but only when they feel there is a specific bond, such as the family one, to which they can relate to. They find difficult to orientate themselves in the other types of relationship, unless they are able to recreate a relationship that is even outside the family of origin. The couple’s relationship is absolutely fundamental for them. The risk of depression is frequent. The so often denied anxiety and anguish are due to the fear of abandonment. They do not go under therapy treatment, because they are not in a mental status where they could and should change.
II INFLUENCED MODALITY
In the second modality the individual experiences a sense of inferiority, but he/she feels that he/she can face it. Self-esteem is always at a good level and he/she also feels safe. He/She does not refer to what he does not like, as he/she avoids it. Affection is absolutely limited: it is contained, serious and rigid, even particularly cold sometimes. It can even be rude. On the other hand, it is very practical, concrete, and it avoids “manageable” emotions. In the past, he also broke all the relationship with the emotions, especially to avoid the painful ones, linked to the fear of rejection. It takes decisions based on the values that it considers to not be disputable. He/She doesn’t seem to be scared, he/she actually avoids fears. Work becomes the predominant commitment of their life. The discomfort tends to express itself with the conversion symptoms. He/She avoids, as long as they can, entering therapy.
III INFLUENCED MODALITY
In the third modality, the individual feels absolutely superior, and he/she feels special. He/She expects admiration from the others. Self-esteem is absolutely excessive. They do not accept any forms of dispute. When they incur in failure they always blame the Others, and the responsibility is always outside of themselves. It is crucial for them to be listened and appreciated by an interested audience. It stands out same as the peacock does: in a non-aggressive way. He/She is charming, whimsical, affable and jovial but not empathetic at all. In their private lives they seem to go out. There are often forms of dependency and superficiality in managing work situations. And they do not rely on therapy, as they could do it in an non-deceptive way.
IV INFLUENCED MODALITY
In the fourth modality, the individual feels irremediably inferior. He/She is always afraid of not being accepted, he/she lives the sense of guilt, sometime even of solitude, fragility and impending danger. They are not able to resolve or hide this (even in their own eyes), and this inadequacy feeling tries to get by through two different strategies: it tries to please the other and to be perfect in their eyes. What the other thinks of them is always crucial. When they feel welcomed and reassured, their negative image improves momentarily, but afterwards it goes back to the previous low levels. It is very emotional, and self-esteem varies a lot in a short period of time, according to how the others judge them: when they feel welcomed and positively judged by the Others, they swell a little but then they collapse in the end. They present anxiety of waiting with respect to new situations, because they have to deal with unknown people who might negatively judge them. Nothing could help in reminding them how many times in the past they have lived the same situations and they have successfully overtaken them. He/She often has a bad mood and they experience anxiety, and potentially panic attacks. They also live frequent psychosomatic disorders and even be a little hypochondriac. Those who are under this specific modality frequently seek therapy.
Healthy style describes a predictive model of how the individual can affirm himself/herself, and the healthy way in which he could take his own living space. The individual feels recognized and respected and offers the same to the world. It affirms itself through its own qualities and desires, but at the same time it feels that it this is equally valid for others. Therefore, it prefers the natural alternation of the affirmation of the different individuals present in a specific context. Through the metaphor of this stage, it can be easily affirmed that: the person knows that sooner or later the spotlight will also be focused on itself, enhancing the performance of others and it has to patiently wait for its turn and when this arrives it will have no issues/obstacles in defining itself.
The healthy style, as well as the influenced ones, could be also described through the garden metaphor as the individual’s living space. It then happens that the healthy individual takes good care of its garden and it is inclined to welcome the others who appreciate it and who live it, by being able in giving and receiving its gifts. At the same time, it is easy for him/her to lead himself/herself into someone else’s garden, if properly invited or if he/she is authorized to do so. And, once inside, they will be able to enjoy and appreciate it, by giving and receiving, as it happened in the opposite situation. They feel the right to demand respect for their own territory/garden, but they also know how to do the same when they entertain themselves in that of the others.
