(definition further explained in this post if you still aren't satisfied)

Friday, March 5, 2010


I've just been informed of a change of plans that will have me on the road in a few minutes, cruising towards a place with no internet.  I apologize for not being able to post what I've planned to, but I'll make it up to you next week, hopefully on Monday.

Have a fun weekend!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

How to Deal with a Needy Nuerotic Nut

She's calling you every day, asking you to spend the night at her house, and now she's trying to become best friends with your love interest!  How do you deal with someone who has a Compliant Personality?

Bad Idea: Say yes to every suggestion she has.
Good Idea: Set boundaries.
Someone who has the nuerotic need for attention and closeness to others will smother you if you let them.  If you prevent them from spending every waking moment with you (like saying no to spending the night, for example), they may be forced to find someone else to spend time with.  You're not only helping them, but keeping yourself from going insane as their 24/7 companion.

Bad Idea: Be constantly passive-aggressive.
Good Idea: Find an outlet for your frustration or change your attitude.
Take it from someone who knows: being passive-aggressive may keep you from having an epic fight with a Compliant Personality, but it will slowly destroy you from the inside out if you go down that road.  Harboring a hidden motive behind every interaction will turn you into an unhappy, grumpy person.  Every time you see that needy friend of yours, your day will immediately get worse.  You won't be able to enjoy a single moment of your life while they're around unless something changes.  It's possible that for you, the best thing would be a membership to a gym with a punching bag!  I say this because the other option is very, very difficult.  I have managed to change my attitude towards a Compliant Personality before, but it took a figurative slap in the face to make me realize the need for it, and it took a very long time to accomplish a feeling of affection for that person.  However, the benefits were worth it.  I enjoyed everything more when my time spent with her wasn't so soured by dislike.  Although she didn't often pick up on social signals, even this girl noticed the difference.  Everyone was happier after my attitude toward her changed.

Bad Idea: Take drastic action against her, like writing a list of everything wrong with her and giving it to her.
Good Idea: Thinking through what you dislike about her and either pointing it out politely or not at all.
Believe it or not, I go to university with someone who did this "bad idea".  It devastated her friendship with the girl who had a Compliant Personality, and the two still haven't recovered.  Someone with a Compliant Personality is extremely affected by actions like this because they seek social approval so desperately.  Someone who does this to a Compliant Personality is likely to be torn apart by guilt.  It's a bad idea all around.  Instead of doing something like this, talk calmly and politely to a person about their tragic flaws.  Or, if you think it won't make a difference to talk to them, keep it to yourself.

Bad Idea: Be critical of whatever they decide to do.
Good Idea: Be honest as gently as possible.
As I mentioned before, Compliant Personalities try to impress others by showing off sometimes, even if they aren't particularly good at what they're doing.  If they ask you if they did well and they didn't, being brutally honest will emotionally crush them.  On the other hand, telling them that they were fantastic may prompt them to find a new way to show off their new talent (like in a talent show, for example).  To find the perfect balance, give them suggestions and compliments equally.

Basically, with Compliant Personalities, there's a happy medium that you have to stick to for best results.  One issue lies in the fact that this medium is such a small area, with lots of ways to make a mistake.  The other main problem is that it's very easy to lose your temper with people like I've described.  To deal with them successfully requires extreme emotional maturity.

If you have a question about any other situation with Compliant Personalities, give me a comment!

Monday, March 1, 2010

How to Spot a Compliant Personality

You're probably going to deal with at least one Compliant Personality before you die.  If you're anything like me, you've already racked up some experience with more than one of these doozies!  To form a game plan, you have to know how to spot someone with the nuerotic need to move toward others.

Physical Signs:
  • She's female--Doubtless there are male Compliant Personalites, but almost every case I've dealt with has been female.  I would say that being female increases an individual's likelihood by about 85% over a male in the same situation, most likely due to the gender roles our society promotes that encourage women to be more emotional than men.  Blame your parents.
  • She isn't alone.--Someone who always moves towards others does so physically as well as mentally and emotionally, because physical proximity helps foster an emotional connection.  They absolutely hate to be alone; because of this, they always attach themselves to someone, whether that person wants to be attached to or not.  This person is not entirely unlike a leech.
  • Her hair and clothes are either nuetral or conformist.--This personality type wants to find someone to be with in any situation, so they often dress in carefully nuetral clothing, like a t-shirt and jeans, for example.  Sometimes, if the individual knows the environment they'll be spending time in, like a high school student, they will dress however the majority of the student body dresses.  For instance, because of the recent "emo/scene" trend, a Compliant female may wear clothing that fits that stereotype because she knows that most students at her school dress the same way, which allows her to communicate with as many of them as possible.  She would style her hair to fit the way she's dressed: a medium-length cut for the t-shirt and jean type, or a razor-cut and heavily layered style for the "emo".
  • She has a self-conscious or anxious expression.--Surely you can figure out the reason to this on your own.
  • She touches people constantly.--Once again, this is an attempt to foster a deep emotional connection with others.  The common mistake for a Compliant Personality is to break the no-touch barrier much too soon in the relationship, causing others to be uncomfortable.  A person with this personality type enjoys hugs and any playful contact, like poking or drawing on someone's skin with a marker.
Other Tip-offs:
  • People are easily annoyed by the Compliant Personality.  You may hear them talking about that person behind their back, or using passive-aggressive behavior when spending time with them.
  • Because someone with this nuerotic need desires constant attention, they may have a tendency to make sudden, drastic changes to their appearance, like getting a tattoo or changing their hair style and color without warning.
  • Compliant Personalities are huge romantics.  They seem to believe that getting a boyfriend/girlfriend will solve all their problems, which our old friend Karen Horney would say is because they need someone else to make decisions for them (not to mention that a significant other is a source of constant attention).  To this end, a girl with a needy personality would often also be labeled "boy crazy".
  • This personality type wants to be admired by others, to get attention, so they try to excel at whatever activity they think will earn them this type of respect.  For some reason, many of the ones I meet want to be seen as great singers.
  • In general, this type of person has the ability to be more socially awkward than you ever thought possible.
Quick, she's coming this way!  Now that you know how to tell if someone is a Compliant Personality, you have to figure out what to do about them.  Is it possible to completely avoid someone who seeks social interaction so single-mindedly?  How could you handle it if one of them attached themselves to you and never gave you a moment's peace?  Would you lose your sanity, or is there another option?  We'll talk about that on Wednesday.  Until then, please keep your cool!

P.S. Today, I'm the ripe old age of nineteen.  Do you think that my posts are going to mature as I get older?  Somehow, I have my doubts...