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View Poll Results: Which neurotic coping style(s) do you tend towards?

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  • Compliant/compliant

    1 1.18%
  • Aggressive/aggressive

    1 1.18%
  • Withdrawn/withdrawn

    6 7.06%
  • Compliant/aggressive

    9 10.59%
  • Compliant/withdrawn

    17 20.00%
  • Aggressive/compliant

    3 3.53%
  • Aggressive/withdrawn

    10 11.76%
  • Withdrawn/compliant

    12 14.12%
  • Withdrawn/aggressive

    26 30.59%
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  1. #1
    Dhampyr Economica's Avatar
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    Default Horney's neurotic coping strategies

    It's Monday morning procrastination poll time!

    I suppose many of us would like to believe we've matured beyond Karen Horney's three neurotic coping strategies to non-neurotic coping and communication, but humor me and pick the style(s) that you tend towards.

    My own dominant and backup coping strategy is the same; e.g. when being Aggressive stopped working for me IRL in 2007/2008, I retreated to this forum and proceeded to be Aggressive here. Others may have a different backup strategy, e.g. a Withdrawn individual may turn Aggressive or Compliant when cornered.

    Elaborations on how your coping style(s) affects your relationships (or lack thereof) are welcome.

    Edit: For more info, see also post #44.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wikipedia
    From her experiences as a psychiatrist, Horney named ten patterns of neurotic needs. These ten needs are based upon things which she thought all humans require to succeed in life. Horney distorted these needs somewhat to correspond with what she believed were individuals' neuroses. A neurotic person could theoretically exhibit all of these needs, though in practice much fewer than the ten here need be present to constitute a person having a neurosis. The ten needs, as set out by Horney, (classified according to her so-called coping strategies) are as follows:

    Moving Toward People

    * 1. The need for affection and approval; pleasing others and being liked by them.
    * 2. The need for a partner; one whom they can love and who will solve all problems.

    Moving Against People

    * 3. The need for power; the ability to bend wills and achieve control over others -- while most persons seek strength, the neurotic may be desperate for it.
    * 4. The need to exploit others; to get the better of them. To become manipulative, fostering the belief that people are there simply to be used.
    * 5. The need for social recognition; prestige and limelight.
    * 6. The need for personal admiration; for both inner and outer qualities -- to be valued.
    * 7. The need for personal achievement; though virtually all persons wish to make achievements, as with No. 4, the neurotic may be desperate for achievement.

    Moving Away from People

    * 8. The need for self sufficiency and independence; while most desire some autonomy, the neurotic may simply wish to discard other individuals entirely.
    * 9. Lastly, the need for perfection; while many are driven to perfect their lives in the form of well being, the neurotic may display a fear of being slightly flawed.
    * 10. The need to restrict life practices to within narrow borders; to live as inconspicuous a life as possible.

    Upon investigating the ten needs further, Horney found she was able to condense them into three broad categories:

    Compliance

    Needs one and two were assimilated into the "compliance" category. This category is seen as a process of "moving towards people", or self-effacement. Under Horney's theory children facing difficulties with parents often use this strategy. Fear of helplessness and abandonment occurs -- phenomena Horney refers to as "basic anxiety". Those within the compliance category tend to exhibit a need for affection and approval on the part of their peers. They may also seek out a partner, somebody to confide in, fostering the belief that, in turn, all of life's problems would be solved by the new cohort. A lack of demanding and a desire for inconspicuousness both occur in these individuals.

    Aggression

    Secondly, neurotic persons may employ "aggression", also called the "moving against people", or the "expansive" solution. Needs three, four, five, six, and seven comprise this category: Neurotic children or adults within this category often exhibit anger or basic hostility to those around them. That is, there is a need for power, a need for control and exploitation, and a maintenance of a facade of omnipotence. Manipulative qualities aside, under Horney's assertions the aggressive individual may also wish for social recognition, not necessarily in terms of limelight, but in terms of simply being known (perhaps feared) by subordinates and peers alike. In addition, the individual has needs for a degree of personal admiration by those within this person's social circle and, lastly, for raw personal achievement. These characteristics comprise the "aggressive" neurotic type. Aggressive types also tend to keep people away from them. On the other hand, they only care about their wants and needs. They would do whatever they can to be happy and wouldn't desist from hurting anyone. Others exist solely to serve the aggressive type and so, they should bow down to them.

