Local – Storm Warning: 4

Feeling Type 4: “The Individualist”
Orientation: Feeling
Expression: Thinking
Subordinate: own Acting
Seeks: Authenticity
Short circuits in storm state:
Acting – Feeling
Thinking – Thinking

type 4 sunny
emphasis in sunny state
rev storm 4
emphasis in storm state

AF FA TT

Feeling type 4 is the third one who’s childhood distress was emotional coldness. But unlike the others, their solution was to actively take control of the realm of feeling (AF). They dominated their emotions. To keep this self-supply with emotional warmth in place, their two secondary short circuits came into play: the enforcement of their own will (FA) and the distancing from facts and objectivity (TT). Whenever needed, the psyche of the little child shut down in this manner and thus survived.

eternal sunshine posterWhenever this pattern exceeds its function of childhood self-protection and a person gets triggered back into it as an adult, there is storm warning. And if the person is permanently trapped in it, it is considered a personality disorder. As an example of a feeling type 3 with storm warning, we’ll take a look at the character Clementine in “Eternal sunshine of the spotless mind” (2004), brilliantly played by Kate Winslet.

AF

List 4 AF

With his A- short circuit, feeling type 4 in storm state is one of the “control addicted self supporters”. These are the ones who establish domination over the given function in order to supply themselves with it. With feeling type 4 it’s the realm of emotions – it’s about the self-supply with warmth. The person gives themselves the favorable “being seen” which they lacked in childhood.

In doing so, they not only mirror themselves but also pushes others into being mirrors to. magical mirrors, which only mirror pleasant things at all times. Dependent on this constant positive feedback they compulsively control how others see them. They have to be remarkably unique and everyone around them has to bee charmed and seduced into reacting positively to this uniqueness. Sometimes this is done passive and indirectly, at other times through emotional power-play, focused at quickly deepening the felt connection of the “mirror”.

If they succeed, the addiction is satisfied and except for a little boredom, everything’s fine. But what if there is no feedback? Or even a negative one? At this point, the two other short circuits instantly come to the rescue.

FA

List 4 FA

The short circuit Feeling – Acting causes the boost of conflict. The identification with their own will and it’s enforcement. And because this short circuit serves the emotional self supply, it’s expressed in form of provocations and emotional drama. In fights that are focused on achieving a positively felt self-image as their end game. Therefore, feeling type 4 becomes a true drama queen when in stormy. Because this dominant demeanor seems to be coming out of nowhere, it’s often surprising and irritating to the people around them.

The triggering reason for it is insufficient positive mirroring. The logic behind it: “if you don’t want to be my magic mirror, i will emotionally push you into being wrong and supply myself with the good feeling in relation to you which i depend on”.

TT

List 4 TT

The second short circuit which activates in case of lacking mirroring is Thinking – Thinking. The distancing from reality, logic and coherence. At this level, there are no consistent actions or statements. Also this short circuit serves the self-supply with emotional warmth and a positive self-image and expresses as a retreat into fantasy. A fantasy, in which the self-image feels good and only good. Observed from the outside, this retreat sometimes looks exaggeratedly childlike and cheerful, sometimes very melancholic:

Distancing from thinking has a side effect – loss of the sense of identity, the feeling for “i-am-me and you-are-you”. These boundaries collapse. This side effect leads to depressive episodes, in which the person feels like they are falling apart. Also now, there has to be someone who cures this negative feeling by his mirroring from the outside. Someone who takes the pieces of the broken self-image and puzzles them together again. Flawlessly.

This is how a feeling type 4 with storm warning functions.

Why is this dangerous to families?
Because children depend on parents who are there for them. People who function like this, may be very emotionally present, but not for their children. Instead, they do anything to transform them into disappearing, dishonest people who only “mirror” good things. And because they live in ever-changing, self-idealizing dream worlds, they fail at supplying the stability which the child needs for its healthy development.

Why is this unsatisfactory in relationships?
For the same reasons. Although as an adult, one is not as dependent on the partner as a child is but the mutual happiness relies on the functionality of both. How can one relate to someone who’s emotionality is only oriented on receiving constant idealizing attention? To someone who gets shockingly aggressive whenever there’s a stop in this flow? Someone who spends most of his time with you in inaccessible dreamworlds? It is possible. But it’s unsatisfactory.

What helps?
For Families: Family-Systems Therapy
For Couples: Couples Therapy
This description with the aid of the enneagram is not meant to serve diagnostically. This should by done by professionals alone. And there is also no key with which the types of the enneagram can be translated to the DSM definitions. At best, some hints can be made in which directions to seek: Borderline Personality Disorder, Histrionic Personality Disorder, Bipolar Disorder, Narcissistic Personality Disorder.

Sunny greetings


All clips shown in this post are quotations from the movie “Eternal sunshine of the spotless mind” (2004) and are used for the purpose of illustration only. The copyrights for this movie and its film poster belong to: Focus Features

Local – Storm Warning: 4

The Strom-Data

dorothy sonden

1: AA TF FT
2: FF AT TA
3: TF FT AA
4: AF FA TT
5: FT TF AA
6: TT FA AF
7: AT TA FF
8: FA AF TT
9: TA AT FF

This is what the storm-data look like in raw version.

What do the letters and numbers mean?