The influenced styles
The influenced styles are basically dysfunctional ways of managing relationships, due to the fact that through them we tend to exercise our control according to 8 different ways, as illustrated in the following diagram, where the metaphor defines the garden as the living space of an individual.
Common characteristics of influenced styles
The 8 influenced styles are predictive models, related to the ways of doing through which they try to force the Others to “make room for them”, if they fear that they will then be prevented. They are unhealthy ways of expressing self-assertion and unintended unsuccessful attempts to gain attention and appreciation. They apply power and control in trying to manage relationships. They try to hide but do not resolve the fear of non-recognition: it presents itself as a prophecy that self-determines itself, by also perpetuating itself in a sort of continuum process.
I INFLUENCED STYLE
Entering the garden of others to be sure that the Other is welcoming them. He/She is self-centered: his/her intrusiveness always has a subjective interest that he/she believes is shared by the Other. He/She is often in a good mood, and satisfied with what he/she is and what he/she has/does in their everyday lives. It is often inappropriate. They make their ways as they are doing themselves a favor. It does not understand the indifference or the needs of the Other. If rejected, they are amazed and disappointed at the same, but then they do not resist. They rarely go under therapy and if they were to go there, they would complain about who disappointed them, this because they do not question themselves.
II INFLUENCED STYLE
It blatantly invades the garden of others. They break down any forms of resistance. It uses others’ territories as their playgrounds. They express a sense of arrogance that wants to be evident to everyone. They show explicit intention to impose: subdue and intimidate at the same time. The Other is perceived either as an ally or as an enemy. They are extremely selfish and it is difficult for them to delay the achievement of their desires. It does not tolerate frustrations and if hindered, it could react violently. It is always someone else’s fault. They do not admit mistakes, even when they are absolutely aware of them. They do not go either under therapy, nor they would understand the need to undergo there.
III INFLUENCED STYLE
Entering the garden of others to give the right advice to improve it, expecting a positive welcome. The concept of self is good. They are happy with what they are and what they do. They build their own ways by making right observations, convinced that they will be well received by the others, looking a bit presumptuous. It seems that they have the truth in their pockets. It often ends up by making a bit of nuisance and it is often called such as “talking cricket”, “teacher”, etc. They are capable and helpful at the same time, but also extremely knowledgeable and cautious. They usually end up going under therapy when their relationships get particularly complicated.
IV INFLUENCED STYLE
Once they enter the garden of others, they always find a way to make observations and being negative. They make mistakes even where there are none to make: this is due to their being extremely negative about things. They always feel like blaming others, especially those who are very close to them. They are so full of anger and they always express their disapproval. It doesn’t give a second chance. They make contexts very heavy and tend to limit the spontaneity of others. Tend to use others, through frequent requests, which they feel they are legitimated to do so, especially with those they are very close to. In fact, reciprocity is lacking in these individuals. When they do or say something there is a hidden purpose. They are aware of their limits, but they do not give much importance because they are too inclined to highlight those of the others around them. They go under therapy just for the relational problems they face.
V INFLUENCED STYLE
It is actually in their own garden where the Others come to cheer them up. They are generally very still, they come alive if someone comes to keep them company. The attention and the availability of the Other could change their moods. They are usually self-centered: they want the best for themselves, without thinking about the others. They have issues in living their intimate lives. There are just few interests and initiatives in their lives. They are interested in sedentary activities (e.g. PC, TV, etc.). The presence of the partner is essential in their lives as they tend to be seen as introverts. They almost never go under therapy as they think that they do not need it.
VI INFLUENCED STYLE
They open the doors of their own gardens, and this seems to them a gesture of great generosity, so they feel they could ask anything to those who decide to enter. They think they are doing and giving much (not always rightly though) and they think they have to receive the same. This pushes them in making many claims, even few inappropriate ones. They end up suffering a lot if they lose someone they do not want to lose. They tend to reproach the others for their alleged breaches. They always catch frustrations, even when there are none. They always tend to live in a state of undeserved injustice. They assault the Others as they want them to understand their faults and wrong doings. The couple relationship is central to them. They are very demanding and tend to suffocate others. They go under therapy only to find out who is right and who is wrong.
