Nov 14, 2021
4 mins read
I found all of this chapter to be quite interesting, I have ever been a fan of Jung and Maslow, reading these others and especially Horney was very interesting (Openstax College, 2020). For the most part, I have heard these theories, but Horney is new to me. I like it as it holds some resonance in me. There are many things about the different models that make them interesting and insightful, personally, I think most of them are true some of the time and some of them are true all the time. The Cognitive Behavioural Theory, for example, shows us that how you feel after an experience can completely change your behaviour, how the thoughts and your process of processing said experience can change it further (or even back), and how the experience itself can affect both of the other things. In this way, I propose that it is important to consider that while none of these theories are one-hundred percent accurate, none are completely rubbish either.
Horney’s theory is both new to me and interesting because I can directly associate with it. The coping styles seem true because I can see how I acted under the influence of the first style, moving toward people. I did not have my needs being met so I tried to meet them myself and when I found a good person in the world, someone that could give me something that was needed for my development (or simply my stability) I had a bad habit of over-reaching. I tended to become over-reliant or needy of these people who were, by nature, transient in my life. I learned a lot from these people, I am grateful that I found them.
The second style, moving against people, was never in accordance with me or my being. I was raised on a diet heavy with violence both physical and mental/ emotional. Being aggressive with, even defending myself from physical harm, makes me sick inside, sometimes it makes me physically sick as well (vomiting).
The third, moving away from people, was my primary position. I stood at the side or back of the room, I avoided direct interactions and they were all seen as potential conflicts. I watched the other kids play together and wondered at their happiness and state of well-being. I sat alone in classrooms and did all my schoolwork then asked for more. When I finished that, I would ask to be allowed to read, usually something along the lines of a “classic” work or author such as “The Iliad” or the complete works of Poe. I spent lunches sitting away from and wondering why I would never be a part of the group. How and why my personal experiences made making a friend in the 3rd grade impossible. Except it was not impossible for me to make a friend, just one in my age group. I managed to find two different people to call friends during the 3rd grade, which I then became inappropriately overly attached to. One was a Vietnam Veteran named Dwayne (pronounced Wayne). He served right up until the end in 1973 and told me that he had spent a total of 7 years there. We talked about a lot of things, and he was always honest and direct with me. He helped me to understand how trauma can alter ones thinking and ability to be happy. I was 8 years old when I asked him if it was even possible for someone like me to ever be happy, to which he said, maybe yes, maybe no, but either way will depend heavily on me. The other was a Mexican man named Jorge. He was my neighbor’s grandson and at age 36, my friend. I learned how to change the brakes on my mom’s Datsun B210 hatchback and how to check and change the oil in both the Datsun and on his Honda Rebel.
I can clearly see how this model with its three possible responses to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs is not only plausible but highly accurate, at least some of the time, as it was (is?) for me. You see, to this day I fail to make simple connections with people, and yet I had recently become over-attached to someone again. This is bad because, among all the other potential ways to be let down by someone, there is no way for any one person to fulfill all the needs of another. The expectation is too great not to end in some sort of letdown. To my credit, I also, to this day, take complete responsibility for my life and its condition. Despite everything external, I still believe it is my responsibility to correctly process and respond to life, that my choices (no matter how limited) are mine to make and the fruits of my labor are mine to earn or leave on the tree (like I did for the last 30 years before I finally returned to school).
OpenStax College. (2020). Psychology (2nd edition). OpenStax: https://openstax.org/books/psychology-2e/pages/10-1-motivation