When talking to phycologists mainly in Australia, they like talking about the Big 5 personality test. where as at work we use the DOPE personality test to teach clients about how to communicate with others. Personally I like viewing personality as dynamic and we flow in and out of Archetype. However, I think that we have an architype that we get familiar with and know so well that it becomes our default archetype that we run back home to when we are drained of cognitive power.
The Hero is firstly confronted with other characters. We are all herd creatures. We need to deal with others in life, this means that we need to deal with other personalities or archetype in every walk of life. In Commedia dell’arte, Mask Theatre, I first encountered this idea which I found profound. and it gives us a stock set of characters that each story is made up of. Then I expanded to Carl Jung’s archetypes. But when talking to the teachers at University asking about this, it fell on deaf ears. We had to concentrate of Stats and Rats. So lets talk about archetypes.
A Hero in their travels meats others on their travels, and the hero travels in a team. The hero needs to get along with these people. Guess what — Each person has a default archetype that they behave with.
Working in a Drug and Alcohol Rehabilitation unit I see these archetype daily.
Note: The archetypes are just that a title, The archetype can be of any gender or either sex. These forms of behaviour work and developed for their own survival in their own environment. But challenged when that environment changes.
The Knight in Shining Armour:
This person comes to everyone’s help. They try to be a fix-it person, a healer, the font of all wisdom, and act as an employed counsellor, case worker or psychologist. On a side not this pisses staff off. Why? The Knight in shining armour does not look at their own treatment or problems. They concentrate so much on the plight of others so they don’t need to look at their own plight. The knight interrupts in the growth of others by giving the other the illusion that they will solve their problem.
The Knight is also very gullible. The knight gets sucked into being played by others that know how to get others to fight the fight for them. So the Knight will stand up for people if the Knight is convinced that they need help to heard or need help.
What does the Knight get out of this? The feeling of being needed and importance.
The Damsel in destress:
The Knight needs it’s counterpart. The Damsel holds a Victim card and uses it freely without fear of consequences. The Damsel sees them-self as the eternal sufferer. Everything is to difficult, people just don’t understand me, Why am I always being targeted, I did not do it, if all their fault, If I play up someone will come to my rescue.
I remember one fella that felt such a victim that they refused to sleep in their bed and set up camp in the common room to show all the other clients that they were so hard done by.
For me there are two types of Jokers.
The Positive Joker (Joker+) is in touch with their own emotions and the emotions of others. These people shine when things get tense emotionally. The Joker+ lightens the moment with a joke or off hand comment that makes people laugh and the tension of the moment is defused or lost. However as a therapist that tension is needed at times to let the gravity of the moment sink in.
The Negative Joker (Joker-) just gets fun out of making mischief and then sit back and watch the drama unfold. This Joker- is just like the Joker from Batman. They do not care about others. They just care about what enjoyment others will give them. Like wise they will set someone up and then watch them fall.
I remember a client from years ago, He had some money and convinced another client to go and buy some alcohol. On return about 5 clients got drunk in the pool room. The fella that had the money refused to drink. all 5 people were discharged from the unit for having alcohol. The fella thought he could get a rehab bed when the others left. But they all told on him and he was discharged as well. That Joker- was not happy.
I like referring to some of these Jokers- like a baby shaking their rattle. If the rattle would not make a noise they would not play with it. For the adult, other people are the rattle. As long as they make a noise then they are happy to rattle them. The rules do not apply to these people, the only rule is, is they must be happy no matter the cost to others and will never take responsibility for their own actions.
The Depressant / Pessimist:
You will find the Depressant or doom sayer in most movies and books. But they would call them self the Realest, the person that says it like it is. If these people are not rained in from time to time the depression becomes infectious to the entire team, including the Hero and then it’s time to give up on the journey and say it is a hopeless quest to better one’s self. The Depressant erodes hope, self belief, and the value of the quest. The Depressant may look like a Damsel in destress at first, but with all the evidence showing the Depressant that the hard ship can be overcome, and the next event will be overcome as well. The Depressant will still say that the sky is falling.
We all know someone that looks back over their life and always sees all the negatives that have happened to them. Then they predict that the future will be the same. They concentrate so hard on the negatives that they are the eternal Pessimist. The only thing that they fear more than life is death. I remember a client that every action was a task. They woke up each morning as if they had to clime Mount Everest all over again. The walk was heavy, shoulders slumped over and that out let of air every time an educational group was called, and always looking at the ground.
Narcissist or Corporate Psychopath:
Always right, never wrong, Always the best and never second best. Here is the person that can only feel value for them self at the cost of others. All their successors are built on the broken backs of others. If the narcissist cannot keep the other “Echo” under the thumb any threat of rebellion must be squashed, even with violence if necessary. The Rebellions person is threatening to take that self value away, that threat is met with anger and threats and can escalate to violence and murder. Narcissist will always look great, while Echo is cowering in the corner. When in public Narcissist and Echo will look like the perfect team, in harmony and can be seen as the perfect relationship. However, behind closed doors, Narcissist will stop at nothing to keep Echo in their place. There are no health barriers in place in this relationship,. The need for Narcissist to have that feeling of being admired or loved is an addiction.
I have postulated that these people are addicted to Dopamine just like gamblers, Just that the Dopamine is rush is driven by the feeling of being important and admired. When the threat of having that dopamine rush taken away the craving for it will cause the Narcissist to become irrational in trying to get that rush back. Like any addiction, tolerance builds up and the Narcissist needs to have more of that feeling of admiration and love towards them. This is where Echo will live in such fear that they will do the most extreme things to give Narcissist what they want. But this is just a Hypothesis that has not been tested. Just putting it out there if someone wants to invent an experiment to test it. I would be interested to see the results.
The passive person that never rocks the boat and will keep the peace no matter what the cost. Echo will suffer almost anything to avoid conflict. Echo will join in any game to be apart of the game so that others will have a good time, even when they do not want to play. As a passive person everyone’s feelings are more important than their own happiness. Echo puts them self last and do not tend to stand up for them self.
The pay off for Echo in being this way, is because it is a safe place to live. In some respect they live in a comfort zone, even if it is bad place to live it is what is known. Look at repeat offenders that always go back to jail. They are institutionalised, Jail is a place where it is uncomfortable but it is known and they do not need to make the hard choices and responsibilities of running their own life. Being in an institution where food and housing is provided without the need to fight to pay the bills is a comfortable place to be. Though these people are seen as the hardest people around, they are passive Echos.
Why the name Echo? The story of Narcissist, he needs Echo to feel validated. Thus to some degree when we rely on a system we are an Echo that validates the system.
Food for thought Ha?
There are other Archetypes that apply to this list But I like these just to keep it simple.