They are inner short-circuits of the functions Thinking, Feeling and Acting. In “sunny” state, these functions are not short-circuited. Neither with themselves nor with one another. But serve to connect the inner world with the outer, serve to communicate. They flow.

All functions have a specific relational quality:

Feeling: towards one another, vibing, amplifying, conscious of emotional states
Thinking: distancing from one another, differentiating, objective, conscious of boundaries, facts and identity
Acting: against one another, actively changing, cause-and-effect, conscious of responsibility and consequences

Every function is of equal importance in functional relationships and families.

In a sunny state, the “inner observer” is in charge of the functions. It’s the part of the psyche that distinguishes humans from animals: his consciousness. This inner observer sees the other person and their emotional state as well as their own through his feeling function. He recognizes and acknowledges boundaries, sees facts, sees what he knows and what not through his thinking function. and he sees the consequences of his actions and thereby his responsibility through his acting function. He decides and acts out of this state of consciousness.

But the psyche can – in order to protect itself – wire differently. Every type of the enneagram is based on  a specific childhood distress, which it had to protect itself from.

The numbers are attributed to the enneagram Types:
For Acting Types 8, 9 and 1 the childhood distress was a threatened autonomy.
For Feeling Types 2, 3 and 4 it was lacking emotional warmth.
And for Thinking Types 5, 6 and 7 it was missing security.

As a child, every person was inherently inferior. With a normal use of the functions, one could not solve childhood problems externally because one was lacking the needed power. So the Psyche protected itself internally. By choosing one of 9 possibilities to shut down and short-circuit the functions. Like this, the soul survived. The problem was temporarily solved and the functions remained. They didn’t die away because they remained in use. Basically a very intelligent protection mechanism of the psyche. But as necessary it was in childhood, as problematic it gets if one gets triggered back into it as an adult. And even more problematic if one gets permanently trapped in it – which would be a personality disorder.

Marked red are the primary short-circuits. These are the ones with which the psyche internally coped with the childhood distress in the first place. The two secondary short-circuits are a consequence of the first one and served as its support.

Examples:

1: AA TF FT

For Acting Type 1, the childhood distress war threatened autonomy. So the childhood problem was an issue on the acting level. Because it could not be solved by communicating externally, it had to be coped with internally in one of three possible ways: To love and amplify his own acting (FA), to distance himself from his acting (TA) or to alter, control and dominate his own acting (AA). Acting Type 1 is the one who solved the problem in the latter way: he “handled” his actions, short-circuited the action energy with itself. The remaining functions connected with one another to support this strategy: he distanced himself from his emotions (TF) and amplified his thinking (FT).

2: FF HD DH

The childhood distress of a feeling type 2 was coldness. The supply of emotional warmth was not secured. So his childhood problem was on the emotional level. Because he was not able to solve this problem by communicating with his parents outside of himself, he had to deal with it internally. And he had three possibilities: Loving the own feeling (FF), to distance himself from his own feelings (TF) or to control and dominate, to actively alter his feelings (AF). Feeling type 2 is the one who solved it in the first way. He “loved” the feelings, amplified them, short circuited the feeling energy with itself. The other psychological functions, thinking and acting connected with each other: he controlled the thinking (AT) and distanced himself from his actions (TA).

3: TF FT AA

Also for Feeling Type 3 the childhood distress was emotional coldness. but different from Type 2, he solved the problem by distancing himself from his emotions (TF) as his primary protection. Further, he amplified and identified with his thinking (FT) and dominated his actions (AA).

And so forth…

Sunny greetings

The Strom-Data

Twister

When i was little, i loved this movie. The storms, the mood, the tension. To watch it again from an adult perspective was fantastic.

Twister-1996_blog

This is no movie review and the blog no cinema-site. But twister suits perfectly to illustrate what the blog is.

At the beginning of the film, the main character witnesses as a little girl, how her dad is sucked up in a tornado as he tries to protect his family from the storm. As an adult, the girl has become an obsessed woman. Obsessed with tornadoes. Together with a small team of crazy people, she hunts twisters across the country risking her life until she reaches her goal: to release hundreds of small probes into a tornado which for the first time in history provide data from the inside of a twister and thus enable a life saving early warning system.

The blog is an early warning system. Here, I publish my collected data.

But they are not about literal storms. The blog is about the tornadoes of psychological disorders that can cause a lot of damage to families and relationships.

As someone who has spent some time inside the funnel of such a tornado in his youth and later as an obsessed hunter, i’ve collected many data over many years. Data that differ from the objectively observing psychology by the perspective from which they were collected.

But as the main character in Twister states at the ending: “i think i’ve seen enough”, i’ve seen enough too. And i won’t take you as a reader back to the storms of my past. I don’t go back myself either. The data is collected, the purpose of the “hunt” fulfilled.

Now, I’m enjoying the sunny life outside of the storms. And enjoy the positive legacy of my past. A useful legacy.

And i’m happy to share it with you!

Sunny greetings


The descriptions are not meant to serve for any kind of diagnosis. This should be done by professionals only. Goal Of the blog is to impart enough knowledge that one can spot the emerging of serious “psychological storms” in relationships and families life before it gets too windy.

The copyrights of the Twister movie poster and the used “Dorothy” image belong to: Warner Bros. Pictures

Twister