    Detachment

    Thirdly and lastly, is "detachment". This category encompasses the final three needs, and overlaps with the "compliance" trait. This neurotic trend is often labeled as the "moving-away-from" or "resigning" solution or a detached personality. As neither aggression nor compliance solve parental indifference, Horney recognized that children might simply try to become self sufficient. The withdrawing neurotic may disregard others in a non-aggressive manner, regarding solitude and independence as the way forth. The stringent needs for perfection comprise another part of this category; those withdrawing may strive for perfection above all else, to the point where being flawed is utterly unacceptable. Everything the "detached" type does must be unassailable and refined. They suppress or deny all feelings towards others, particularly love and hate.
    Last edited by Economica; 12-26-2008 at 04:51 PM.

  2. #2
    12 and a half weeks BerberElla's Avatar
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    I think I mostly use the detachment process, and if during my detachment phase I am cornered in anyway by people who have no idea that I want zero interaction with humanity at that time, I can become quite aggressive.

    EDIT: I should have read the poll options better, I voted aggressive/withdrawn, when I should have opted withdrawn/aggressive.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member Gauche's Avatar
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    I have chosen withdrawn/aggresive, though, sometimes aggresive part is dominant. It all depends on situation for me

  4. #4
    Diabolical Kasper's Avatar
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    As a kid detachment fo' sure. Being withdrawn was its own backup, no other technique was needed, if I was cornered I'd internalise even more so I could care less externally.

  5. #5
    Senior Member bluebell's Avatar
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    Mostly withdrawn, I think. Under extreme stress, I shut down and don't ask for help because the underlying belief is that there is only me, that I have to cope by myself. I remember thinking this from a fairly young age. I've made a teensy bit of progress with it this year, though. Compliance is my backup as that was a way of trying to keep things safe at home as a child.
    ...so much smoke pouring out of each chromosome.

  6. #6
    Member Nat's Avatar
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    Compliant/compliant... It really takes a lot for me to get aggressive with someone, otherwise I would have chosen compliant/aggressive.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Pancreas's Avatar
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    I think I tend towards withdrawn/aggressive. If Iím not allowed or canít withdraw, then I lash out.

  8. #8
    Dhampyr Economica's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trinity View Post
    As a kid detachment fo' sure. Being withdrawn was its own backup, no other technique was needed, if I was cornered I'd internalise even more so I could care less externally.
    *picks up the scent of a reason for your lack of identification as an INTJ*

    Would you mind expounding on your childhood need for/choice of detachment?

  9. #9
    Diabolical Kasper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Economica View Post
    *picks up the scent of a reason for your lack of identification as an INTJ*

    Would you mind expounding on your childhood need for/choice of detachment?
    Hum, that made me think. Instead of derailing I've answered here.

  10. #10
    @.~*virinańČo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    I highly recommend reading Horney's work in terms of the concept of the idealized self (which must be destroyed if one is to grow) along with the coping mechanisms she explored for how we all deal with anxiety.

    My results are in the poll.

    I withdrew whenever possible, growing up.
    If I couldn't withdraw, I was extremely compliant.

    Aggression was 0%.
    (I couldn't win if I was aggressive; the opposition was too strong.)

    Nowadays it is better and easier to live with the anxiety than suffer the detriments of extreme withdrawal or compliance. It is a little disconcerting at times because I'm more assertive now, and I can't properly evaluate whether I am being too assertive in a particular situation or not.

    I also feel like aggression demands a high level of commitment -- if you take that approach, you have to be prepared to lose things if you're not willing to consistently dominate. Withdrawal, of course, isolates one if practiced too stringently. Compliance seems to be the strategy that allows you to be favored enough to keep receiving from others, but it can destroy you inwardly.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

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