Hypnotherapy and Psycho-therapeutic counselling, REBT, and NLP Transformation Coach based in Marlow, Bucks.
The concept of Survival Personality is a set of behaviours, personalities and traits developed from toxic family environment. When parents or care-givers exerted non-empathetic expression to a child, she develops what Psychologists called Survival Personality. Where the inner and outer orientation motivated to ignore the self, ignoring personal needs, and instead serving other people’s needs.
Something very familiar to me growing up in a non-empathetic family environment. As the eldest, I took the self-effacing ‘Helpful Girl’ role. My sister took the self-effacing ‘Bad Girl’ role. As we grew up, we become identified with these roles. I became identified with my survival personality, living, believing that this was me. As adult life poses its own sets of challenges, I’d forgotten my personal needs, passions, and pleasure. Putting other first, I became aware of adopting set of behaviours around others.
All the while, survival personality grew stronger and exerts its firm grove into my personality. It reinforces sustainability by guiding selection of career, romances, friends and interests. As it builds lifestyle around itself, by being ‘helpful’ in time of challenges, it creates a life that reflect early wounding environment.
Survival personality keeps a person arrested in their development. As growth is stunted, a person become stuck in life. Stuck in relationship. Stuck in a role. Stuck in the mundane.
If something happens that shake the survival personality’s blueprint, it will disturb the setting, as it stirs. When it stirs, a person experiences inner conflict, cognitive dissonance and shake-up. The survival personality will seek to establish it hold on the self, causing somatic interference.
Oh, so familiar? Sure it!
I had been identified with survival personality for many years. My survival personality kept me self-reliant, safe and protected from others, and the hostile external environment. I was so self-reliant that I cannot and would not rely on others for anything. I insist on doing it my-self. I insist that I can do a better job. I insist that other will let me know. So, for a long while, I did everything myself. It was difficult to determine if it was a locus of control that kept me stuck in a job that I fell into. It was difficult to see, hear, feel and notice.
As the survival self-reliant personality become stronger, it had more control over other aspect of my being. I lost sight of my inner essence of the inner child. That part of me seems so far away, I cannot see.
Long hidden authentic personality did not dare show its face. The strong survival personality is impregnable. Impenetrable.
As all these take place intrapersonally, I became a drone to autonomous living. Even when in social settings, I would be lonely in the room, because my survival personality tells me that they are all threatening.
The trouble was the survival personality would still be concealed from me, hadn’t been for the turn of spiral of ‘Mid-Life Crisis’. If it wasn’t for this natural life event, I think I’d still be enslaved in the loveless marriage. I used the event as a ‘Get out of Jail’ card and ended my marriage. It was the best thing ever! I felt so free. I felt alive.
Now, I was dramatic, in my performance in the divorce and separation. But almost any event that disrupts the ruling survival personality can be knot in the kink. I hope you can see some challenges in your life serves positive outcome.
For me I am thankful for the encumbrance traumatic divorce as I considered it to be transcendent-immanent to my authentic personality as it loosens the concealment of my survival personality. So, I implore you to look at your natural (such as loss, death, relationship issues etc.) life challenges as a positive, after, the event when you had time to analyse the situation and not caught in psychological conflict. Your amazing ‘mind’ is teaching you something that aligned to your purpose, meaning and values.