VII INFLUENCED STYLE
They do not defend their territories from invasions because they do not consider others as hostile. They the good guys who behave as the Other would like them to. From this, they would always be positively judged and they know it. They can sustain this for long time, even without wanting this. They usually let the Others decide and they do not want to choose or to take a position. They are usually very helpful and welcoming but they do not thrill anyone. They could secretly do something they do it is supposed to be wrong. They could often lie, even without a specific reason, just to avoid negative judgment. “You don’t have to know anything about me.” They always look for reference figures, and they tend to be subject to their choices. They tend to look for the therapist when they lose their point of reference.
VIII INFLUENCED STYLE
Invite the Others to enjoy their own gardens, when, in their opinion, they need it. They tend to withdraw from specific requests to enter into the garden from other. They always want to be helpful and activate themselves to support the Others. They expect to be recognized as such. They could last long time doing this, even if, at some point, they tend to get annoyed. They have difficulties in receiving back, and they end up always being in debt. They tend to understand what happens better than anyone else, even what is good or bad for the Others and, for this, they tend to be little presumptuous. They must be in control of situations, and they always try to centralize the focus on themselves. The fear of losing control makes them restless and anxious. They often rely on therapy, as they would need to be reassured about things.
Categories that constitute healthy ways of being
The categories described above are the components of the healthy ways of being, as per the chart below:
What actually distinguishes one from the other is the different human type where they live. Each individual can inherit only one human type and therefore he/she can live only one healthy way of being.
In determining healthy ways of being, we must take into account that there is only one healthy modality and one healthy style and they are always link one to the other, resulting in a single combination, which, according to the human types, constitutes the six healthy ways of being. These are the expressions of the different forms of living the well-being in conjunction with the others.
Categories that constitute the unhealthy ways of being
The categories described above are the elements of the unhealthy ways of being, as per the following chart:
Le categorie precedentemente descritte sono quelle che vanno a costituire i modi non sani di essere, secondo lo schema che segue:
(Legend: M = Influenced Mode; S = Influenced Style)
The four influenced modalities and the eight influenced styles can determine 32 different combinations, to which a human type is linked and they could constitute 192 unhealthy ways of being. These are based on the concept of fear and they express all the multiple forms of discomfort, which is finally transferred to the human relationships lived by each individual.
The large variety of unhealthy ways of being (192) becomes very broad if we consider all of their possibilities to happen in a variety of intensity levels, ranging from mild to dramatically severe.
The unhealthy ways of being consist of one, and one only, out of the four influenced modalities, one, and one only, out of the eight influenced styles, and finally one, and one only, out of the six human types. These are the expressions of the multiple forms of discomfort, which are based on the fear of rejection and non-consideration.
This cannot fall within the list of the different unhealthy ways of being, being at the same time part of one of the influenced modality and also part of another one, or being part of an influenced style and also part of another one, or finally part of a human type and also part of another one. In other words, it is always a question of making a categorical evaluation between one from each category/modality.
Everyone, during their childhood, has been “pushed to choose” an influenced modality and an influenced style, so it cannot happen that they had chosen one and then switched to another one afterwards. It is exactly the same rationale behind the influenced style. An influenced modality and an influenced style, once established in an individual, will only tend to either confirm or weaken the advantage of a healthy and of a unhealthy style.
The therapeutic intervention
A successful therapeutic intervention helps the patient in assuring the prevalence of his healthy part and the dereliction of the unhealthy part. To this point, the therapist has to first give his/her diagnosis by finding the specific characteristics of the patient’s unhealthy way of being, so his/her influenced manner, his/her influenced style, and also the human type linked to them. Then he/she will also have to identify the intensity level of the unhealthy part within the patient.
The arrival point consists in helping the patient in a permanent and continuous so he/she will always make good use of the healthy categories, the healthy mode and the healthy style.
If you want to deep-dive into the themes of Multifactorial Psychology, you can download a free extract of the “Healthy and unhealthy ways of being” work which presents the entire psychological theory and its applications during the therapeutic intervention.