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

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...


dorkvader said...

Ah crap.
What if I noticed that I do some of that stuff? >_<

Deidra said...

This is by no means an official or comprehensive list. It's just a compilation of my observations, and I'm sure that there are things I've forgotten, at that. We all want attention and social interaction, it's just that a Compliant Personality wants those to an extreme level.

There's a feeling you get with this type of person that I can't really convey in a post, but when they do things that all of us do at times, they make people uncomfortable and annoy them by not knowing when to leave them alone. They seem to be lacking an internal sensor that the rest of us have: one that tells us when to stop talking, when people are unhappy with a situation or annoyed with us.